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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New way to experience flavor

The concept of "Flavor" is comprised of Taste plus Mouthfeel plus Aroma plus X-Factor contend Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of the "Flavor Bible." The research behind their great book, which has become a staple for food writers and good cooks everywhere, lists ingredients alphabetically and details the tastes that have a special affinity with each of them them.

Unami - the so-called fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour, bitter s sometimes explained as savory or mouth-filling taste. "In Europe a combination of anchovies and porcini mushrooms has been created to replicate that," said Andrew.

Knowing that apple pie goes beautifully with vanilla ice cream is behind the creation of dishes such as a chilled apple cider soup napped with a drizzle of vanilla maple. "It's all about making the familiar new again," said Karen as she and her husband led one of the workshops for food writers gathered in Orlando for the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Tasting is believing.

As they spoke, servers delivered plates with baguette slices topped with creamy ricotto cheese, a slice of prosciutto and a serving of eucalyptus honey. A flute of prosecco was poured at each place.

We were challenged to taste the cheese topped baguettes alone. "That's the creamy crispy combination," Andrew said. Add a sliver of prosciutto and salt comes into the formula. Drizzle a little honey over it and the sweetness transforms it again. A sip of prosecco adds an element of tart.

The X-Factor, according to the husband-wife authors, is a spiritual element that engages the emotions, such as praying over a leg of lamb at dinner.

Their Website has much more at

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