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BOB HOLMES has been a correspondent for New Scientist magazine for nearly two decades, and has written more than 800 articles for the magazine. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona and taught for several years in the science-writing programme at the University of California.  A member of Slow Food Canada, he has worked with the taste education programme of his local chapter and is a passionate home cook. He lives with his wife and teenage son in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. FLAVOUR is his first book.




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A User's Guide to Our Most Neglected Sense


Whether you are someone who likes to cook creatively, delve into cutting-edge science or explore the latest ideas about health, diet and nutrition, this book will open your mind – and your palate – to a vast, exciting sensory world.


Most of us don't pay much attention to flavour in our day-to-day lives. We might notice that dinner tasted good, but we'd probably struggle to say anything more precise than that. For far too many people, flavour remains a vague, undeveloped experience – elevator music for the palate.


In FLAVOUR, Bob Holmes journeys into the surprising science behind our flavour senses. He shows why what we thought we knew about taste is almost certainly wrong, why no two people have exactly the same sense of smell, and how the sense of touch contributes to flavour. He visits the birthplace of flavour in the brain to discover why cake tastes sweetest on a white plate, how wine experts' eyes can fool their noses, and how even language affects the flavour we find in food. He learns why people like the foods they do, what makes some foods more delicious than others, and how flavour affects our appetite – and, in turn, our health.


Moving from the laboratory into the kitchen, he peers over the shoulders of some of the most fascinating food professionals: the food technologists seeking to engineer the perfect snack food or soft drink, the professional chefs looking for new ways to combine flavours into surprising yet delicious dishes, and even the mathematicians searching for the perfect pizza topping and the chemists seeking the ideal pairing of food and wine.


He ends by revealing how we can all sharpen our flavour senses, teaching us the skills and techniques that professionals use to name flavours and describe them articulately.


Publisher: Norton (US)

Delivery: Spring 2015

Published: Spring 2016

Length: 80,000–100,000 words


All rights available excluding:

World English Language