Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good” as Want to Read:
Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  337 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, maple-cured bacon sizzling hot from the pan, or a salted caramel coated in dark chocolate, you know when food tastes good to you. But you may not know the amazing story behind why you love some foods and can’t tolerate others.

Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, maple-cured bacon sizzling hot from
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Simon & Schuster
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Taste What You're Missing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Taste What You're Missing

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 25, 2012 Orsolya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, the-brain, food
Whether you are a foodie, someone interested in the biology/science of food consumption, posses an inclination regarding brain perceptions of taste, or are simply seeking a unique read; “Taste You’re Missing” by food developer/marketer Barb Stuckey will satisfy your cravings (pun intended).

“Taste” passionately dives into the science of taste. Stuckey clearly knows her thesis well and is excited to share it with the world. As early as the introduction, the reader is immersed in fun facts and scie
Book Him Danno
For starters I want to tell you all that I am a test tester for a large food manufacturer where I live. Panels I have participated in are; salsa, bacon(fresh and microwave, refrigerator and shelf stable), shredded pork, pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, and thank heaven I missed out on the chicken broth panel. This is a very part-time job, a few weeks each year is all. We do not decide if we like a product, we tell them how much of any item we can taste in the product, ie: salt, sugar, smoke, toma ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Jeannie rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-drink
The author writes with much personal narrative to present some very interesting science in the area of sensory and perceptual psychology of taste. For the purely science-minded, it can be distracting to read so much personal sharing, but I found her approach to be engaging and enjoyable; it definitely avoided the dry and overly clinical approach to science for the general public.

I appreciated her knowledgeable expertise and ability to discuss cross-modal influences in sensory information process
Nov 08, 2014 Zach rated it really liked it
I thought this was a fun guide to the interaction of taste (i.e. what your tongue detects - sweet, salty, sour) and flavor (a more complex sensation that includes your sense of smell and invokes shadowy terms such as "earthy"). It's a little complicated - the lady is a flavor scientist after all - but it hit me just right. As a bonus, there are experiments to "prove" the point of the previous chapter.

While I enjoyed the explanations of reading an fMRI and the structure of neurons in Neurogastron
Jul 30, 2012 Al rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, library-books
This book was a fascinating look into how both humans in general and individual personalities taste. I would have given it 5 stars, except the book's ending was somewhat anticlimactic. I think ending the book on a high note about taste increasing the enjoyment of food would have been a much more suitable ending than her speculations on how taste has affected obesity and how it can possibly stimulate weight loss. Overall, though, it was very well-researched, balanced and interesting.
Sep 01, 2012 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
For anyone interested in enjoying food, a thorough study of taste is in order. Stuckey does a fine job mixing research, personal experience (she IS a food taster, after all), and prescriptive advice to help the reader understand how he/she likes or dislikes whatever is put into the mouth.
Jan 12, 2013 Juli-Ann rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this informative yet intriguing book which contained my ideal dose of science - not too much, not too little. I am applying what I've learned and sharing it with others. It will enhance my cooking and eating!
Aug 06, 2012 Danielle rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Couldn't even get past the third chapter. While I find the subject matter interesting, I was actually quite bored. And I found the author incredibly self-absorbed and fascinated with herself...
Larry Benfield
Feb 02, 2013 Larry Benfield rated it it was ok
In reading this book, I more often felt as if I were sitting in a public health clinic or lecture hall rather than at a dinner table.
Dec 21, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012, nf-list
Definitely worth reading for the very interesting and useful information but not very well written.
Alex Magpie
Mar 21, 2014 Alex Magpie rated it liked it
So by and large, I really enjoyed this book. It is a long hard look at exactly how flavor works, and works in combinations, and I LOVE THIS. I recommend it if you are into food on an intellectual level as well as, idk, a carnal level. However, THERE ARE SOME FAULTS.

1) Stuckey is not a career writer and sometimes her attempts at accessibility degrade the scientific value of her book, or are just incredibly awkward.

Examples of ruining her science cred with generalizations or subjectivity:

Aug 13, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
I heard about this book when Barb Stuckey was interviewed on Science Friday on NPR. She expressed the same thing that she wrote in her introduction, which is that she went in search of a book detailing the information she was looking for, couldn't find it, and as a consequence researched and wrote it. It grabbed my attention right away. This book is an absolute must read if you have even a passing interest in food science. If you love Cooks Illustrated because it tells that it wants you to add a ...more
Jan 21, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
I was looking for an introduction to the topic of taste in humans in order to understand how we develop preferences and why people develop different food preferences.
The book fullfilled its mission. It's a very good introduction and overview of this scientific field. The author's style is entertaining but also precise.
At start, I was bothered by the fact that the author described the difference between her own tasting abilities and her husband's... I almost gave up thinking 'Oh no please, not t
Jan 05, 2014 Arvin rated it liked it
A mildly interesting books about the human perception of taste. Like many of my quirky reads, there is not riveting narrative tying each piece of trivia together... but I learned a lot of interesting things from this book. Like Arya from GOT I will tell you of three things I learned from this book.

I learned how just a tiny bit of something like a 1/4 tsp of sugar, salt, vinegar, or red pepper can noticeably change the overall flavor of the entire dish without the additive been noticeable itself
Mary (BookHounds)
Mar 28, 2012 Mary (BookHounds) rated it really liked it

Barb Stuckey is a professional food developer and has studied the science behind why certain foods taste better than others and how some foods can enhance or detract for their taste as well. I had a friend in grade school that used to drink orange juice promptly after brushing his teeth which made him vomit. He did this any time he wanted to stay home from school. Although this is an extreme example, Barb Stuckey explains exactly why orange juice tastes terrible after brushing
Rogue Reader
Sep 06, 2014 Rogue Reader rated it it was amazing
Superb treatment of the sense of taste - what the tongue can detect. Organized by two five pointed stars, the first to describe food's sensory experience: taste - feel- see - hear - smell. This section covers the range of tasters, from supertasters to non-tasters and reasonably argues that the range and variability of taste sensation is difficult to classify.

The majority of the work is given to the taste star: salt, bitter, umami, sweet, sour. Again, the individuality of taste characteristics a
Jun 02, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
It took me a while to get through this book and I'm not entirely sure why. It's chock full of really interesting information about the physiology and science behind how we taste our food. And not only how we TASTE our food, but how are other sense are involved when it comes to eating. We smell, look, hear, and touch our food just as much as we taste it. Barb Stuckey has a fun style of writing and sense of humor that makes this book a little less drier than what it could've been. Her background i ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing

Cross modal sensory influences on taste perception! Bacon! Where's the crunch in my cornflakes?? How does sound influence taste? How does texture influence taste - and, the kicker - how does sight influence taste?

The answer to all these, presented with style and humor through a set of personal anecdotes and popularized science is - quite a lot, definitely more than I'd imagined.

This excellent exploration of the nature of taste mixes a fair bit of popularized - but solid - science with personal
Kim Heimbuch
Nov 13, 2012 Kim Heimbuch rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! I love food and I often am finding myself asking why I love some foods and not others. This book is everything you will need to answer every question about food you ever had. If you never questioned why you liked one type of cheese better than another, this book will open up your mind and senses and have you thinking in no time.
The best part is Stuckey's actual experiments she puts into the book to reinforce it's not just a cover filled with mumbo-jumbo and that a lot of what we have been
Jul 18, 2015 Carina rated it it was amazing
Ever wondered why you taste something differently than your family? Or why you hate coffee? Or if there are more than 5 basic tastes?

Barb Stuckey takes the reader on an adventure of the mouth, wandering through the 5 tastes and wondering if there are more. Teaching you to concentrate on your food and savour it, instead of eating standing up over the kitchen sink. To slow down and feel the textures that bring pleasure instead of eating automatically in front of the tv, (then wondering, "where did
Feb 08, 2015 Bear rated it liked it
This book goes through the various senses and how the relate to taste and it is very interesting, yet something nagged at me. Usually I soon for books filled with tests and experiments related to food and I liked this book fine but it didn't leave a real mark on me that makes me want to rave about it. Maybe it was the writing style, maybe it was jealousy of the place she got eat and taste maybe I as a foodie was annoyed that she seemed to work at some giant mega-corp that created tastes for junk ...more
May 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
Eating, drinking and science - just a few of my favorite things and this book touches upon them all. Lots of really fascinating information about how we taste and how all the senses work together to provide a good or bad experience when eating. I'm still thinking about the physiology of the nerves that allow us to taste ... kinda cool stuff. Also cool are the "exercises" Stuckey provides with each chapter - always wondered what "tannic" meant, or what "umami" tastes like? You can learn it in you ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Will rated it really liked it
A great book for foodies, chefs, and well any body who eats.

The first 40 pages are a drawn out introduction. There's stuff here that will make sense later on. It's a tough opening... a little scientific... and a little boring... but hang in there.

I learned a lot about food in ways I didn't know... even though I cook a lot and thought I knew a decent amount.

There's a lot in here about the way we taste and the way we smell... there's some incredible insight into our senses that I've always wondere
I liked this book, and it was interesting to learn more about food. I think I would have gotten more out of it had I done the "taste what you're missing" excersizes and if I had read the book in more of a "bite-sized snack at a time" form, rather than trying to read through it all at once.

However, it was a slog to read through at times (although I couldn't tell you how/why), and I was happy to finish it up.

I would like to go back and try all the excersizes at some point to increase my palate aw
Charli Clark
Oct 02, 2013 Charli Clark rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! I have always considered myself a foodie, but was utterly shocked at how much I didn't know about what I was eating, smelling, tasting, and touching all at the same time. This book gives you practice tests to help you hone your senses as well as information on why you taste what you do. I love Sauvignon Blanc however, Ms. Stuckey happen to mention that one of the key odors in Sauv Blanc is cat urine and I was dismayed until I happen to be cleaning my cat's litter box and realize ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Jeroen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fijn boek over smaakgewaarwording. Je leert veel over de 5 basissmaken, aroma's, rechttrekken van de smaak van gerechten, leren proeven, gevorderde smaken in maaltijden en de biologische achtergrond van smaak.
Anderzijds vond ik het boek te lang gerekt. Als in: te veel informatie er proberen in stoppen, te veel anecdotes, te lange lijnen waardoor je interesse dreigt te verliezen. Op die wijze was het een ideaal bed-boek, omdat ik er een beetje moe van werd.

Maar hey! wel zeer interessant inhoudel
Ismael Mejia
An excellent idea for a book, writing about taste, the importance of taste and a bit of its inner scientific mechanisms, sadly I feel that the goal was partially missed. I think the main problem is not of the author, probably it is the editor the one to blame. The author tries to become familiar with the reader all the time, and in this effort she writes anecdotes that don't connect well, and ends up wasting at least a quarter of the pages of the book, this is a sad, because those pages could ha ...more
May 27, 2012 Shalaka rated it it was amazing
Fascinating! I never alcohol and sugar consumption were inversely correlated, or that we can smell through our mouths, or what natural flavors are. The author makes a science-y topic fun and easy to understand. Some other things you'll learn: why artificial sweeteners never taste as good as sugar, what life is like for someone who can't taste or smell, why you should put salt on grapefruit, and lots of fun science experiments.
Jun 06, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
I liked how this book tied all the 5 different tastes together and gave insight to how we experience food and what companies do to create a new food. I gave it 3 stars because the author tended to be long winded and 'beat a dead horse' on each topic as if the general person wouldn't understand without multiple examples for each chapter and then a few more examples just to make sure. I skipped through it just so I wouldn't get bored.
I'd give it 3.5 stars. I feel like I learned a lot from this book, but I also feel like a lot of what was included wasn't necessary. Most chapters are made up of short tales talking about a certain taste, or something of the sort. I felt like the book was a lot longer than it needed to be in order to make me understand how our taste works. BUT I did learn from it, and most stories were entertaining, so overall, it was worth the read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance: The Turbulent Life and Fine Times of the Man Who Changed the Way We Eat
  • The Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000-Year-Old Delicacy Inspired the World's Fiercest Food Fight
  • The Science of Cooking
  • Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition
  • Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States
  • An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies
  • Food Heroes: Sixteen Culinary Artisans Preserving Tradition
  • Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It
  • My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià's elBulli
  • Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure
  • Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms
  • Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters
  • Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China
  • ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover's Road Map to Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Getting Really Healthy
  • The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus
  • Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do about It
  • Japanese Farm Food

Share This Book