Foods that get their taste from bacteria
It's hard to imagine that some of the most common and delicious foods get their taste from tiny germs. Try not to think about that while you're eating! Anyway, creating flavor from fermenting is a centuries old practice. It developed from the necessity to preserve meats, fruits, and vegetables for later use. Thankfully, the bi-products produce a variety of temptations for our palate. These savory flavors engage our taste buds in a delightful journey. It's also one way to make food taste good without adding salt at the table.
Artisanal food microbiology is trending among people looking to explore new flavors by introducing microorganisms into their cooking and brewing. Even if you've been cooking for a long time, it might be worthwhile to try a cooking class. You can learn how these little critters digest or breakdown ordinary ingredients and generate smells, textures, and pizzazz. It's what gives many of our favorite food unique characteristics. By the way, microbes aid in digesting so you can use vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to their fullest extent.
Here's a list of food that get their tangy taste from different microorganisms created through science:
- Cheese and yogurt - It would be impossible to make cheese and yogurt without bacteria. Once introduced into the milk, it converts the sugar lactose into lactic acid. As the cheese is aged or ripened over time, it develops a special aroma, taste, and texture. It's responsible for the holes in Swiss cheese, rind on brie, and pungent smells and flavors of all stinky cheeses. It makes the yogurt sour and creamy. Yogurt also serves as an excellent source of probiotics for your digestive health for a happy life.
- Cured Meats - Salami, pepperoni, sausage, corned beef, and ham get their flavor and color from Lactobacillales.
- Bread - Bread needs yeast to rise, however, sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a mildly sour taste due to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.
- Pickles and Olives - Cucumbers and olives are fermented using lactic acid. That's how pickles get their mouth puckering sour taste. I'll bet you didn't know olives are almost inedible without fermentation!
- Sauerkraut and Kimchi - Sauerkraut is a crunchy and delightfully sour fermented finely cut cabbage. Kimchi is a fermented blend of cabbage, chili peppers, garlic, scallions, and spices.
- Coffee and Chocolate - Cacao seeds and coffee beans are fermented, dried, and roasted to produce their taste. The raw fruit is left in the sun allowing the natural lactic acid to work its magic.
- Beer and Wine - Yeast devours the wort and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide - otherwise known as foam. Similarly, yeast is added to grapes during the fermentation process.
- Kombucha - A Chinese fermented tea with a fizzy taste. Kombucha is known for its energy boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kefir - A fermented milk product gaining popularity as a probiotic. It is also popular with those who are lactose intolerant.
Everyone is looking for good probiotics. Scientists believe consuming fermented foods help bolster the population of the good flora in the gut. This refers to the microbiome that lives in your tummy and helps maintain your immune system and digestion. Basically, you have your own microbrewery inside working to produce the perfect meal to satisfy your nutritional needs. Meanwhile, chefs and brewers in the real world are creating culinary masterpieces to delight your senses and fulfill your cravings.
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