“True Fall Flavors”

It is October 1 if you can believe it!

Getting ready for travel in Europe, I think about truffles, the game, and the fall flavors such as warmed chestnuts. Then there are the acids in foods that makes them sour with a distinctive punch, or the sodium chloride used to give fullness brings out the flavor. Filtering the bitterness, or adding bitter tastes by using certain greens. Our palates will transform into winter, the fall transition happens and comes and goes before we know it.

But our noses, veritable chemical detectors rarely let us down and our daughter for example, a well-traveled junior has a tremendous keen sense of smell. She often walks into a room and detects a perfume and sometimes identifies it by personage. We hate perfumes by the way. It isn’t surprising that she can smell and distinguish a single carbon atom. At the same time not all compounds can be smelled and elude us.

Some chemical structures have distinct odors, for example, esters are thought of as fruity, while Amines are stinky and rotten. The double bonded carbon atoms to oxygen smells green like green plants. Artificial flavors are everywhere and I touched on this last week when writing about Macarons. These tastes and colors are used due to their cost and stability.

For example you find these artificial chemicals in foods commonly enjoyed by kids and adults; 2,4-dithiapentane is black truffle, Isoamyl acetate is bannana, Benzaldehyde is Almond, Furaneol is strawberry and Nootkatone which is grapefruit or at least near to the smell given grapefruit has 126 volatile compounds but this is the primary one.

Enjoy the “true fall flavors” and use the seasonal raw materials such as Rhubarb a large perennial herb with an uncanny ability to impersonate fresh fruit in the middle of winter.