Texture


autumn-moments

{Octoberfest is my blog event in which I attempt to write every day during the month of October as a pre-cursor to Nanowrimo in November. Welcome to the insanity.}

Texture is what makes or breaks food for many. I know several people who don’t mind the taste of fish, but the texture is unbearable to them. What makes it so vital to our palates? I don’t know, but it’s a fascination that food isn’t all about flavor. It’s about color and texture and tactile elements as well.

As I cook, I’m learning that a lot of times texture is what matters to me in a dish. For example, I don’t particularly care for Chinese food. After living in China for over a year, I have discovered that it’s too oily for my taste and that Shanghainese food particularly is too sweet. Beyond that, I dislike the texture of most Chinese food, as a lot of it is boiled and fried. My texture preferences are more on the side of crisp and fresh. I like the crunch of raw veggies over the softness of cooked ones every day of the week. If you give me a head of broccoli, I will chop it up and eat it raw before I cook it (unless I’m blanching, because then I retain a lot of the crispness and color and I always drown it in lemon). Here in China, they don’t really do that. They cook EVERYTHING. And that’s not what I like.

There are a whole slew of words out there to describe food texture that we don’t tap into because it isn’t something we think about often. “Crispy”, “crunchy”, “soft”, and even “gooey” are often used. If you watch the Food Network often you might have a wider vocabulary and say things like “chalky”, “grainy”, or “rubbery”. But how often do you hear people use words like “clidgy” or “lardaceous”? It saddens my heart to know that there is a plethora of food related vocabulary that is systemically ignored by the English-speaking population.

The point is that texture is often just as important as flavor and we need to remember that and use proper vocabulary to describe what we’re tasting.

Articles I read about texture and why it matters:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s