Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Week in the XK: Barb Stuckey

Friday, March 9, 2012 | 11:37 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments

Did you know that German airline Lufthansa tests their airplane food in a specially designed grounded plane that simulates the atmospheric pressure, sound, temperature, and humidity present at 30,000 feet? Or that your tongue is not divided into quadrants for sweet, sour, salt, and bitter and that only a fraction of what you taste happens in your mouth? Or that the human ear is so sensitive that people can tell the difference between hot and cold coffee simply by listening to the two being poured? Professional food developer and author Barb Stuckey will be in the Xhibition Kitchen this Tuesday, March 13, with her new book, Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good, to help demystify these and other interesting food facts.

Stuckey is an experienced food developer - someone who food companies turn to for help in creating delicious new products. It is this expertise that led her to reveal in her new book that much of what we think we know about how taste works is, in fact, wrong. Your five senses work in conjunction to create "flavor perceptions" that creates what you think food tastes like. "You" is an important word as much of this is driven by your individual biology, genetics, and brain to create a personal experience of everything you taste. Once you are able to embrace the personal taste experience you will quickly find that your ability to discern flavors and detect ingredients will allow you to devise taste combinations that will impress you and your friends.

Many well-known chefs have embraced Stuckey's book and its message of why good food tastes good. Chef Ming Tsai, who visited the Xhibition Kitchen last year, said "This book brilliantly weaves the subjective experience of eating together with the objective science of taste perception" while Kathleen Flinn, who was here in November, said that it is "A fascinating book that will change the way you think about everything you eat or drink forever." For a taste (pun intended) of some of the great information you'll learn from Stuckey check out the video below:

To find out why you actually like or enjoy certain foods and to learn more interesting food facts, don't miss your chance to be up close with Barb Stuckey this Tuesday, March 13, at 12:00 pm in the Xhibition Kitchen at Stetson West. Admission is FREE and if you would like to attend just the XK demonstration without eating lunch in the dining room, please sign in with your university ID and proceed directly to the Xhibition Kitchen. We hope to see you there!


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