Flavor is a complex word although may be not quiet as multi faced as ‘curry’. it seems so very simple to us when we use it to describe what we eat and drink, interchangeably with taste.
Wikipedia describes ‘Flavor’ as the sensory impression of a food or other substance, determined by the three chemical senses of taste, olfaction (smell), and the so-called trigeminal senses (a merging of the opthalmic,maxillary, and mandibulary nerves), which detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat.’ You through ll that scientific talk and end up the old adage ‘ You eat with all your senses.’
Perfect balance of sizzle, taste, smell, texture, and visual appeal to the foods that you make.In the Oxford Companion to food, Alan Davidson defines flavor as the combined effects of taste and aroma.
When you spoon a curry into your mouth, your taste buds identify its ingredients as being bitter, sour, sally, and sweet ( the four primary taste elements). More recently, scientist consider umami to be the fifth primary element. Speak to Asians and you will find that they consider the additional elements of hot and astringent to be equally significant.
There are ten thousand taste buds in your tongue that recognize the primary taste elements. It is true that there are specific parts of the mouth that taste one element more so than any other, but it’s not all that cut-and-dried, as those taste centers change with age. Children are very responsive to pungent chiles and bitter greens, but those same areas have diminished capacity when those babies and toddlers enter their second childhood phase, more commonly known as the senior years. Taste does not work in isolation, as temperature and aroma play pivotal roles in how you experience flavor.
In general, and that generalizing is risky, Americans and western Europeans find the bitter taste to be very unpleasant. But the same taste is manna to the palates of Southeast Asians and folks from the Indian subcontinent. The Bengali-speaking community, in addition to others from eastern India, usually start meal with bitter tasting curries of perhaps slices of bitter melon, salted and pan -fried.
Other regions mask the bitterness so it plays a supporting role in balance with the other taste elements. Spices, herbs, and other ingredients that infuse bitterness in our curries include fenugreek, mustard, amaranth, turnip, and bitter melon, among many others.
Many of us love sour tastes, even though their lips-puckering quality provides slight discomfort. The acidic component in Indian curries is a strong one, and each region has its favorite. Tamarind sours its way into the coastal areas along the south, west, and east, while kokum and kudampuli provide smoked acidity in a few communities along the konkan coast on the west.
The Sri lankans, just Sout of India, steep kudampuli ( Goraka) , while goan Christians use palm, cashew, malt, and distilled vinegars in their portuguese influenced fare. Tomato a late arrival on the scene spread instant acidic joy, saucing its way into every region. Yogurt and buttermilk blanket of India, while limes, unripe mangoes, and pineapple give sour comfort to some northern, northwestern, and southern communities. Gongura leaves are a favorite in south central India, not because of their close relationship to the marijuana plan, but because to curries and provide acidic balance to hot chiles.