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The Science behind Bud and Burgers

07-10-2015

Legendary chef David Chang has always been a fan of the bud and burger combo.

 

“Both burgers and beer are experiencing a renaissance of sorts.” said David Chang, who is well-known for elevating classic dishes, and for his love of lagers. “I love that there’s nothing pretentious about the combination – it just works. A full-flavored lager brings out the taste of a savory burger.” – Anheuser-Busch

 

 

Chang is 100 percent correct that a full-flavored lager can bring out the taste of a savory burger. Alcohol, and beer specifically, work in magical, chemical ways to heighten the foodie experience. Through evaporation, molecular bonding  and penetration the beer is able to maximize the flavor potential of dishes, especially meat options like the classic American burger.

 

Aroma plays a key part in taste. Alcohol is a volatile chemical and it is this volatility effect that makes the aroma of beer so pungent. When used in food, the alcoholic molecules bond with water and fat molecules before they evaporate and, in doing so, helps to convey the smell of an especially juicy burger to our nose, making our mouths water and resulting in an enhanced flavor experience.

 

The same molecular bonding is key for bridging flavor gaps. Fat and water molecules that bond to alcohol molecules are able to not only enhance the aroma of the food but assist in creating more flavor by bridging those gaps.

 

Bonding with fat soluble molecules also creates the perfect situation for these flavor components to be carried into the meat for optimum seasoning. Additionally, alcohol is able to penetrate meat much better than other liquid marinade options, further increasing the opportunity for maximum flavor.

 

For a stellar bud braised burger, check out this recipe that incorporates onions into the mix for a savory bud and burger experience.

 

 

Sources

Cooking with Alcohol The Kitchn.

Alcohol's Role in Cooking. Fine Cooking. 

 

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