Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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44
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
12answers
236k 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 ...
32
votes
10answers
190k 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?
7
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
43
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
9k 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 four....
11
votes
6answers
7k 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?
4
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do drinks drunk from a glass instead of a bottle taste differently?

Cola drunken out of a glass instead to a bottle/can taste differently to me; it is much better. Is this due to more aroma smelled by your nose when drinking out of open glass changing the kind of ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What counters astringency?

I've been attempting to make green smoothies lately as part of a health kick. The way I've been doing it is to use a normal smoothie recipe, but to add handfuls of spinach. In general, the results ...
19
votes
8answers
6k views

Can food be boiled “extra fast/hard” in water?

Once water is boiling you can either leave the heat on quite high, or turn it down a bit so that it just keeps boiling. Apart from extra water vaporating, does this have any effect on the taste of ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
14
votes
5answers
8k 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
3answers
807 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, ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the advantages of vanilla sugar?

When/why would one use "vanilla sugar" instead of just plain sugar along with vanilla extract and/or beans/pods, particularly in recipes and baking? Is it just a matter of convenience? I understand ...
7
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
6k 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?
7
votes
3answers
79k 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 ...
6
votes
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
votes
5answers
15k 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?
13
votes
4answers
53k 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 ...
7
votes
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?
6
votes
4answers
511 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

How do you get the flavor out of dried peppers?

A recipe calls for dry chili peppers for my Moroccan fish. I know sweating fresh chili peppers will release the flavor, but how do you release the flavor of dry spices like dried chili peppers?
5
votes
2answers
599 views

Why does Mexican food taste dissonant with balsamic vinegar?

I assayed an attempt at hot sauce the other day by cooking 3 pounds of peppers (jalapeno and hungarian wax) in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for about three hours, then throwing them in a blender. ...
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
769 views

How do you make sure aubergine doesn't go bitter when cooking?

Sometimes aubergine and courgette tastes fine when cooked as is, but other times they are so bitter that they're almost inedible. I've tried dry salting and leaving the slices in salt water beforehand ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How does MSG enhance food flavor?

Back many moons ago I used MSG all the time. When a lot of controversy cropped up I gradually went away from using it as I was concerned about the high sodium content it was purported to have. Now, ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Can salt make sour fruit seem sweeter?

I got a little debate started via the comments on this answer. The poster suggests the use of salt to make a sour kiwifruit-sauce taste sweeter in the same way you would use salt to make something ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

Does butter reduce perceived sweetness?

In another question I ask about the ideal flour, sugar, butter ratio to use in crumble. It appears that the amount of sugar people add in their recipes depends more closely on how much butter is added ...
4
votes
2answers
22k views

Which oils are considered flavorless?

The cake recipe is calling for a vegetable oil. I have refined sunflower oil, and refined soyabean oil. Do they qualify for flavourless oils? I haven't noticed any taste in any oil by now! Taste buds ...
4
votes
6answers
330 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Tasty vs Mild vs Mature Cheddar Cheese

I expect Cheddar to come in Semi-matured, Matured and Vintage. Each indicating increasing amount of time maturing, and increased sharpness. The term Mild also makes sense. However, alot of cheese, ...
4
votes
4answers
9k views

Soda from fridge to room temperature

Does taking an unopened can of soda out of the refrigerator and leaving at room temperature compromise the taste, flavor, or carbonation of the unopened soda can?
3
votes
1answer
643 views

Why did my steak marinade not make a difference?

I recently discovered the joy of cooking and I have no idea what I'm doing but I've been experimenting. Recently, I took two beef shoulder steaks, both just under 3/4" thick, both purchased at the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Lime on Fish tastes Bitter

I recently cooked tilapia in foil packets. I used Season All, and topped eached filet with guajillo salsa (flavored with lime) and lime slices. I noticed a bitter aftertaste when I was eating the ...
3
votes
12answers
38k views

How to get the flavors to meld when I add fruit and sugar to plain yogurt?

I've recently taken a liking to greek yogurt. So far, I've been buying the Chobani low-fat and non-fat yogurts, which all have flavoring added. I've recently bought a container of plain greek yogurt, ...
3
votes
2answers
822 views

What is the difference in flavour between the zest of an orange vs lemon vs lime

I am anosmic (do not have a sense of smell) and therefore am reduced in my perception of flavours to the flavours my tongue can detect, every time I zest a citrus fruit I always hear everyone talk of ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

When is MSG suitable and when is it not?

Does adding msg to any recipe or dish always make it taste better? It doesn't seem to have much of a taste on its own. EDIT I'm not asking HOW it makes things taste better, I'm asking which dishes it ...
3
votes
3answers
70k views

Why is mixing good whiskey with cola/ginger ale frowned upon? [closed]

I ordered a Jameson and ginger ale at a pub the other night and my brother asked me why I wasn't ordering it neat or on the rocks, since it was "pretty good" whiskey. Right now I'm having some good ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does cold coffee taste sweeter with the same amount of sugar?

I have observed that the same amount of sugar tastes differently in hot and in cold coffee. If I drink hot coffee, I feel I can add more and more sugar, without it tasting too sweet. However, cold ...
2
votes
5answers
419 views

How can I get more lime flavor into my key lime cake recipe?

I found a great recipe for key lime cake, but it seems to lack the key lime flavor I am looking for. It has lime zest and juice in it, still a great cake, but it seems not enough lime kick to it.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Flavorings for clear gelatin

I'm planning to make a sort of diorama, and the 3D nature of it is going to require suspending things in clear gelatin. Are there flavorings that would work that wouldn't significantly affect the ...
2
votes
2answers
383 views

What is the Chinese celery and cabbage appetizer called and how is it made?

My favorite Chinese restaurant for 30 years closed a few months ago. Back many years ago they had an appetizer that they served when you were seated that was excellent. It was very simple, only ...
2
votes
2answers
284 views

What Sampling Bread to use for Pulled Pork, open faced? [closed]

I'm making a bacon based chili with smoked pulled pork (orange juice marinade by injection, smoked dried pusilla/ancho/guajillo rub) where I reserve all the liquid at the end of the process, roux it ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

PH and sour / acid taste

I had always thought low pH foods had a noticeable sour (acid) taste, and vice-versa. But when reading The Bread Builders by Daniel Wing & Allan Scott, on page 54, it says: The sour taste of ...