Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mouthfeel. Mouth feel. Mouthfeel?

yes, mouths have feelings

Mouthfeel is definitely a chef word. It's not something you hear often, say at a fine dining establishment. "Oh, cheeerie! The mouthfeel is simply exquisite!"... "Ah, I love Chef Raymond. He has the best sense of mouthfeel in town. Never misses a note."

It's almost pornographic in the image in conjures, but this is a family rated blog so we won't go there. I leave it to you to close your eyes and imagine the possibilities. Just don't do it at work.

Yet, some foods are almost exclusively mouthfeel. Crunchy things. Slimy things. If a cracker doesn't crunch, it's not much of a cracker, is it? Then again, if your mashed potatoes are crunchy that's not good, either.

Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to have a corresponding translation into French. They missed out on umami, and mouthfeel too? No, ceci n'est pas possible! They must have some equivalent like sensation buccale ou mise en bouche or sensation gustatoire... but I couldn't find it. There is no way that a True and Perfect Master like Auguste Escoffier could have overlooked this aspect of the culinary arts.

So, now that you've read this, you probably have The Curse. Now you will think about mouthfeel, and while doing so will certainly be unable to think about what your tongue is doing, what it feels, which direction it's pointed... Worry not, it will go away. Until you eat something crunchy or slimy.

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