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Fine flavours: The unsuspected talents of your taste buds

发布时间:2017-08-02 08:01:41来源:未知点击:

Michaël Zumstein/Agence VU/CameraPress By Andy Extance EVEN with a blue foam nose-clip cutting off my sense of smell, I know I’m eating something remarkable. I’ve come to an ordinary-looking office at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, where only a scattering of plates and cutlery hint at what I’m here for. When my host Jozef Youssef, of food science collaboration Kitchen Theory, places two dishes of risotto in front of me, he has actually forgotten which contains the mysterious ingredient I’m here to try. But to me the difference is unmistakable. One is zingy, salty, creamy. The other pales in comparison. The secret behind the more delectable of the two dishes is the kokumi ingredients Youssef has spiked it with. Kokumi is a flavour concept originating in Japan that some foodies think could rank alongside the four familiar fundamental tastes, salt, sweet, bitter and sour. With many food flavours actually due to smell rather than taste, the fact that I experience kokumi’s potency with my nose disabled certainly suggests something special is going on. The discovery of kokumi is just one of many taste phenomena that have recently taken scientists by surprise. Our efforts to understand what constitutes taste have led us to realise how strange this sense really is. For one thing,