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Wed Feb 6, 2012
Reviewing the chapter on Escoffier,
I find I agree with one of Engber's
Just going with details Lehrer
sites: It's odd to spin Auguste
Escoffier as some sort of
of umami-based cooking.
The subject at hand is an
investigation of a set of
traditional cooking practices
with beginnings lost to
Just on the timeline, Escoffier is very late,
only barely beating the scientific work:
Escoffier's _Guide Culinaire_ was published in 1903.
Kikune Ikeda discovers glutamate in 1907.
But it is really interesting to hear
story Kikune Ikeda's discovery of the
role glutemates play in cuisine, and
his invention of MSG.
How was this "fifth flavor" ignored
by western flavor scientists for so Lehrer traces the four classic
long? flavors sweet, sour, salty and
bitter back to Aristotle's _De
blindpot that hung
on even longer than
And Lehrer's footnote on p. 59 usual?
is the very informative:
"MSG is often blamed for the so-called Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome, in which exposure to MSG is
thought to cause headaches and migraines in
certain individusals. but as Jeffrey Steingarten
has noted (_It Must've Been Something I Ate_, pp
85-99), recent research has exonerated both
chinese food and MSG.
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