Tasting Science (Chronicle of Higher Education)

As we gather around the table this Thanksgiving Day, engulfed in a flavorful holiday cloud, it’s unlikely we’ll wonder why we like the bread stuffing but not the bean casserole, only how we can reach for more of it.

Nature has held close the secrets of flavor, mystifying scientists and foodies alike.

But in recent years progress has been made in parsing out its complex and often counterintuitive nature,” explains Gordon M. Shepherd, physician and a professor of neurobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, in his new book Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters.

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