Perfect for foodie fans of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as well as Cork Dork and The Flavor Equation, this instant classic is both a sumptuous behind-the-scenes tour and a fun, appetizing, and informative how-to that covers everything from wine and cheese to ice cream and honey, tea, chocolate, and even water, from the science of taste and the rituals of creating a fine-tuned palate, to plucking flavor descriptions from the tip of your tongue, and learning how appreciating food can help you appreciate life.
You love to eat. But do you know how to taste?
On a delectable sensory romp through the science of flavor, award-winning professional taster Mandy Naglich, one of less than 100 Advanced Cicerones in the world, gives you a seat at the table in the elite world of master tasters – scientists, professional tasters, sommeliers, umami ushers and more – divulging the secrets behind their perfected palates so you, too, can become a super taster.
Whether it’s a meaningful meal or a favorite nostalgic road trip snack, we know what we like to eat. But even when it comes to the most vivid and memorable dishes it’s tough to say what exactly makes them so delicious. Now award-winning expert, certified food and beverage taster and lifestyle journalist Mandy Naglich reveals how to hone your tasting superpowers like a pro.
Take a seat beside highly-trained cheese analysts, world-class sommeliers, competitive whiskey tasters, internationally recognized chefs, and sensory scientists as experts divulge the secrets to discerning the notes in a range of ingredients, from a dab of honey to a spoonful of olive oil—and even a sip of mineral water.
Discover why a James Beard award-winner was visibly nervous before a blindfolded taste test on Top Chef Masters, and how coffee farmers base growing practices on the palate of one world-renowned authority. Learn why your taste buds respond to variables such as food temperature and background music. What the flavor distinction is between a pomme fruit and a stone fruit, how to judge the acidity of anything, from a cup of tea to a square of dark chocolate—and how understanding flavor can impact the way you understand the world.
A rich journey for the flavor-obsessed, this instant classic is both a practical guide and a sumptuous meditation on how to savor all things delicious—on the plate and in life.
Mandy Naglich is a food and beverage journalist, beer educator, Advanced Cicerone®, AROXA Certified Taster, Certified Cider Professional, National Homebrew Competition gold medalist, and has earned the certification of WSET Level 1 Spirits. She lives, writes, and brews in New York City with her husband, Wes and their dog, Chewy.
Praise for How to Taste
“Have you ever had that "aha!" moment when you take a bite of, say, pesto pasta, fragrant with basil, or a sip of flinty sauvignon blanc, and all of the flavors not only sing in your mouth but envelop your senses? That heightened awareness doesn't have to be an isolated incident. According to certified taster Mandy Naglich, who is also a drinks educator, advanced cicerone (the highest level of certification for beer), and author of How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life, you can taste food to its fullest extent, gaining more of an appreciation for what you eat with just a few simple steps.” —Martha Stewart Living
“With certifications in beer, wine, and cheese tasting, Naglich is (literally) an expert on identifying flavors and describing what she detects on her palate. Her recent release draws on this expertise, thorough research aided by her background as a journalist, and interviews with everyone from scientists to sommeliers to decode pretty much everything about taste. Naglich’s goal with How to Taste is to help you become a more active taster, someone who thinks about the way they savor anything on their tongue.” —Food & Wine
“An important volume, giving casual readers access to the tasting techniques and methodology that master tasters (like advanced cicerones) gain through years of training and experience. Naglich goes beyond the science of taste and smell and gives us a road map to understanding what exactly we are experiencing when we eat… Important for anybody who loves food.” —Vice
“Naglich isn’t shy about using big words from both biology and psychology to describe how this all works, but she’s also great at explaining these concepts in a way that’s clear, fun, and approachable. Naglich’s enthusiastic message isn’t that you should learn about the four different ways we chew our food—it’s that…well, why wouldn’t you want to?” —Apple Books
“Fun, conversational, and thought provoking.” —All About Beer
Mandy Naglich has written a book that explores how our senses interact with food and beverage, and how understanding our senses can help us better enjoy our favorite indulgences. How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life combines science and whimsy to teach us more about our sensory world and bring our favorite flavors to life.” —Bean to Barstool