Mock-apple pie filling is made, primarily, of crackers. There are no apples in it. Still, most people who taste it swear that they are eating real apple pie. What is the chemistry that tricks our senses?
If you want to make mock apple pie, here’s what you need.
World War II British cookbooks are a treasure trove of ‘mock’ foods. Rationing was utterly brutal from 1939 right through until the early 1950s, so imported things like sugar and fresh fruit were pretty much out of the question. So you get stuff like apricot tart with no apricots but using up grated carrots, almond essence and plum jam; mock banana from boiled mashed parsnip with a few drops of synthetic banana essence, or mock cream whipped up from margarine (regularly derived from whale oil), water, sugar and a touch of synthetic vanilla (from wood pulp).