Tasty is a fascinating and deeply researched investigation into the mysteries of flavor—from the first bite taken by our ancestors to scientific advances in taste and the current "foodie" revolution.
Taste has long been considered the most basic of the five senses because its principal mission is a simple one: to discern food from everything else. Taste is a whole-body experience, and breakthroughs in genetics and microbiology are casting light not just on the experience of french fries and foie gras but the mysterious interplay of body and brain.
Tasty explains the scientific research taking place on multiple fronts: how genes shape our tastes, how the mind assembles flavors from the five senses and signals from the body's metabolic systems, why something disgusts one person and delights another, and what today's obsessions with extreme tastes tell us about the brain.
Brilliantly synthesizing science, ancient myth, philosophy, and literature, Tasty offers a delicious smorgasbord of where taste originated and where it's going—and why it changes by the day.
"Narrator Tom Perkins brings a perfect balance of authority and familiarity to the work, making listeners feel as if they are hearing their favorite uncle do a terrific job of explaining a potentially dry topic." ---Library Journal Audio Review
"Navigating the dynamic text with credible accents and well-timed inflections, Perkins brings out the elusive and surprising qualities of taste and how they relate to the range of human emotion." ---AudioFile
"McQuaid's lucid explanations of neuroscientific research on dopamine lay the groundwork for a keen analysis of industrial food production and flavor manipulation while addressing the health issues of the modern diet." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"[John's] narrative draws from chemistry, psychology, genetics, evolutionary biology, geopolitics, human exploration, cultural history, and the art and science of food preparation.' ---Library Journal
"Those willing to embark on the strange and wonderful history will find that Tasty offers a full meal." ---Booklist
"[Perkins] capable at conveying transitions and emphasis, and he shifts comfortably from complicated scientific language to literary references to anecdotes." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review
"McQuaid is an enthusiastic writer undisturbed by dead ends, and he provides an entertaining exploration of 'the mystery at the heart of flavor,' which 'has never truly been cracked.'" ---Kirkus
"In Tasty, John McQuaid masterfully presents the science of this heretofore neglected sense from a historical and adaptive perspective." ---David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain
"John McQuaid, in teaching us about taste, engagingly shows how our food can be more pleasing and our lives more healthful." ---Paul Jaminet, author of Perfect Health