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“It’s hard to talk about flavor…” —René Redzepi and David Zilber

It’s hard to talk about flavor. Tasting something is such a direct neural jolt; words will always seem clumsy and vague. ‘Spicy’ does not begin to express the riot of electrical fires sparking through your skull after you eat a Thai chile. ‘Sour’ hardly touches the way a fresh lemon grips your whole consciousness and squeezes until it weeps.

So we turn to metaphor. Elderflower kombucha is a bottled Scandinavian summer: mild, light, yellow, easy. Coconut water is a Caribbean afternoon. Chianti, as any sommelier will tell you, is the blood of a mortally wounded Vespa. … Coca-Cola is all the gallons of lighter fluid harvested from discarded Bics in the aftermath of a Bruce Springsteen concert.

—René Redzepi and David Zilber in The Noma Guide to Fermentation (Artisan 2018)

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