This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Thanksgiving is, of course, really all about the side dishes. And alongside mashed potatoes and yams, Brussels sprouts are a common side on many Thanksgiving tables. Not that they're equally appreciated. But science is here to save turkey day, with a way to mitigate the sprouts' intense, slightly bitter flavor. And here's the secret: take swigs of red wine as you eat 'em.
Like any human research study, or perhaps more importantly for one in which you'll be forcing people to eat Brussels sprouts, the project started off with approval from an ethics committee. Researchers then served 28 volunteers slices of microwaved Brussels sprouts, and asked them to rate the intensity or bitterness of their flavor on a scale of 1 to 10. They then alternated their bites with red wine, gravy, and bottled water. And rated the flavor again.
Turns out, the subjects scored the sprouts as significantly less intense after a sip of wine: 3.5 out of 10, compared to 5.5. Maybe, the scientists write, because the astringency of wine interferes with saliva's ability to deliver bitter flavor molecules to the tastebuds. Their results are in the Journal of Texture Studies...which is a real publication.
Unfortunately for the kids at the table, gravy and water did not do the taste trick. But for adults who choose to use this Thanksgiving hack—please imbibe responsibly. Though it's hard to imagine you'll be eating that many Brussels sprouts.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
感恩节，自然离不开各种配菜 。与土豆泥和山药泥一样，球芽甘蓝也是感恩节餐桌上常见的配菜 。不过，人们对这些配菜的喜爱程度并不一样 。但科学拯救了火鸡日（即感恩节），因为有一种方法可以减轻球芽甘蓝强烈且略带苦味的口感 。秘诀在于：在吃球芽甘蓝时大口喝红酒 。
与任何人类研究性学习一样，或者也许对强迫人们食用球芽甘蓝的研究来说更重要，这一项目在得到伦理委员会的批准后才启动 。研究人员让28名志愿者吃下几片经微波炉加热的球芽甘蓝，然后让他们在1到10的范围内为球芽甘蓝味道的强度或苦味进行打分 。之后，志愿者轮流用红酒、肉汁和水搭配球芽甘蓝食用 。然后再次进行打分 。
结果发现，研究对象在喝了一小口红酒后，对球芽甘蓝味道强烈程度的评分大幅下降，由10分制的5.5分下降到3.5分 。科学家写道：这可能是因为红酒的涩味干扰了唾液向味蕾传递苦味分子的能力 。他们的研究结果发表在《质构研究》期刊上，这是一份真正的出版物 。
对孩子们来说不幸的是，肉汁和水不能让球芽甘蓝变得好吃 。但对选择使用这个感恩节技巧的成年人来说，请承担起吃球芽甘蓝的责任 。尽管很难想象你们会吃下那么多球芽甘蓝 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔 。
1. force sb. to do sth. 强迫；强制；
She forced herself to be polite to them.
2. start off 使开始；
The discussion started off mildly enough.
3. alternate with （使）交替；（使）轮流；
Alternate cubes of meat with slices of red pepper.
4. interfere with 妨碍；冲突；抵触；
She never allows her personal feelings to interfere with her work.