Combining food textures: Rice, roast pork, gravy and ……..
Pick up a recipe book, browse through a food blog or listen to a chef do his or her thing and you’d be guaranteed to be generously peppered with two words – taste and flavour. The flavour of ice-cream; the flavour of doro wat; the taste of chocolate; the taste of cheese are all common phrases you hear. If you are lucky the words “smell” or “aroma” might also get mentioned. I can almost guarantee you that the word “texture” will not be heard.
When was the last time you heard anyone comment about the “chewiness” of a slice of meat? The sensory focus may always be hogged by “flavour” and “taste” rendering and relegating “texture” into that same category you put that interfering mother in-law.
In fact “texture” to us, and I mean virtually all of us, is held in much higher esteem. The thing is we don’t find it terribly fashionable to talk about it. I mean, who will want to “eat” say, rice water porridge for breakfast, oats for lunch and then spice it up with Ghana’s Tom Brown porridge for dinner? All three meals will provide you with the nutrients you need, won’t they? So why will such a daily combination of meals seem strange? The answer is simple. There is not much chewing eating any of them! We have an insatiable need to chew as human beings. From the day we start teething as toddlers gnawing and chewing becomes such a major part of us. That is where “texture” comes in. We are more into texture without even knowing or giving it much thought.
The other interesting thing is that we do not often prepare dishes made up of solely one texture. Plain rice by itself does not float my boat and I doubt it does yours. This then brings me to the crux of this post – the special place we have in our hearts for a combination of food textures.
Apparently the top three food textures are crispy, creamy and chewy. Our special dish today has all three in abundance. The creaminess of the Ghana salad, the chewy and crispy (skin) of the roast pork. The texture of that red spicy gravy on the tongue will also set off fireworks in your brain. Combine all and you have yourself a rather fashionable combo of textures. If your appetite has been sufficiently stimulated then click on the dishes that make up this fine mush up below: