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Questions tagged [flavor]

Questions on understanding and manipulating the flavor of foods. Not for "what goes with X?" which is generally off-topic. Please don't use if the only connection is that you want better-tasting food, this is implied in every question on the site.

39
votes
13answers
286k 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 ...
38
votes
13answers
252k 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?
45
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
25
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 ...
44
votes
11answers
4k 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
1answer
293 views

How can I find flavors that pair well with a given ingredient?

"What goes with X?" is a common question. It could be a starting point for coming up with a new recipe for an ingredient you have on hand, or a way to come up with a variation on an existing recipe. ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Which foods are high in umami? [closed]

Which foods are high in umami ("savoriness") and how can I cook them to maximize the umami taste?
15
votes
2answers
14k 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. ...
14
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
59k views

How to add flavouring ingredients to steamed or boiled veggies?

I'm a newbie cook from to prepare the nightly dinner for my wife and I. I usually have a meat and stream or boil sweet potato, corn, Brussels sprouts, asparagus or broccolini. It occurred to me that ...
20
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
15k 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
9k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I save curry with too much cumin?

I think I may have added too much cumin in my curry sauce last night and it has this dry seasoning taste in every bite. It may have soaked into the veggies as well... Is there a way to save the curry ...
25
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
28k 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
2answers
11k views

Balance overly sweet liqueurs

When dealing with particularly sweet liqueurs, in particular Midori (a very sweet melon flavored liqueur), I tend to find their sugary nature overpowering the rest of the drink. What is the best way ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes flavors to “marry”?

I'm looking at vinegar-based BBQ sauce recipes, and a lot of them tell you to let the mixture sit for a day in order for the flavors to balance each other out. I've also seen this advice for curries ...
15
votes
5answers
88k 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
5answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
11k views

Lemon cake has no flavor

I have tried and tried numerous recipes for lemon pound cake. None of them taste very lemony. I tried adding extra lemons n lemon extract but no real difference. The only thing to make it taste ...
2
votes
5answers
1k 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.
38
votes
12answers
22k 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 ...
16
votes
11answers
55k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
8k views

Confused about cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika

What is the difference between cayenne pepper, chilli powder, and paprika powder? They seem pretty similar. Are they interchangeable in recipes? Will it be a big difference if I substitute one for ...
32
votes
5answers
8k views

When a recipe asks to add spices to the oil, can you add the spices directly to the sauce for the same effect?

Many chefs add spices to the oil because the "oil brings out the flavors". But I want to experiment with different spices and quantities (which is hard because you can't taste the oil and predict the ...
21
votes
3answers
4k 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, ...
15
votes
5answers
13k 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 of paprika that is less bland? For example, I've seen certain "special" varieties such as ...
12
votes
2answers
16k 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?
12
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
43
votes
12answers
8k views

Can one be “taste blind” to the sweetness of stevia?

I bought some stevia powder today and tried to make waffles with it, replacing the sugar. However, no matter how much stevia I poured into the dough (carefully adding tea spoon by tea spoon, tasting ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you season and cook to palates and preferences different than yours?

Often times the dishes I am the most disappointed with end up being a hit with my family. It is almost as if our tastes contrast each other. Given that, how can I cook something that appeases a ...
10
votes
2answers
7k 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
6answers
19k 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
111 views

What happens chemically when flavours 'mingle'?

When I make a stew and cook it for hours, the flavours combine to make a better combination than if I cooked them for a short time. The same thing happens when I leave a sauce like a ragu in the ...
16
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
65k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
113k 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
5answers
32k 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?
5
votes
1answer
2k 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
1answer
2k views

How do I get rid of that calcium chloride taste in my tomato sauce?

When making high-heat, quick tomato sauces using economical brands of tomatoes packed using calcium chloride (and citric acid typically), the metallic taste and fake-fresh texture are disturbing. ...
2
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
4k 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) ...
11
votes
8answers
42k views

Is it possible to make soymilk without a “beany” taste?

I've made soymilk several times using dried beans. I've done it using a pot of boiling water to cook the pre-soaked beans, blending in a blender, and straining. I also have a SoyaJoy soymilk maker. No ...