We’ve all had that moment of snacking excitement only to bite down on something ho-hum. Let bad snacks be a thing of the past.
Sourcing plant-based vegan snacks that pack all the flavor may seem like an all-out adventure to El Dorado in search of the fountain of youth. However, some brands set themselves apart and have packed a punch in the world of taste.
There is a big difference in flavor and taste. People like to use the words interchangeably, and while both are hands-on ways to enjoy snacks, the taste makes it so much further.
The flavor of a snack is a hedonic sense that involves:
However, taste uses all of the five of our tasting elements or sensitivities together. What do tasting sensitivities mean? Well, these are the five ways your brain categorizes taste, and our neurological/physical reactions are different for each.
These five taste sensitivities include:
As a chef, you have moved up in your career to efficiently balance these five sensitivities to create a tasting adventure for your patrons. Bringing out the umami will balance the bitters, saltines, and sweets of a dish and could earn you reviews filled with Michelin Stars and words like exquisite or outstanding.
Smells Change Taste
It’s not much different in the world of snacks. Snack manufacturers rely heavily on smell. Most of our food we enjoy we’ve already smelled it before we eat it. However, it can be tough to smell cold food, making it less appealing.
We all rely on our food’s smell to let us know if something is good or bad. This used to be the only reason we needed to smell our food, and our nose helped us track down food.
An example would be a flower releasing a scented molecule. This molecule is meant to attract pollinators to the area so that the plant can be more prolific. This molecule stimulates our olfactory cells and sends a signal directly to our brain that a pleasant and enticing scent is nearby.
These brands trick us into thinking that all the taste is there when it’s just a scent. A good test is that if you close your nose while eating a piece of candy, the candy won’t have any flavor.
The Full Package or, in this case, the Whole Bag
However, in the 20th-century, brands and chefs alike have learned to taunt our olfactory glands so that the product’s flavor entices us before we’ve even had a taste and then swoop in there, bringing it home by balancing and hitting those five sensitivities.
Much of our enjoyment experience is about the whole package — balancing the five sensitivities of taste and our sense of smell and how tasty our food looks and feels.
Honestly, isn’t that what snacking is all about? It is about satisfying the flavor, the taste, and the feel. After all, a pork rind, whether plant-based or piggie-based, wouldn’t be a pork rind at all without its crunch.
Don’t Sacrifice Taste for Health
In conclusion, there is a vast misconception that vegan food is bland and ordinary and that to get all the vitamins and minerals we need, all we can eat is a salad with some abnormal protein on top. That is not the case.
Healthy does not have to sacrifice enjoyment. There are excellent vegan snacks that are delicious and taste amazing.