Whenever after a hard and long day of work (read, standing in the long queue) you take the first bite of your burger, you know it’s your soulmate. And this happens with a lot of burgers which means there are multiple extraordinary burgers out there. Some even perfect maybe, right? Wrong. Apparently.
A learned gentleman claims to have created the perfect burger in honour of National Burger Day in the UK (27th August 2015). He states that more than the taste of the meat it’s size and smell matter. Well Joey would’ve agreed. What with half the taste being in the smell!
Charles Michel, a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant and a visiting researcher at Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, has revealed five key elements to the ideal burger.
5 Elements of Eating
The smell accounts for 30 per cent of the ‘sensory formula’ for the perfect hamburger – with the aroma hitting our nostrils to form a ‘dominant component of the flavour’.
The size and feel or the warm bun counts for 25 per cent of the ‘taste experience’, with the ‘texture and juiciness’ of the meat and ‘softness of the bun and crispness of the salad’ crucial to how much we enjoy it.
Taste gets just 15 per cent of the credit, with the tastebuds ‘stimulating our sweet, salty, sour and bitter receptors’.
The sound of the burger sizzling and the crunch of the lettuce contribute 15 per cent towards the ‘experience’.
The sight of the burger – the first look at the meaty treat – contributes the remaining 15 per cent of the ‘burger experience’. Neurogastronomist Mr Michel created the perfect burger for Asda, saying it should be 7cm tall with nine layers.
7 Centimeters of Multisensory Perfection
In the perfect burger, there were ‘crucial ingredients’ including a warmed seeded burger bun, sauce, one lettuce leaf, one pickle slice and a 1cm slice of tomato.
*drool ducts opening*
You also need two slices of dried Serrana ham, deep fried onion slices, two slices of Camembert, a 1cm Wagyu beef batty, ketchup, and two splashes of soy sauce on the bottom burger bun.
*drool pool accumulated*
Size Does Matter After All!
The width of the burger is ‘more important’ than the height, but the burger itself should be 5cm tall and the bun 2cm.
“To taste all the different layers at once and with every single bite, the burger should be ‘mouth-sized’, which is 5cm on average,” the chef continued.
“The extra 2cm corresponds to the fluffy bread that can be squeezed with both hands to enter the mouth.
“It is therefore better to extend the burger width rather than height so you can fit and taste all the different layers in your mouth for the perfectly balanced burger.”
Feeding the Five Senses
According to Michel, “Taste is just one element, the perfectly balanced burger is actually a multisensory experience.”
Mr Michels also said that we ‘eat with our nose and ears’ as well as out mouth and tastebuds, stating that the ‘atmospheric and crunching sounds can enhance the overall enjoyment of a burger’.
He recommends to ‘never’ serve a burger on a plate, instead saying it should be wrapped up in paper and eaten with your hands to ‘stimulate the senses’. So much sensory stimulation! Are we still talking about a burger?
Mr Michels said, “The feeling of food in the hand can change the perception of what we taste in our mouth.
“Eating a burger served in food wrapping allows you to sense the warmth of the bun as it maintains moisture and heat, whilst holding the structure together for mouth sized bites.
“Hearing the crisp sound of the paper can also enhance the sonic experience of the burger.”
Here’s What’s In a Name
He also said giving a burger a name could affect how it tastes, adding that a descriptive name can change what people perceive about the food.