The Science of Taste

Tomato_laboratory_researchOne of the enjoyable factors to Kitchens of the Great Midwest is the change in perspective and narrator that each chapter brings. In the only chapter that is from Eva’s point of view, she is a young girl, experimenting in the growth of chili peppers and breeding for the hottest possible. In her bedroom closet. With grow lights. Typical child’s play.

At our Science of Taste program, Thursday the 11th at 6:00 pm, our panelists will discuss how, molecularly, foods create flavors and how we experience taste. What makes something enjoyable for us to eat, or not? Trending on that topic recently is the book First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, in which author Bee Wilson describes how palates can be formed even before birth, and what we feed baby has lifelong effects. I cannot help but be reminded of Eva’s father, anxious to puree pork for baby Eva, and his dismay that his approach was not recommended. His passion for food, though, did seem to carry on through her spectacular palate.

There is of course a science of cooking—technical skills and instructions that should provide you with a similar result. The science of taste, though, seems to inherently involve more curiosity and creativity. What makes one piece of produce taste better than another? A certain heirloom tomato debate also comes to mind.

The best chefs all around the world are working to discover how the experience, taste, and flavor of food can be best displayed, often by using the simplest of techniques but the best of ingredients. A food documentary on Netflix, Chef’s Table, explores what some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world are creating to this end. We also welcome you to check out the plethora of cooking dvd’s available through the Library, as well as the nearly endless supply of cookbooks in our catalog.

We also hope that the book is making you hungry…for discussion. Our first book discussions take place at our Clifton and Fruita branch, both on Tuesday the 9th at 3pm. Reference our guide or events calendar for all book discussion options. We hope to see you this week!

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