In winter times, the soup is a delicacy of gods that warms us, settles the stomach and the mood and allows us to overcome the rest of the day, however cold it may be. It is one of the foods that have accompanied us the longest, since the origin of the broth goes back to the Paleolithic, although its invention, according to different sources, is due to the organic chemist Justus von Liebig in 1850. It is the star dish in many cultures, and even the German writer and doctor Heinrich Hoffman he dedicated a story known as'Gaspar's soup'in the children's book'Pedrito the greinous'.
A cold soup can move us from heaven to hell with just one tablespoon, but what is the proper temperature at which it should be served? This is undoubtedly a tricky matter, because although, as we said, a fresh soup can disgust the bravest, you can also see the stars if the broth is too hot And your tongue burns So what are we up to? Is there really a way to take the soup to the right grades?
Science says yes. Studies confirm what chefs have been suspecting for a long time: temperature affects the taste of food. For example, cheddar cheese tastes sour if it gets hot, and the ham looks more salty as it cools. The reasons for these taste differences are complex; sometimes they are caused by receptors in the tongue and sometimes by chemical changes in the food itself. Research shows that some foods are altered epigenetically when heated or cooled, which is why some cookbooks warn us not to refrigerate certain things, reports 'Mental_floss'.
This also happens with soup. Different temperatures can accentuate or lighten its flavor. In 2017, for example, researchers from our country published a study that was reflected in the 'International Journal of Food Properties', which was intended to prove that the incidence of flavor compounds, such as amino acids and nucleotides, in a traditionally cooked chicken broth. The samples were cooked for three to five hours, with temperatures between 86 ° C and 103 ° C. The team discovered at the end that the flavor compounds, including those associated with umami (Word that means tasty in Japanese and is considered one of the five basic flavors along with the sweet, sour, bitter and salty), increased with temperature. Flavor compounds also increased with longer cooking times, but the effect depended on temperature.
As the soup cools, its taste will change. It will seem less tasty, although more salty
What does this mean? Basically, the hotter the soup is, tastier may be. Although a distinction must also be made between the cooking temperature and what it should be when the broth is served. If you are going to burn your tongue it makes no sense to increase your 'umami' since you will not be able to taste it. And as the soup cools, its flavor will change. Another 2016 study published in the magazine 'Chemical Senses' He said that the flavors of umami will deteriorate as the broth cools below room temperature, although it will taste more salty.
It is not the first time that something like this is studied, because this same phenomenon is described in other research published in 'Appetite', where a group of people at random were asked to rate the salinity of different products: salt water, miso soup and chicken broth. Most said that when the soups were warmer, they had a more salty taste (although the study did not explain the reasons). And the temperature does not only affect how salty a product is, another 2012 study showed that the acidity was more intense when a solution was warm and the most noticeable bitterness when it was cold Other samples ensure that our perception of sweetness improves with cold food.
Foods at high temperatures also emit more aromas, an important factor that amplifies the intensity of flavor
There is also a reason why most people want to serve soup to a very warm temperature (but that does not cause pain). Our taste buds contain small heat sensitive proteins called TRPM5 channels, which are important for the perception of umami and work best when the food is hot. Foods at high temperatures also emit more aromas, an important factor that amplifies flavor intensity.
But back to the primal question: when is the ideal time to serve the soup? And the answer is quite ambiguous, because it really depends on whether you want the bowl to taste salty or boost the umami. Even so, the perfect temperature for lovers of this broth that comforts the stomach and heart would be, according to an analysis published in 'The Journal of Food Science ' It would range between 57ºC and 72ºC. Below the perception would be worse and you would not notice all the richness of flavor, and above you would have to blow too much to avoid risking damage to the tongue.