Unified Theory of Deliciousness

As a sometimes haphazard cook, I’m always intrigued by blogs (such as Serious Eats’ Food Lab) that take an explicitly scientific and methodical approach to the kitchen. In the same vein, I was excited to read Wired‘s August cover story:

august 2016 cover

David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness rests on the idea of strange loops, the interplay between the familiar and unfamiliar that are essential to creating mind-blowing dishes.

“Most people won’t ever notice this sensation; they’ll just appreciate that the food tastes good. But under the surface, the saltiness paradox has a very powerful effect, because it makes you very aware of what you’re eating and your own reaction to it. It nags at you, and it keeps you in the moment, thinking about what you’re tasting. And that’s what makes it delicious….

We hit the middle of a Venn diagram, creating something that incorporated enough elements of both mapo tofu and Bolognese that it could evoke both of them, while being neither one precisely.”

My favorite part of the article: Chang recounting three Korean dudes crying over a chicken-and-dumpling dish, reminiscent of Korean sujebi:

It’s like that scene in Ratatouille when the critic eats a fancy version of the titular dish and gets whisked back to the elemental version of his childhood.


Keirnan Monaghan & Theo Vamvounakis

chang diagram 1  chang_diagrams1 (1)

Also, check out these cool little diagrams illustrating that mind/mouth discrepancy.