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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Taste Sensation Experiment.


Sensory scientists have revealed it is strawberries and the smell of freshly cut grass that is this summer’s sweetest taste sensation. I recently learnt about an experiment  that the sensory scientists at the university of London conducted to show that listening to different sounds while eating berries can actually alter the taste of them. The scientists found that listening to happy, summery sounds, the taste of the berries amplified and the fruit tasted fruitier.
I was so interested to read and learn about this experiment that I agreed to take part in a sensory experiment to see for my self if this was indeed true or not.

Control

I placed the strawberries in a white bowl , smelt the strawberries , looked at the colour, felt the texture, and the taste and noted it down. The berries  looked normal and very juicy and had a tang to the taste.

Experiment 1-Colours

Did you know that sweetness is linked with colours??

I transferred the strawberries to a red bowl,  and I listened to soothing music from here whilst I enjoyed the strawberries. The strawberries looked juicier and really inviting and even appeared sweeter. This shows that there are links between our senses, and that certain sounds, shapes and colours will actually affect how something tastes.

Experiment 2 -Summer Garden Party

In this experiment, the idea was to recreate a summer tea party sensation with background music that reminds us of summer garden parties. I made a cup of tea to drink and listened to a tape that played garden party sounds from here, whilst I ate the strawberries and drank the tea.
The aroma from the tea and the garden party sounds of jazz music made me feel I was outdoors and it really affected my taste buds of how the strawberries tasted and looked.

Experiment 3- Picnic

In this experiment, the idea was to create a grass smell and give your senses a taste of open air and picnics. The mood was created by lighting a grass scented candle and rubbing my fingers with some blades of grass, whilst listening to picnic music from here. When the strawberries were eaten the scent of the grass from the candle and on my fingers reminded me of picnics, open spaces and the strawberries tasted as if they were freshly picked.

Experiment 4- The Beach

In this experiment, I rubbed sun cream on my fingers and played beach music from here. I also wore sunglasses.Whilst eating the strawberries, the scent from the sun cream evoked happy holiday memories and consequently this transferred into the taste and aroma of the strawberries.

Conclusion: It was found that we associate taste with smell, sounds and colour.
Sensory expert from the University of London, Professor Barry Smith, said:
"More than any other sense, smell can evoke powerful, emotional memories.'
"Strawberries have been shown to trigger nostalgic summer memories, because people usually see them as a seasonal treat.  

To take part in this experiment I was sent a red bowl, a cup, a teabag and a tube of sun cream with a voucher to purchase some strawberries. I really enjoyed trying this experiment and all my opinions are unbiased and true of my experience.

If any simply food readers try this experiment do drop by and share your findings in the comment section below.I would be most interested to find out  and read your experiences with this experiment.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Tomato Chilli Jam ~ Secret recipe club 21st July 2014



This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select a recipe and try it and blog about it. My assigned blog was Authentic Suburban Gourmet. The blog is written by Lisa who describes herself as  " a successful business executive by day and food blogger at night."There are many wonderful recipes on Lisa's blog,  I actually tried two recipes from her blog the tomato jam and the brown sugar cookies. For the secret club I will write about the Tomato Jam recipe. I followed the recipe as per Lisa's blog, however having Indian roots Ilove my spice so I added a red chilli pepper and a sprinkling of chilli powder to the tomato jam to make it Tomato chilli jam.The jam was so delicious and I did not even get a chance to fill a jar, it was eaten the same day, next time I will double up the recipe to make extra.

Tangy tomato chilli jam with a spicy kick

Ingredients:

240g  tomatoes cut into quarters
1/2 cup sugar
1 red chilli pepper de-seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
Zest of half a lemon 
Juice of half a lemon


Method:

1. In a heavy bottom pan add the tomatoes, sugar and the rest of the ingredients.
2. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the tomato mixture on low heat, stirring intermittently for 30-40 minutes.
3. The jam is ready when the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture has thickened and looks glossy.
4. Leave the jam to cool slightly and then transfer to sterilised glass jars.



Thursday, 17 July 2014

Tidbits from my pantry.

I love having new food in my pantry so here are a few foodie items that I have received this month that are definitely worth a mention.



I received some nuts from Mr Filbert's- The three bags of nuts I received were:
French Rosemary Almonds
Peruvian pink peppercorn cashew nuts and peanuts
Italian herb hazelnuts and peanuts
All the nuts are hot air roasted using a unique process which means they have a lower fat content than most other nut brands and potato snack companies who deep oil fry.These nuts are lovely for snacking on and serving at dinner parties with a glass of wine.Our favourite was the Pink peppercorn cashew nuts and peanuts.The bags retail at £2.99 each.




The next item in my pantry this month was an assortment of crisps from Fairfields Farm. All the potatoes used to make the crisps are grown on the family farm in Wormingford, Essex, before being prepared, cut, cooked and packed in the farm's purpose-built factory. I liked the fact that all the flavours used in the crisps were natural and sourced throughout the East Anglian region

There are many flavours in the Farmfield range such as Lightly Sea Salted, Sea Salt & Aspall Cyder Vinegar, Sweet Suffolk Chilli, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheese & Chive, Wicks Manor Smoky Bacon & Sunday Roast Potato, Butter & Mint and Parsnip Crisps with Essex Honey & Black Pepper, Parsnip and Sweet Potato, Chilli and Lime, Chorizo and Sunblushed Tomato and Sour Cream & Onion.

The flavours that we sampled were:
Sweet potato with chilli and lime
Lightly salted Parsnip 
Sea Salt & Aspall Cyder Vinegar
Sour Cream & Onion.
All  flavours in the deli range are available in delis and farm shops nationwide in 40g bags with an RRP of 85p.
We loved all the flavours however the Sweet potato with chilli and lime was voted the best in our family.

Thankyou to MrFilbert and Fairfield farm  for sending us samples to review all, views and opinions expressed are our own.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Cheats Chocolate Mousse


Chocolate mousse that's light creamy and super delicious, low fat and low in calories, dairy free. If I said this would you believe me??? This chocolate mousse is exactly that, made with  just three ingredients it is a quick dessert that is super delicious and guilt free.

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
4 cherries for garnish.

Method:

1. Peel the bananas and cut them into chunks and place them on a tray in the freezer overnight.
2. The next day place the frozen bananas, cocoa and honey in the Optimum 9400 blend on a low speed , increasing it to fast for 60 seconds.
3. Spoon the mixture into shot glasses and serve immediately or chill and serve later.Garnish with cherries.





To read about the Optimum 9400 check my review post here. The blender is currently on a special offer at £329.00 with a thirty day money back guarantee with free postage if not satisfied. You can order yours here.









NB-This recipe works best with over ripe bananas.

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