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Cheesecake rubbed on a pig's tongue.
February 19, 2013 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Listening to what the tongue feels:
First, drink some black coffee. Next, rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It should feel a little rough, like very fine sandpaper: the tiny bumps on your tongue, called papillae, are raised just enough to create friction against your palate. If you now add cream to your coffee and try again, the sensation should be much smoother — almost velvety. A layer of fat and mucous is now coating your tongue, providing lubrication and preventing friction. What you have just done was, until very recently, the most accurate method for evaluating the oral perception of fat — the precise degree of tongue-coating creaminess in milk, mayonnaise, or chocolate pudding.
posted by ennui.bz (21 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not only is this a great article, the whole blog is a winner. Nice find!
posted by painquale at 2:09 PM on February 19, 2013


Acoustic signals of milk samples with increasing fat content, potentially suggesting that optimum creaminess occurs at 3% fat content.

Science proves that skim milk tastes bad.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:13 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Horace Fletcher anecdote in the comment section is awesome.
posted by Renoroc at 3:02 PM on February 19, 2013


Pretty remarkable stuff.
posted by ageispolis at 3:05 PM on February 19, 2013


"A layer of fat and mucous is now coating your tongue."

Worst. D&D game. Ever.
posted by yoink at 3:05 PM on February 19, 2013 [24 favorites]


What's the point of fat-free yogurt? Or alcohol-free beer, for that matter.

It's like that person at the deli in front of you, ordering a tall decaf with skim milk and Sweet'n'Low. Why bother?
posted by monospace at 3:17 PM on February 19, 2013


I remember my stint as a barista, although no one called it that then, at least that I heard of. The customers who ordered no-fat latte drinks but demanded that the foam be thick enough to float their car keys on were numerous.
posted by thelonius at 3:25 PM on February 19, 2013


A machine that rubs things against a disembodied pig's tongue to test mouth feel?

WANT

There's gotta be a shiny stainless steel Breville kitchen gadget version of this, right?

Finally I will be able to make objectively smooth desserts!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:43 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, edible geography! Yeah, this is a bookmark-worthy blog. I often find myself back here.
posted by Miko at 3:43 PM on February 19, 2013


This blog is great.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:44 PM on February 19, 2013


It's like that person at the deli in front of you, ordering a tall decaf with skim milk and Sweet'n'Low. Why bother?

Because they like the taste of coffee and are trying to limit calorie intake? ...is this a trick question?
posted by threeants at 4:15 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you like the taste of coffee you don't go monkeying around with it by removing bits here and adding (terrible) things there.
posted by hellphish at 4:33 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, they like the composite taste of coffee, skim milk, and fake sugar? Can that be a thing?
posted by threeants at 4:57 PM on February 19, 2013


If you like the taste of coffee you don't go monkeying around with it by removing bits here and adding (terrible) things there

I don't bother sweetening the coffee with sugar or SnL *shudder* but sometimes I order decaf at night when I want the taste of coffee and not the caffine. Can't sleep, otherwise.

But then, I'm not a coffee purist.

I do prefer half and half, though.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:32 PM on February 19, 2013


I only drink coffee when I need to sand down the roof of my mouth a bit. It gets bumpy sometimes.
posted by orme at 5:34 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


For those who love this blog... Edible Geography is the sister site to BLDG BLOG (and the two creators are married).

BLDG BLOG is architecture focused, and is just as fucking amazing.
posted by tychotesla at 6:38 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ohh, the article is wonderful and intriguing and...um....is anyone else rubbing their tongue against the roof of their mouth? But even bigger thanks for putting that fabulous blog in my RSS.
posted by desuetude at 10:04 PM on February 19, 2013


I used to get "Why Bother" (aka: nonfat, decaf, sugar free) coffee drinks from starbucks when I was doing the Atkins diet back in the day. I dearly wanted the illusion of a warm, comforting not-entirely-unlike coffee drink, because going sugar free was actually harder than quitting smoking. I seriously would have smacked someone's grandma for a proper fucking treat.

Since then, I've decided to stop giving a damn and enjoy the fuck out of all kinds of delicious carbs and sweets in all their glorious combinations and permutations.

Finally, a life worth living.

(Fascinating blog, great find.)
posted by Space Kitty at 11:10 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is also an opponecy of astringent and fatty foods, as in their coffee and cream example. Astringent foods, when paired with fats, tend to produce the most pleasant mouthfeel, as they balance each other. That is why we pair wine with cheese and coffee with cream and salami with beer, etc. Our mouth feels rough after we drink black coffee and the roughness astringency created by the coffee can then be lubricated by fats.

On a somewhat related note, this has been an exciting February for taste science, as scientists have identified taste stem cells on the tongue. (Not going to link because I work for the organization that did the research, though it's not my lab!)

All in all, as someone who has participated in many pilot studies of fat perception through my job, I am very happy to hear about acoustic tribology. Hopefully this means I will no longer have to swill various concentrations of lard to rate their lardiness.
posted by Katine at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Katine, you can definitely link it in a comment. The self-linking prohibition is really only about FPPs.
posted by Miko at 10:14 AM on February 20, 2013


Thanks Miko, in that case here's the press release on taste stem cells if anyone is interested!
posted by Katine at 10:27 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


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