When Only a Coke and a Kebab Will Do

junk food cravings, sushi, kebab, cigarettes

I try to eat as healthy as possible, buying my family whole wheat products instead of white. I also like to bake pita breads (see my recipe), cookies, and make dinner from scratch as much as I am able. As much as I like healthy choices like quinoa and cranberry juice, sometimes there is nothing like some street meat: a greasy kebab and a Coke to satisfy those hunger pangs. And according to a new research project published in Current Biology, there are some natural reasons why certain unhealthy food pairs go well together. It’s the reason why cheese and wine go good together, as well as pastrami and pickles, burgers and soft drinks.

And it all has something to do with astringents which make food pairing more enjoyable, the researchers say.  “They cancel each other out, so to speak,” study researcher Paul Breslin, a sensory biologist from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, told The New York Times.

In his study, some 21 people rated more than 80 taste combinations. From this, the scientists determined that astringents and greasy food seem to balance each other out well.  Astringents, like wine or cola, will leave the mouth feeling dry and rough, while the fattier foods leave the mouth feeling unpleasantly slippery.

Grease and water for instance wasn’t as enjoyable as a carbonated drink with the same greasy meal.

While I am not promoting that you change the way you eat, it is worth considering why we need to satisfy for those fatty and possibly unhealthy food combinations.

Image of mouth eating from Shutterstock

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