The Taste of Tomorrow
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  • April25th

    The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley  — that’s the esteemed, frequently bluntly critical, Pulitzer Prize-winning Jonathan Yardley — likes The Taste of Tomorrow!

    Read Yardley’s nice review in last weekend’s Book World. (And yes, as was conceded on the TofT Facebook page,  getting a nice word from Yardley is creating a Christmas/Hannukah/Packers-win-Super Bowl-type of vibe here at ToT’s Evanston headquarters.

    Also….admittedly, a thought did occur: that on Sunday, April 22, the residents of a large White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,  may have possibly leafed through the WP’s Book World, and possibly noticed the words “Chicago journalist,” and then possibly talked about how this “future of food book” may have some ideas for, say, the garden, and then, perhaps, this all culminated in the following exchange:

    Michelle:  “Maybe we should invite this guy for dinner?

    Barack: “Great idea.”

  • April13th

    If you still haven’t had a chance to make it out for that lunch time excursion to B&N or Books & Books or the Seminary Coop to buy three copies of The Taste of Tomorrow,  if you still haven’t made those four to five  clicks necessary to achieve nonfiction nirvana, then we hope you’ll take a look at “Feasts Forward,”  a nice review in the Financial Times. 

    The subhead, “a lighthearted look into the future of food,” is undeniably true.  And the reviewer, Carl Wilkinson, does a nice job of describing the “salad” section of the book in one brilliantly succinct sentence.

  • April11th

    Dear Friends:

    At last!

    Please leave your office, abandon your to-do list, and run — don’t walk — to the nearest bookstore to purchase three copies of The Taste of Tomorrow for yourself and two friends!

    And if you don’t have access to a bookstore,  then go ahead, close that Word document, and head over to B&N or Amazon.com and buy some copies of The Taste of Tomorrow.  It’s a perfect Easter, Passover, or May Day gift!

    Seriously, thanks for all your support and patience.  We look forward to getting your feedback.

    Also, The Taste of Tomorrow: The Magazine looks forward to keeping you up to date on the people, ideas, and technologies profiled in the book.  The book took three years to complete, and there are plenty of updates to provide on people in the book.

    Josh

  • April3rd

    When you start reading The Taste of Tomorrow seven days from now (yes – that’s seven days!), you’ll come to an intriguing passage in Chapter 12, in which our protagonist visits a food research and development lab south of San Francisco.

    We have journeyed to this lab, in an innocuous office complex near SFO, to gain insight into one of the food future’s burning questions.   (A whole section of book is devoted to the question:  What could be the Next Thai food – ie: breakthrough world cuisine – in the United States.) The purpose of our trip is clear: get ethnic food insights. Get some leads. (Which we do)  Eat.

    During this visit, there’s a collateral intrigue. Trying to glean insights from the guru of the firm, Mattson, we get a chance to observe some real-time food invention– a “protocept” of a new pickle. A potentially novel approach to the pickle. (Teaser: not your ordinary kosher dill or sweet-n-sour)

    What was fascinating to observe was how the food developer nearly-instantly — within a handful of chews — assessed the pickle and offered specific suggestions for taste modification.  What was also curious was the language used by the food inventor— this is the land of the food industry (xanthan gum and soy protein isolate and flash pasteurizer). It’s not typical kitchen speak. In brief, it became clear, observing that pickle protocept exchange, that it would have been fascinating to spend a week at this lab, Mattson, observing the process, learning food R&D speak,  learning how  research chefs and culinoligsts (that’s what they’re called) think.

    I didn’t do that in the ToT. It’s a mere drive-by.

    BUT BUT BUT… when you read the ToT and think “Damn.. I’d like to learn more about that place” –  there’s good news:

    Barb Stuckey, one of Mattson leading food gurus, who I had the pleasure of meeting, has written a fascinating new book called Taste What You’re Missing: The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Food Tastes Good which will introduce you to the mindset of the food inventors.

    Specifically, Barb’s book explores the science of taste – why people love some foods, and don’t like others.   It’s an analytical, technical look at taste  for the lay reader – for instance, you’ll learn about the technical difference between orthonasal olfaction (nose-smelling taste) versus retronasal olfaction (mouth-smelling taste).

    Taste Self-Awareness

    I just picked it up last night (loved the prologue) and am especially excited about trying a series of experiments that will help me discover my “taster type.”  (I’ve always wondered why I have such an aversion to cultured dairy products) One exercise is designed to determine the number of taste buds on one’s tongue.  (I’ll let you know as soon as the data is in., If you’re interested in learning about the science of taste, definitely check it out