The Essence of Gastronomy : Understanding the Flavor of Foods and Beverages book cover
1st Edition

The Essence of Gastronomy
Understanding the Flavor of Foods and Beverages

ISBN 9781482216769
Published December 17, 2013 by CRC Press
352 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Essence of Gastronomy: Understanding the Flavor of Foods and Beverages presents a new comprehensive and unifying theory on flavor, which answers ancient questions and offers new opportunities for solving food-related issues. It presents gastronomy as a holistic concept, focusing not only on the food and its composition but also on the human who eats it. This book defines gastronomy as the science of flavor and tasting, where flavor is a broadly interpreted objective characteristic that refers to product quality, and tasting is defined as the human perception of flavor registered by all the human senses.

Understanding tasting and flavor and how humans react to it is not merely hedonistic. It relates to larger societal issues such as nourishing the elderly and the food children eat at school, and it offers a practical advantage to the hospitality industry of comprehending why customers enjoy their food and beverages. The book presents gastronomy as a discipline that combines natural sciences and human-related sciences. Following an introduction that sets the stage for the author’s groundbreaking research on gastronomy, the book describes flavor perception, the sensorial act of tasting, how it works, and what neural systems are involved. It then focuses on understanding flavor, discussing universal flavor factors and the new flavor theory.

The book also examines food and beverages from a flavor standpoint, including the effects of ingredients and techniques that are used. It also explores liking, primarily at the flavor level, which includes practical guidelines for matching food and beverages. The final chapter looks at the interpretation of sensorial signals in the brain and addresses issues such as food choice, preferences, and palatability. Offering a new approach, this book provides readers with a roadmap for finding their way into the gastronomic world.

Table of Contents

There is No Reason to Argue about Taste
Struggling with Words
Source of Pleasure
Times Have Changed
Setting the Stage
Gastronomy, the Science of Flavor and Tasting
Chemical Senses and Classification
Universal Flavor Factors
Gastronomy and Hotel Schools
Structure of This Book

Making Sense of Taste
Tasting: An Intricate Process
Tasting: What Happens in the Mouth?
The Gustatory System
The Olfactory System
The Trigeminal System
There is More than Meets the Mouth
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Components of Flavor
Are Professionals Able to Taste Better than Amateurs?

Understanding Flavor
Finding Words: Comparing Apples to Oranges
Words do Not Come Easily
Universal Flavor Factors
Building the Theoretical Model
Description of the Flavor Styles
How to Generate a Flavor Profile
The Role of the Basic Flavors
The Role of the Big Four Basic Food Molecules
Appendix: How Low-Fat Foods Get Their Texture

Flavor in the Kitchen
No Beast Is a Cook
Practice or Purpose?
Ingredients: Basic Qualities
The Essence of Cooking
Characteristics of the Principal Techniques
Other Techniques to Get or Keep Flavor
Making the Dish Complete: Sauces, Herbs and Spices
Vegetables, Fruits, and Mushrooms
Flavor Composition
Culinary Success Factors
Appendix : Influence of Preparation

The Flavor of Beverages
Aqueous Solutions
Mineral Water or Spring Water
The Effects of Grapes and Grape Growing on the Flavor of Wine
The Effects of Vinification on the Flavor of Wine
After Vinification
Beer and Wine Comparison

Matching Foods and Beverages: The Fundamentals
Old Guidelines
New Guidelines
Gustatory Effects in Matching Foods and Beverages
Mouthfeel Effects in Matching Foods and Beverages
Gastronomic Reflections

Food Appreciation and Liking
Tasting and the Brain
Food Liking and Palatability
Flavor Styles Revisited
Is Food the Stimulus or the Response?
Where It All Comes Together: The Behavioral Model of Food Choice
Introducing: Guestronomy

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Peter Klosse, Ph.D., is a professor of gastronomy at Hotel Management School Maastricht, the Netherlands, and owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant at the gastronomic five-star hotel in Apeldoorn. He founded the Academy for Gastronomy in 1991, which offers courses and training on gastronomy and wine and food. The academy is also responsible for training the sommeliers in the Netherlands.


"…it is a volume that leads us to think of food as science flavor and taste and leads us through the intricate relationships. It is a good book that will be of interest to all those who are interested in discovering new facets of this fascinating world."
—R. Zamora, Fats & Oils, April-June 2015


"This informative volume presents a comprehensive and unifying theory on flavour, presenting gastronomy as a holistic concept that combines both natural and human-related sciences thereby focusing not only on food and its composition but also on the consumer. It is therefore highly recommended to any individuals with interests, both academic and social, in the tasting, flavour and combination of foods and beverages. Reading this volume can only enhance your gastronomic pleasure!"
—Charles J. Knill & John F. Kennedy, Chembiotech Laboratories, UK in Carbohydrate Polymers