Why is chocolate melting on the tongue such a decadent sensation? Why do we love crunching on bacon? Why is fizz-less soda such a disappointment to drink, and why is flat beer so unappealing to the palate? Our sense of taste produces physical and emotional reactions that cannot be explained by chemical components alone. Eating triggers our imagination, draws on our powers of recall, and activates our critical judgment, creating a unique impression in our mouths and our minds. How exactly does this alchemy work, and what are the larger cultural and environmental implications? Collaborating in the laboratory and the kitchen, Ole G. Mouritsen and Klavs Styrb k investigate the multiple ways in which food texture influences taste. Combining scientific analysis with creative intuition and a sophisticated knowledge of food preparation, they write a one-of-a-kind book for food lovers and food science scholars. By mapping the mechanics of mouthfeel, Mouritsen and Styrb k advance a greater awareness of its link to our culinary preferences. Gaining insight into the textural properties of raw vegetables, puffed rice, bouillon, or ice cream can help us make healthier and more sustainable food choices. Through mouthfeel, we can recreate the physical feelings of foods we love with other ingredients or learn to latch onto smarter food options. Mastering texture also leads to more adventurous gastronomic experiments in the kitchen, allowing us to reach even greater heights of taste sensation.
Ole G. Mouritsen is a distinguished scientist and professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark. He serves as director of the Danish Center for Taste (Taste for Life) and the Center for Biomembrane Physics (MEMPHYS) and is president of the Danish Gastronomical Academy. His books include Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste (Columbia, 2015), Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable (2013), and Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul (2009). Klavs Styrb k is an award-winning chef who, with his wife, runs the gastronomical innovation project STYRB KS, incorporating an experimental restaurant and a chefs' school. With Ole G. Mouritsen, he is the author of Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste (Columbia, 2015).