What’s the Difference Which Beverage Is Paired With an Entree?

Learning how to pair up wines with food selections may only seem like it should be important to chefs and sommeliers, in other words, people who get paid to know this stuff.  However, there is a really practical reason to understanding why pairings of certain beverages with certain foods is important for our bodies.

In a study published in Current Biology, researchers looked at the practice of pairing acidic drinks like wine or tea with rich, fatty meats. They conducted a trial using 21 participants, 70 percent of whom were female with an average age of 25. The participants were first asked to rinse their mouths with either tea or water and rate how their mouth felt in terms of acidity, bitterness, and fattiness/slipperiness.

Then they chewed and swallowed pieces of salami for 30 seconds and rated the feeling of acidity, bitterness, and fattiness/slipperiness in their mouths. The next step was to drink five cups of either tea or water that were given to them 30 seconds apart and then they were again asked to rate the three sensations. This sequence of alternating between eating salami and rinsing the mouth was repeated six times.

What the researchers discovered was that although wine and tea are only mildly acidic, repeatedly drinking them increases their ability to cleanse the palate of that slippery feeling that coats it when we eat fatty foods. They accomplish this by breaking down the lubricating proteins in saliva that created that “coated” sensation, and this allows us to continue to eat.

Another important conclusion that came from this experiment was that this pairing of acidic with fatty helps to maintain a sense of balance within our mouth. Paul A.S. Breslin, the senior author of the study, was quoted in an ABC News article as saying that, “This natural tendency for seeking balance in our mouths might have benefits for maintaining a diversity of foods in our diet.”

 

 

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~ by chasm63 on October 8, 2012.

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