There's Now A Cookbook For People Who Lost Their Taste Due To COVID

On March 29, Taste & Flavour by Ryan Riley and Kimberley Duke, founders of Life Kitchen, will be available for a free download (via Life Kitchen). The premise of the book, and the reason for its online download being free, is that it contains recipes for people who have lost their taste due to contracting COVID-19. Additionally, as Riley announced on Twitter, the first 5,000 physical copies have already been paid for by Sunderland City Council, though they would still come with a £3 postal charge for shipments within the UK mainland (via Twitter). 

"Things like garlic and onions and eggs, for many people with long COVID are really repulsive to them so we've had to look at how we can really rejig what food is to create a delicious recipe," Riley explained in an interview with CTV News (via Fine Dining Lovers). Fortunately, Riley and Duke had been readied for such a project due to his work with Life Kitchen, a non-profit cookery school for people who have lost their sense of taste due to cancer or treatments for cancer.

Without our nose, no one knows flavors

Providing recipes for people who have altered taste due to COVID-19 presented its own distinct difficulties. On the product page for the book, Riley and Duke write how many with COVID-19 experienced states of parosmia, in which one's sense of smell alters, anosmia, in which they lose it, or phantosmia, in which they smell things that are not there, when faced with particular foods (via Life Kitchen).

In a piece published on March 22 in The Atlantic, Sarah Zhang reports that the latest theory why the coronavirus can affect your sense of smell and taste is that it infects the support cells that replenish your smell-receptor neurons. In many cases, the recovery from this loss of taste and smell can mean getting mixed messages from certain smells. For example, Zhang reported that one woman experienced the smell of fruity hand soap as the smell of a Burger King Whopper. These disruptions affect the way food tastes because, as Brain Facts explains, taste and smell sensations combine to deliver us the flavor of food. When a cold affects the flavor of food, it is because you are only experiencing the taste of the food while your smell is hampered. 

In short, then, Taste & Flavour will be an incredibly helpful source for those experiencing shifts in smells and taste after COVID-19 and inspire them with meals tailored to their needs.