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Tasty : The Art and Science of What We Eat
by John McQuaid


Overview - A fascinating and deeply researched investigation into the mysteries of flavor--from the first bite taken by our ancestors to scientific advances in taste and the current "foodie" revolution.

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.  Read more...


 
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More About Tasty by John McQuaid
 
 
 
Overview
A fascinating and deeply researched investigation into the mysteries of flavor--from the first bite taken by our ancestors to scientific advances in taste and the current "foodie" revolution.

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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781451685008
  • ISBN-10: 1451685009
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Psychology > Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Books > Technology > Food Science
Books > Social Science > Agriculture & Food

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this fascinating blend of culinary history and the science of taste, freelance writer McQuaid observes that “everyone lives in his own flavor world,” and that taste is the most subjective of the senses. He smoothly and skillfully explains the layout of the neocortex and how flavor is perceived by the brain. He discusses the tongue and how its varied zones were once thought to correlate to sweet, salty, sour and bitter, imparting serious science with wildly rich prose. “Flavor is only the capstone of a vast, hidden system” that starts in the mouth with a “burst of deliciousness” and leads to “an infinite mesh of sensors furiously sending and receiving messages as the whole body marinates in the chemical flux of the world.” Readers will savor his explanations of the science behind umami, the savory taste identified in 2007, and the description of sweetness as “a delicious and powerful motivator” given sugar’s effect on the brain. McQuaid’s lucid explanations of neuroscientific research on dopamine lay the groundwork for a keen analysis of industrial food production and flavor manipulation while addressing the health issues of the modern diet. When he concludes that “the mystery at the heart of flavor has never been truly cracked,” he sets the stage for an eagerly anticipated second helping. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews