Stop Trying to Squeeze Out All the Lime Juice. Over-Squeezing Leads to Bitterness

When squeezing citrus juice, you probably try to get the most juice out so as to not waste money or the fruit. However, there’s a culinary reason you might want to squeeze only almost all the way: to avoid too much bitterness.

Source: Stop Trying to Squeeze Out All the Lime Juice. Over-Squeezing Leads to Bitterness

Over-squeezing leads to bitterness… Bitterness leads to hate… Hate leads to the Dark Side.

Come to the Dark Side… we have cookies.

Brew Strong Coffee at a Lower Temperature to Make It Taste Less Bitter

There was a time when I used to like the taste of dark roasted coffee, but over the years that roasty bold flavor that I used to enjoy began to taste bitter and ashy. This summer I decided to revisit my old dark roasted friend to see if we could improve our relationship.

Source: Hacking Dark Roast – Tips on Brewing a Better Bold Coffee

You should use a coarser grind, or increase the dose if you’re over-extracting. Using a particularly low water temperature may cause under-extraction, or an unpleasantly sour cup.

Taking Your Coffee Black Does Not Mean You’re More Likely to be a Psychopath

Is that friend who always very politely turns down your offers for cream or sugar very possibly hiding a dark secret, as haters around the internet have been insisting recently? Nah, probably not—but here’s why some people are saying taking your coffee black means you’re more likely to be a psychopath.

Source: No, Taking Your Coffee Black Does Not Mean You’re More Likely to be a Psychopath

Given that “acquired taste” is largely the Stockholm syndrome of eating, the net is cast too wide when “beer” is an potential indicator of the “Dark Triad”.  Let alone psychopathy, something that has been reclassified (to anti-social personal disorder) because the general public misuses the term.

Two of my favourites:

  • I like my men like my coffee – hot and nowhere near my crotch
  • I like my women like my coffee – beaten in a sack and thrown over the side of donkey

How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)

Source: How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉

If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.

You Have Taste Receptors in Your Colon. Here’s Why.

Taste receptors don’t only exist in your mouth. You can find them all over your body, including your stomach, your lungs, and your colon. Why? It turns out the taste receptors are much more versatile tools than we suppose.

Source: You Have Taste Receptors in Your Colon. Here’s Why.

The flavors are so pronounced, you can just sense the aftertaste on the tip of your bum. But that might only be the spicy food…

Is It Finally Time to Accept Fat as the Sixth Taste?

There are five acknowledged tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and (slightly more controversially) umami. For awhile now, researchers have suggested the existence of a sixth taste: fat. Now, a new study has researchers saying they may have finally isolated it—and they’ve given it a name: oleogustus.

Source: Is It Finally Time to Accept Fat as the Sixth Taste?

Fat seems like a broad term to me. Pig fat (lard) has a vastly different taste than butter (milk fat), and both are different than olive oil (plant fat). All have very distinct tastes. Does oleogustus encompass all of those? Do all fats have that exact thing in them?

Hot Beer. No Really, Hot Beer.

…The idea seems strange today, but heated ale drinks were once staples of home and tavern life. They provided warmth on chilly nights and nutrition when meals were scarce. And although we’re in the midst of a craft brewing renaissance in which no style of beer is too exotic or obscure to bring to market, warmed ales are conspicuous by their absence.

If the allure of hot beer is mysterious, it helps to consider that both the beer and the setting were very different when these drinks were popular. Today’s crisp, clear lagers and bitter, hoppy IPAs are not conducive to being at enjoyed at high temperatures. Prior to the 20th century, English and American drinkers were more likely to be quaffing malty ales. These fermented quickly without refrigeration, and at their best they offered a full-bodied sweetness that could be enjoyed unchilled or even hot.

Source: Hot Beer, Anyone?

It’s a really interesting read into what got phased out as refrigeration became accessible.  The history of refrigeration is pretty interesting in itself.

The idea isn’t much when you remember that white wine is typically served chilled, but red wine is served at room temperature.  Each style of beer is chilled or warmed to the appropriate temperature for maximum enjoyment – that’s about 45-degrees for pilsners and light beers, and 55-degrees for ales and stouts.  I know some who like their local chocolate porter served in a non-frosted glass.  If you like it, where’s the harm?

Marshmallow Farming: Not Sustainable in North Carolina

Some of us are old enough remember the horrible Marshmallow Freeze of 1979. Marshmallows crops from North Carolina to Florida froze and were deemed worthless. I remember the guys standing at the freeway ramps selling bags of marshmallow’s for $10 a bag. $10 dollars! I ended up having to make my s’mores that year, using cotton candy as the cotton candy pickers strike had just ended and I wanted to support the union.  The FDA fructose committee archive will be declassified in 2029 – maybe then we’ll get some answers. It cost Carter the election, and under Reagan – candy corn subsidies doubled overnight.

This video is really misleading. They’re actually a root vegetable, and they do just fine during colder seasons. Sure they take longer to grow, but so long as the winter isn’t particularly brutal the marshmallow farmers will be just fine.  In fact, with global warming coming to bear I’m sure the marshmallow farmers will come out on top – unlike those poor maple syrup farmers who have to contend with wolpertingers devouring their maplefruit due to the scarcity of the other flora and fauna that naturally make up their diet.

In other news, guacamole dip comes from guacamoles.

Know How to Maximize Food’s Flavor with the Flavor Star

Understanding how to combine and balance flavors is an incredibly important cooking concept, and it’s especially evident in Asian food. I think this is why just about everyone enjoys Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or Japanese cooking (they’re definitely the most popular meals in our meal plan archives).

Every dish is so dynamic in flavor. A Thai curry has sweetness from coconut milk and sugar, savoriness from fish sauce, spicy and earthy notes from herbs in the curry paste, and sour from the finish of lime juice. All these different flavors combine to achieve a delicious balance on our taste buds.

Luckily, you don’t need to go to culinary school to learn how to do this. We’re here to give you a graphical study of flavor profiles as part 3 of our ‘How to Maximize Flavor’ series.

Source: A Study of Flavor Profiles

Another alternative/supplement: incorporate some quality fats into the dish to smooth out the flavors. Rendered duck fat, ghee, and lard (leaf) aren’t as terrible as their reputation.

Your Sense of Taste is Better Than You Realize

The old “tongue map” from our elementary school textbooks has been roundly debunked. Experimental confirmation of “umami” expanded Westerners’ traditional four basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, and bitter—into five. But did you know those 5 basic tastes might actually be 6 . . . or 7, 8, or more?

Advances in the technology and techniques available to researchers have led to significant new discoveries in taste perception. Receptors have been discovered in the last few years for “tastes” long assumed to be entirely smell or texture dependent. What tastes have you been tasting your whole life without even knowing it?

Source: You Have Better Taste Than You Realize

Since the full sensation of carbonation involves both taste receptors and pain receptors, you might also just not enjoy the pain.  But there are “supertasters” who are significantly more sensitive to taste than the general population.  Women are much more likely to be supertasters – 35% of women vs. 15% of men.

Spicy (and menthol) triggers the non-taste general sense cells (which is why it also burns if it gets in your eyes, or up your nose, or even on your skin in sufficient doses). Several non-Western cultures consider “spicy” or “pungent” to be a basic taste, but within the scientific community’s current general understanding of “taste,” it isn’t one.

Taste researchers do work to isolate smell from taste when they’re doing experiments, because even a tiny bit of odor can go a very long way. Just a whiff of vanilla, for example, can make people think they’re tasting something sweetened, even if it contains no sugar at all.

Somewhat surprisingly, nose clips are usually enough to keep smell out entirely. Because they cut off airflow on one end of the nasal cavity, they also stifle airflow past the back end where it opens into the back of the mouth. Sometimes in rat experiments the researchers will go even further to seal things off, but with humans the clips are generally enough to be sure that their subjects are tasting, not smelling.

…but you could use a little more salt.