Auf salon.com steht gerade ein kurzer Kommentar zum SenfSKANDAL von Präsident Obama (Senf auf seinem Burger, KEIN Ketchup!), in dem ein älterer, aber immer noch interessanter Artikel von Malcolm Gladwell verlinkt ist, der sich mit … Ketchup beschäftigt. Und Senf. Und Geschmäckern überhaupt:

„After breaking the ketchup down into its component parts, the testers assessed the critical dimension of “amplitude,” the word sensory experts use to describe flavors that are well blended and balanced, that “bloom” in the mouth. “The difference between high and low amplitude is the difference between my son and a great pianist playing ‘Ode to Joy’ on the piano,” Chambers says. “They are playing the same notes, but they blend better with the great pianist.” Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookies are considered to have high amplitude. So are Hellman’s mayonnaise and Sara Lee poundcake. When something is high in amplitude, all its constituent elements converge into a single gestalt. You can’t isolate the elements of an iconic, high-amplitude flavor like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. But you can with one of those private-label colas that you get in the supermarket. “The thing about Coke and Pepsi is that they are absolutely gorgeous,” Judy Heylmun, a vice-president of Sensory Spectrum, Inc., in Chatham, New Jersey, says. “They have beautiful notes—all flavors are in balance. It’s very hard to do that well. Usually, when you taste a store cola it’s”— and here she made a series of pik! pik! pik! sounds—”all the notes are kind of spiky, and usually the citrus is the first thing to spike out. And then the cinnamon. Citrus and brown spice notes are top notes and very volatile, as opposed to vanilla, which is very dark and deep. A really cheap store brand will have a big, fat cinnamon note sitting on top of everything.”

Some of the cheaper ketchups are the same way. Ketchup aficionados say that there’s a disquieting unevenness to the tomato notes in Del Monte ketchup: Tomatoes vary, in acidity and sweetness and the ratio of solids to liquid, according to the seed variety used, the time of year they are harvested, the soil in which they are grown, and the weather during the growing season. Unless all those variables are tightly controlled, one batch of ketchup can end up too watery and another can be too strong. Or try one of the numerous private-label brands that make up the bottom of the ketchup market and pay attention to the spice mix; you may well find yourself conscious of the clove note or overwhelmed by a hit of garlic. Generic colas and ketchups have what Moskowitz calls a hook—a sensory attribute that you can single out, and ultimately tire of.“

Der SenfSKANDAL wäre mir völlig entgangen, wenn nicht Jon Stewart (wer sonst) sich in der Daily Show damit beschäftigt hätte – in einem wunderbaren Segment namens „Where’s The Chief?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Where’s the Chief?
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor