Fancy a steak flavoured with durian? Or lamb chop ice cream? Adventurous palates may not baulk at such iffy combinations – but you don’t have to eat the dish to taste it.
That’s because it’s actually smell that dictates most of what we taste – as much as 90 per cent, according to Dr Alan Hirsch of Chicago’s Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.
Enter the Aromafork by Montreal-based company Molecule-R, known for its home molecular-gastronomy kits.
The new implement has an indentation near its tines containing a small piece of scent-soaked blotting paper that releases the scent as you eat.
The idea is that blending what you’re tasting with what you’re smelling creates new flavours for the palate.
By using and even combining aromas, you can experience food in a myriad ways, bringing the dining experience to a whole new level.
Available by pre-order for delivery later this year, the Aromafork kit contains four forks, with 21 scents ranging from truffles to wasabi and even smoke, and 50 diffusing papers. There’s also a spoon version – without the aromatic.
These two experiments show that scent is not the only factor that affects taste.
Colour can alter taste, if an experiment by Professor Charles Spence of Oxford University can be credited. He placed tasters of the same whisky in rooms of different colours. Twenty per cent more tasters in the red room reported the whisky being sweeter, while those in the wood-themed room had a higher likelihood of tasting woody notes.
Music For Your Mouth
A study by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh showed that a wine’s flavour profile was perceived differently, based on the type of music the tasters listened to. Those listening to classical music described the wine as subtle and refined, while others listening to catchy tunes reported it to be zingy and refreshing.