Why does fish cook so fast? What’s the “wasabi window”? And can you really make 20-year-old aged whiskey in six days? This episode, we’re looking at the role of time in food and flavor: what it does and how we’ve tried—and sometimes succeeded—to manipulate that. To explore these questions, we visit a whiskey time machine tucked away in a low-slung warehouse in downtown Los Angeles and meet its inventor, Bryan Davis. And we speak with Jenny Linford, a food writer and author of a new book, The Missing Ingredient, all about time and food. Listen in now—this one’s well worth your time!
Linford was lying awake in bed, worrying about work, when an epiphany caused her to sit bolt upright. “I thought, Time! But time is an ingredient!” she said. Cooking, ripeness, freshness, seasonality, and aging—so many aspects of food and flavor are intertwined with time that Linford quickly realized she had to write a book. This episode, we sit down with Linford to tell the story of how the invention of the espresso machine led to dramatically faster shots of coffee, why you should let chocolate melt in your mouth for a full minute to truly appreciate its flavors, and how butchers carefully let meat decay over a few weeks to create more savory steaks.