Oral Ideas @ ToThalassaki

The structure of a dish, an oral idea is created when the processing of foods is a dynamic process involving a sequence of highly coordinated oral actions. Molecules and mastication and sensory pathways that carry excitement or disappointment. Looking at the photo, I imagine the dish and a chefs ability to construct a desirable sensory experience.

I think of El Bulli, a place of food construction and de-construction and the likes of other molecular chefs. What does it takes to create a gastronomic oral experience and how does she/he arrive at the idea of structural thinking when it comes to taste.

The earliest reported study of food oral processing could be traced back more than a century ago to the eating practice championed by Horace Fletcher (1849–1919), a self-taught nutritionist and a dedicated speaker and trainer on “healthy” eating.

Even though this process is routine, its governing principles are highly complicated and are still not fully understood by scientists. Understanding some important issues associated with eating and sensory perception and oral dynamics is always a work in progress.

During eating, the human mouth functions as a highly sophisticated device for multiple purposes. It is first of all a food processor for size reduction, mixing, cutting, shearing, and smearing food over your palate. The Mouth is a very delicate sensing system where taste buds detect taste compounds while mechanoreceptors detect a sense of touch, a.k.a. tactile stimuli.

‘In somatosensory transduction, the afferent neurons transmit messages through synapses in the dorsal column nuclei, where second-order neurons send the signal to the thalamus and synapse with third-order neurons in the ventrobasal complex. The third-order neurons then send the signal to the somatosensory cortex’.

The sensory perception is part and parcel to the structure of the dish, the construction of raw or cooked materials, through a selection and use of the right ingredients in order to create a layering of tastes.

In the end it is the underpinning physical principles, food characterization of properties and finally the psycho physical principles of human sensation and perception. (like many things in life)