Science behind food pairing…it’s something called ‘mouthfeel’

on 09/10/12 at 8:47 am

Booze News

Wine goes with cheese. Meat sandwiches go with a pickle. Green tea goes with Asian food. Sushi goes with pickled ginger. Oil goes with vinegar. Soda goes with chips. Many of the world’s most beloved food combinations pair an astringent food, which causes the mouth to pucker up, with a fatty food, which makes the mouth feel slippery.

But why? “The kernel of this idea of pairing astringents with fats is found in gastronomies all over the planet, but it’s never been clear how or why these pairings work,” said Paul Breslin, an experimental psychologist at RutgersUniversity and Monell Chemical Senses Center who studies taste perception.

In a new paper published online Oct. 8 in the journal Cell, Breslin and colleagues propose a theory of food pairings that explains for the first time how astringent and fatty foods oppose one another to create a balanced “mouthfeel.”

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