Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

22 March, 2013

Where Does the Flavor Go?

My co-workers and I went to Wando's for lunch today and I proceeded to order a chicken sandwich. It had a chicken breast which was tender, juicy, and utterly tasteless. The slice of tomato was bland and the bun was essentially Wonder Bread which means the sandwich had virtually zero flavor.

I understand that white chicken meat is not exactly exploding with gustatory goodness. It has little fat, ergo little taste. But this breast had all the flavor of a stick of chalk. I felt the texture on my tongue but couldn't actually taste any chicken. How does Tyson do this?

While I'm on the subject of taste, I was shopping for horseradish not too long ago and was going to buy Silver Springs as it's made in Wisconsin but noticed that it, along with most of the brands on offer, had artificial flavor. I ended up buying a brand from Detroit (see, I'm supporting your hometown's economy, Joe) which had no added anything.

I had to ponder exactly what kind of artificial flavor you would add to horseradish. Not knowing, I asked a friend of mine who was a food scientist in a former life and here's what he said:

Horseradish can vary widely in flavor and intensity so many producers will try to keep a base level profile and may need to kick it up a notch or two hence the addition of natural (concentrates) or artificial flavors (isoprene of some sort).

Mmm...isoprenes...

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|| Palmer, 4:09 PM

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