Masters of Social Gastronomy: The Flavor Battles
Public Assembly (70 N. 6th St., Brooklyn)
March’s Masters of Social Gastronomy is going to be the most epic yet, as we take on the history and science of imitation ingredients. There’ll even be a sample-heavy showdown between artifical and natural flavorings. As always, MSG is 150% free; the RSVP’s help us make sure we have enough samples on hand.
As for the lectures, Sarah will explore the history of artificial food, starting with medieval feasts obsessed with disgusting foods like “meat pitchers.” After a trip to the 19th century to explore the earliest artificial flavorings, we’ll visit the “Poison Squad,” a team of early 20th-century chemists who tested the safety of food additives by ingesting them in large quantities.
Soma will open up the science behind artificial flavorings, tracking the back-room work of flavor chemists. Find out what notebook paper has in common with vanilla ice cream, and uncover the secrets of Juicy Fruit gum. We’ll bring it all back home by examining the NYC’s very own maple-syrup-scent mystery, and Soma’s attempts to recreate it in his kitchen.
Then, during the Storytime interlude, natural and artificial flavors will square off. Sarah and Soma will state the case for two sets of flavorings, and the audience will do a blind taste test to decide which ones reign supreme.