The Art and Science of What We Eat
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781451685008, 304pp.
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Taste has long been considered the most basic of the five senses because its principal mission is a simple one: to discern food from everything else. Yet it's really the most complex and subtle. Taste is a whole-body experience, and breakthroughs in genetics and microbiology are casting light not just on the experience of french fries and foie gras, but the mysterious interplay of body and brain.
With reporting from kitchens, supermarkets, farms, restaurants, huge food corporations, and science labs, "Tasty" tells the story of the still-emerging concept of flavor and how our sense of taste will evolve in the coming decades. "Tasty" explains the scientific research taking place on multiple fronts: how genes shape our tastes; how hidden taste perceptions weave their way into every organ and system in the body; how the mind assembles flavors from the five senses and signals from body's metabolic systems; the quest to understand why sweetness tastes "good" and its dangerous addictive properties; why something disgusts one person and delights another; and what today's obsessions with extreme tastes tell us about the brain.
Brilliantly synthesizing science, ancient myth, philosophy, and literature, "Tasty" offers a delicious smorgasbord of where taste originated and where it's going and why it changes by the day.
From an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, journalist John McQuaid argues in his new book, an exploration of the art and science of taste. More at NPR.org
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