Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has dismissed the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” as being nothing but an ‘old wives tale’.
The infamous owner of the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, England said the suggestion that food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) is bad for you is ‘complete and utter nonsense’ .
Chinese Restaurant Syndrome is basically a syndrome that some people experience from eating food from a Chinese restaurant. Side effects and symptoms are headaches, skin flushing, numbness, burning the in mouth, fatigue, excessive sweating and chest pains.
The symptoms can last from a few hours till a few days, depending on the severity of the reaction in the individual.
Here are some facts on the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome:
- A food additive called monosodium glutamate (MSG) is often blamed for Chinese restaurant syndrome, but scientific evidence has not proven MSG to be the cause of the symptoms.
- MSG is a food additive that is used as a flavour enhancer to make foods taste better.
- MSG is similar to glutamate, a substance that is found naturally in almost all foods.
- Symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome usually begin within two hours after eating foods that contain MSG.
The three Michelin-starred chef was recently at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in England and had told an audience there that MSG is in fact perfectly safe. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the chef said,
‘The biggest old wives tail is that MSG is bad for you. That is complete and utter nonsense.
There is not one (scientific) paper to prove that. These beliefs come from the 1970s when some journalist wrote about it.
With salt there is a 50/50 argument but there is no argument with MSG,’ adding that glutamate is actually ‘a really important element of taste.’
Blumenthal went on to discuss his latest book called ‘Historic Heston’ where he talks about the culinary heritage of England and his tales about researching recipes.
He went on to say that he feels that flavour perception is ‘going to be huge’ in the next 5-10 years and that they are only right now, scratching the surface of it.
Source: Daily Mail