Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good

Barb Stuckey. Free Press, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9073-9
Stuckey's mouthwatering exploration of the science of taste addresses a wide assortment of topics, from the five tastes that humans can detect using their mouths (sweet, salt, sour, bitter, umami), to the ways that "Taste Affects Your Waist." Drawing on her experience as a professional food developer, Stuckey tantalizes readers with details about the intricacies of taste, observing, for example, that the anatomy of our tongues, medical history, and genes account for the differences in individual abilities to taste. She also suggests experiments and recipes that encourage the development and exploration of the art of taste, such as listening to The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" while drinking chardonnay, and a "Sensory Evaluation of Milk Chocolate Bars." She concludes by proposing "Fifteen Ways to Get More from Every Bite," including chewing well, tasting at the right temperature, quitting smoking, and, of course, being adventurous. Going far beyond Brillat-Savarin's famous 19th-century book on the subject, The Physiology of Taste, Stuckey not only connects readers with the sensory complexity of sundry fare, but also instructs them in the art of understanding and appreciating a multisensory approach to food in order to make more informed gustatory choices. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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