All your food questions answered

Back in September (dang I keep browser tabs open entirely too long), Kenji Lopez-Alt at The Food Lab answered 164 reader questions about food (actually, 233 questions!). There’s a TON of stuff in here. This could be a bathroom book. Or a subway book. Or anything that you want to read a little at a time and learn so much. You’ll learn something exciting. Everything is covered, baking, bacon, cooking, cookies, menus, Chris Kimball, eggs… It’s intense.

An example:

When I eat dried korean squid (ojinguh) followed by a sip of alcohol, new flavors come out – and it changes depending on the alcohol – whether it’s beer, red wine or something like soju. it’s not just a "beer goes well with salty foods" kind of thing – i’m tasting different things.

Some flavorful compounds are more soluble in alcohol than water or oil. Most likely, these compounds are picked up by the alcoholic vapors and delivered selectively to your nose and soft palate (that’s why I like to add some booze to me chili).

Same question, but this time eating salt-fermented korean squid (ojinguh jeot) followed by tomatoes. there’s a bit of "tomatoes taste good with salt" but there’s definitely something else going on in my mouth

It’s the interaction between glutamates (found abundantly in tomatoes), and inosinates (found in dried fermented fish products). They both trigger an umami reaction in the mouth, but when combined, can be an order of magnitude more powerful, like when the elements combine to bring forth Captain Planet.

All your food questions answered

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