The Dorito Effect : The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor
By Mark Schatzker
Simon and Shuster, 2015. 259 pgs. Nonfiction
Have you ever noticed that your tomato doesn’t really taste like a tomato? Or that eating a pear-flavored Jelly Belly gives you more pear flavor than eating an actual pear? Welcome to the weird world of food science, where flavors are synthetic and we’ve traded real taste (and nutrition) for yield. At the same time, we’ve gotten really good at making junk food taste better and better. This book illuminates the unforeseen consequences (obesity, compulsive overeating, etc.) we all experience when junk food has more flavor than actual food.
This book was an eye-opening explanation of the food desert most of us live in today, and how we got here over the last 75 years. All of this crazy tinkering with food and flavor has, of course, wreaked havoc on our bodies and brains. This book was a fun, quick read that helped me understand much better my own attitudes about food, and how I can find fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats that actually taste like they’re supposed to: delicious, complex, and satisfying (no salad dressing required).