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Mouthfeel

How Texture Makes Taste

By Ole G. Mouritsen, By Klavs Styrbæk, Translated by Mariela Johansen

About the Book

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 Styrbæk 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 Styrbæk 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.

About the Author

Ole G. Mouritsen is a distinguished scientist and professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark. His books include Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul and Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable.

Klavs Styrbæk is a chef who, for more than twenty years, has owned and run the highly regarded Restaurant Kvægtorvet (The Cattle Market) in Odense, Denmark, and is a passionate advocate for the renewal of classical Danish cuisine.

Mariela Johansen has Danish roots, lives in Canada, and holds an MA in humanities.

Jonas Drotner Mouritsen is a graphic designer and owns the design company Chromascope (www.chromascope.com). His movie projects have won several international awards.