Thursday, 11 July 2013

flavour sensation sweets

| hot and cold sweets*, flavour pairing sweets* & aromatic coffee dippers* |
flavour sensation is a company i discovered at the harvey nichols xmas press day yesterday. i have a massive sweet tooth and a bit of a soft spot for everything scientific, so what better combination for me than sugar and science! the company uses a fairly new science known as sensational-gastro science. the sweets aim to explore the way we use our senses to inform our experience of food and flavour. i find this particularly interesting as we can often get bogged down with the same old flavours and ideas and this project really looks at developing and questioning what we know to be true in a completely different way to what we are used to.

the hot and cold sweets are the half and half coloured ones. the idea behind these is that both an exothermic (heat releasing) and endothermic (heat absorbing) reaction occur simultaneously resulting in the most amazing sensation of both hot and cold at the same time! this reminds me of something you'd find in willy wonka's factory! my tongue hardly knew what to do, it was really interesting to experience and the flavour itself was really nice too!

the flavour pairing sweets were probably the most interesting to me. the woman explained that the pairings were all the do with the foods flavour molecule structure and those that share key flavour compounds are paired together. that results in flavours like banana and parsley. which i felt complimented each other beautifully. the parsley flavour only became evident halfway in between. it softened the sweetness of the banana, almost dulling the flavour but both the banana and parsley could be tasted in equal measure. i wan't a fan of the gritty texture from the parsley leaves but it wasn't a massive problem. the other flavour i tried, black cherry and pepper, was truly bizarre. it began with the sweet cherry flavour we all recognise well but almost instantly the peppery flavour became clear. i didn't know quite what to make of it if i'm honest. these sweets were the most interesting thing i've tried for a while and really did force me to think about the way i experience food and explore flavours. a job well done i think, i'd be interested to see what other combinations could be created.

my mum tried the aromatic coffee dippers as i'm not a massive coffee drinker. she left me a little set of notes for each one and i've tried to decipher them as best i could. she said the vanilla and liquorice flavour had a predominantly liquorice taste (also being the flavour that lingered the most) but it was the vanilla which she tasted first. she liked the sweetness of this but would have liked a little more vanilla to offset the other flavour. her favourite of the two was the apricot and chilli which was a completely different experience to anything she had tried before. there was no sweetness to this at all and the initial flavour of apricot was quickly eliminated by the fiery chilli which left a hot sensation all through the mouth. she did say that she would have preferred plastic sticks (although the wood looks pretty) as she could 'taste' the wood. all round an interesting experience but she wouldn't want it to replace her coffee chocolate ;)

i know they have been touring food and science festivals around the uk with their products but as far as i know these are just available at harvey nichols for now. they are definitely worth a look if you are around that neck of the woods and they have exciting gold, frankincense and myrhh flavours for xmas!

have you heard of gastro science? what do you think about the weird flavour combinations?

big ♥,



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