Sometimes you find yourself craving some unusual things, but wanting extra salty chips or tons of chocolate is way different than having a hankering for burnt toast. If you’re craving food that’s been charred to a crisp, that might mean you’re current diet is deficient in carbon. Whenever you’re craving something unusual, you can take it as a hint that your body is missing something important. According to Natural Life, a burnt food craving means your body just needs a little carbon. So, if one day, you decide to turn your toaster to the highest setting or roast your marshmallow until it’s black, you’ll know why.
Instead of constantly burning your meals to take care of your carbon deficiency, you could just add some foods that are high in carbon into your diet, like fresh fruit. According to Shared, fresh fruit is a great source for carbon. The government’s own Dietary Guidelines find that only 12% of adults in the U.S. are meeting the daily recommendations of 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day (via Time), so you can definitely up your fruit game with a few more servings every day.
Burning your food creates the Maillard reaction
Other than a carbon deficiency, you might also be craving burnt food because of something called the Maillard reaction. They say cooking is a science, and it truly is. When you’re cooking, there are chemical reactions happening. When you push those reactions, that’s when the burning starts to happen. The Modernist Cuisine states that this Maillard reaction begins when your food starts to brown, because that’s when the amino acids and sugars have rearranged themselves to form circles that give off that brown look.
The Maillard reaction is not just noticeable by look, but by taste as well. When things have undergone the Maillard reaction, they have a savory and bitter flavor (via Epicurious). If you’ve ever eaten charred bits off a chicken wing, you know that flavor well. While some people enjoy a bit of char from time to time, there are people who really love charred food.
If you’re been craving it, you might just be Maillard reaction lover or need some extra carbon in your diet. Whatever it may be, just be mindful the next time you try to satisfy your burnt food cravings and decide to leave your popcorn in the microwave way longer than the recommended time. Burnt popcorn may be what you want, but is it worth getting evil stares from your co-workers all day who can’t stand the smell that lingers? The choice is up to you.
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