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Name that Flavour

By Belinda

I love cooking  food and eating it. This pleasure is one of God's great gifts.

I am grateful for the way he designed the tongue, with multiple taste buds:  amazing flavour receptors, all over, poised to identify salty sweet, sour, bitter and umami flavours. How cool that every morsel on it's way into the body has to pass over the tongue and that the trip can be so delicious!

But lately I've been noticing something disconcerting in processed foods. I don't tend to eat many of them but I do have things like protein bars and instant oatmeal in the cupboard, to keep body and soul together on rushed days. It's interesting that they have flavour titles that are recognizable, but put on a blindfold and it would be hard to tell what they are supposed to be.

Yesterday, instead of making a delicious pot of creamy Scott's Porage Oats or Cream of Wheat, I grabbed a package of instant oatmeal and although I often use the microwave, this time I boiled water in the kettle to "reconstitute" the contents. As the hot water hit the so called "oats," a flavour smell arose from the bowl that was unidentifiable. I had to look at the box to find out that it was "High Fibre Cinnamon and Spice." I wouldn't have guessed! And the last time I checked, Cinnamon was a spice.

My protein bars come in three flavours: Double chocolate; peanut butter and chocolate; and chocolate toffee. For one thing, is it not possible to make a protein bar without the word "chocolate" in it? And secondly, take my word for it that without looking at the wrapper, I would not know what I was eating. I eat them as "filler"--so that I feel like I've eaten and won't feel like wolfing down a dozen candy bars before the next meal, but it is hardly a pleasurable experience!

I don't expect this misleading naming of products to change. As long as companies are trying to sell us things they will do so with an image in words and pictures that aims to create an expectation. Being honest and saying, "Pick any bar--don't worry they all taste like cardboard" would hardly accomplish their goal now, would it? :)

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