The Essence of Food: Understanding the Flavor Wheel
The taste of food and drink is hard to capture in language. Words like delicious or decadent only scratch the surface of a dish’s true potential. That’s not even factoring in that each item elicits different responses in every guest. To tackle this problem, chefs, and culinary devotees the world over have taken steps to describe the rich and plentiful flavors of food and beverage alike. The result is the handy flavor wheel.
Your sense of taste and smell are two distinct senses. however, in the culinary world, the true flavor is discerned by considering both experiences as occurring simultaneously. Flavorful foods have to please the mouth and the nose alike.
A world of flavors
There are wheels for practically anything, including beer, coffee, cheese, olive oil, chocolate, honey, wine, walnuts and so much more. Each wheel has its own unique set of terms and descriptions.
A Dash Of Science
These modern wheels are created using technology from sensory science, which helps create a more reliable and thorough form of classification. In recent years, many flavor wheels, especially those in the coffee industry, have been updated. The most basic descriptions rest in the wheel’s center. By moving outward, you get more specific terms.
Take it all in
As much as flavor wheels are about the descriptions, they’re also meant to be visually appealing. The bright swirls of colors and interplay between the various hues activate other parts of the brain, which help in contemplating flavor.
Creating a lingua franca
Peoples culinary descriptions often rely on memories. With wheels, researchers and experts are trying to make understanding more objective. By doing so, they’re making it easier for all people to comprehend and explore flavors.