The art and science of wines, foods and flavor can be an intriguing issue to ponder over. The science of interrelation between food products is the major idea that Chartier Francois presents in his Taste Buds and Molecules book. Just like the title of the book suggests, the author looks at the aroma molecules which give wines and foods their definite character and taste. He uses the chemistry tied to foods as the major basis used for pairing wines and foods both. He goes ahead to propose the use of food charts to help in identifying the kind of foods which go well together. This is at least sheds some light on the science behind food compatibility and the reason why people need to grow over the past years of trial and error tastings.
The author might have some intriguing ideas in his guide book but rather the content is not written or outlined in a clear to understand manner. The language used is in fact jargon and thus the message might not get home in most of the settings. The major underlying principle in this book is that if two foods share common flavor compounds, they can be paired up conveniently to create a great meal. That is why fruits such as sauternes, cherries, and aged sake which all contain sotolon are best if you drink them together or in conjunction with dishes that contain fenugreek seeds, walnuts, and maple syrup. These dishes also contain sotolon.
Grass fed beef contains skatole and therefore would pair well with jasmine. Serving jasmine infused potatoes with butter beat ups can be a foolproof scheme in determining the compatibility of different food substances. The flavors in these two foods might not really get along well. The sharp purple bath lotion scent produced by jasmine might tend to override the much more pleasing beef tang and give a result that might not be so welcome by the nose. A bad smell that is!
Considering chemistry in pairing foods might be a good idea and more so it has been explored by many researchers. For instance Belgium food pairing has seen success in matching foods basing on their chemical components. Take for instance, try out a beverage that blends caraway and mint basing on the principle that these herbs contain carvone as a major flavoring molecule. Caraway component would mint the enantiomer and create the much desired tasty substance. In that case, foods might not have similar tastes but have the same internal structure and therefore can blend well.
Definitely you would love to get to all lengths to catch up with the richness of information offered in this book. The only issue is that the author of this book at times tends to use some hard facts which might not make sense to most people. Such terms might trigger some element of questionable utility or more so be viewed as being downright dubious. The book is also littered with many technical terms thus giving the user no ability to exercise their freedom of choice because most of them cannot crack some of these terms. Another issue that puts the relevance of this book on the line is that all the sixteen chapters tend to address one type of food, flavor, molecule or ingredient. It might not offer the richness of information any consumer would want to get. Probably you would need to get other books to give you a clear insight into the whole element of food and science.