What food has absolutely no taste

How does temperature affect taste?

A classic: you sit relaxed in the restaurant, order a glass of white wine without great expectations and wonder why the glass is served frost-covered.

A first sip makes it clear: not great but drinkable.

A few minutes later, the misery reveals itself: the wine increases by a few degrees Celsius and turns out to be a nasty sourling.

At the latest then it becomes clear:

Temperature has one crucial Influence on the perception of taste.


  • Flavors change depending on the temperature
  • Temperature affects the Flavor intensity


  • An apple tastes completely different from a baked apple at room temperature
  • Fresh celery smells and tastes different than cooked celery
  • A Bloody Mary draws much of its character from the cool serving temperature. If you were to heat the tomato juice, the drink would be far too intense.
  • The other way around: if you serve a classic tomato soup cold as gazpacho, in case of doubt it will taste too laff (see Vilgis, 2007, p. 45)

The facts

As for many topics in the context of the Sunday questions, the same applies here: the general level of knowledge is astonishingly thin. Many questions are open, everything is in flux.

It seems to be somewhat certain: food tastes most intense between 20 and 35 degrees. The taste intensity decreases below 20 degrees and above 30 or 35 degrees. It is unclear whether the upper limit is 30 or 35 degrees and how the taste intensity develops at higher temperatures (cf. Shakuntala, N. Manay, O., 2001, p. 108; http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle / wordofmouth / 2013 / sep / 17 / serving-temperature-affects-taste-food). To make things a little more complicated, one would have to correctly differentiate between the Flavor intensity and the Length of taste, with wine a bit inglorious finish called.

A relatively new finding is that the different flavors behave differently depending on the temperature:

Schematic representation of the temperature dependence of some basic taste qualities (Vilgis, T., 2015, p. 38)

Bitteris perceived more intensely in cold environments than in warm ones. However, bitter tastes less long in cold environments.

In my personal, scientifically completely unsupported experience, "bitter" continues to increase in intensity even at even lower temperatures, especially around and below freezing point.

I can remember an absolutely disgusting homemade grapefruit sorbet.

What happened?

On the one hand, bitter limonin was formed in fresh grapefruit juice through contact with air, which is found in many citrus fruits and develops a noticeable bitter tone when exposed to oxygen. On the other hand, the low temperature of the sorbet had increased the bitter taste

Angryis perceived more intensely and longer in warm surroundings around 20 degrees. Above and below the perception is less intense.

On the subject Sweet different information can be found in the literature: one study suggests that there is no difference in taste intensity with “sweet”. However, with cold foods it takes longer until the maximum taste intensity is reached (see http://www.springer.com/about+springer/media/springer+select?SGWID=1-11001-6-1378530-0).

The very current curve by Prof. Thomas Vilgis, on the other hand, indicates that the taste intensity increases with increasing temperature. From my personal experience, I understand this connection: while supermarket ice cream often tastes tolerably sweet when very cold, the sweetness usually becomes significantly more unpleasant as the temperature rises.

And what does that mean in concrete terms: ...

  • Food served cold should be seasoned more than warm.
  • If possible, give very cold food a temperature boost before serving. A good example of this is ice cream: when ice cream comes straight from a household freezer, it is minus 18 degrees and tastes more or less like nothing. So it makes sense to take homemade ice cream out of the freezer half an hour before serving and give it the opportunity to add a few degrees at room temperature.
  • It is an interesting approach to serve the same food at different temperatures in the context of a plate, e.g. a mango both as ice and at room temperature. Exciting aromatic deviations result from the temperature difference.

Related Links

The Guardian: Hot or not? How serving temperature affects the way food tastes

Current study at Springer Online

All Sunday questions at a glance

Subscribe now to cookin` - new posts by email

[wysija_form id = “3 ″]

Applause is the artist's bread!

Do you like this blog? Then give him something back and give him a like, share or or or ...