“Wow that tastes amazing!”
It’s great when a dish really hits our individual palette.
We all have our favourite tastes – I particularly love really savoury, salty, herby flavours such as sage and rosemary and hot, peppery flavours of watercress, chili and crushed black peppercorns.
Think about your ‘comfort dish’ and it may give you an inkling of your own palette.
For me, a really peppery cheese and potato pie always hits the spot!
What about you? Maybe you love the comfort of sweet chocolate or apple pie; the saltiness of fish and chips; the umami of a steak.
Seasoning, herbs and spices play a crucial role in creating lovely food that appeals to our tastes.
Everyone’s different – I’ve had people tell me how they really can’t stand the smell of cinnamon and others who add cinnamon to everything. I’m not too fond of really sweet spices like vanilla, and that probably sounds crazy to some.
Why we like some flavours and not others is a combination of our brain’s hard-wiring and our own experience. Take coriander leaf for example. Some love its aroma and taste, whilst others think it tastes like soap. The reason for this is that some people don’t taste the pleasant aromatic elements but are super-sensitive to the unpleasant ones.
Other preferences develop through experience – positive and negative. We all have memories of foods we hated as children, and those memories can be incredibly strong so we immediately associate a particular flavour with an experience, before we allow ourselves to taste it afresh.
There are some flavour combinations that have a natural affinity, for example lemon and ginger or garlic and chili and others that may have just minority appeal – basil with cinnamon for example, would be fighting it out I think!
My Seasoning Works blog draws on all of these things and more. It’s great fun to try out new tastes, and learn what works well together. You can transform the blandest of ingredients with a sprinkling of herbs from your windowsill, and enhance rather than overpower the most delicate of dishes with a bit of knowledge and experimentation.
So please join me on my journey to learn how Seasoning Works.