Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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7
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8answers
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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
461 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
3k 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
votes
3answers
515 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, ...
6
votes
4answers
11k 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
44k 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
677 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
1k 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
10k 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
2answers
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
678 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
300 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
173 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
4answers
554 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
278 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
6answers
14k 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
568 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
318 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
860 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 ...
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
votes
2answers
6k 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
293 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
votes
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) ...
42
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
878 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
1k 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
217 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
18k 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
858 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
39
votes
7answers
5k 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
945 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
5k 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" ...
14
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
13
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
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5answers
6k 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
2k 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
145k 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
25k 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
929 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
2k 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?
10
votes
6answers
4k 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
10answers
5k 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
1k 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 ...
31
votes
10answers
84k 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?