Dessert is an indulgence, and when you delight in the taste, texture and aroma of a decadent sweet treat, you savor every bite. It is easy to get lost in the flavor and fragrance of rich chocolate or creamy caramel.
But what happens when chocolate or caramel are paired with different flavors, like salty, sour or savory? Spurred by curiosity, the food scientists in the Wilton Test Kitchen dug deeper into unusual flavor pairings to enhance the taste experience.
While the terms “taste” and “flavor” are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. The taste of a food is what the taste buds perceive, while the flavor of a food is the combination of these tastes, plus the aroma and the other sensations.
Treatology is the science of blending different flavors and tastes to create dishes that are an experience all on their own.
Look for more taste, flavor and inspiration at http://treatology.wilton.com.
There are five basic taste categories the taste buds perceive:
Sweetness is recognized by the presence of sugar. It is very predominant in desserts, but also creates great contrast with salty and sour.
Sourness can be added through a variety of acidic foods, such as vinegars and citrus fruits.
Salt enhances flavor, intensifies sweetness and suppresses bitterness.
Bitterness may be found in a variety of foods, including chocolate and coffee. When not in balance, bitter can be offensive, but in very small quantities it adds richness and depth.
Umami is described as a savory, often mouthwatering taste perceived when eating meat, fish, cheeses like Parmesan and bleu and certain vegetables such as asparagus.
Coffee Toffee Heath Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes
• Coffee increases the bitterness of the chocolate for richer, deeper flavor
• Toffee adds rich buttery notes and caramelized sugar flavors