Neurogastronomy

This will eventually turn into an index of things I’ve written that relate to Neurogastronomy.

I called this section neurogastronomy, which is a term coined by Gordon M. Shepherd, but I’d say it also encompasses multi sensory perception, order of operations of attention, contrast detection, contrast enhancement, aroma categorization, metaphor, non-linguistic thought, semiology, harmony, a theory of acquired tastes, etc.

Maccheroncelli Primivera with Falanghina (5/2008): This first thing I wrote about with the blog was wine pairing which didn’t fit into the things I was doing with egullet. I was trying to come up with a new language to describe and categorize pairings because everything traditional was a lot of bullshit. Back then I definitely did not know what contrast enhancement was. It was a slow journey.

Two Summary Dishes and Some Wine (8/2008): A really cool post which explores a new language for describing wine pairings. Astute readers will notice it somewhat tries to imitate the writing of Charlie Trotter’s sommelier. This was before I knew of contrast detection and contrast enhancement.

Absinthe (10/2008): This recipe was really cool and it should be updated because there was a new version written for my Distiller’s Workbook. The idea was to recognize how we perceive aromas spatially and how we categorize aromas and work that into an Absinthe concept.  Yerba-mate could replace wormwood because they occupy the same olfactory-bitter category but are at different places in an imaginary spatial scale. The same goes for the relationship between sloeberry and anise. One a spatial scale they are far apart you feel them as a space expanding interval. As it turns this same anise-fruit concept might be at work in Peychaud’s bitters.

Dry Rum & Dry Gin? I Like Mine Wet… (12/2008): This post remains astoundingly popular and gets a wide variety of google search returns. I updated it recently to add a paper from Amerine on pH/acidity of spirits. I think a lot of people were interested for strange sensory reasons. For starters what does dry even mean? And is there something about the nature of the juniper aromas that is acidic that makes people think there is acid underneath the aroma. Could we say juniper is an olfactory-acid aroma?

Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients (5/2009): I had been collecting references looking for unique language that flavor professionals used to talk about complex relationships. Fenaroli used a lot of spatial language that I eventually expanded up and tracked to its origins in the mind.

Ice Wine Grenadine (9/2009): This was the beginning of my concern for tonality and having the prettiest most extraordinary expressions versus plebian and ordinary expressions with possible regrets and missed opportunities. To explore the nature of the extraordinary it was going to take new abstraction techniques and this concentration without heat is especially useful.

The “Maraschino” Blackberry Illusion (12/2009): This post is the first instance of me using the term illusion and besides exploring wine pairings the second time I got into contrast enhancement.  In this case texture changes the threshold of perception of aromas and of alcohol. It is a bit of an nth degree scenario but the same effects might exist in so much of the textured food we eat.  Ferran Adria played with texture a lot but I don’t think he articulated contrast enhancement.

Martini Time! (4/2010): This post tried really hard to articulate nitty gritty relationships at play in a martini.  Looking at the relationships brought out the idea that gin internalized the aesthetic contribution of vermouth to steal its market share which in the last 40 years was probably a billion dollar art heist.  The point is that all this neurotic concern with language and categories and articulating things can pull up economically significant details that other people miss.

Advanced Culinary Communication Basics (7/2010): This post marks a milestone in my interest in language and communication. I also introduce the idea of differentiate between dynamic recipes and static recipes which is integral to understanding modernist cuisine and how kitchens are changing.  Temperature control, scaling recipes, salting by weight, etc. are allowing recipes to be static expressions rather than dynamic, hard to recreate, and all over the place.  Static recipes it turns out are necessary for sensory explorations and experimentation.

Redistributing Consolidated Knowledge (9/2010): This is an essay I am proud of. I introduce the idea that for domestic products to compete, we just don’t need chemistry know how, we also need to explore art theory and sensory science. Towards the end I explore ideas in categorizing aromas that I have since expanded upon big time.

Sweet Rebellion: A short theory of acquired tastes and an unsavory explanation of harmony (11/2010): I think ideas in this post are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and to my knowledge there is no other theory of acquired tastes in culinary. Palettes laden with acquired tastes are healthier and learning the path to acquiring them could teach more people to drink their coffee black. If more people drank black coffee the country could shed millions of empty calories and therefore millions of dollars from the health care budget. I have learn so many things since and should probably write a new version of this.

Which “Taste” Do You Mean? Sensory Parsing Versus Cognitive Dissonance (1/2011): This post was a look at the word taste where I tried to flag which meaning I meant every time I used the often ambiguous word. I was wrong here at times and since I’ve added some notes. I received one great very negative comment which stuck with me as a I covered a lot of other literature and I’d say helped me out big time.

Culinary Aestheticism– A Tale of Two Harmonies (3/2011): This was my first look at semiology which is something I slowly learned much more about. I also linked the idea of acquired tastes to sustainability which is quite significant but under explored.

Culinary Deconstruction: Defending a Breakdown of the Extraordinary (4/2011): Here I looked at the ordinary & extraordinary and how ideas of predictive cooking a la Modernist Cuisine might devalue the extraordinary hence all the weird backlashes. This was my first attempt to also ennoble the culinary arts by tying them to problem solving. Any work of art is a solution to a problem and very importantly, the smallest problems a work of art can solve are: anxiety, complacency, cementing memories, and retrieving memories.

Advanced Sensory Convergence Basics (6/2011): This was a foray that would slowly build over the years into exploring non-linguistic thought.

A Case For 21 And Other Small Insights (6/2011): Holy shit, rereading this blows my mind. Another step in the Odyssey to understanding non-linguistic thought. The book I reference, Sleights of Mind is astounding and a must read for any aspiring culinary magician.

Reward System Theories (6/2011): “Reward system theories” is a very popular search term, but I don’t know exactly what people are expecting to find.

Advanced Super Stimuli Basics (7/2011):

Cup Cake Shots? Advanced Reality Construction Basics (7/2011):

Advanced Aroma Theory Basics (2/2012):

A Theory of Wine Food-Interaction (3/2012):

Deconstructing Popular Aromatic “Bitters” (5/2012):

Non-potable Pure Pot Still Purell; Wormwood Aromatized Hand Sanitizer (7/2012):

Literacy of the Olfactory Sense; Acting Without Reacting (8/2012):

Strange Olfactory Phenomena: Adventures in Contrast Detection (9/2012):

Contrast Enhancement (In Space and Time) For Food & Wine Interaction (10/2012):

An Attentional Features Primer (11/2012):

Advanced Oversimplification Basics: The Ordinary and Extraordinary (11/2012):

The Manhattan: Prior Convictions and Ulterior Motives (11/2012):

Olfactory Phantoms and Illustration of the Dynamics of Perception (4/2013):

Turning the Sky Blue and Turning on Contrast Detection With Language (4/2013):

Harnessing Frames of Mind: Non-linguistic techniques for Detecting Contrast in Olfaction (5/2013):

The Two Thresholds Of Our Two Worlds (5/2013):

Short Tales of Olfactory Illusions (6/2013):

Widely Used But Maybe Also Widely Taken For Granted, Aroma Fixatives Are Mysterious (9/2013):

Why We Drink: A Break From Language (12/2013):

Nature v.s Nurture vs. Cocktail: Holistic vs. Salient Creative Linkage (2/14):

Maximum Rhetoric, Problem Solving and Categories (12/14):

High Fidelity Gin Distilling / Perceptual puzzles / Musings (3/15):

Playing God (or Carving Venus): Food Product Design (4/15):

Search for the Real: Olfactory Hallucinations and Passive Learning (4/15):

Vino Endoxa
Vino Endoxa: The Categories of Affect versus Sensation
Vino Endoxa: Three new categories and Pamela Vandyke Price
Vino Endoxa: Freedom and Confinement
Vino Endoxa: Vino Endoxa is Delectable and then some
Vino Endoxa: Fine versus commodity distinctions

Synaesthesia, Non-linguistic Thought, and Minerality? (10/15): I give my take on the origins of metaphors related to minerality.

Metaphors From the Ground Up (10/15): A look at the categorization of metaphors used or discussing flavor. This excited a few people.

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