One of my favorite TV shows of all time is “Malcolm in the Middle.” Shot on film, no audience, no laugh track, fantastic writing and cast, and had us laughing to the point of weeping and gasping on a weekly basis.
If you remember the show, you’ll remember Reese (portrayed by Justin Berfield), the second-oldest brother. He was a ne’er-do-well and schoolyard bully who never missed an opportunity to torture his younger brothers Malcolm and Dewey, and was for the most part thick as a plank. Between the two of them, the brainpower seesaw tipped entirely to Malcolm, not leaving Reese with very much — his nefarious schemes had a way of blowing up in his face, as the picture indicates. As the show progressed, though, we saw that Reese had some unexpected gifts and talents — for one, as we learned during the latter part of the show’s run, he was a very skilled and accomplished cook.
In one episode — I can’t remember which one — he was cooking a lavish meal, and another character criticized the fat content. Reese turned around and authoritatively said,
“Fat is the medium by which flavor travels. Fat is what makes food taste good. This is why a wise and loving God gave us fat in the first place.”
We gaped, and kept rewinding the DVR so that we could write it down. We quote this line frequently, and practically had it carved into a stone monument. Reese, who knew you were such a genius?! (Well, whichever writer put the words in his mouth, of course.)
Genius, that is, except for one recent development … as of this week he’s not quite right. Turns out that fat isn’t just the medium by which flavor travels … it’s an essential taste all on its own.
Aussie researchers have discovered that fat is the sixth human taste, along with sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Now … I don’t ever want to see another fat-free processed product ever again!