There’s something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for a while now. It’s a little controversial — a spicy take, you could say. Or perhaps instead I should call it a “chewy take”. Because it’s time we were all honest with ourselves: the best texture of food is chewy.
Please take a moment before you start sending me hate mail on Instagram and really consider this noble, bold proposition. Your first response may be revulsion nay, even fear. And that’s okay!
But fundamentally, this take is correct and my dear reader I will take the time to explain exactly why.
1. Chewy food makes you work for it
Eating is a multi-sensory experience. The smells, the flavours, hornily locking eyes with your dining partner over the top of a simmering candle. But one of the most important senses is, of course, texture.
For what is a succulent, tasty meal without a little bit of challenge?
Soup is delicious. But with no chewy piece of freshly buttered, crusty bread, it is half the dining experience it could be.
Yes, chewiness is sometimes inconvenient. Sometimes you just want to dive into a delicious meal without so much as a flutter of your molars.
Having to take the time to chew means you properly appreciate the flavours of food. You bask in the subtle spices, the fragrant herbs and the delicate aromas.
I hate to say it, but chewing forces you to be mindful. It’s also satisfying. It makes my teeth feel so powerful. In this hyper-digital online world, I simply crave experiences that bring me back to the feeling of primal humanity. Maybe chewing on a delicious Werther’s caramel puts me in touch with my caveman ancestors who gnawed on the hide of a dinosaur or whatever.
2. Chewy works well with all food flavours
I have posited before that chewy is the ideal food texture for sweet snacks while crunchy is ideal for savoury.
But upon further consideration, I have to amend this take. While crunchy is an excellent texture for savoury foods, chewy is equally as good.
Let us think about a perfectly-cooked steak, or maybe a beautiful artichoke if you’re veggie-inclined. The tender chewiness of those foods is superior. Imagine a crunchy steak? It would lack all the necessary je ne sais quoi.
The best food combines both flavour and texture, and chewy is the most satisfying texture of them all.
3. Chewy balances out the other food textures
Soft food would be nothing if chewy food wasn’t there to balance it out. Yes, I said it.
Mashed potato without a gorgeously chewy honey glazed carrot is nothing. The crunch of chocolate chip is only as powerful as the chewiness of the cookie surrounding it.
Ice cream? It’s fine, but with a chewy, gelatinous chocolate brownie it’s godlike.
Science says chewy is good. Surely you’ve heard the fabled lore that we’re supposed to chew our food 32 times before swallowing.
Chewing means you get more of the nutrients out of your food because it’s broken down into little itty bitty pieces for your body to absorb.
Of course, you should be chewing all of your food — except maybe yoghurt, you freaks.
But chewy food gives us the most room to work with. If you have to chew your food 32 times, you’re going to want to start with a properly chewy first bite.
There you have it: chewy is the supreme texture. I will not be taking feedback.