If we are wine buffs we just know that the flavour matters. If we are not wine buffs we may think the wine lovers rather overemphasize the whole idea! Does flavour matter as much where other foods are concerned? We are all familiar with carrots that have a strong flavour. We may taste them during preparation and notice the strong flavour and hope it goes away with cooking. It doesn’t. Even if you add a little sugar it does not mask that strong flavour. Gourmet chefs on TV programs are bringing flavour to the fore. They are discussing all the factors that go into providing just the right combination of flavours to make a truly special meal in ways our grandparents took for granted or never thought of. Gourmet chefs mention the variety, the day they like the food to be harvested, the place they had it grown, the speed with which it got to their kitchen, and the way they prepared it. Flavour does matter where enjoyment of a food is concerned. But where flavour is even more important is in those who are food sensitive. People who are food sensitive react to most additives and to natural chemicals such as salicylate, amines and natural monosodium glutamate [MSG]. What has this go to do with flavour? Foods high in these natural chemicals are high in flavour, some nice, some strongly disliked. The latest researchers into salicylates report that as salicylate increases so do bitter flavours. This means that those who react to salicylates need to think about themselves as food lovers who fuss over the place their carrots are grown and how mild the flavour is. I have been buying carrots one at a time and tasting them. In January most carrots grown in Qld do have a strong flavour whereas those grown in South Australia or Tasmania have a flavour that adds to the enjoyment of the meal rather than spoiling it. This also means they will not cause the reactions that salicylate causes. Food sensitive people can become food lovers not just to enjoy food but to minimise reactions. I am told that new season carrots will be available in Queensland in March so hope the flavour of this year’s carrot vintage is good!