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Class Recap

Artificial vs. Natural: When Flavors Collide (An MSG Recap!)

Tuesday night was Masters of Social Gastronomy: The Flavor Battles. Vanilla extract and Ceylon cinnamon squared off against artificial vanilla and ersatz cinnamon (née cassia) in snickerdoodle form: but which cookie took the cake?

First, a bit of history.



Vanilla is an orchid and, in the tradition of orchids, is quite tempermental. It refused to grow anywhere but its native Mexican soil thanks to the presence of a specific...

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Blog Post

Strawberry Secrets: Artificial vs. Natural Flavor Smackdown

If you haven't read Fast Food Nation, I'll go ahead and recommend it. You probably know what it's about, so I won't waste your time explaining!

In doing some research for the artificial vs. natural flavoring Masters of Social Gastronomy, I came across a pretty fun excerpt about what makes fast food so tasty:

A typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a Burger King strawberry milk shake, contains the following ingredients:...

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Blog Post

Coming up at the Brainery: March 26-March 30

We have lots of free/not-free-yet-awesome things coming your way this week! 

First, on Tuesday, come on up to Public Assembly for our the next installment of our Masters of Social Gastronomy lectures. They're free monthly talks on all things food history and science, presented by Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour and our very own Jonathan Soma

This month, we're taking on imitation ingredients, and, best of all, there'll be a...

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Masters of Social Gastronomy: The Flavor Battles

Our next MSG lecture is on Tuesday, March 27, and it's going to be the most epic yet, as we take on the history and science of imitation ingredients. There'll even be a sample-heavy showdown where you get to definitively decide if there's any difference between artifical and natural flavorings. RSVP now!

As for the lectures, Sarah will explore the history of artificial food, starting with medieval feasts obsessed with disgusting...

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