Professor Vincent Monnier talks about the discovery of why cooked food tastes better

100 years ago, Maillard taught us why our food tastes better cooked

NPR: In 1912, Louis-Camille Maillard discovered the chemical reaction that occurs when food is cooked—and that explains why cooked food tastes better. Before, people just made educated guesses about how cooking worked. His initial aim, though, wasn’t food: “He thought it would be important for medicine and diabetes,” said Vincent Monnier, professor of experimental pathology. “He didn’t immediately recognize it would be important for food.”