November 13, 2013 The first bite of a bitter fruit or nut can be shocking, even revolting. That's led scientists to think that bitter tastes evolved to help us avoid poisonous plants. But a new a genetic study in Africa challenges that notion.
October 18, 2013 Wine is a grocery, not a luxury. That's the premise behind a fun, new wine guide filled with charming illustrations and scratch 'n' sniffs. But don't let the playfulness fool you. There's some serious science in the book, which covers the full gamut of tasting with humor and a refreshing simplicity.
September 9, 2013 America is in the midst of a rye whiskey renaissance. Lovers of the spirit say it's spicier, edgier and less sweet than bourbons. But when scientists look at the flavor signatures of American whiskeys, what matters the most isn't always the grain in the bottle.
September 3, 2013 The world's most expensive coffee can cost $600 a pound, and it comes from — there's no delicate way to put it — civet poop. But how do you know if what you're shelling out for is the real deal? Chemists have come up with the world's first cat poop coffee test.
August 6, 2013 Grapes that taste like cotton candy? No, it's not a GMO experiment but rather the result of good old-fashioned plant-breeding techniques. One scientist has already brought these sweet treats to the market and hopes our grape choices will one day be as varied as our apple choices.
March 21, 2013 With a high-tech gadget, scientists can measure how much flavor is released from foods while we're eating. One British chef uses the device to figure out why we love to dip biscuits into tea. A quick plunge really does make the cookie yummier.
December 25, 2012 An IBM computer that analyzes flavor molecules and develops recipes is on the way in five years, scientists say. They are hoping to find not only novel and tasty flavor combinations, but ones that will appeal to us without adding to our waistlines.
December 21, 2011 If you think all American food tastes alike, you may be on to something. A chemical analysis of flavors around the world found that Americans cook with flavors that are chemically similar, like eggs, milk, and vanilla, while East Asians go for chemical contrast. Think shrimp and lemon.
October 10, 2011 Some 500 years after Columbus first encountered cocoa beans, scientists are discovering new, wild cacao flavors in the Amazon rainforest. Turns out, we've barely begun to sample the many flavors nature has to offer.
September 23, 2011 Although goats have been cultivated around the world for centuries, the practice of raising them and using their milk for cheese is a fairly recent phenomenon in the U.S. The public has been slow to accept the goat's unique flavor.