Growing up, I attended an afternoon and weekend morning Hebrew school, typically 3 days a week. We learned all about various areas of Jewish religion and culture, not the smallest amount of of which was the Bible. In younger years, we learned simplified (but hopefully not critically altered) versions of key Bible stories, and we discussed some pieces to which we will relate.
One particular story from the book of Exodus was the Israelites eating manna in the desert. I remember learning that manna tasted like “the greatest food มานาประจําวัน imaginable,” which devolved into manna tasting like “what you may are interested to.” I distinctly remember a concern being asked of my class: “What you think manna tastes like?” Several predictable answers came up: cake, candy, cookies, quail (in reference to another divine food source in the desert.) I believe my answer was pizza.
Now we all know much more accurately what manna is and what really tastes like. Manna is normally produced from dried plant sap processed by insects, or a “honydew” that’s expelled by the bugs who eat the sap (think the source of honey, nothing worse.)
As well as its source, manna also has distinctive flavors. They aren’t tomato sauce and cheese. Such as a fine whiskey or wine, manna has subtle notes and variations. In fact, there are lots of forms of manna, some of which are now found in cooking. New York Times Food writer David Arnold says that Hedysarum manna’s flavor is reminiscent of “maple syrup, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, honey, and nuts.” Shir-khesht manna contains mannitol (a sugar alcohol that has the cooling aftereffect of menthol with no mint flavor) and also has “notes of honey and herb, and a light bit of citrus peel.”