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Probably this is something covered in cooking academies/universities, but I'm not a professional chef, I just happen to like cooking a lot, and I want to get better at it.

I often hear the phrase "This flavor is not well developed", but I don't really understand what "flavor development" really means.

Can all flavors be developed? What factors tend to develop more a particular flavor?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is just fancy sounding talk for the myriad of techniques in good cooking that create good flavor in dishes. It doesn't refer to any one specific thing.

Some examples of techniques used to develop flavor include:

  • Seasoning (properly salting)
  • Browning meats and other foods properly to bring out their flavor
  • Creating pan sauces or other uses from fond to enhance the flavor of a dish
  • Using herbs and spices skilfully to compliment the food
  • Balancing flavors with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or tomatoes
  • Cooking properly to allow the flavor of individual ingredients to shine through
  • Blooming or toasting spices to bring out their more aromatic qualities
  • Using alcohol to enhance certain flavors not soluble in water or fat

There are no doubt many, many more things that could be included in a list like this.

After all, it sounds far more professional to say "the flavor in this dish is not well developed" than to say "this dish is bad."

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As usual, great answer! – AlanChavez Oct 16 '13 at 17:20
It's also just a lot easier to say than "you messed up or missed a step, or mishandled or used the wrong amount of an ingredient". – Jefromi Oct 16 '13 at 20:11

If you're only going to add salt then nothing more is going to change. But if you leave out the salt and add different seasoning like, garlic, salsa, chili powder, cilantro, purple onions, and so on, your dish will turn out good no matter what the food flavoring is, it can be made better.

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