By Diane Fresquez
Food meets technological know-how, through Proust.
Diane Fresquez lives in Belgium, and for a few years was once a different correspondent for the Wall highway Journal.
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Extra info for A Taste of Molecules: In Search of the Secrets of Flavor
This first batch of mead was pleasant, but not perfect. “For me, it tasted a little too watery,” said Xavier. “It wasn’t complex enough. ” He thought adding fruit might answer the problem. He gave the impression that he was still a ways off from his ideal mead, but that he was happy to have reached this stage. Along with improving the flavor, Xavier was urging Sonia to reduce the sulfites so his mead would be as natural as possible. Xavier had just bought part of his parents’ land in the Belgian countryside on which he planned to build a meadery.
This helps them become skilled in accurately — 48 — scoring both the types and intensity of the flavors in their beer, in order to make sure these flavors didn’t drift over time. I sniffed all the little pots, including three containing the aromas of different essential oils of hops. One was citrusy, one smelled like cloves, and one smelled grassy. In another book I had brought with me, Brewing, by Ian Hornsey, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, I had read that the hop is related to the stinging nettle, bog myrtle, and hemp.
The production of beer is traditionally a man’s domain, with a few exceptions, one of them being An De Ryck, owner of the Brouwerij De Ryck, a small, independent, award-winning family brewery located west of Brussels in the Flemish, or Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Early one — 37 — Saturday morning, I took a train to the De Ryck Brewery, which was begun in 1886 by Gustaaf De Ryck, An’s greatgrandfather, on a former farm in the town of Herzele. The brewery has been in operation continuously (except for a brief period during World War I), passed down to Gustaaf ’s granddaughters, and now to An, who, in turn, has a daughter in her twenties involved in the commercial side of the business.