Sweet and Salty’s Love Affair

My father always said that there are two ways to live. You can live to eat or you can eat to live. Food is an important part of our family traditions so we all tend to lean on the “live to eat” side, as do many others. I have tasted many different flavors, combinations, and textures and have learned that, if prepared well, anything can be good. Despite the variety of tastes available to us, there are two flavors that are craved the most among humans: salty and sweet.

There is such a strong attraction between these two flavors that often drive our love of food. I have these cravings as much as the next person, and over the years I have finalized two intriguing observations of this phenomenon:

1) Balance of Flavor

Sweet and Salty go so well together. I am not a big cook myself but I have baked cookies and brownies and cakes and not once have a come across a recipe that didn’t include the option of adding a pinch of salt. Then you have the example of trail mix with M&Ms, peanut butter and jelly, salted caramel, chocolate covered pretzels; the list could go on and on. In asking myself why this could be, I came across one scientific explanation that makes sense. Salt could very well encourage the reaction that our taste buds have to sweet flavors. The reaction that occurs in our mouths when we eat something salty and when we eat something sweet have overlapping factors that boost each other up. This similarity makes the flavors “pop” even more. It could also be that humanity on its own simply discovered the best partnership in the world.

Originally published at www.butastebuds.com.

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