Friday, February 24, 2012

The Scientist reviews some new food science books

Capsule Reviews:

Neurogastronomy by Gordon M. Shepherd
Columbia University Press, December 2011
Why Calories Count by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim
University of California Press, April 2012
The Kitchen as Laboratory By C├ęsar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden, editors
Columbia University Press, January 2012
Fear of Food  by Harvey Levenstein
University of Chicago Press, March 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Miracle fruit decoded

From the February edition of The Scientist
Imagine sucking on a lemon that tastes as sweet as honey, or munching on what you think is a crunchy candy only to discover it’s a pickled onion. Such is the taste-bud trickery experienced at so-called flavor-tripping parties. The secret to the flavorful deceptions is a small red berry from West Africa called miracle fruit, which itself has very little flavor, but can make sour or acidic foods taste extremely sweet when eaten soon after the berry contacts the tongue. So bizarre is the fruit’s effect that just one taste was enough to convince Japanese food scientist Keiko Abe, of the University of Tokyo, to launch into an entirely new area of study.