As humans living in the 21st century we are bombarded with buzz words surrounding food and health at an excessive level. Diet, gluten-free, fructose, wholesome, organic, trans fats, vegan, lactose…. We crave a little simplicity. Successful consumer electronics company, AEG have developed a new documentary, Tasteology to reveal the clarity that comes from understanding the multisensory approach to food experiences.
Last week, the documentary was screened at multi-award winning restaurant, Marque, with one of Australia’s most highly regarded chefs, Mark Best. As a chef who embraces the creation of a holistic dining experience, Best treated guests to a five course meal made from basic ingredients taken to new levels of tasteful greatness.
The documentary contains four episodes, each focusing on a different dimension of the culinary experience. Unlike entertainment drive cooking television shows, Tasteology provides audiences with the chance to reflect on the way they relate to food and improve on the way food can be created to be multisensory, sustainable and nutritional all at once. MiNDFOOD breaks down the documentary to give you just a taste…
Episode I: Source
The rapid increase in food production across the globe is synonymous with a loss of nutrients in synthetic, chemical laden food products. American author of The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker explains that, “Fake flavourings have gotten very powerful…this is the chemical language of desire that makes food more delicious. We desensitise billions of people.” Schatzer suggest that by stripping the diet from artificial flavours, people can find food that is truly the most delicious.
Episode II: Chill
Next Tasteology focuses on the appropriate storage of food products and why food wastage is a form of planetary destruction. British food waste activist and author, Tristram Stuart started the ‘Feeding The 5000’ campaign in 2009, which sees the communal gathering of 5000 hungry people in cities across the globe to enjoy a nutrition meal prepared entirely out of food that would otherwise have been wasted. The documentary informs audiences of the way food should be stored in the fridge in order to enjoy longevity, for example ripe vegetables and drinks should be placed at the top of the fridge to avoid humidity while fish and meat should be on the lowest shelf where temperature is lowest and humidity is highest.
Episode III: Heat
Taking taste further can come from the correct cooking of food ingredients. Notably, steam is often regarded the most important ingredient in achieving great taste. Adding a slant of humour to the documentary is gastro-chemist Herve This, who taught the world how to boil and egg in a dishwasher. This episode advocates that you can have all the time and the highest quality of ingredients however cooking them at the wrong temperature is detrimental to flavour.
Episode IV: Experience
The final chapter is intriguing and provokes thought into how food is consumed. The full taste experience draws on all five senses as it is claimed the totality of dimensions affects taste perception. Professor in Psychology, Charles Spence suggests that people associate colours with taste for example red with sweetness and white with salty. Similarly the colour and size of the plate is manipulated by chefs to defy preconceived taste expectations and create new, dynamic dining experiences. This experiences are a point of conversation and provide people with compelling ways to think about food decisions, beyond just picking whatever is the most affordable or convenient at the time.
Chef Jozef Youssef has embraced this research and opened gastronomic project, Kitchen Theory, in the UK. He recognises that humans make sense of life, interact and communicate using their senses and that is a continuous series of multisensory experience which create our existence. His way of thinking about food is aligned with concepts of mindful eating.
AEG is certainly ‘walking the walk’ as they continually engineer products that specialise in the four dimensions of holistic food experiences. As an example, The AEG ProFresh Refrigerator is known for preserving flavours while AEG’s Procombi Plus Oven allows home cooks to use the sous-vide technique of vacuum sealing and steaming to achieve evenly cooked, richly textured and flavoursome foods.
The documentary showcases wholesome food prepared with a love and passion for creativity. AEG has recognised its role in providing consumers with innovative, healthy and honest ways of preparing food. Longevity in life comes from putting health and vitality above our craving for convenience and artificiality.