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Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good Hardcover – March 13, 2012
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—David Chang, Chef/owner of Momofuku
“Taste What You're Missing would be useful to anyone who cooks- with or without a culinary degree.” (―Peter Rainsford, Ph.D., Vice President, Academic Affairs, The Culinary Institute of America)
“Understanding taste and flavor (and the difference between them) is one of the foundations of great cuisine. Barb Stuckey’s book is an excellent primer on the subject. Her enthusiasm for food and science is infectious, and she explains with clarity and humor (and some neat little experiments you can try out) exactly what happens as we eat. Great reading for cooks, foodies and indeed anyone interested in the sensory world that surrounds us.”
– Heston Blumenthal, chef and owner of the Fat Duck restaurant
"Simply Fascinating! Compelling! A page-turner. TASTE should be required reading for anyone who eats. In layman's terms, Barb Stuckey gives us the tools to analyze and diagnose our food neuroses, as well as get the most out of every plate of food we consume. I think if we were better tasters as a whole, we would seek out better, and yes, healthier foods for ourselves and our children. Barbara confirmed for me that there is truly no need for "kids' meals." She also convinced me to put a paper reinforcement label and blue dye on my tongue." --Carla Hall, Top Chef All-Star, Co-host on The Chew, and founder, Alchemy by Carla Hall
"A fascinating book that will change the way you think of everything you eat or drink forever."
--Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry and The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
“This book brilliantly weaves the subjective experience of eating together with the objective science of taste perception. A must read for food lovers and cooks alike. You'll never look at a plate of food the same again.” --Ming Tsai, Chef/Owner Blue Ginger, Host/Executive Producer “Simply Ming”
A helpful, systematic approach to developing a discriminating palate." (--Kirkus)
About the Author
More About the Author
Barb lives with her fiancé and splits her time between San Francisco and Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonona wine country.
Top Customer Reviews
Barb Stuckey is a professional food developer and has studied the science behind why certain foods taste better than others and how some foods can enhance or detract for their taste as well. I had a friend in grade school that used to drink orange juice promptly after brushing his teeth which made him vomit. He did this any time he wanted to stay home from school. Although this is an extreme example, Barb Stuckey explains exactly why orange juice tastes terrible after brushing your teeth. I found this whole book fascinating and full of really cool scientific facts about why some food tastes good and appealing while others completely miss the mark. She also emphasizes that our mouth and tongue only provide 20 percent of the experience of taste and that the other senses also come into play, especially smell.
There are formulas throughout the book that go into great detail about how foods and spices combine to make the sum greater than the parts. Stuckey also provides experiments for you to try at home and help develop your own taste so you can actually learn how to increase your own potential taste. I never knew there was such science behind food development since on the surface we only tend to look at the packaging. I really enjoyed this whole read and the information included will have you thinking about this for years to come.
To relieve the dryness often inherent in scientific texts, Stuckey divided each of the four major sections into small chapters and within each chapter the subheadings are short to help easy reading. In addition, Stuckey brightens the text with many, many stories and occasional illustrations related to her subject. Tables borrowed from scientific literature are scattered throughout; some are easier to understand than others, particularly to a non-scientist. Many good sidebars called Sensory Snack further lighten the text. Several exercises anyone can perform end most of the chapters. This hefty volume concludes with twenty-page notes and references and a very good index. (As reviewed for Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review.)
The book covers some very scientific ground in a fun and approachable method that never gets dry or boring. If you like to cook or just enjoy dining out, this book will definitely open your mind and palate to a new way tasting and experiencing food.
With that out of the way I have to say that this book is fantastic!!! It is interesting and thought provoking. Why do we eat what we eat? What do we really taste? Is it too salty or too sour or maybe even bitter? In panels we throw around words like, rancid, porky, piggy(sometimes not really sure what that tastes like), sweet, sour, rich, acidic...etc. This book talks about terms they use in food manufacturing and taste panels. I loved the exercise at the ends of the chapters. Without your nose you really can't tell what you are tasting...amazing.
Why do we over eat? Why are some kid's better eaters than others? My kids are great eaters, they try anything and love most foods. We have one who doesn't like beans, one who doesn't like onions, one that doesn't like hamburgers(he calls it `murder burger' so I think it's the vegetarian Aunt who he is following not the taste...he will eat meatloaf) and one who doesn't like peas. Meals at our house are varied and strange at times and yet we all eat well. Eat well when you are pregnant and maybe your kids will eat like you. HUM....that is interesting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Foodie, author, food developer, and Executive Vice President of Mattson, an independent developer of foods and beverages, Barb Stuckey tackles the issues of taste. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. Mulloy
the basic information was valuable but the author's self-promotion is very annoying.Published 9 months ago by recyclewizard
Fascinating and useful to anyone who eats food. Great information...Published 11 months ago by KimberlyK
I read it and loved what I learned from it and have since given it as a gift to many friends. My sense and understanding of taste have woken up! Read morePublished 11 months ago by trackyj
I've sold a lot of these. (You're welcome Barb. You know we're SF neighbors and should chocolate taste some time. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jessica L Ferraro
This book is a must for any foodie who has a keen interest in the complete sensory evaluation associated with foodPublished 12 months ago by Bill Pink
Nice book. Starts very promising, but slackens into a long-winded story that loosens the core of the story somewhat.
But still some very interesting facts and information.