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While looking up what makes Pumpernickel so brown (long, slow baking causing a Maillard reaction), I ended up stumbling upon the Society for Flavor Chemists. They have regular symposia through the year, and the schedule for the latest one was available on their webpage. Possibly because it was a 50th anniversary, there was a strong focus on the history of flavor. I think my favorite was "Vanilla: Past, Present and Crystal-Ball", particularly where they said it was a "hands-on session". And the speaker? I totally want to have a title like "Director of Vanilla Technology." They have Lunch, Dinner, and a Cocktail Hour listed as part of the program. I have to wonder how much pressure is on the folks catering (or choosing the caterer) for that gig. These people are professionals in the world of taste--are you just going to serve them any old average Yellowtail or spring for the really nice wines? I wonder what lunch was. I hope it was something interesting, at least.

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