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S5 E9 – What is flavour and is it subjective?

The immediate reaction to this is yes. It is. Right? This week, the guys delve in to how much the people, environment and culture around us subliminally influences our opinions around food. Also, Ben tells us that you can’t copyright flavour and we all have a bit of a meltdown over it!

Best soundbite: “We’re willing to put anything in our mouths.” – Mike Huttlestone

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  1. Sam.rowlands

    I can’t seem to get this episode on any of the apps, just season 6 episode 2-10! Any advice?

  2. Steton

    I have two combos I love; I understand people querying one (liver sausage, sweet chili sauce & St Agur spreadable blue cheese) but I am confused that my sandwich favourite of Salad Cream, Marmite and strong cheddar gets funny looks

  3. VixReviews

    After last weeks podcast, I went to watch a few more related videos, and ended up watching a video on qualia and colour perception that I think is somewhat relevant to this weeks video. For anyone who hadn’t come across the term (like me last week), qualia are individual instances of subjective conscious experience, like what exactly we experience as red, or hot, or pear flavour.

    In terms of colour, the specific bit that is completely subjective is only the experience itself. The light is still the same wavelength for everyone seeing it, just like with food the molecules are the same for everyone tasting it, but also if you are experiencing colour differently due to colour blindness that is not the subjective part, that is a known alteration of experience that can be recreated for others. So some variation of taste in the same thing isn’t subjective, it could be altered because you have a blocked nose, or a geographic tongue. The unknown, subjective bit is specifically the interpretation of the brain if identical inputs. Did that make any sense?

    So I suppose what I’m wondering, for flavour combinations that time people like and others don’t, at what level is the difference? Is it because one has a different density if taste buds/smell receptors or to the other, and so the signals reaching their brain are different? Do the same signals react they brain and the brain interprets them in different ways? Or are they the same sensations perceived the the same way that one happens to find pleasurable and one doesn’t? And if it’s the last one, why? Is it due to associations with other things, and can you change that by adding more, different associations to your experiences?

  4. JoRo

    When I was younger enjoyed cheesy biscuits/crackers with chocolate (Cadbury’s dairy milk), and my Mum got all us eating cheese and banana sandwiches (mature cheddar, mashed banana and white bread) and all of us still do when we want that bit of nostalgia.

    Feel like this week’s topic is very closely linked to last week’s, and it’s an important point to keep in mind that flavour is absolutely subjective and one of the young people I work with reminds us of that every time they try a new food:
    “Who even EATS carrots?!”
    All of us do, we all have them with our lunch from the canteen.
    “But who LIKES carrots?!”
    Well we’re all eating them, so I guess all of us.
    “But would you eat a whole plate of these carrots?”
    We’re not being asked to, just a small portion.

    The last question threw me because even if the carrots had been well cooked and not boiled to oblivion there is no way I’d sit down to a plate of just carrots (or just any one ingredient), I’d very quickly get bored of the flavour. But my original point they were tasting something for the first time (or first time in a very long time) and their reaction was pretty much WHAT THE HELL IS THIS! ARE YOU TRYING TO TRICK ME????!!! While we’re all happily sat there eating our lunch they suspect they’re being conned into eating something harmful (found that letting them taste the food from my plate helped reassure that it tasted the same and they were safe).

    Also I did giggle at Mike’s dulcet and Gabbana joke at the beginning.

    • Sorted

      Cheese and chocolate is coming up a lot! Why do you reckon it works so well? Interesting carrot story too – maybe easing people into trying new things is the way to go with it all?

      Hahaa, glad someone spotted the joke!

  5. Dimi

    And I’ve gone away and found myself still thinking about this, and I’ve come back with even more questions! (And no answers).
    If flavour is subjective then how do you judge an “objectively” good flavour? Is it a case of, “it’s well balanced, we know A+B= good result, so this must taste good” even if you eat it and it’s not for you? I know that’s kind of what Ben and James have to do for a living, but it makes me endlessly curious. Is anything really objectively good in the world of flavour? Because there’s always going to be someone out there that wont like it. That might be a minority handful of people, or it might be entire countries/regions that do not use to that flavour combination. Can you hand them the dish and convince them it’s good? No, so how can you say it’s “objectively” good. It’s good for you, therefore, it’s subjectively good. And there we’ve lost objectivity.
    Like, as chef’s, how do you get past that barrier of “I just don’t like that flavour”? When eating, or even creating a dish?
    Question to the chefs: Have you ever cooked/do you ever cook with an ingredient you truly just do not like? If so, how do you deal with that? Is there even an ingredient out there you feel like that about? Is there something you just can’t find a way to make taste good because you personally don’t like it? I guess that’s the part I find most challenging in this discussion, there are certain flavours, that I don’t like and I can’t get past that to say “this dish has a good flavour, objectively”

    And again, I come at this as someone that’s a bit of a fussy eater. But my fussiness is based purely on my enjoyment, or lack of enjoyment, of certain flavours. I feel I’ve eaten a range enough of cuisines and challenged myself to try everything, often more than once, to appreciate how balancing flavour works. And I think I know what a well seasoned dish tastes like versus one that’s not etc. However back to the pork chop example, you can give me the most perfectly cooked, perfectly balanced/flavoured pork chop dish in the world, and it’s still going to taste a bit like sour dirt to me, I would be able to appreciate everything you did to that dish, but it’s not going to make it taste good. Unlike Ben, I’m definitely not the type of person to be swayed by a “story” or history, rather my complete opinion is formed by what it tastes like to me.

    • alm477

      Seconding all of these questions–I would love to see a podcast addressing some of these!

      Also seconding the doubt on “objectively” good flavors from another fussy eater. Even the example the guys used, tomato and olive oil, doesn’t work for me. I dislike tomatoes quite a lot and nothing in how those two ingredients are prepared nor their quality is going to change that.

      I’ll go a little further and answer Mike’s question “how can you like it if you’ve never tried it?”

      1) I can smell it from here and I don’t like the way it smells, which is usually a pretty good indicator as to how it tastes.
      2) Just looking at the dish (or description on the menu) I can see that it is made of/stars ingredients I already know I hate.
      3) This dish/food item is hitting food taboos for my culture, they are surprisingly visceral and my brain can’t get my stomach/gag reflex past them.
      4) You just described this food item as tasting like a thing I hate (“You’ll love it, it tastes just like X!” “…you realize I hate X, right?”)
      5) This food item/dish is strong tasting and unfamiliar to me
      6) Based on any combination of the above, there is a good likelihood that I will not like this dish/ingredient and I don’t want to pay good money for food I could take one bite of, spit it out, and won’t touch again. Then I’m both hungry and have wasted money :/

      • Bebbrell

        Wow – some really interesting points there. Interesting that many of those bits in your list all happen in your mind in isolation to the make-up of the food itself. That said, is Flavour is made up of about 80% aroma then smelling it will give you a very good idea! Are there examples of things you’ve made a decision on whether you’ll like it or not without actually trying?

      • alm477

        People often underestimate the brain’s influence on perception…to roughly paraphrase a professor I had, we do not see with our eyes, hear with our ears, or taste with our tongue, etc. We see, hear, taste etc with our BRAINS. Sensory data is meaningless without the brain’s interpretation/context. Or, to quote Dumbledore “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

        Sushi with fish is something I can’t manage to try. That’s mostly abutting a purely cultural taboo of 1) I grew up in a landlocked state where historically the freshness/quality of fish was always suspect and so 2) I was constantly warned (as a child) that if I ate raw fish I would get VERY sick. I also did not grow up in a household where we ate fish, so as an ingredient it was mostly unfamiliar. As a result, even though sushi staring raw (and perfectly safe!) fish is readily available to me I can’t get my gag reflex past my brain screaming “If you eat that you will get sick and die!!!!”. I’ve had some cucumber sushi and found it ok, but otherwise meh. I have the same problem with recipes featuring raw/under-cooked eggs.

        For contrast, in China (and I think Germany too?) raw green beans are believed to be deadly poison unless fully cooked. To be fair (and I had to google this) they do contain some kind of toxin, but the amount of raw green beans you’d have to eat to actually get sick is rather ridiculous. The look of horror on the face of one of our Chinese student’s when we mentioned that it’s pretty common in the US to add raw green beans to salads or just snack on them while picking or preparing them was pretty funny. We had a really interesting discussion about that afterward, but she is still 100% convinced that if she ate raw/under-cooked green beans she would get deathly ill.

        But back to your actual question, I sadly denied myself schnitzel during a vacation in Vienna, Austria because my mom said it tasted like veal parmesan (which I hate). Luckily I tried it another time in the US, loved it, and was able to eat plenty of it in Germany during a later trip!

    • Sorted

      We’ll get Ben to try and answer some of these questions today!

    • Bebbrell

      I’m really fortunate in that there aren’t many things that I don’t like… or haven’t at some point tasted. Therefore, can imagine and breakdown what they might work well with… or how to prepare them to get the best out of them. As an example… a red pepper tastes completely different raw than roasted. Much sweeter when roasted… the same with may veg.

      Blue cheese is one… I’m not a huge fan of it. Although I understand what it offers and therefore how and why it works and balances with other ingredients. Once balanced out… I too enjoy it. Just not that fussed about eating it straight from a cheese board.

      Can you think of a single example where the back story has changed your opinion of a dish, recipe or ingredient?

      • Dimi

        I think that’s where experienced and knowledge probably play the biggest part, understanding how pairing food works to make it “better”.
        Also, blue cheese is AMAZING!
        I guess the take away from both my comments here(so I don’t have to reply twice) is knowledge is powerful in this instance. As is experience.
        If I can flip the question around, you know how to make a possibly unpalatable ingredient work for yourself, do you think if we were to have a real chat about what foods and combinations I really like and don’t like you’d be able to take something like a pork chop, which I def don’t usually like and make it palatable for me? I wonder, maybe I just haven’t found the perfect combination yet?
        To answer your comment about wine below, I think that’s definitely true to an extent, but I also find myself with time liking bolder wines that I definitely wasn’t drinking 10 years ago, have I just learnt to appreciate what they offer more over time? Or has my pallet evolved? Probably both is the answer.
        And finally to answer your last question about back story: nothing comes to mind, however, the answer is probably that I have, at some unconscious level. As mentioned by a few people in the comments below, perhaps when I’ve been told a back story, or cultural fact about something I’ve given it more of a chance than if I hadn’t. Like the example used about sourcing some expensive ingredient like coffee beans and then telling that story before you give it to people.
        I have definitely been more inclined to try a “strange” food/ingredient I would normally pass on, once I’ve been told the back story. Mostly I’d say I still don’t “like” it, but am generally happy to have tried it knowing it means something to people. But maybe with, “more likely to try” comes “more likely to find things you like that you might have passed on otherwise”

  6. Lynzilla

    This past Christmas, I was making dog biscuits, and one recipe I used had peanut butter and pumpkin for the base flavor- I thought, well, dogs, right? I was mixing it up, and it smelled so good, I had to give it a try. Turns out, it is DELICIOUS! I have plans to use it as a ravioli filling at some point. (Yes, I ate a couple of the baked biscuits, too-YUM!)

    • Sorted

      Maybe we should all be giving dog biscuits a go hahaa 😂

    • Bebbrell

      In this instance… it sounds like it’s only the verbal wrapper and labelling that makes them dog biscuits. Otherwise it’s just combining flavours that we already, as humans, enjoy. I wonder though, for how many people knowing that they were eating ‘dog biscuits’ would be enough to make the flavour unappealing?

      • Answer: most people. I remember a Sorted vid in which Jamie made a leveled up version of Spam. It actually looked quite delicious. However, in the vid, most people seemed to dismiss it just for being ‘Spam’.

        Would make for an interesting extra video though.

  7. Dimi

    I use to love dipping Pizza Shapes (baked little savoury biscuits with tomato, cheese, onion, garlic and paprika seasoning. Crazy how you don’t have these in the UK) into Banana Ice Cream as a kid, I haven’t tried it as an adult but I am super curious to now that my pallet has changed. Which is something I would love to know more about the science of. How does your pallet change over time? Do you grow to like things simply due to exposure? Or does your pallet also just change and mature, from a scientific, taste bud receptors kinda way? Or does your brain develop some sort of taste-brain pathway that you strengthen over time with constant exposure?

    From experience, especially when you’re exposed to things from a young age, you do grow to like them more, which is why some dishes that are hugely popular in some parts of the world would be considered unpalatable in others.
    But also, like Barry, Mike and many people I didn’t really like wine when I first had it, and I was already an adult then. But over time I have grown to appreciate it and find some wines quite delicious. But then, as mentioned in my comment last week, there are some foods that I simply cannot stand the flavour of. I’ll mention pork, cause it’s a pretty universally liked meat in the west (outside of those that don’t eat it for religious reasons) As an adult especially, I have pushed myself to try many different variations, types, cooked in different ways, mixed in different things. I actually quite like Bacon, Pancetta, some hams are ok. But I mostly appreciate the smokey, salty slightly sweet aspect of them, and prefer them when they don’t super taste like pork. I still cannot eat a pork chop, you can’t convince me it tastes good, I don’t understand how people like it, people don’t understand how I don’t.

    I’ll leave it here with one last challenge to Ben’s point. He kept saying there were “universally” liked flavours. I don’t think such a thing exists to be honest. There are well liked, and very popular flavours, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find something everyone likes in all parts of the world.

    • JoRo

      Whole heartedly agree with you on the pork chops, when I’m with family and they all want them I’ll eat one (it’s easier than getting moaned at for being fussy), but no one in the last 30-something years has been able to convince me they taste good so I don’t see that changing anything soon.

    • Sorted

      Hmmm pizza shapes and banana ice cream… shall we add this to the meal plans? 😂

      I might agree with you on that last point and after reading alm477’s comment below!

    • Bebbrell

      Dimi… your final point is bang on. Probably impossible to find a universally liked flavour. However, there are combinations (our addiction to sweet and fatty things in particular) that humans are typically more keen on. That said, when I was in Japan… a local there thought that our sweets, chocolate and candy was unbearably sweet. His palette was more aligned to salty and umami.

      As for changing tastes. Some of it could be understanding perhaps? Trying one wine and not liking “wine” as a genre. This probably comes down to not understanding the breadth of the topic. It might take a while to try several before you find a wine that you do like. The same for tropical fruits or cheeses. My hunch is that if you don’t know or understand or try enough of a thing then you can quickly decide that you don’t like an entire genre. Greater exposure allows you to familiarise yourself with them more.

      • Dimi

        Ben… Responded to this with my other response above for simplicity. But wanted to add: You’ve been to Japan??? 😲

  8. alm477

    This was interesting and now I have a lot of scattered thoughts…

    Both genetics and environment have an influence on perception of flavor–there are genes which make cilantro (and walnuts, I think, might be a different gene) taste like soap and some people who have a stronger perception of bitter. But what you are actually exposed, as a child and (there is evidence to suggest) even in utero, also has an influence.

    Our sense of smell is a large factor in flavor (why things seem to have little flavor when your nose is stuffed up, or when they had people pinch their nose while eating fruit candy at the coffee tasting) and scent is also subjective. There’s a TV show called Modern Marvels where they explore a subject in detail (e.g. cheese, acid, the uses of human corpses, nuts, etc) and they had an episode on “Stink”. Among the many things they discussed in that episode was an attempt to make a scent based alarm system–rather than relying on people’s ability to see and hear to know they needed to leave, they wanted to release an unpleasant smell that would make people flee an area. However, they had to do some research to see if they could find agreement in whether a smell was considered good/bad across cultures and that lead to some interesting discoveries because it really varied. People in Japan rated fishy smells much more positively than people from Germany, but people in Germany rated the smell of caraway and rye much more positively than people from Japan. A specific group of people living in Africa (I want to say it was a group living in South Africa? It’s been a while since I’ve seen this episode) were utterly revolted by the smell of cinnamon. The researchers ultimately found that scents which are strong and unfamiliar to a group tended to be rated more negatively. Whereas smells that were familiar to a group tended to be rated more positively. A traditionally Japanese diet includes a lot of fish, but not much baking with rye or caraway. Caraway and rye are familiar ingredients to Germans, but their diet isn’t nearly so fish based. And that group in Africa does not use cinnamon in their cooking at all and in fact didn’t really have access to it until Europeans brought it to their area.

    Nutrient deprivation/deficiency can also influence perception of flavor! Normally my feelings toward raisins range from “meh” to “blegh”. However, there have been times where I was pretty severely anemic and I would CRAVE raisins and would swear to you that they were one of the most delicious things ever created by man. My need for iron (which raisins are pretty high in) translated into making a normally bleh food taste like bliss. My mom had a similar experience before doctors figured out she was deficient in B12, but she craved bacon (I mean, she always liked bacon, but her deficiency translated into wanting it ALL THE TIME).

    So yes, flavor is subjective, but it’s really interesting to see what makes it be subjective! 😀

    • Sorted

      Wow this is such an interesting comment, we’ll have to check out that show for sure! Also really great point on the deficiencies – it’s not often that you consider food cravings as a direct result of something happening in your body.

    • Bebbrell

      The idea that the smell of cinnamon can be abhorrent to a group of people amazes me… and highlight your point perfectly. Familiarity is everything!

    • Anita

      I’ve had a similar experience with raisins. I like raisins but they are far too sweet for me so I normally don’t want to eat them on their own. Once I accidentally went too low-carb (didn’t want to lose weight just modified my diet for health reasons) and I couldn’t stop eating raisins and dates. Now, obviously, getting all your carbs from sugar is not a good idea, so I increased my intake of starchy veggies, and my relationship with dried fruit went back to normal, raisins and dates simply quitted being so irresistible 🙂

      In addition to nutrient deficiencies, did you know that the composition of your microbiome can also dictate your cravings? They want us to eat what they feed on. A bit creepy, right? 😀

      • alm477

        LOL, same craving but for a different nutrient! My interest in raisins likewise wanes when my iron is at a healthier level 🙂

        That microbiome fact is really cool! Biology generally and bodies specifically, are so weird sometimes…

    • alm477

      LOL, finally remembered a weird food combination I enjoyed. When I was a kid I went through a phase where my favorite way to eat eggs was hard boiled (yolks removed because I hate them) and then slathered with grape jelly/jam. My parents didn’t think this was weird–a chef my dad knew as a kid would put grape jelly in omelets.

  9. Anita

    The social aspect of people’s taste is thought-provoking. When we talk about food history and certain dishes that were considered – using Barry’s words – “delicious” back then and “disgusting” today, can we say that the dish’s trendiness creates a certain unconscious social pressure that encourages people to like the flavor? As some trends come and go, the same(?) flavors seem to turn into different mental flavors. How much of this do you think can be attributed to the fact that we are evolved as social beings after all? Maybe another evolutionary advantage that helped our species survive?

    Speaking of evolutionary advantage, you mentioned that our taste helped us stay away from eating poisonous food. It’s interesting how this survival instinct fails us when it comes to foods that – might not kill us instantly but
    – hurt us and make us sick in the long run, foods that maybe wouldn’t even be considered tasty by many had we not worked hard to get used to eating and eventually liking them from a young age.

    • alm477

      I love that you brought up the social aspect of food in history! Sometimes a factor of a foods trendiness was the effort it takes to make it. Aspic (meaty jello, basically) was a way to preserve food, but making clear aspic (to make a pretty molded food item that’s a great centerpiece) takes hours and hours of work. If you had a molded dish (quail eggs in aspic, fish in aspic, etc) and that aspic was crystal clear? You obviously had a large (and talented) staff, that cost a lot of money to keep, to have that dish on your table. Later availability of flavorless gelatin (and jello) that any home cook could buy in sheets/powder and make the same food in no time at all drove down the trendiness. And now many of us would probably find something in aspic to be more punishment to eat than treat.

      This kind of thing still can drive tastes to this day. White bread used to be a status symbol of the rich because white flour takes more processing and therefore used to be more expensive (whole wheat flour was for the peasants). Later mechanization meant even poor people could afford white flour and it became something of a standard (to this day).

      • Anita

        Yeah, the once super fancy aspic 😀 Well, in Hungary, our meat jelly is still popular during the holiday season, we use pig feet, fresh pig skin, and pork knuckles so it’s much more about tradition than showing off… 😀 The flavor? Well, I personally have grown to kinda like it, I guess.
        I think you’re right! Perceived value (its expensiveness, social value attached to it) can affect the flavor and our taste big time!

      • alm477

        Probably a silly question, but does the jelly part taste strongly of meat? Or more like plain gelatin (unless you actually get a piece of meat in the bite, obviously)? I had to quick google it and it said it’s mostly eaten with white bread, but do you have anything else with it?

      • Anita

        The jelly part has a meaty-brothy flavor. It is slowly cooked, gently simmered for a longer time, so you don’t even need to add extra gelatin (though some people do add some just to make sure), the cartilage and the skin take care of that 🙂 My family eats it with paprika on top, with bread, my hubby’s family also adds a splash of vinegar, and sometimes a small plate of sliced onions sprinkled with white vinegar is also served with it. It’s a small country but the regions have their own variations. The same goes for our fish soup, stuffed cabbage, stews, just to mention a few, there are different regional versions, and people can start heated arguments about which version is the real one and the best one 😀

      • Bebbrell

        Had never considered the efforts a dish goes too affecting how people perceive it. The aspic jelly example is brilliant!

        I wonder if the same goes for well sourced ingredients? If somebody has gone to the nth degree to source the very best coffee bean (and more importantly tells you this before you taste it) whether you perceive the flavour differently? What do you reckon?

      • Anita

        When I taste something that is said to be expensive, well-sourced, hard to get, my brain instantly goes into search mode, trying to find the subtle clues that would verify its expensiveness, for instance. And usually, she who seeks finds 😀
        There are also other times when I can confirm the “better” version’s value in my mind in contrast to the “less good” one. When I happen to have to eat factory-raised chicken, it has a boiled feather taste while pastured chicken – for me, at least – lacks this note, and it’s a good thing for sure. I don’t know though if I could be tricked. I’m certain I couldn’t but who knows.
        It would be great to experiment with it in a video, with actual blindfolds 😉

      • alm477

        I definitely think that we can tell to some level an ingredients quality, assuming we have experience with said ingredient, and even then I would say for most people that ability would be limited. Like, I could probably tell the difference between a cheap balsamic vinegar and a really expensive one, but I probably can’t tell you the difference between an expensive one and a reduction of a cheaper vinegar.

        On the other hand, our perception can be easily fooled/messed with. There’s a funny Penn and Teller sketch where they got a fancy restaurant to let them run a prank/experiment on some of their customers where they were offered a “water tasting.” Customers were presented with expensive bottles of water with fancy names by a skillfully BSing “Water Steward” telling them about the various qualities of the waters they were offering. Said customers swore they could taste differences between the various waters and that they were obviously higher quality than regular tap water. Except that’s exactly what the water was–every single fancy bottle had been filled from the same hose on the restaurant patio. Someone uploaded it to Youtube here (warning for a bit of rude language at the beginning): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFKT4jvN4OE.

        And even an expensive ingredient might not come out on top for taste–I once saw someone trying to make that exact point by serving some wealthy women 2 versions of the same thing, 1 expensive and one dirt cheap, and asked them to say which one was the expensive one. Often they couldn’t tell and it didn’t always factor into what they actually liked either. They liked blitzed up hot dog more than the foie gras it was compared with!

        A good ingredient poorly applied can also result in something gross. According to my dad, my grandma got irritated at him praising his school mac and cheese. So she went out and bought fancy, high grade cheeses and made some from scratch. Dad said it was awful, largely because the fancy cheese just didn’t work in it. If she had used cheaper stuff (like the school did) my dad probably would have liked it XD

        I mean, there are people who are specifically trained/hired to detect the differences between qualities of X product (wine, tea, chocolate, coffee, etc.) and might be able to make those fine distinctions, but for most of us? Probably very limited and heavily dependent on context.

    • Sorted

      We’re actually considering doing a podcast on the social implications on food next season! We’ll note your question down and try and address it in the episode 😊

  10. BexBergeron

    I was at a local bar recently where I had a sandwich called “The Elvis”
    Crunchy peanut butter, banana, pickles, and a whole lot of bacon. Since consuming this genius I have been adding peanut butter to all my burgers and been getting a lot of side eye.

  11. suebarnes

    On a very simple level, when I am at work I do not take sugar in my coffee, I have tried on a couple of occasions, and my coffee has tasted rank. When I get home however, the first things I do is kick off my shoes, make my myself a cup of coffee with two sugars, settle in my comfy chair and breathe, and the coffee tastes like nectar from the gods. The time, the place and the expectation alters the taste of my brew.

    • Sorted

      Hmmm interesting that time of day may be a factor in it all…

  12. Margusenock

    Thank you for the podcast. I have learned some new things from it.
    Especially this part with flavor patents. I did not know that you cannot patent flavor (shame on me since I work in flavor and fragrances industry). I believe I will have some topics to discuss next week at work….

    For the fun part… My favorite combination for breakfast if and when I am in a hotel: American pancake with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, white beans in souse and cucumber or sweet peppers. All on one plate and no guilt what so ever 🙂 I really enjoy this combination. And if I can add melon to this then I am in heaven.

    When I was a teenager I was very into big tennis and to get the energy I was drinking coffee with condensed milk and biting a fatty Moscow sausage like this. I(https://www.delikateska.ru/product/3827utm_referrer=https%3a%2f%2fwww.google.fi%2f). I honestly don’t know what was wrong with me at that time but I loved it!

    I have tried recently one interesting combination. It was cold gazpacho in a small ball of white chocolate covered with red velvet paint and served on a cookie “pillow”. I though it was a piece of watermelon at first. But when you bite…wow. Loved it!

    Oooooh liquorish. I have learned to enjoy it after 12 years in Finland. Especially when it is paired with sweet. This one is my favorite, it is like a light version of it, for beginners 🙂

    I will try to send you some when I go to Finland next time.

    Talking of Finland and flavor combination…I think I have mentioned it already somewhere here or on Facebook on your site. In Finland one of the most popular local salads is a mix of banana and red onions. And people love it:) I did not try it. But hey, my colleagues were very excited about it 🙂

    Oh what a topic! Thank you for positivity 🙂

  13. Smidge

    My chef-trained husband despises many of my choices based solely on his training and knowledge of proper methods, which is fun. I love hot fresh pasta with cold marinara, which offends him (and all of Italy, rightly so). I also love Eggs Benedict (“Hollandaise is fatty blasphemy! AND WHAT IDIOT NAMED IT A MOTHER SAUCE?!”), as well as Bleu cheese (“It’s already gone bad! LOOK AT IT!”), cold shellfish (“You want me to cook it… and then chill it again. Seriously?!”), and mushrooms (“Those grow on food that’s already gone off!”) among others. Meanwhile, he loves all sorts of bachelor food in the frozen section.

    I also firmly maintain that the more texture and shape a noodle has, the better it tastes.

    • danielahitstheroad

      I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but your husband does sound odd. If he is chef-trained, why does he limit himself

      • danielahitstheroad

        so much and also rejecting tried and tested flavours? Basically, all of cheese is milk gone off big time stiley; saying that blue mold is worse than white one maybe just because one doesn’t appreciate the flavour just seems odd.
        You just go on and enjoy the pairings you like and don’t let anybody tell you what can be done and what not.

    • Sorted

      It’s that sweet and salty combo! Seems like such a winner 😂

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