The Taste of a Strawberry

I love strawberries. They are cute and on hot summer days they give me a welcomed hint of freshness. I usually don’t think too much about what they taste like. They are just so tasty that I eat them all in a rush. But why do I actually like them? Is it that bit of a contracting mouthfeel? Their intense flavor?

Chances are that you have no idea of what terms such as contracting and flavour intensity mean. Neither had I. A strawberry is just sweet, right? But so is a banana. How then to describe their difference? Why do we like salty chips, yet shiver when we taste the salty water of the sea? What to think of the difference between the bitterness of coffee and that of dead boiled sprouts? Flavor professor Peter Klosse gives us three tools to explain.

       1.  Mouthfeel

First of all, Klosse introduces contracting and coating mouthfeel. This is the difference between sour and sweet, but also between warm and cold. A lemon is contracting, as well as a glass of fresh wine. A boiled egg provides a coating mouthfeel.

      2.  Flavour intensity

Secondly Klosse names flavor intensity. Take the boiled egg and the strawberry. Or dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Which one has a more intense taste?

      3.  Flavour type

Lastly, Klosse mentions flavour type. Strawberries have a fresh flavour. A banana has a ripe flavour, like nuts. A banana’s flavour type is always ripe, even if you like them green (as I do).

So, what is your favourite; is it contracting or coating; fresh or ripe? Let me know in your comments!

By: Hanna Hesemans

To know more about Peter Klosse, read ‘The Essence of Gastronomy’. Also, do not forget to come to the lecture of Garmt Dijksterhuis and Peter Klosse on the 30th of March (Tomorrow), at the Kunstenkwartier in the Bogaardenstraat.


Photo credits: Strawberries, Hanna Hesemans (2016)

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