There’s a Scientific Explanation for Our Love of Indian Food

The reason why we love the spicy aromas and flavors of Indian food could have to do with the cuisine’s disparate ingredients
Staff Writer
There’s a Scientific Explanation for Our Love of Indian Food

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Are you crazy for curry? We might know why.

You know that tantalizing mixture of spicy aromas of coconut and curry that makes Indian food hard to resist? There may be a scientific explanation for the explosion in the popularity of Indian food.

Recent flavor analysis studies from the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur discovered that the reason Indian food is so appealing is because, unlike most cuisine in the western world, Indian food pairs dissonant flavors — that is, flavors that have opposite chemical components.

Researchers analyzed the chemical components of thousands of Indian dishes, and the conclusion is that, according to the Washington Post, Indian food tastes so delicious because of the way the flavors “rub against each other” in unexpected ways. This effect is called “negative food pairings.” Sure, we expect garlic and onions or lime and chile to go well together. But in Indian food, you’ll see strong flavors with unique chemical components — like coriander, coconut, curry, and cayenne — together in one dish.

According to Technology Review, this scientific revelation could pave the way for future food trends in the Western world, and new opposing flavor combinations could arise. 

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