Sensory qualities and culinary utility of produce : a path towards sustainable gastronomy

Abstract: The underlying assumption throughout this thesis is that the continuity of a cultivated diversity can be strengthened by investigating its sensory qualities and specifying particular culinary utilities of landraces and cultivars. How can a foodstuff’s sensory qualities and culinary utility be explored, tested, and refined together with the food industry and the public meal? This thesis aims to create a path toward sustainable gastronomy with greater sensory variation that originate from a cultivated diversity. The thesis bridges sensory science, culinary arts, and food design, using sensory descriptive methods with consumers as well as trained sensory panelists, consumer tests with different target groups, and a recipe-development process joined up with culinary arts and agriculture. The thesis is based on four papers. Paper One shows that cultivated diversity generates a range of flavors and textures to advance in food and cooking. Paper Two investigates the interacting influence of cultivar, place of cultivation, and year of harvest on the sensory quality of peas. In Paper Three, a recipe development process is modelled and applied to gray peas, showing how appealing plant-based products can be developed. Finally, Paper Four suggests that unique/novel and natural are promising terms to use for plant-based food products, both of which could be strengthened by elements of artisanal but not vegetarian associations. A cyclic investigation and the inclusive continual improvement of a foodstuff’s sensory qualities and culinary utility with purpose and target is proposed and applied in the culinary funnel model (Paper Three), and culinary action as a tool for multi-sectoral cooperation in Paper Four. Since sensory variation is necessary for gastronomic potential, it would be useful to perceive cultivated diversity as a fundamental quality in any cuisine. Who knows which species and cultivars might be favored in the light of climate change, unsustainable resource consumption, and a growing food demand?

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.