2. Life, food & molecules

If we exclude water, the greatest part of our food and drink is of organic origin and is derived from plants or animals, which themselves are more than half made up of water while in living form. Water is, therefore, the most important single substance for life and its sustenance. Organic material from plants and animals is classified into four different categories: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. The first three categories supply the most vital molecular components in our food, also sushi.

The sensory experiences that come with eating and drink­ing are a wonderful combination of seeing, tasting, and smelling, as well as feeling the texture, consistency, and temperature of food when we put it in our mouth. There are five types of taste. In addition to sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, there is a fifth taste, called umami, which is centrally important in Japanese cuisine, not least of all to sushi. Umami is especially associated with the taste of shellfish, smoked fish, and seaweed.

  • Mouritsen, Ole G.: Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body & the Soul
    Springer; New York
    1st English ed., 2009, 360pp, 429 illus., 397 in color., Hardcover
    ISBN: 978-1-4419-0617-5

    At the over-matured sushi
    the Master
    is full of regret

    - Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)