Science of Deliciousness
What are the mechanisms responsible for the sensation of taste? What is flavour and what are the basic tastes? What the hell is umami?
Use of the term umami for describing the sensation of deliciousness in food is finding its way into the Western cuisine. Umami is now ranked as a fifth basic taste along with the four classical tastes: salty, sour, sweet, and bitter. Ole G. Mouritsen will review the concept of umami and deliciousness in a historical, evolutionary, and scientific context and describe recent advances in the understanding of the sensory perception of umami and the involved taste receptors. The unique molecular mechanism behind umami sensation explains why certain pairs of foodstuff taste delicious, e.g., eggs and bacon, cheese and ham, meat and vegetables, as well as the Danish favourite mackerel in tomato sauce. Housewives, cooks, and chefs across the world are more or less unknowingly exploiting this synergy in preparing delicious meals. A few recipes will accompany the talk in the quest for unlocking the secrets of the fifth taste.
Later on, a new menu of finely crafted smooth cocktails will be presented while The Ink Spots will play love songs in a speak easy style and sounds for your cocktail-filled brains.
By the way, if you’re the type who likes to read stuff beforehand then you might want to take a look at Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste by Ole G. Mouritsen and K. Styrbæk.
Ole G. Mouritsen
Ole Mouritsen is a professor of biophysics and affiliated with the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of Southern Denmark. He is currently the director of a national Danish center of excellence, MEMPHYS - Center of Biomembrane Physics, which is supported by the Danish National Research Foundation. His research interests include phase transitions and critical phenomena, biomembrane physics and chemistry, and soft matter physics, with applications within biomedicine, food science, and drug delivery.