Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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41
votes
11answers
2k views

How can I train myself to identify flavors better?

I'd love to be able to cook well and I think a part of that is identifying flavors. We all have different palates, but there are probably some basic techniques that can be used to figure out what the ...
2
votes
2answers
807 views

Deep frying - taste difference in saturated vs. unsaturated oil

In one of my questions I received answers that indicated using more saturated (Animal) fats would extend the life of my deep frying oil. However - given proper maintenance / cleaning / good oil - how ...
21
votes
3answers
937 views

Does water that's been left to sit and then reboiled taste different from fresh water boiled once?

This may sound like a silly question, but I've always wondered: If I boil some water and use some of it and leave the remainder in the kettle, and then a few days later boil that same water again, ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Flavor notes of olive oil varietals?

I prefer extra-virgin olive oils with fruit and grassy notes, rather than the peppery back-of-the-throat flavors that some folks enjoy. Are there particular olive varietals that are more likely to be ...
13
votes
9answers
15k views

How can I cook more flavorful Chicken through and through?

When I cook chicken, the flavor seems to be concentrated in the skin. But when I get a rotisserie chicken from Costco, it seems to be very flavorful through and through, beyond just the skin. I've ...
3
votes
1answer
812 views

How can I make the best use of chocolate peppers?

One grower at the farmer's market in the alley near my work recently started selling a crop of chocolate peppers. I've had some moderate success using them as an ingredient, but am looking for tips on ...
10
votes
3answers
21k views

What is the formal definition of savory?

What is the formal definition of "savory" when used in cooking? I hear a lot about things coming in either sweet or savory forms — e.g. crepes — but in context it doesn't seem that savory ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

What Common Or Uncommon Flavors Pair Well With Chocolate? [closed]

I'm familiar with the traditional combinations of orange, mint, and raspberry and a few of the new flavors such as chillies and bacon. What other ideas are there though?
38
votes
7answers
4k views

Why do some foods taste better the next day?

Many people think that certain foods, like lasagna, many stews and hearty soups, tomato sauce and so forth taste better the next day. My question is, is that really true, and if so, why? The ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I cook radicchio to make it taste less bitter?

Although I like the basic taste of radicchio a lot, I frequently get heads that are so bitter as to be basically inedible. Can you suggest some cooking techniques that are particularly effective at ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
747 views

What technique best infuses spices into a dish?

If I have a group of spices, all dried and ground, say: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper... I'm curious about how to maximize their flavor for a drink or dish, and in what liquids ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the differences between various types of paprika, and which have the most flavor?

I've tried various different brands of paprika but none seem to have any flavor. Can anyone recommend a kind or brand of paprika that is less bland? For example, I've seen certain "special" ...
12
votes
4answers
16k views

The difference between green, red and yellow bell peppers

Is there any difference between green, red and yellow bell peppers, barring the color? Normally when I buy a pack of 3 I always leave the yellow till last. It's normally due the coloring looking less ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I impart “extra” flavor with Sous Vide cooking?

I've been cooking Sous Vide 2-3 times a week for about 10 months now, and I absolutely love it. The control of temperature and time makes for some really interesting possibilities. But, one of the ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

Flavour combinations - structural analysis

Without neccesarily going into molecular cooking (although we could): does any literature / website / theory provide information on flavor / flavour combinations that go well together? (ignoring ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do things smell good while cooking but have little flavour when finished

While cooking, particularly things that cook slowly on the hob, it smells really good while cooking but when finished it never seems to have as much flavour as I hoped. Am I doing something wrong or ...
24
votes
12answers
120k views

How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot?

Sometimes when I'm making a sauce or soup that needs to be a bit spicy, I have no troubles spicing how I want to. But if the dinner party is a bit late, or I made the sauce in advance to really draw ...
9
votes
5answers
21k views

How do I remove bitter flavor from lime rind in soup?

I just made a large pot of soup. It's a Mexican Caldo de Res. I added a bunch of lime juice, and thought, hey, maybe i'll throw the lime rinds in there too for a bit. This was a huge mistake. Now the ...
9
votes
7answers
886 views

I fancy making flavoured 'spaghetti', any tips?

I would like to experiment with flavoured 'spaghetti' by taking a juice and gelling it in spaghetti shape, so I could have beetroot strands that I could use in a pasta dish. Anyone done this? Got ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does frozen food seem to have lost its original taste and texture after reheating?

I usually freeze my leftovers. Then, when I reheat them, the flavors are diminished - less salt, less chili, less everything. Any ideas why?
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How much salt should I add to a dish?

I find it hard to figure out how much salt to add to dishes. I'm always afraid I'll make it too salty. Recipes always call for salt to taste, but what does that mean? Is there a good rule of thumb?
11
votes
8answers
4k views

Mayonnaise Substitutes

I love pasta salads, tuna salad, sandwiches, and sauces; but I don't really like the texture of mayonnaise or the feeling I get after eating mayonnaise. What mayonnaise substitutes have you found ...
20
votes
4answers
975 views

How does the way that I cut my garlic affect the taste of my food?

I've seen recipes that called for coarsely chopped garlic and recipes that called for finely chopped or minced garlic. What affect does that cut have on the final taste of my dish? What about crushed ...
30
votes
10answers
59k views

How to fix food that got extra salty?

I imagine this depends on what the food is. With spaghetti, you can add water or change water if you detect it on time. But what about grilled meat? Or a tomato sauce?