Have you ever slaved over a dish just to find out that it tastes a bit bland or needed something more? This happens to many individuals that love to cook every once in a while. Recipes are great, but we often have our own ideas about what things should taste like. So sometimes we find ourselves disappointed in our creation.
But not to worry, bland food can be saved! Depending on the dish or what you would like to enhance or mellow, you can choose one of 4 flavour enhancing or muting ingredients; salt, lemon, olive oil or vinegar.
Brighten dishes with acid or salt. Sure, adding salt will make things more “salty” but we aren’t talking about throwing a huge spoonful into the mix. Adding salt to foods helps certain molecules in food release more easily. This helps the aroma of the food, which in turn helps us to taste the finer notes more easily.
Salt also helps to suppress a bitter taste. So eating foods like grapefruit or raw chocolate with a sprinkle of salt in decrease the bitter, and enhance the sweet notes underneath and make them more vibrant.
Lemons are said to be a flavour catalyst. This means that lemon interacts with your taste buds to enhance the flavours that follow. For example, adding a bit of lemon to your tahini salad dressing will enhance not only the tahini in the dressing but also the flavours of the fresh veg that follows. But lemons also add their own bright aroma and tangy or sour flavour to any dish. Adding acid to a dish adds brightness.
Olive will enhance both savory and sweet dishes. A little drizzle will act as a cushion for flavours and will carry them further than before, like mixing each flavor further to create a new flavour. Because olive oil oil contains hundreds of different natural fragrances, it is always a safe option.
Like lemon juice adding vinegar to a dish adds a light and bright flavour. If something is too rich cut it with vinegar for example red sauce or gravy. Vinegar can also be used as a salt alternative for those wishing to reduce the amount salt in their diet, and will also numb sweet cravings.
Watch my video on how to use each one!