Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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1answer
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Do sweet dishes taste sweeter when hot or when it gets cold?

While cooking something sweet which would be served cold or at room-temperature, is it more sweet when it is hot i.e. during the cooking when you taste in order to check the sweetness, or when it is ...
8
votes
2answers
201 views

Is smoking with 'barked' wood dangerous?

I have been told that smoking with fruit wood that has bark on it is poisonous. I also have been told that there is nothing wrong with using 'barked wood'- that it is only a matter of personal taste. ...
7
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5answers
5k views

Advantages of using vinegar as a salt substitute for enhancing flavor?

I read a short blurb in Cooking for Geeks that said vinegar can be used as a substitute for salt, as a flavor enhancer, to make food less bland. I plan on experimenting, but I don't know where to ...
7
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2answers
604 views

Principles of full flavour in dishes

I have become interested in learning how to cook better, and how cooking works. I prepared a dish, a kind-of pie made from tortillas as the base and top, with potato, feta cheese, sauteed soft rings ...
7
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2answers
895 views

Why does curry flavor improve overnight (beyond the effects of permeation and infusion)?

The flavor of a curry usually improves overnight. Harsh overtones mellow and disparate elements combine for a richer, more coherent result. Some people think this is just because the flavors from ...
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4answers
17k views

Why do cauliflower or brussels sprouts sometimes taste bitter, and (how) can I avoid it?

Cauliflower or Brussels Sprouts sometimes taste slightly bitter after cooking. Is this some mistake in the way they are cooked or is that just the vegetables themselves?
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2answers
5k views

In a recipe, how much is “to taste”?

A lot of recipes I've been preparing lately often list salt and black pepper as "to taste" in terms of quantity. I get that the general idea is to make the food taste good, but I'm not sure that I ...
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2answers
1k views

Are there similar scales like the Scoville scale?

Are there any scales that have been applied to any of the five basic tastes or other types of food sensations that have been quantified based on their affect on people, similar to the Scoville scale? ...
7
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2answers
6k views

Is there such a thing as too much vanilla?

I have been making cookies for decades and I have noticed a dramatic change in quality based on the usage of vanilla. Using weak vanilla or just not enough will lead to bland cookies, oftentimes ...
7
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4answers
11k views

How do I cook with bay leaves?

I am an amateur hobbyist cook. So a lot of the time I will toss in a dash of something, taste the dish, and add a bit more. Experimenting sometimes with disastrous results... but I learn :) One spice ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How do I get homemade mayonnaise to taste like store bought mayonnaise?

I recently made a batch of homemade mayonnaise, having found myself with left over egg yolk from another recipe. I decided not to flavor the mayonnaise with any mustard. The mayo ended up tasting like ...
7
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1answer
1k views

What makes bourbon a decent substitute for vanilla?

In the accepted answer to this question, it was said that bourbon can make a half-decent substitute for vanilla. I fail to understand how because the primary flavor component is vanillin and as far as ...
7
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3answers
81k views

How long can you freeze raw chicken before it seriously affects its taste?

The dramatic effects of freezing something almost always has an immediate impact on taste. But it seems like the longer something is in the freezer the worse it tastes. Recently, I found some months ...
7
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6answers
15k views

How do you coat almonds in wasabi and keep it spicy and crunchy? (my wasabi paradox)

I've been trying to make wasabi and soy sauce almonds, like the ones you find at the store (Blue Diamond) but the only recipe I've found (food.com) is very underwhelming. Despite using varying ...
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2answers
2k views

Does using flaked salt make a difference when using it in cooking?

I have a few recipes that call for flaked salt, I can only seem to buy it in bulk 1kg bags here. I want to know that if you use "salt" in a recipe does it really matter to the final taste what kind of ...
7
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5answers
45k views

What does vanilla extract add to a recipe?

I have been cooking for a while and have noticed small amount of Vanilla extract needed in cakes, cookies, muffins, even a smoothie recipe. Often times I forget the Vanilla or don't have any. What ...
7
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4answers
612 views

How to create fruity or grassy shortbread cookies?

I saw a recipe for green tea shortbread cookies with white ganache filling and fell in love with it. But here, it is quite hard to get any matcha, the few Amazon marketplace sellers have very high ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How to reduce the sourness of homemade frozen yogurt?

I like to make homemade yogurt and I am experimenting with timing to get my yogurt to be not so sour but still completely set. Yogurt is, by definition, quite acidic since that is what sets the ...
7
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2answers
74 views

What is a useful search term for the sensation of flavor progression in a spoonful?

That's "progression" as in flavor changes happening over time (like the few seconds to chew). As a rough analogy, in music theory a chord is made up of different notes played simultaneously (and where ...
7
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1answer
203 views

What could cause a sudden loss of sour flavor?

Background During the weekend, my mother made a plum cake and put slices of plum on top. She gave me a piece to try and it was sweet and good for ~1.5 seconds before my face puckered from how sour it ...
6
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5answers
4k views

Source of smoky flavor in salsa?

I'm experimenting with making my own salsa. I recently had some that had an interesting flavor, rather smoky. Is anyone aware of what might add this flavor? I'd like to add that flavor to my own salsa....
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6answers
2k views

What's causing the metallic aftertaste in my Nutraloaf?

Thanks to all of the wonderful help thus far, I've finally been able to make my Überfood. It's called "Nutraloaf", and is kind of like a meatloaf with a bunch of other stuff in it. It has no real ...
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5answers
16k views

How to remove the bitter taste from green bell pepper?

Green pepper has a more bitter taste than red or yellow pepper. Are there tricks to remove or diminish this bitter taste? A special way of cooking, or adding a bit of sugar or something maybe?
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2answers
970 views

Is there a way to experience pepper's endorphins effects without the burning sensation?

When preparing dinner, my friend and I sometimes argue over the amount of pepper. It is often ‘too hot’ for him while I enjoy the heat effects (endorphins) of capsaicin (chili peppers) and piperine (...
6
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4answers
20k views

culinary difference between dill and fennel

Many salmon recipes use Dill (Anethum graveolens) as the usual ingredient as condimentary herb. In my place, I have fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) available outdoors, so I opt to use it instead. And I ...
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4answers
944 views

How do you season and cook to palates and preferences different than yours?

Often times the dishes I am the most disappointed with end up being a hit with my family. It is almost as if our tastes contrast each other. Given that, how can I cook something that appeases a ...
6
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5answers
3k views

What helps against astringent mouthfeel from spinach or chard?

Spinach and chard dishes, if prepared from fresh veggies, have a somehow astringent mouthfeel, that can be unpleasant. Does anybody know what exactly causes this mouthfeel chemically and/or knows a ...
6
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3answers
315 views

Ways to counter the burn of too many scallions?

Last night I made mashed cauliflower and made the mistake of putting in too many scallions before I blended it. The result is a mashed cauliflower that has the distinct burn of eating raw onion. Is ...
6
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3answers
38k views

How to add flavouring ingredients to steamed or boiled veggies?

I'm a newbie cook from to prepare the nightly dinner for my wife and I. I usually have a meat and stream or boil sweet potato, corn, Brussels sprouts, asparagus or broccolini. It occurred to me that ...
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2answers
1k views

When should you season sauce that needs to be reduced?

I just thought about how seasoning a sauce is not a wise decision because if it needs to through reduction like marinara then the flavors would get too concentrated. But I always see people put salt ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to remove a smokey/ charcoal taste from food?

I just cooked a huge batch of burrito filling. Everything seemed okay, but then it turned out to have a really disgusting charcoal aftertaste. I think maybe some burned bits got stirred in while I ...
6
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3answers
422 views

What ingredient adds the sweetness on Croissants in Europe?

I'm travelling in Europe right now, and in France, Spain, and Italy I've had croissants and similar pastries. Unlike the ones I've had in America, these have a bit of sweetness to them - my intuition ...
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4answers
513 views

Why does salt taste different in different dishes?

If I salt tomato, potato and pasta, their tastes change in completely different ways to me. Why is this? Had I put oregano on them, they'd all taste like oregano. Update: The question is not "is it ...
6
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2answers
675 views

Is it a good idea to grind dried oregano with a mortar and pestle?

Someone explained to me that I could increase the surface area of my herbs significantly when grinding them in a mortar with a bit of salt. It is indeed quite easy to grind them down to a powder. I do ...
6
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4answers
679 views

How can I get brine flavour into turkey?

Since I started doing holiday dinners, I've always brined my birds. I love the result, but I find that while the turkey comes out nice and moist, it doesn't pick up much flavour from the brine. For ...
6
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2answers
9k views

Should I brown meat for stew?

I always look through the comments on recipes I find online that I want to try. The comments are usually helpful and give great tips on how to make the dish even better! I recently found a great ...
6
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2answers
6k views

How to reduce bitterness of Basil?

I had some fresh Basil which was going dry, so I decided to make it into a sour cream dip (don't ask me why I didn't think of making a simple pesto before I added the sour cream).. The final product (...
6
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4answers
8k views

roasted garlic vs. raw

Without giving it much thought, I've always roasted garlic for use in cooked preparations (hummus, spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, etc.), and used it raw for uncooked preparations (salad dressings, ...
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2answers
2k views

pre-soaking tea in cold water prior to brewing

My friend recently gave me the advice that tea bag should be soaked in a little bit (barely enough to submerge the tea bag) of cold water for a couple of minutes. Then hot water should be added to ...
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12answers
13k views

Masking the grass flavor of green tea

I would like to start drinking green tea regularly. Unfortunately I am much more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker. On top of my general apathy towards tea I happen to think that green tea in ...
5
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5answers
8k views

What causes chicken fat on the surface of soup, and does it add flavor to the dish?

I was making a Japanese ramen soup recipe which involved cooking raw diced chicken thigh in the soup for a few minutes. Soon after adding the chicken to the soup, globules of fat started appearing on ...
5
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6answers
6k views

Is there a difference between seasoning and flavouring?

I find the meaning of the word 'seasoning' slightly elusive. Before I started to take cooking seriously, I'd have said that any herb or spice used in cooking could be called a seasoning. Without ...
5
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2answers
382 views

Apple Cider is too sweet for gravy

Hey. I'm in Vermont. We have lots of apple ciders and lots of amazing apples (let me recommend this year's lady apples...bet on 2010 Cider! ) I've been roasting local chickens, and then deglasing ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Does placement of ingredients and condiments on a sandwich change the taste?

When making a cold deli meat sandwich or a burger, does layering the solid ingredients and condiments in a different order change the taste or mouth-feel? If so, how and why? Are there reasons to ...
5
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4answers
60k views

How can I quickly save a tasteless curry?

I made a curry last night for this evenings meal. The main components of it are aubergines, yoghurt, ginger, tumeric, cumin and chilli. After cooking it I tasted it and it is sadly quite tasteless. ...
5
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6answers
28k views

What is bakery emulsion and how is it different from flavoring extract?

I was in Ross for Less and saw (and bought) a bottle of lemon bakery emulsion because it just sounded good. Looking online it seems that it is a one for one replacement for extract, but I have not ...
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2answers
2k views

Lamb's Gamey Flavor

Lamb has long been one of my least favorite meats due to its gamey flavor. However, some lamb dishes that have been prepared for me tasted great with very little gamey flavor. But I have never been ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What happened to my duck?

This happened a couple of years ago, but I still don't have an answer. Christmas eve. I had a duck in the oven. I tried to cook it at a slightly lower temperature and a little longer than the recipe ...
5
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2answers
35k views

How to get rid of the taste of flour in homemade bakery?

I usually get random cookie and cake recipes from the internet and try them. They are good but all of them have floury taste to me. Possible culprits are the flour I use and how I mix and bake dough. ...
5
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2answers
235 views

Why does my curry taste so bland?

I'm trying to make a curry, and failing. I'm a decent amateur home-cook, but now that I'm exploring outside of my usual cuisines, I'm at a loss how to improve my preparation of this recipe. Either ...