The Essence of Gastronomy: Understanding the Flavor of Foods and Beverages presents a new comprehensive and unifying theory on flavor, which answers ancient questions and offers new opportunities for solving food-related issues. It presents gastronomy as a holistic concept, focusing not only on the food and its composition but also on the human who eats it. This book defines gastronomy as the science of flavor and tasting, where flavor is a broadly interpreted objective characteristic that refers to product quality, and tasting is defined as the human perception of flavor registered by all the human senses.Understanding tasting and flavor and how humans react to it is not merely hedonistic. It relates to larger societal issues such as nourishing the elderly and the food children eat at school, and it offers a practical advantage to the hospitality industry of comprehending why customers enjoy their food and beverages. The book presents gastronomy as a discipline that combines natural sciences and human-related sciences. Following an introduction that sets the stage for the author's groundbreaking research on gastronomy, the book describes flavor perception, the sensorial act of tasting, how it works, and what neural systems are involved. It then focuses on understanding flavor, discussing universal flavor factors and the new flavor theory.The book also examines food and beverages from a flavor standpoint, including the effects of ingredients and techniques that are used. It also explores liking, primarily at the flavor level, which includes practical guidelines for matching food and beverages. The final chapter looks at the interpretation of sensorial signals in the brain and addresses issues such as food choice, preferences, and palatability. Offering a new approach, this book provides readers with a roadmap for finding their way into the gastronomic world.