Wednesday, August 20, 2008

got milk?

sweet. salty. bitter. sour. savory (umami). what's missing?

calcium, evidently.

a couple quick, random notes about this.

one. why is it always such a big deal to re-inform people that mice, rats and the like share such similar biological makeups, as though the rodents are somehow more exalted than other vermin, or as though we humans are simply nothing special? funny.

two. i'm not sold on the whole "human animal's evolutionary makeup innately senses the need for calcium and thus seeks out food rich in calcium" worldview. for one, it's too darwinian for me. second, i've read the omnivore's dilemma and, heck, i can eat anything i want (even though pollan's descriptors of why we can eat anything we want are, well, a touch darwinian for me.)

third. while there seems to be a lot of scientific-like writing here to buttress these claims, in the end--well, so far, at least--they are still largely unfounded claims in much the same way as, say, phrenology was way back when.

this is not necessarily a coffee-related post other than to say i consider myself to be at least an average cupper but don't recall having ever attributed anything on the cupping table to "calcium." mineral, maybe. creamy perhaps. but milky?

one day mayhaps we'll all be hunting for calcium in our micro lots. but poor umami. no sooner does it don the mantle of lingual legitimacy than it has to give up the spotlight to a bunch of milk drinking rats. no justice in this world, i tell ya.

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At Tuesday, 09 September, 2008, Blogger Jason Haeger said...


"In this particular espresso blend, you should expect to taste dried fruit, a subtle berry note, with a nutty finish and a lingering hint of calcium."

Another category on the cupping form, maybe. "Calcium: For this category, rate the intensity of the calcium you taste in the liquor. A higher score denotes a higher intensity."

Or maybe as a new flavoring syrup.

Starbucks: "Try out new Calcium Kumquat Latte! The refreshment of fruit with the perceived nutrition of bone mineral! Limited time only!"

I can't wait to see how my stainless steel cupping spoon affects the calcium flavors. Or how water hardness can suppress yet another flavor component we never knew was missing.

What a revelation.

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