I used to hate pasta but my partner, Janet (another chemist), loves it and now we make our own pasta and I have discovered a totally new taste experience. Pasta rolling machines are really cheap to buy and it is so easy – and so much fun – to make. Then we dry it – and even I can eat pasta now. It is so different from supermarket stuff.
The thing about drying food is that living things need water to live and grow, so spoilage organisms can’t grow on dry food very well. When you cook pasta, you rehydrate it. One of the rules of thumb is that a chemical reaction doubles for every 10C increase in temperature so boiling pasta for 20 minutes (assuming room temp of 20C and the boiling point of water to be 100C) increases the rate of hydration by 256 times (as well as warming it up) which relates pretty well to the day or so it takes to dry out.
Our tongue has different tastes in different places of the tongue – the tip tastes sweet things, while the sides taste salty things. The middle tastes sour things and the very back tastes things that are bitter. When we heat food they have more taste than cold things – because they start to change state and give off vapours that we also smell (smell and taste are strongly linked). When you heat the pasts it tastes better and satisfies our hunger better 🙂