If you're like most people, you enjoy putting food in your mouth, chewing it, and swallowing it. But you may not derive as much pleasure from that pursuit as you could. This post will change that with seven hot tips.
1. Put cheese at the BOTTOM of your cheeseburger, not on top of the patty.
Whenever you put food in your mouth, the flavors in closest proximity to your tongue will be accentuated. I call this the Proximity Effect. If the cheese is on the bottom, that means it's closer to your tongue and this accentuates the cheesy goodness. The Proximity Effect applies across a wide range of bites. For instance, when you fork a bite of salad, stab your favorite piece last so it ends up on the tip of the fork and goes straight on to your tongue.
2. It's not a scoop, it's a dome.
Tortilla chip scoops are a nice attempt at innovation but they break too easily under the pressure of a decent dip, and eating them right side up leads to cutting the roof of your mouth (a condition I've identified as Cap'n Crunch's Complaint). When I once hosted a structural engineer on my podcast, The Sporkful, to talk about about tortilla chips, he explained that one of the strongest shapes in engineering is a dome. That's when it hit me and the true potential of scoops revealed itself: A scoop is an upside-down dome!
A dome shape is stronger than a scoop, so you can dip with reckless abandon.
You can run a dome chip through cream cheese.
3. Build a "Porklift" to keep your pancakes from getting soggy.
Pancakes are mostly a syrup delivery system, but too much syrup leads to soggification. This is an especially big concern with the pancake at the bottom of the stack, which is often left to sit in pooling syrup for too long. If you build a porklift, you've now elevated the stack above plate level, so the bottom pancake won't sit in syrup. Meanwhile, your bacon is being infused with maple-based deliciousness.
To do it, order a side or two of bacon and build a lattice structure; place the pancake stack on top of the bacon lattice.
Behold the cross section!
4. Plate your grilled cheese vertically to keep it crispy.
Part of the magic of a grilled cheese is the crisp of the buttery bread. But when you put a hot grilled cheese on a plate, the bottom turns soggy almost immediately — because to crisp and crunch, condensation is Kryptonite. Anytime a hot, crispy food is taken from where it was cooked and placed into an enclosed space, the steam it releases will condense, turn into water, and attack the food's toothsome exterior.
Why would you destroy the buttery crisp you just worked so hard to create? With Vertical Sandwich Plating, you don't have to. Stand your sandwich halves up to encourage airflow and prevent condensation. Now that glorious crisp will live on — all the way to your mouth.
NOT LIKE THIS.
5. Use an espresso cup to create a sidecar for dipping. It’s like your coffee’s little buddy!
Dunking doughnuts and cookies in coffee and milk may enhance the foods, but it ruins the drinks. (There's a reason why coffee shops don't offer you doughnut crumbs in your coffee along with cream and sugar.)
6. In the event of blandness, your carry on can be used as a saucetation device.
Because a plane's cabin is so dry, your taste buds are 30% less sensitive in flight. Combat this blandness by traveling with an In-Flight Saucetation Device. (Mojitos help too.) Buy those 3-ounce plastic bottles meant for shampoo and conditioner and fill them with soy sauce, Sriracha, honey, olive oil, and whatever else floats your boat.
7. Slice a bagel horizontally in thirds instead of halves.
There's a crisis in bagels right now people. Bagels are getting bigger, losing crustiness, and puffing up to the point that their trademark holes are closing. (Everyone from former Congressman Anthony Weiner to On the Media's Brooke Gladstone is upset about it.) One of the problems this creates is that it throws off proper ratios between bagel and spread. (Scooping is not the answer — it completely removes the dense bagel interior!)
Prepare the bagel top and bottom as you like and use the middle third as a bagel chip.
Proper ratios never tasted so good. Happy eating!
Dan Pashman is the author of the new book, Eat More Better: How To Make Every Bite More Delicious. He is also the creator and host of of The Sporkful food podcast and hosts a Cooking Channel web series called You're Eating It Wrong.