Do you understand texture as well as you do taste? A scientist and a chef team up to explore just how inseparable the two characteristics are. From the distinct lack of appeal in flat soda or beer to the cooling sensations caused by mints or menthol, they explore how the physical characteristics of what we put in our mouth are often as—if not more—important than flavor to how we react.
Mouritsen, a biophysicist who has written previously on sushi, seaweed, and umami, collaborates here with Styrbæk, a Danish chef and culinary instructor, to use a series of simple, vivid examples to explain how differences in mouthfeel can be caused by a variety of factors. Explaining everything from the increasing mealyness of overripe apples (which signals to us the decay of sugars we prize in the fruits) to the reasons some cheeses become stringy when melted and others grainy (acidity is primary) to why we tend to value crispness in bread and yet shun dryness.Throughout the two provide recipes for the purpose of demonstrating principles or techniques, such as degrees of sugar caramelization or the creation of chewy ice creams. Fascinating and quite useful for anyone interested in the creation of new textures as well as flavors.