Mmm…ribonucleotides

From: The Changing Scene (1937), by Arthur Calder-Marshall:

“Orwell draws the comparison of the two budgets.

“…And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food….When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored and miserable, you don’t want to eat wholesome food. You want something a little bit ‘tasty.’ There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you. Let’s have three penn’orth of chips! Run out and buy us a twopenny ice-cream! Put the kettle on and we’ll all have a nice cup of tea! That is how your mind works when you are at P.A.C. (Public Assistance Committee) level. White bread-and-marg. and sugared tea don’t nourish you to any extent, but they are nicer (at least most people think so) than brown bread-and-dripping and cold water. Unemployment is an endless misery that has got to be constantly palliated, and especially with tea, the Englishman’s opium. A cup of tea or even an aspirin is much better as a temporary stimulant than a crust of brown bread.”

Thus Orwell describes the equation between nourishment and ‘tastiness,’ the non-scientific element that has to be taken into account in all human affairs…”

Amy Fleming reported in The Guardian of 9 Apr 2013:

“…Umami has been variously translated from Japanese as yummy, deliciousness or a pleasant savoury taste, and was coined in 1908 by a chemist at Tokyo University called Kikunae Ikeda. He had noticed this particular taste in asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, but it was strongest in dashi – that rich stock made from kombu (kelp) which is widely used as a flavour base in Japanese cooking. So he homed in on kombu, eventually pinpointing glutamate, an amino acid, as the source of savoury wonder. He then learned how to produce it in industrial quantities and patented the notorious flavour enhancer MSG.

…So why is bolognese sauce with cheese on top, or a cheeseburger with ketchup so finger-licking good? Because, says Laura Santtini, creator of the umami condiment Taste No 5 Umami Paste, when it comes to savoury, “1+1=8”. In the simplest terms, umami actually comes from glutamates and a group of chemicals called ribonucleotides, which also occur naturally in many foods. When you combine ingredients containing these different umami-giving compounds, they enhance one another so the dish packs more flavour points than the sum of its parts. This is why the cooked beef, tomato and cheese in the above examples form a ménage à trois made in heaven. And why ham and peas is a gastronomic no-brainer. And, oh dear, why it’s hard to stop popping Smoky Bacon Pringles…”

From: h2g2 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition:

“…celery is nutritious, containing a variety of vitamins and minerals, so is worth eating. In particular it contains phthalides, which are compounds that reduce stress hormones and relax arteries in the body, so was used traditionally as a medicine to treat high blood pressure. Celery is also a diuretic and laxative…The phthalides also make celery good as a flavour enhancer when used in small amounts in recipes such as spaghetti bolognese, chicken soup and many more.”

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-comfort-food-recipes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s