Ketchup and Audio Systems

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Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby zenaudio » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:41 am

I came across the book "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite authors (his other books include The Tipping Point). "What the Dog Saw" is a "best of" collection of articles he wrote for the New Yorker.

One of the articles I found interesting in this book is about Ketchup. He asks, 'why are there many versions of mustard but only one ketchup?'

His answer is quite interesting, and if you want to read the whole article (The Ketchup Conundrum) it is here: http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_09_06_a_ketchup.html. It goes to great lengths to discuss taste science and consumer preference testing.

Since I have read the article, let me go straight to this part:

After breaking the ketchup down into its component parts, the testers assessed the critical dimension of "amplitude," the word sensory experts use to describe flavors that are well blended and balanced, that "bloom" in the mouth. "The difference between high and low amplitude is the difference between my son and a great pianist playing 'Ode to Joy' on the piano," Chambers says. "They are playing the same notes, but they blend better with the great pianist." Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookies are considered to have high amplitude. So are Hellman's mayonnaise and Sara Lee poundcake. When something is high in amplitude, all its constituent elements converge into a single gestalt. You can't isolate the elements of an iconic, high-amplitude flavor like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. But you can with one of those private-label colas that you get in the supermarket. "The thing about Coke and Pepsi is that they are absolutely gorgeous," Judy Heylmun, a vice-president of Sensory Spectrum, Inc., in Chatham, New Jersey, says. "They have beautiful notes—all flavors are in balance. It's very hard to do that well. Usually, when you taste a store cola it's"— and here she made a series of pik! pik! pik! sounds—"all the notes are kind of spiky, and usually the citrus is the first thing to spike out. And then the cinnamon. Citrus and brown spice notes are top notes and very volatile, as opposed to vanilla, which is very dark and deep. A really cheap store brand will have a big, fat cinnamon note sitting on top of everything."
...
Try one of the numerous private-label brands that make up the bottom of the ketchup market and pay attention to the spice mix; you may well find yourself conscious of the clove note or overwhelmed by a hit of garlic. Generic colas and ketchups have what Moskowitz calls a hook—a sensory attribute that you can single out, and ultimately tire of.

Interesting that "amplitude" was explained using a musical analogy.

Makes me think -- is the search for the ultimate audio system a search for amplitude? One where "all constituent elements converge into a single gestalt", where "all flavors are in balance", where no "notes are kind of spiky", with no "cinnamon note sitting on top of everything" or "a sensory attribute that you can single out, and ultimately tire of"?

Is this what we mean by S.Y.N.E.R.G.I.E.S?
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Re: Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby ojof00l » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:53 am

tomato o banana? i assume tomato ketchup kasi yan ang meron sa amerika. heinz o delmonte? 8)
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Re: Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby joe3rp » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:58 am

I like my Burger and Fries w/ Tomato Ketchup (Heinz or Delmonte).

I like my MAX's fried Chicken w/ Banana Ketchup (Papa, Mafran or Jufran).

I like my Kentucky fried Chicken w/ Tomato Ketchup.

I like my fried Pork Chop w/ Banana Ketchup.
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Re: Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby docsialu » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:30 am

tomato ketchup and raddish cake ;)
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Re: Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby rtsyrtsy » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:23 am

joe3rp wrote:I like my Burger and Fries w/ Tomato Ketchup (Heinz or Delmonte).

I like my MAX's fried Chicken w/ Banana Ketchup (Papa, Mafran or Jufran).

I like my Kentucky fried Chicken w/ Tomato Ketchup.

I like my fried Pork Chop w/ Banana Ketchup.


Agree to all points except KFC. That to me is best with gravy!
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Re: Ketchup and Audio Systems

Postby ojof00l » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:39 am

rtsyrtsy wrote:
joe3rp wrote:I like my Burger and Fries w/ Tomato Ketchup (Heinz or Delmonte).

I like my MAX's fried Chicken w/ Banana Ketchup (Papa, Mafran or Jufran).

I like my Kentucky fried Chicken w/ Tomato Ketchup.

I like my fried Pork Chop w/ Banana Ketchup.


Agree to all points except KFC. That to me is best with gravy!



yup, kfc aint fingerlickin'good without its gravy...good ole max's with jufran/mafran.

borjer with heinz/delmonte.
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