Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pork Confit and how Temperature Affects Tastes

Pork Confit

The large amount of fat or oil required to make confit is unappealing to me so I found a method that uses much less fat or oil.  What I do is to use a small baking dish and tightly fit the pork, ensuring that there is little or no space between the pork and the edges of the dish. As a result a much smaller amount of fat or oil is needed to completely cover the pork.

For the pork tenderloin I used Svensk Rapsgris Fläskkarré. It’s a relatively new ‘innovative’ product. Rapeseed oil is added to animal feed which is fed to pigs. As a result the meat is juicier, tastier and has a higher omega-3 content. The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: The Guardian
Interesting article on how serving temperature affects the way food tastes.

According to Karel Talavera Pérez, professor of molecular and cellular medicine at the University of Leuven in Belgium, studies demonstrate that "the perception of taste decreases when the temperature rises beyond 35C". With very hot food, it is possible that the burning feeling "masks" taste sensations, because it works as an alarm signal to warn us about the danger hurting ourselves.

A 2005 paper published in the Journal of Sensory Studies found that the serving temperature of cheddar cheese affected how its taste was perceived. The cheese was served at 5C, 12C and 21C and sourness increased as the temperature rose. The tasters also found the warmest cheese more difficult to evaluate. Talavera Pérez, meanwhile, discovered in the same year why ice-cream gets sweeter when warmer. It's true: melted ice-cream is too sickly to drink, whereas when cold, it is pleasantly sweet. Beer, on the other hand, tastes more bitter as it gets warmer. Ham tastes saltier when cold and more savoury when warm. Some of these effects occur because the taste receptor TRPM5 (which picks up sweet, bitter and umami tastes) sends a stronger electrical signal to the brain when food is warmer.

The temperature of what you drink while eating will also affect the food's taste. North American people, on the whole, like ice-cold water at mealtimes, whereas Europeans are happy with not-far-below room temperature, and Asian people often drink hot water or tea while eating. Research published in June this year found that eating immediately after drinking cold water decreased the perception of sweetness, chocolate flavour and creaminess, and the researchers are now wondering whether the preponderance for iced water among Americans contributes to their preference for highly sweetened food.


  1. That pork looks so juicy and succulent

  2. The pork looks excellent. I prepare only duck confit and I cover it entirely with duck fat, but I also try to put it into the smallest possible dish, otherwise duck fat costs me more than duck ;-)
    Interesting article. I also think everyone has a different resistance to heat of food. When I was in Japan I wasn't able to eat ramen as hot as the Japanese did, but still I ate it earlier than my husband.

    1. I have never made duck confit. Do you think there is a big difference if you use oil instead of animal fat? I am wondering - if you add lot of garlic, herbs etc the flavor from the fat becomes less important?
      Congrats on winning the ramen eating competition:)

  3. Such an interesting article! I never thought that temperature would affect the perception of flavor! Wow!

    1. So if the food/desserts etc we make does not taste good, serve is really hot or cold:)