Friday, May 20, 2011

The Sense of Smell: Using it or Losing it






















A Glass Petal Smoke first! A radio interview on WVOX and related podcast. The official summary:

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner interviews Michelle Krell Kydd and Kathleen Cochran about the sense of smell. The loss of the sense of smell (known as anosmia) is getting a lot of attention in the press. Doctors now recognize that there is a connection between anosmia and degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The common cold can also be responsible for the loss of the sense of smell.

The show's guests share their experience and expertise, offering insights into a sense that is often taken for granted. Ms. Kydd is a marketing/communications specialist and trained nose. She is also the editor of Glass Petal Smoke, a blog about flavor and fragrance. Ms. Cochran is a writer and educational consultant who has Parkinson's disease.

Note:
Blossom Umbrella painting by Erte.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yuzu-It: Hot Sauce for Multisensory Flavor Cravers


















Hot sauce is simultaneously stimulating and sensitizing. It thrills taste buds and makes us keenly aware that we are alive when the heat of chili pepper temporarily disrupts our ability to breathe (think about the way you feel the moment before a kiss and you'll get the picture). When folks at Miyako Oriental Foods developed Yuzu-It they created a hot sauce with the spirit of a marinade; it packs heat while stimulating salty, sour, sweet, bitter and umami taste receptors on the tongue.

The difference between Yuzu-It and other hot chili pepper sauces lies in the way the flavors unfold. Subtle notes of marjoram and oregano shape the fruity tone of verdant green chili against under-ripe yuzu zest and delicate bitter orange. When tasted neat Yuzu-It is salty and hot, the heat playing out as a crescendo against sour, sweet, bitter and umami impressions (the sweetness and bitterness are ever so slight). The multisensory effect of Yuzu-It is mouthwateringly addictive; a signature of umami's presence which is known to stimulate appetite.

Yuzu-It adds character and dimension to many foods and has an uncanny affinity for pizza. It is distributed by The Mutual Trading Co., Inc. which sells Yuzu-It at retail outlets and online. Glass Petal Smoke recommends purchasing at least two bottles at a time; Yuzu-It is so deliciously addictive it has a tendency to disappear quickly.

Notes:
The Mutual Trading Co. Inc. is located at 711 Third Avenue on the corner of 45th Street in New York City. (212) 661-3333

The Japanese Culinary Center is part of the Mutual Trading Co., Inc. and offers cooking classes at the company's retail location in New York City. You can follow them on Twitter and their Facebook page.

Learn about umami at The Umami Information Center. You can download an informative PDF here.

Kokumi is the sixth taste sensation and is beginning to come into awareness in the food world. This PDF shared by Givaudan provides insights regarding Kokumi.

Click here for an entertaining video from Japan featuring Yuzu Kosho, the inspiration behind Yuzu It.

Photo of Yuzu-It by Michelle Krell Kydd.