Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Taste for Hotter, Mintier, Fruitier

The Increased Craving for Intense Flavors Suggests That the American Palate is Changing from WSJ, May 26, 2010

The buttery taste found in packaged foods isn't just butter flavor anymore. Increasingly, it is browned-butter flavor, formulated to taste deeper and more savory than plain butter, says International Flavors and Fragrances, one of the leading laboratories for developing flavors used by food companies.
Food companies describe some of their efforts as adding "umami," a Japanese word that, roughly translated, means "good flavor." What it describes, however, is the pleasant savory flavor found in protein-heavy foods and increasingly viewed as one of the five basic tastes (in addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter). It isn't exactly a flavor, food executives say, but an experience—an explosion of flavor.
As people crave intensity in flavor, some traditionalists are wondering if diners will become desensitized to natural flavors. Regular mangoes may taste bland when eaten next to mango-flavored gum or a mango energy drink, they say.
New flavors used to originate in fine dining kitchens and work their way down, but now they come just as often from the Food Network or from ethnic or international sources.

No comments: