To Dip or Not to Dip?

McVities Plain Chocolate Digestives - go ahead and dunk! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
McVities Plain Chocolate Digestives – go ahead and dunk! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Just as I’m sure you might be able to draw conclusions about a person’s personality based on how they eat an Oreo, so too might you be able to analyze them by their preferences when it comes to dipping, dunking (or whatever term you prefer) things in tea, coffee, milk or whatever.

I’ll say right at the outset that I am not a dipper. I’m not saying that in my entire existence I’ve never dipped or dunked or whatever, but at this time in my life I am most definitely not a dipper. I can’t even imagine dunking cookies, biscuits or what have you in my tea, but I’m sure there must be people who do it. So I will repeat my standard refrain – we all like what we like.

If you ever find yourself wondering about the science of this sort of thing, then British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has just the thing for you. As a recent report noted, on his TV show, Heston’s Fantastical Food, “with the help of a high-tech gadget inserted up the nose, he found that a chocolate-covered biscuit dipped into hot black tea did indeed have more flavor than an undunked one.”

While a high-tech gadget up the nose sounds a little bit daunting, there’s apparently some sort of real science behind all of this. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have come up with a gadget called MS-Nose, which “which measures the amount of flavor released in your mouth as aromas.” Now, that’s progress. They got together with Blumenthal to figure it all out and apparently there was some actual scientific evidence to back this claim.

None of which is really a triumph of science, if you ask me, a devoted fan of black tea. I don’t mean to be indelicate about all of this, but for my money black tea could probably improve the flavor of an old shoe – or just about anything else, for that matter. Not that I’m going to start dunking anytime soon. I’m just saying.

If the science of dunking isn’t enough for you then be sure not to miss my previous article on the “sport” of dunking stuff in tea.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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