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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.

95
votes
4answers
23k views

Why do grape-flavored foods taste different than actual grapes?

Grapes are one of my favorite fruits, but I typically don't like grape-flavored foods. For example, grape jelly or grape candies (like Jolly Ranchers) have a distinctly different taste. I imagine some ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
39
votes
13answers
287k 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?
38
votes
12answers
23k 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 ...
37
votes
6answers
12k views

Why are certain fruit & veg bought in UK supermarkets tasteless?

I have been to Italy, Greece & Turkey. Fruit & Veg in these places tastes amazing! So much flavour, really awesome! In the UK when I buy the same fruit or veg, it is absolutely tasteless, it ...
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 ...
32
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

If I want my garlic to taste in a very specific way (with bite or without bite) what should I do?

I don't always want my garlic to taste the same way. Sometimes I want only the deep umami flavor without the bite (so I let it cook more) and sometimes I look for a strong garlic bite presence in the ...
16
votes
11answers
56k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
89k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
38k 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
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. ...
15
votes
5answers
72k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
695 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
4k 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
3k 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
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there any advantage to cooking steak on the bone?

My local butcher sells ribeye and sirloin steaks from Basque and Galician dairy cows on the bone. All of their products are fantastic but I question what effect cooking it 'bone-in' has. Is there ...
13
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
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) ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
10answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
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
11k 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
8answers
43k 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 ...
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
1answer
7k 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 ...
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, ...
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?
11
votes
7answers
1k 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
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?
11
votes
2answers
1k 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
12answers
59k views

Why does my coffee sometimes taste sour?

I typically drink light roast single origin coffees from a third wave coffee roaster. I'm brewing with either plunger/french press, or swiss gold filter. Often with the french press, the coffee ...