Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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4
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2answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
688 views

Which part of yellow cake batter gives it the yellow cake flavor?

We recently made a cobbler by adding oil, water, and powdered yellow cake mix (from a box) on top of sugary fruit filling and it came of the oven crispy and delicious with that distinctive yellow cake ...
6
votes
5answers
7k 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?
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
424 views

How can I make the most effective use of high-quality olive oil?

I was recently in an organic market and sampled some of the finest olive oil I've ever tasted. I bought a bottle, and I'm now looking for ways to maximize my enjoyment of it. I'm familiar with ...
6
votes
3answers
298 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
253 views

Does the drying out of vegetables affect the taste after cooking?

If I cut the onions and vegetables in the morning, they dry up till evening. Is there a taste change when you eat cooked vegetables, which dried out over 8 hours (before cooking)?
4
votes
2answers
12k 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. ...
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4answers
2k views

How can I make my lemonade more tart/tangy?

I'm making lemonade, but no matter what ratios of lemon to sugar I use, I can't get that tartness and tang that I can taste in my favourite commercial drinks. I noticed that even with drinks that ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is my icecream bitter?

I am new to making homemade ice cream. I just started to feel confident with plain vanilla, so it was time for the next step - adding fruit. The custard recipe says it can be turned into fruit ice ...
2
votes
2answers
454 views

Is nigella oil (black cumin or black caraway) aromatic?

I have a weak spot for aromatic oils. Not essential oils, but the cooking oils like hazelnut oil and avocado oil. I love making dishes where they are the primary flavour component (e.g. a veloute ...
1
vote
5answers
280 views

How to cover up bad jenever?

Last weekend, I bought a bottle of passion fruit jenever. Normally, this tastes very sweet and has a nice fruity flavour. But unfortunately, I had to buy a brand with which I'm not familiar with. The ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Frozen yogurt flavor pairings

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 ...
4
votes
11answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
850 views

“Odd” flavor in some white fish - how to predict?

I am able to taste a flavor in some fish (usually white fish) that most other people do not (I also can smell the asparagus pee smell, and am a strong taster ... but not supertaster?... of bitter ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Counter to bitterness in soup

My minestrone turned out too bitter. How can I counter it? The soup contains tomatoes, pasta, Savoy cabbage, celery, carrots, burnt sautéed garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Sugar seems to be ...
7
votes
4answers
9k 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?
4
votes
4answers
205 views

Reducing the saltiness of commercially prepared seasoning

I've been cooking a certain brand of noodles, and noticed that the seasoning provided is quite salty than you'd expect. Is there a way to reduced the saltiness without a noticeable change in flavor? ...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

How does one remove the “fishy flavor” from seafood?

My sister really doesn't like a strong fish flavor and is very picky. Are there any effective ways to prepare the seafood in such a manner that reduces the fishy flavor/taste? If "seafood" is too ...
14
votes
2answers
514 views

What flavorants stand up to long cooking?

My answer to this question (link) prompted a question in my own mind. I wanted to share some tips regarding when to add herbs, spices, aromatics, etc., and had a few suggestions (bay leaves and garlic ...
11
votes
2answers
549 views

How Can I Tell If Meat Has Been Brined?

My wife and I were eating some rotisserie chicken the other night and she commented something to the effect of "I think they brined this because I can taste the seasoning pretty deep in the meat." I ...
7
votes
4answers
654 views

How can I reproduce a “gamey” flavor?

I have fond memories of deer hunting with my uncle when I was younger... not only for the thrill of the hunt (as I'm sure most do), but also for the spoils: venison. Apparently, I was the only one of ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
6answers
2k views

What is a good vegetarian source of umami flavour?

I'm looking for a source of the umami flavour to add to various dishes. However, since I became vegetarian I can't think of a good source for the flavour. I used to use Worcestershire sauce, or Nam ...
6
votes
4answers
443 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
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
12
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3answers
442 views

What brine ingredients are effective?

I frequently brine chicken and pork, and mostly it's just salt and water, sometime sugar, and occasionally garlic. But I've seen all sorts of other "goodies" people add in, like spices, herbs, ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
39k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
533 views

how to fix pudding that got extra sweet?

i have made the chocolate pudding and accidentally added loads of sugar..now it is too sweet n too sticky..what can i do with it except throwing it out?
4
votes
2answers
943 views

How can I use white pepper without having the odor dominate the food flavour?

I received several different pepper (spice) for christmas. One of them is a white pepper. Whenever I use (very) little of this white pepper in my dishes, the odor/flavor is very dominant cutting out ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should brussel sprouts ever taste chemically?

So I got a bunch of what I thought were locally grown organic brussel sprouts from the local coop the other day. They came in an unlabeled zip lock bag, which usually means small local farm. I ...
7
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I emulsify cod liver oil, or otherwise mask its taste?

Background I have some cod liver oil to take a supplement, but the taste is sufficiently unpleasant that I am not sure how to finish the bottle off. In the past, I have found emulsified cod liver oil ...
3
votes
2answers
650 views

How to Flavor Homemade Gum Drops

For favors that I am making for an upcoming party, I'm looking to do some old-fashioned homemade gum drops. I have found a recipe that looks do-able. It calls for candy flavoring. I've also found ...
3
votes
2answers
298 views

What is the source of the very strong flavour in some bad fats (or dairy products?) that only some people can taste?

It's a very, very strong flavour (like hot chili peppers in potency and ability to linger). It tastes nothing like any food I know - I've thought of it as kind of "chalky" (not sure why I know what ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

How to make a sauce using sugared citrus rinds?

I finally separated the citrus rinds (orange and lemon) from the citrus sugar. All the bits of rind are small. With them I was planning on making a citrus sauce to go on top of my brownies and was ...
6
votes
3answers
526 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
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
269 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
510 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
752 views

Describing the taste of Illy coffee and similar brands

I'm no coffee expert - I can't describe flavours well, but I know what I like. And I'd like to learn to describe tastes better. Illy is my favourite coffee (for French press use) - it seems a lot ...
3
votes
8answers
15k views

How can I improve the flavor of spinach? [closed]

I bought some frozen plain spinach yesterday and got the one without creme sauce, to reduce the amount of fat. Tried to cook it today with some salt and a little bit of butter, but the result was very ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
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2answers
5k views

Are some flavour pairings known to work better than others (and if so, why)?

It is commonly known that there are five "primary" flavours: Sweet Sour Bitter Salty Savory (AKA Umami) That leaves 10 possible pairs of two, 10 possible sets of three, and 5 possible sets of ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
278 views

Possible Pumpkin Flavors

I am hoping to try out cooking with pumpkin this year and only know a) not to buy jack-o-lantern varieties for cooking, and b) about making it into sweeter things like pies, cakes, cookies et cetera. ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Why does roasting vegetables before pureeing into soup affect the flavour?

Last night I made a butternut squash soup. The recipe said to roast some squash and onion for 45 mins before boiling with stock for 15 and then pureeing. Is anyone able to explain (in moderate depth) ...