The science behind the perfect CRISP SANDWICH: Scientists review the tasting notes for various combinations – and claim Chicken Tikka and Ready Salted Crisps are the best pairing
- Scientists reviewed the flavour compounds in sandwiches and crisps, in a study commissioned by Subway and Walkers
- They say sweet, sour and umami flavours in Chicken Tikka match salty crisps
- Steak sandwich and Prawn Cocktail crisps was also flagged as a good combo
With the soft fillings perfectly complimenting the crunchy potatoes, crisp sandwiches are a delicious treat enjoyed by children and adults across the UK.
Now, scientists have revealed what they claim is the ultimate combination – Chicken Tikka and Ready Salted Crisps.
A researcher from the University of Chester reviewed the flavour compounds in popular sandwiches and crisps, in a study commissioned by Subway and Walkers.
His findings suggest that the sweet, sour and umami flavours in a Chicken Tikka sandwich are perfectly enhanced by the salty seasoning in Ready Salted crisps.
Researchers from the University of Chester reviewed the flavour compounds in popular sandwiches and crisps, in a study commissioned by Subway and Walkers
The ultimate crisp sandwiches
- Chicken Tikka + Ready Salted Crisps
- Tuna Mayonnaise + Prawn Cocktail Crisps
- Meatball + Ready Salted Crisps
- Chicken Salad + Cheese & Onion Crisps
- Cheese + Salt & Vinegar Crisps
- BLT + Salt & Vinegar Crisps
- Ham + Cheese & Onion Crisps
- Turkey + Cheese & Onion Crisps
- Salami + Ready Salted Crisps
- Steak + Prawn Cocktail Crisps
Dr Stuart Farrimond, who led the study, said: ‘Sandwiches are a much-loved lunchtime staple, but flavour-pairing theory and consumer testing has allowed us to explore news ways that we can elevate this familiar meal and boost both texture and flavour.’
In the study, the team assessed 10 pairings of Walkers crisps with Subway sandwiches.
Their analysis focused on three key features of the pairings – flavour, aroma and texture.
‘Subway and Walkers briefed me to analyse the flavour compounds in iconic sandwiches and crisp flavours in this study, allowing us to reveal the definitive list of the tastiest crisp sandwich flavour pairings and hopefully give Brits some more lunchtime inspiration,’ Dr Farrimond added.
While Chicken Tikka and Ready Salted Crisps came out on top, this combination was followed by Tuna Mayonnaise and Prawn Cocktail.
‘The prawn cocktail flavoured crisps carry the piquant taste of Marie Rose sauce, which complements and accentuates the fish flavours of the tuna mayo,’ the researchers explained.
Meatball and Ready Salted Crisps, Chicken Salad and Cheese & Onion Crisps and Cheese and Salt & Vinegar crisps – fairly standard pairings – were next on the list.
However, some rather unusual pairings were also flagged as good combinations by the researchers.
Turkey and Cheese & Onion Crisps was eighth in the list, with the ‘intensity of the cheese and onion crisps bringing a more complex flavour sensation to the sandwich.’
In the study, the team assessed 10 pairings of Walkers crisps with Subway sandwiches. Their analysis focused on three key features of the pairings – flavour, aroma and texture
Meanwhile, brave sandwich crisp fans may choose to opt for the very strange combination of a steak sandwich with Prawn Cocktail crisps.
‘The flavours in this pairing are the same as the classic “surf n’ turf”, with the prawn cocktail flavours bringing even more depth to the rich notes of the steak,’ the researchers explained.
In humans, three senses work together to allow us to experience flavour from our food – taste, smell and touch.
Taste buds are located on different sections of the tongue and inside the mouth.
Last year, Subway added Ready Salted crisps to their selection of toppings for their sandwiches, wraps or salads
These can detect five main types of taste – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami – with saliva required to mix with our food in order for the taste buds to detct taste.
While we chew and swallow foods, aromas are also released. These travel to the nasal passage, which sends messages to the brain about flavour.
Finally, the feeling of food in the mouth and on the tongue can also influence taste.
When food tastes ‘rough’ or ‘claggy’, it is often described as ‘tasting like cardboard’.
Problems with a sense of touch (e.g. a dry mouth) can sometimes be confused for a taste problem.
The best way to eat a Chocolate Digestive biscuit – according to science
With their crunchy biscuit base and luxurious chocolate topping, Chocolate Digestives have been favourites among biscuit lovers since they launched back in 1925.
But one question has been heavily debated about the biscuits – which way up should they be eaten?
Now, researchers from Oxford University believe they have settled the debate, and claim that you should pick up the biscuits with the chocolate side up, but flip them over before eating them.
The experts say this method allows the brain to register the chocolate coating, while flipping them before eating maximises the ‘oral-somatosensory experience’ of the chocolate melting on the tongue.
How to eat a chocolate digestive:
1. Remove the biscuit from the packet at room temperature
2. Bring it towards your mouth with the chocolate side facing up
3. As you go to take a bite, turn the biscuit over so the chocolate is facing down
4. Take a substantial bite with the chocolate directly hitting the tongue first
5. If you’re by yourself, eat initially with the mouth open to hear the crunching of the biscuit which makes the taste sensation more memorable
6. Chew slowly after the first few mouthfuls to maximise the full taste experience