Bitter foods are perceived as unpleasant by many. In fact, bitterness is the least acceptable taste to humans; hence, bitterness like the other basic taste, sour, is considered as a part of the aversive taste family. According to several experts, the aversion to bitter taste is a biological defense mechanism and strong bitterness is meant to be a warning against poisonous foods. The taste buds situated at the back of the tongue are most sensitive to bitterness. However, humans have accustomed themselves to mild bitterness and several bitter recipes like beer, coffee, zest of lemon, chocolate, and fenugreek salad are widely consumed by many all around the world.
History of Bitter Recipes
According to gourmet scientists, though, the mechanism of detecting bitter taste and disliking bitter foods was developed to prevent poisonous and/or toxic foods from being consumed, humans taught themselves to like mild bitterness in foods. Several bitter foods, like zucchini, bitter gourd, and fenugreek have been consumed for several centuries. Beer is thought to be one of the first bitter recipes to have been developed by humans.
Popular Bitter Recipes
Bitter recipes can be found across numerous cuisines and food types. Some popular bitter foods with global acceptance include :
• Drinks and beverages like coffee, tea and beer
• Desserts like chocolate and lemon zest meringue
• Vegetables like bitter gourd, fenugreek, zucchini, and celery.
• Condiments like lemon preserve
Health Implications of Bitter Recipes and Foods
Bitter foods like fenugreek seeds, neem leaves, and bitter gourd are believed to have several medicinal values, which help control blood sugar levels, reduce weight, and maintain gut health. Also, mildly bitter recipes like chocolate and coffee are known to contain several anti oxidants that help prevent cancer, retard cell aging, and reduce cellular inflammation. Hopps, the bitter flower that gives beer its characteristic bitterness is a rich source of flavonoids.
Bitter Food: Trivia
Synthetic bitter tasting chemicals are added to poisonous chemicals like denatured alcohol, insecticides, and antifreeze, to prevent accidental poisoning.