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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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Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good + Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters + The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439190739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439190739
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Barb Stuckey’s book makes the complicated science of food and taste accessible to anyone. It is as enjoyable a read as it is a thorough summary of why ‘good’ tastes ‘good.’”
—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

Barb Stuckey is a professional food developer who leads the marketing, food trend tracking, and consumer research functions at Mattson, North America’s largest independent developer of new foods and beverages. She and her HyperTaster fiancé divide their time between San Francisco and Healdsburg, in Northern California’s wine country.

More About the Author

Barb's daily job requires her to taste food and figure out how to make it better. After more than a decade of doing this, she's honed her tasting skills and her ability to help others make food taste better. She'll be sharing this insight with the world when her first book Taste What You're Missing is published in 2012. It will be the first book about the phsyiology of taste that's written for the general public.

Barb lives with her fiancé and splits her time between San Francisco and Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonona wine country.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read.
Sharon
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.
bigprivacyfan
The information in the book is presented well and does a good story.
Dr. Terry Simpson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bookhounds VINE VOICE on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Darrel Rhea on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book changed how I experience eating food. What other books can you say changed not just how you think but what you experience many times a day? This is a fast, entertaining book filled with useful information. There is a good amount of science which is delivered in an accessible, easy to understand way with lots of good stories that bring it to life. I heard the author on NPR and was intrigued. I love food (and who doesn't?) and this has heightened my enjoyment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George Erdosh on May 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Barb Stuckey's Taste What You're Missing is not written for home cooks, not even for the most serious foodies unless they are equally serious about the pure science behind foods and tastes. This excellent text book is for food scientists, food professionals and those with vocation in the food industry. The author is a professional food developer, a food scientist yet her writing is easy and delightful and a pleasure to read. Nevertheless, this is a significant text book and as such, it is not a bed-time reading.

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.)
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Book Him Danno on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For starters I want to tell you all that I am a test tester for a large food manufacturer where I live. Panels I have participated in are; salsa, bacon(fresh and microwave, refrigerator and shelf stable), shredded pork, pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, and thank heaven I missed out on the chicken broth panel. This is a very part-time job, a few weeks each year is all. We do not decide if we like a product, we tell them how much of any item we can taste in the product, ie: salt, sugar, smoke, tomato, onion, vinegar, etc. Each panel can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and then is usually repeated a few times during the next few years.

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.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bigprivacyfan on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife and I have both read this book and the tagline "why good food tastes good" really hit home the other night when we were dining out. We were having a dish that used a smoked chili as an ingredient. To try out one of the experiments, we each took a bite while holding our noses, we couldn't even taste smokiness at all, and then, release the nose, and suddenly the food comes alive. I never thought I would be using the term "retronasal olfaction" but now I know what it means and how important it is in experience a dish.

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.
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