No matter how much time you spend in the kitchen preparing food, there are always some surprising, new facts you can learn. The spiciness of food we eat is objective, but you know that the feeling of spiciness is different for different people. This is due to the sensitivity of our receptors. They can sometimes even be tricked for a short period of time, like when you put your hand in water that is hot, but for a split second, it feels cold. Some vegetables can taste a bit earthy, but none probably taste as earthy as beetroots. This is due to the chemical geosmin, present in this vegetable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chemistry is not just the purview of those with labs and access to inorganic salts, metals, and chemicals. There is a lot of organic chemistry right inside your kitchen cupboards.
  • The receptors located in our nervous system are made up of protein and embedded in cell membranes. Interestingly, they can occasionally be fooled.
  • For example, the burning sensation that occurs when consuming chili peppers occurs due to your brain’s certainty that your mouth is now heated up, although the temperature has not changed.

“Here are some surprising facts about the food you eat: why some things taste hot and cold without changing temperature, the chemistry behind cheese connoisseurship, and why a squeeze of lemon could make beetroot – and some fish – more palatable.”

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