Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods.

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44
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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 ...
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 ...
32
votes
10answers
183k 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?
32
votes
12answers
10k views

Why use onions in cooking?

Onions are an ingredient in almost every recipe. I hate the taste(flavour) of them (I know I might be the only one). I always try to avoid eating them and try to pick them out of the food. Seeing that ...
27
votes
7answers
7k views

Is “sealing in the flavor” an actual thing?

Someone mentioned searing food to "seal in the flavor". My response was that searing was a way to add a delicious crust, and nothing more or less. However, I recently noticed a frozen food mentioning ...
26
votes
12answers
231k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it true that smell is lost flavor?

This is a maxim that I hear frequently, especially as a defense of cooking methods that don't produce a lot of aroma: if the aroma is in the air, it means it's left the food. As an example, some ...
17
votes
7answers
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 ...
15
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I concentrate the flavor in orange juice?

I poured squeezed orange juice over my meatballs and I thought how well it complements them, but that it's too watery to enjoy with meat. I proceeded to reduce squeezed orange juice on the stove with ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does my cauliflower puree taste mustardy after two days?

I recently made cauliflower puree following this recipe. I put florets of cauliflower in a microwave oven safe pot, together with some butter and some milk, and cooked it till more or less tender. ...
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" ...
14
votes
5answers
46k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
617 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 ...
13
votes
10answers
30k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
51k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a non-pork substitute for Italian sausage?

We do not have genuine pork Italian sausages here in Israel. When a recipe like Ragu or Bolognese calls for Italian sausage, what meat could be used as a substitute for ground pork, and what ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
20k views

Why is it that white fish do not have as strong of a “fishy” taste as other fish?

As a rule my wife does not like the taste of fish, or pretty much anything that once made its home in the water. However, she's decided to give fish another shot. Not wanting to hit her over the head ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a “Bubble Gum” flavor

There is a "flavor of bubble gum", not only for bubble gum, but also for kids toothpaste and milkshakes. Is it possible to reproduce this taste in the kitchen? What ingredients are required? Are ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Should you ever add aromatic veggies to a dish without sauteing them first?

Many recipes and cooking blog posts emphasize the importance of sauteing aromatic veggies to release their flavor and reduce the bite. This gave me the impression that when aromatic veggies are ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

A question about browning meat for spaghetti bolognese

I've been told in one form or another: "no colour, no flavour", so when cooking Spaghetti Bolognese I always brown the meat (after chucking in the onions, carrots, celery etc.). The browning does ...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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) ...
12
votes
3answers
792 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
10answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
6k 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
7answers
579 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
686 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 ...
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?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What determines the 'saltiness' of salt?

I've bought two brands of salt that are completely different in terms of 'salt' concentration(not sure if this is the correct terminology). I realized this because I needed three or four times more ...
10
votes
2answers
594 views

Does stainless steel affect garlic flavors in food?

They say that washing your hands with a piece of stainless steel can help remove the smell of garlic and onions from your hands. There are even a number of stainless steel "soap" products on the ...
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 ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

How to add a salty/bacon flavor and texture to vegan collard greens?

As a vegan of nearly a year bacon has come as a "great loss" and my collard greens have suffered for it greatly. I have been experimenting with tvp bacon bits, vegan bacon strips (both frozen and ...
9
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
48k 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
2answers
130 views

Can I freeze (raw) Brussels Sprouts to mimic the effects of frost?

This year has been a very mild winter and all the Brussels Sprouts in the shops are quite bitter as they have not undergone any overnight frosts. Can I mimic the effects of an overnight frost by ...
8
votes
9answers
60k 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
20k views

Counteracting a metallic taste in canned tomatoes?

I used some canned tomatoes to make chili, which normally works fine, but today it has a really strong metallic flavor. From what I can tell, this is just because they're probably low-quality, so I ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the correct temperature when extracting saffron flavour?

I have several recipes that call for saffron. Obviously, they all say to put the saffron in some water to extract the flavour so it spreads more evenly in the dish. However, there is no mention of the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

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
183 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. ...