Savour the festive flavour

 作者:傅溶     |      日期:2019-03-15 08:08:01
By Caroline Williams YOU either love them or hate them. Nothing divides opinion round the Christmas dinner table more than Brussels sprouts. If you ever have the urge to find out what gives sprouts their distinctive taste, rest assured that food scientists will be able to tell you. Besides identifying flavour molecules, researchers have spent decades coming up with all manner of methods and equations to explain the way food and drinks release their flavours, a vital part of how they taste. But for all their work, they are easily stumped. Ask the same food scientists to analyse the wine, sherry and brandy you might wash your dinner down with, and you’ll have trouble getting an answer. For mysterious reasons, when it comes to explaining taste, booze just hasn’t succumbed to analysis like other foodstuffs, liquid or otherwise. At last, however, improved techniques may be bringing us closer to understanding how alcoholic drinks tickle our taste buds. And along the way we may get answers to fundamental questions, such as: does the shape of a wine glass make a difference; does warming a brandy glass improve the flavour; and does it really matter whether a cocktail is shaken or stirred? Our perception of flavour is linked to the levels of aromatic compounds that are released when we eat or drink. Most of what we think of as taste actually comes from our sense of smell,