We often use the term “pivot point” when we are talking about balancing flavors on the plate. We believe that taste buds will naturally get fatigued if we don’t add something that acts as a pivot point. The purpose is to get the taste buds to start over, or begin again enjoying what they are eating. The more variety of flavors, textures, and temperatures the longer the taste buds can resist fatigue.
Obviously it is an adult need. We pretty much grow past the age when we needed every thing to be separate and not touching on the plate. When we have many flavors as we eat around the plate, we naturally engage the taste buds longer.
Think about the chocolate and coffee tasters in the world. They tell us that after 3-4 tastes of the same thing, they experience tongue fatigue, and each has their own way to jog the taste buds back the detecting the nuances of what they are tasting.
For us the same thing happens when eating a casserole. At about the 3rd or 4th bite of lasagna, we are no longer distinguishing the flavors present; while our brain is still happy, our taste buds are done. Unless, we add a “pivot point.” Sometimes it is a glass of wine. Sometimes an herb or small green salad. Sometimes we have more than one on a plate. In any event, we believe every plate needs at least one so we keep our taste buds engaged till the end of the meal.
You may have heard Bob call this his “anti-casserole” effect. He doesn’t mean to dis the casserole, he simply wants to keep the taste buds happy.