Even those of us who can’t tell the difference between a pinot noir and a merlot are probably familiar with the basic rule of wine pairing: white wine with fish and red wine with steak. But when it comes to tea pairings, we’re stumped.

Yet it turns out there is an art to unlocking new flavors in your food by pairing it with tea. Sipping oolong with a buttery, citrusy madeleine can highlight the flowery and milky notes of the tea, while a hot cup of green tea melts the texture of goat cheese and enhances its creamy notes.

Now a whole new breed of experts has risen up to spread this knowledge: tea sommeliers.

“The whole idea of pairing tea with food is that you should have a tea that’s going to enhance the flavor of the food, or vice versa,” explains Aurelie Bessiere, a tea expert at Palais des Thes, a tea production company based in France. “What you want to happen in your mouth is to feel the different layers of taste and flavors of both tea and food.”

Tea Sommeliers Are The Hot New Thing In Food Pairing

Photo credit: Kathy YL Chan for NPR

5 Things About Taste

At our 2014 public lecture How We Taste, Chef Wylie Dufresne, Dr. Dana Small, and Peter Meehan explored the tantalizingly complex concept of flavor. The evening was full of scientific discovery, childhood memories, and culinary innovation. In honor of this enlightening event, here are 5 things you might not know about our sense of taste…

Math and Science Week!

aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Kikunae Ikeda


Kikunae Ikeda / 池田 菊苗 (1864-1936) was a Japanese chemist and the inventor of MSG. (To all you haters: because Chinese restaurant syndrome has been debunked.)

He was also the first scientist to realise we have five basic tastes, not four. Before his time, Western science had accepted that our tongues have receptors for the following tastes:

1. sweetness

2. sourness

3. saltiness

4. bitterness.

 In 1909, he pointed out that there was a missing taste:

5. umami, or savouriness - i.e. the proteiny taste of meat or cheese or mushrooms or eggs.

This is kind of a big deal. It’s like pointing out that we have five fingers on each hand when Western science is only counting four.

So why the hell are we still teaching schoolkids that there are only four tastes, 105 years after that’s been proven wrong? Don’t we want them to understand why bacon is delicious????