Last month, I provided some practical tips on tasting tomatoes. Now I’d like to delve a little deeper into the science of tomato flavor.
It’s summer and the first tomato harvests are showing up in farmers markets and backyard gardens around Los Angeles. If you’re trying to figure out what heirloom varietal you’re most likely to enjoy or looking to impress your friends with tomato tasting expertise, read on. Here’s some background on how taste works and what it means for tasting tomatoes.
Tasting Fact #1: You can only taste five flavors - salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami - everything else comes from your sense of smell.
What it means: Slice all tomatoes (even cherry tomatoes!) prior to tasting if you want to fully experience their flavor.