Padma Lakshmi पद्मा लक्ष्मी, “Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet”, 2007 was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Here I present: Padma पद्मा लक्ष्मी Lakshmi & Judith Sutton, “The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World”, 2016 which was a “spice & herb” thesaurus/encyclopedia.
Four taste (sweet, sour, bitter & salty) listed above is a minimum for any cuisine. Japanese cookery adds savory (called “umami” in Japanese) as a basic taste; and, Indian cookery adds astringent & pungent as basic taste. The above table shows the six basic taste of Indian cookery.
Astringent is also called “false cool”. One can sense a “false cool” sensation from “menthol” in mint (shown in picture above). Menthol, camphor, etcetera are food metabolites that activate the TRP-M8 ion channel on nerve cells to signal cold.
Pungent taste is also called “false heat”. Metabolites such as “capsaisin” (shown above, from the book) and “ethanol” activate the TRP-V1 ion channel on nerve cells to signal hot. The “astringent” and “pungent” terms in Indian cookery do not represent “taste physiology”; but, “thermal physiology”. Capsaisin if placed in your hand, will burn your hand. Taste receptors for sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory are only on the tongue.
Here I presented Padma पद्मा लक्ष्मी Lakshmi & Judith Sutton, “Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World”, 2016 which was a spice/herb encyclopedia.
Padma Lakshmi is an Indo-American chef; and, uses the Indian taste concepts of astringent and pungent. Unlike, savory (‘umami” from Japanese); “false cool” (astringent) and “false heat” (pungent) are added taste terms not common to all cookery.