Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor

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9781118141847: Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor
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"If Catalan superchef Ferran Adria is the leading missionary of molecular gastronomy, Mr. Chartier is his counterpart with a corkscrew."—Globe and Mail

This award-winning book, now available for the first time in English in the U.S., presents a cutting-edge approach to food and wine pairing. Sommelier Francois Chartier has spent the better part of two decades collaborating with top scientists and chefs to map out the aromatic molecules that give foods and wines their flavor. Armed with the results of his extensive research, Chartier has been able to identify why certain foods and wines work well together at a molecular level. In this book, he has gathered his findings into a simple set of principles that explain how to create ideal harmonies in food and wine pairings. This new approach to the art and science of food and wine pairing will be an invaluable resource for sommeliers, chefs, and wine enthusiasts, as well as a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in the principles of modernist or "molecular" cuisine. The Canadian edition of Taste Buds and Molecules was a 2011 IACP Award nominee, and the original French-language edition, Papilles et Molecules, was named the Best Cookbook in the World in the category of Innovation at the 2010 Paris World Cookbook Awards, and also won the 2010 Gourmand Award for Canada for Best Design. The book includes a foreword by Juli Soler and Ferran Adria of El Bulli, who worked closely with Chartier in planning the menus at their renowned restaurant.

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Of the five senses, it is perhaps taste that is the most deeply complex and rewarding. When aromatic flavors come together in perfect harmony, creating something greater than a simple mix of ingredients, we transcend the mundane and utilitarian act of eating and drinking to experience new and wonderful sensations.

Through centuries of trial and error, sommeliers and chefs have mastered the art of combining ingredients and pairing foods and wines to surprise and delight the palate, but few have seriously studied the science that makes these flavor harmonies possible. Without the mysterious and seemingly magical relationships between molecules and taste buds—and between molecules and other molecules—the flavors we love might be profoundly different. In Taste Buds and Molecules, master sommelier-researcher-cook François Chartier explores the science of flavor to discover revolutionary new ideas and experiences.

As evidenced by the dishes he created in the legendary elBulli kitchen with Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler, Chartier exuberates in the unexpected and unexplained ways tastes and ingredients interact. Why do certain flavors form perfect harmonies? Why do thyme and lamb or rosemary and Riesling complement each other so well? Chartier reveals the answers here, helping you follow your own path to new flavor combinations and open new avenues to experimentation and delectation.

Beyond these fascinating and practical insights on food, flavors, and wine, Chartier also includes recipes and ideas that explore these flavor concepts, as well as illustrations, photos, and sketches that bring together the art of flavor and the science that underpins it. This is neither a simple guide to food and wine pairing nor a scientific textbook, but a body of knowledge designed to set the table for your own creative culinary endeavors, to further refine your tastes, and to take your cooking to new and extraordinary heights.

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