A lot of us spend in inordinate amount of time thinking about food, planning food, cooking food, talking about food, eating food, and, finally, reminiscing about food.
How often do I (we) remember how to really taste food?
And how much of that tasting is more than just rolling it around on the tongue?
Taste involves all the senses.
It also involves our expectations of how something should taste.
When I was at University, I had a friend who had a friend who worked for a Coca Cola bottling plant.
He used to be able to get ‘surprise pop’ really cheaply…. which, of course was of great benefit to us poor college students.
At this particular bottling plant they also produced a local brand of soda pop in various flavors… none of them being cola. They made orange, grape, root beer, lemon-lime and grapefruit.
Surprise pop was when the wrong beverage was put into whatever can. One could open a can of orange and get root beer; a can of lemon-lime and get coke.
Sometimes we would know that an entire case of grapefruit was really root beer.
Other times we had no clue.
It was not uncommon for a group of us to decide to have a rum & coke on an evening and end up with a rum & root beer…. or a rum & grape.
When one knew in advance that, what was in the can had no relationship, except by chance, to what was on the can, it was easy to figure out what one was drinking.
We tasted it – and paid attention.
There was a girl in our dorm with a very sophisticated, sensitive, discerning palate.
She could, so she claimed, tell the difference between Pepsi (which she refused to drink) R.C. (which she refused to drink) and Coke (which she drank by the gallon).
Not only could she easily identify the colas, she could do so with a mere thimble-full of beverage to taste.
I gave her a can of lemon-lime….. which I knew for certain contained her favorite: Coke.
She opened it.
She took a drink.
She spit it out.
She cursed and cried out that she’d been poisoned.
Whatever was in the can had the most foul taste….. absolutely, unbelievably horrible.
I grabbed the can, tasted it, and declared it Coke.
After pouring it in a glass to prove that there were no rotting body parts in the can, and passing it around to the rest of the gang, it was agreed that it was Coke.
Thus reassured, she finished it.
We taste with all of our senses – and the brain.
By all senses…. This was good!
Thin slices let the flavors meld together easily. The breadcrumbs
between the layers soak up all the goodness from the tomatoes and the
zucchini…. All topped with a golden, cheesy crust. This serves 4.
Courgette (Zucchini) and Tomato Gratin
1 medium zucchini, 9″ long (22cm)
2 garden fresh tomatoes
2 tbs fresh chives, snipped
2 tbs fresh basil, snipped
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
2 tbs olive oil
Thinly slice zucchini, about 1/8th inch (.65cm). Slice tomatoes as thinly as you can, but at least as thin as zucchini. Snip herbs.
Put 1 tbs olive oil in 8 or 9 inch (20 – 25cm) square glass baking dish and swirl around to coat bottom. Layer half of the zucchini, then half of the tomatoes, half of the herbs, half of the crumbs and half of the cheese. Repeat layers once. Drizzle remaining 1 tbs oil over top. Cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Serve from baking dish.
week of August 27 we have Grilled Swordfish with Olive Relish, Mushrooms stuffed with Bacon and Tomato, Chicken Breasts with Ginger Barbecue Sauce, Pork, Chard and Mushroom Quiche…..
Thyme for Cooking
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And you thought I didn’t have any more zucchini recipes……