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BUITDING FTAVOR

Continuing to the finishing i


juice, nutmeg, and white PePPer.
to texture, although the butter in
is used for both texture and flavo
mered vealare a ctassic marriage of ftavors that workwelltogether in many dishes' However'
make the dish ctoying' The
too much richness, combined with the mildness of the vea[, could

has been used.


combine to
lf the dsh is welt composed, atl of these flavors, primary and supporting,
form a complex but unified whole we identify as the taste of vealbtanquette.

General Concepts in Flavor Buitding


discussed suggests some
There are no fixed rules for combining flavors, but the example iust
general principles. When you are developing or modifying a recipe, think about the
following
points.
and then think
Every ingredientshould have a purpose. startwith the main ingredients,
just the ingredients you need.
aboutwhat witlworkwith them. Continue to buitd the flavor, using
the example above'
tngredients can worktogether by harmonizing or by contrasting,ln
tartness of the
the rich taste of the [iaison and the mitd taste of the veaI harmonize' The
lemon, on the other hand, contrasts with the cream'
Whentwoingredientscontrost,besuretheybalonce.Forexample,addiustenough

the flavors in an individuaI recipe do.

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXITY


ingredients is
simpler is usuatly better. some cooks mistakenty thinkthat adding more
always preferabte to adding fewer. But the more flavors you combine,
the harder you have to
work to balance them alt. Further, the more competing flavors you have, the more you have
to take care that the primary flavors of the main ingredients aren't [ost.
This istruewhetheryou are planningthe ingredients in a singte recipe
orthe components
to put too many things on a plate. when you have a meat
on a plate. some cooks are tempted
fourvegetabtes and starches, with additional garnishes
item perched on layers ofthree or
and two or three sauces, the resutt is often a confused iumble'
It would be inconect, howevel, to say that simpler is always
better. Classic dishes from

not impossibte, to taste each of the individuatspices'

CLASSIC FLAVOR PROFILES


toget lace to start is to studY
rtd as cuisine Passed down to
s that me' We know the flavor
been cades or even centuries'
CHAPTER 4 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COOKING AND FOOD SCIENCE

We have atready seen some classic flavor combinations in our discussion


of veat blan-
quette. The combination of white meat, cream, lemon, and
a hint of nutmeg is a quartet of
flavors you witl find repeatedty in classic and regional dishes.

CI.ASSIC FTAVORING
COMBINATIONS
study classic dishes.
These are just a few ofthe many tradi- For chefs who want to create their own dishes, studying classic
recipes is a good place
tional flavoring combinations from to sta rt.
around the world. Keep in mind that,
although only one or two combinations
are given for each country or region Seasoning and
mentioned, they are not the only combi-
nations used there. These are merely Flavoring lngredients
examples to stimulate your thinking.

Sour cream, paprika, caraway


The precedingdiscussi sthatadd flavorto orchange
the flavor of a dish. Th
(Hungary)
Sour cream or mustard, dill
ingredients. The rema i;#ii"."titi"i:il
well as common flavor mustard.
(Scandinavia)
Carawa onion, vinegar (Germany)
Apples, apple cider or apple brand
cream (France-Normandy)
Shallot, garlic, parsley
between seasoning and flavoring. Seasoning means enhancing the
(France-Burgundy) natural ftavor of a food
Tomato, basil, olive oil (ltaly)

Olive oil, garlic, anchovy (ltaly)


Lemon, oregano (Greece)
Cinnamon, nuts, honey (eastern
and southern Mediterranean,
Middle East)
Ginger, onion, garlic (lndia)
Fish sauce (nam pla), lemongrass,
Season i ng
chiles (Thailand) 1. The most important time for seasoning liquid foods is at the end of
the cooking
process.
Ginger, soy sauce flapan)
The last step in most recipes, whether written or not, is ,,adjust the seasoning."
Soy sauce, sake or mirin, dried This means you have to first taste and evaluate the product. Then you must
bonito (fapan) decide
what shoutd be done, if anything, to improve the taste. often, a rittte satt
in a stew or a
Ginger, garlic, scallion (China) dash of fresh lemon juice in a sauce is enough.
The ability to evaluate and correct flavors takes experience, and it
is one ofthe
most important skiils a cook can develop.
2. salt and other seasonings are also added at the beginning of cooking, particularly for
larger pieces of food, when seasonings added at the end would not
be absorbed or
btended in but just sit on the surface.
3' Addingsome ofthe seasoningduringthe cooking process aids in evaluatingthe flavor
atong the way.
4. Do not add much seasoning if itwill be concentrated during cooking, as when a liquid
is reduced.

Flavorin g
Flavoring ingredients can be added at the beginning, middte, or end,
depending on the cooking
time, the cooking process, and the ftavoring ingredient.
BUITDING FLAVOR

1. onty a few flavorings can be added successfulty at the end of cooking. These include
prepared mustard
fresh (not dried) herbs, sherry or ftamed brandy, and condiments tike
and Worcestershire sauce.
2. Most flavorings need heat to release their flavors and time for the flavors to btend'
quickty and thus don't
Whole spicestake longest. Ground spices release flavors more
require as long a cooking time.
3. Too much cooking results in loss of flavor. Most flavors, whether in spices or in main
ingredients, volotile,which means they evaporate when heated. That is why you
are
can smelt food cooking.

we can conclude that herbs and spices should cook with the foods long enough to
short, you
release their flavors but not so long that their ftavors are [ost. lf cooking times are
can generalty add spices and herbs at the beginning or middle of cooking time'
lf cooking
cooking time'
times are tong, it is usuatly better to add them in the middte or toward the end
of
30 minutes
ffofe: Food safety experts recommend adding dried spices and herbs at least
before the end of cooking so any microorganisms they might carry are destroyed.

Common Seasoning and Ftavoring Ingredents


(as when crumbled bacon is
Any food product can be used as a flavoring ingredient, even meat
are complex
added to sauted potatoes or diced ham is included in a mirepoix)' sauces, which
preparations containing many flavoring ingredients, are themsetves used as ftavorings for
meat, fish, vegetables, and desserts'
We obviously cannot treat alt possibte flavoring ingredients here, but we discuss some of
the most important. A survey of herbs and spices is provided in Table 4.1. lngredients used
primarity in the bakeshop are discussed in Chapter 29'

4.1 Herbs and SPices


Table
Pnooucr Mnnrrr Fonms DrscntPTtoN Exlmpls or Usr
Smallbrown berry; flavor resembles Sausages and braised meats, poached
Attspice Whole, ground
blend ofcinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg fish, stewed fruits, Pies, Puddings

Smatl seed; licorice flavor Cookies, pastries, breads


Anise seed Whole, ground
Aromatic leaf; member of mint family Tomatoes and tomato dishes, Pesto
Basil Crushed leaves
(ltatian basil sauce), egg dishes, [amb
chops, eggplant, Peas, squash

Stiff, dark green, oblong leaves; pungent One of the most imPortant herbs for
Bay leaf Whole
ar0ma stocks, sauces, stews, braised meats

Dark brown, curved seeds; familiar rye Rye bread, cabbage, sauerkraut, Pork,
Caraway seed Whole
bread seasoning cheese spreads, Eastern European dishes

Tiny brown seeds inside white or green Pickting, Danish Pastries, curries
Cardamom Whole pod, ground seed
pod; sweet and aromatic; exPensive
Ground form of hot red chile;looks [ike ln smatl amounts in many sauces' soups'
Cayenne (red pepper) Ground
paprika but is extremetY hot meat, fish, egg, and cheese dishes
(see p.88)

Tiny brown seeds with strong Salads, coleslaw, salad dressings,


Celery seed Whote, ground, ground mixed
celery flavor tomato products
with salt
Herb with mitd flavor of ParsleY Soups, salads, sauces, egg and
CherviI Crushed leaves
and tarragon cheese dishes

Blend of spices including cumin, Chiti and other Mexican dishes, egg
Chili powder Ground blend
chiles, oregano, garlic dishes, appetizers, ground meat

Grasslike herb with onion flavor Salads, egg and cheese dishes,
Chive Fresh, dried, frozen
fish, soups

The plant that produces coriander Widety used in Asian and Southwestern
Cilantro Fresh leaves
seeds; delicate texture; assertive, cooking and in dishes with various
(fresh coriander,
herbaceous aroma and flavor; leaves ethnic influences
Chinese parsley)
resemble flat parsley
CHAPTER 4 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COOKING AND FOOD SCIENCE

4.1 Herbs and Spices (continued)


Table
Pnooucr Mlnxr Fonrns Dscntprtor{ Extmpls o Us
Cinnamon Sticks, ground Aromatic bark olcinnamon or cassia tree Pastries, breads, desserts, cooked fruits,
ham, sweet potatoes, hot beverages
Clove Whote, ground Dried flower buds ofa tropical tree; Whole: marinades, stocks, sauces,
pungent, sweet flavor braised meats, ham, pickting;
Ground: cakes, pastries, fruits
Coria n der Whole, ground Round, light brown, hollow seed, Pickting, sausage, pork, curried dishes,
slightly sweet, musty flavor gingerbread
Cumin seed Whole, ground Small seed resembling carawa lngredient of curry and chili powders,
but lighter in color sausages and meats, egg and
: cheese dishes
i curry p'wder Ground btend eggs, vegetabres, rsh,
,i,il:ji,i:;1,',.; Jg1jfl' :;Ji::J:t.''
brands vary sreatr',

: Ditl
i ilitilil;lfii.pper;
Crushed leaves Herb and seed with familiardi[ pickle flavor; Seed: pickting, sauerkraut,
soups;
alled ditt weed), seed is more prngniinn the herb
ii fwhote seed herb: salads, cheese dishes, fsh and -
sheltfish, some vegetiUi-.
i Epazote Fresh and dried leaves A pungent herb with coarse-textured leaves used in Mexican cooking; often cooked
i with beans
i Fennel whole seed Greenish-brown seeds similar in flavor ltalian sausage, tomato sauce, fish
: to anise, but larger in size
i Garlic Fresh: whole butbs; Strong, aromatic memberof onion family; Widevarietyof foods
i ried: granurated, powder, fresh utbs lorpr.J oi,any sma croves
i and mixed with salt
i r whole, grou nd lso fres h
Gi nge Light rown, knob by root of nger pla nt
(a b gi ked good d desserts, fru its,
Ba san
i and candied orcrystallized)
curred?ishes, raseJmets; fresh in
: Chinese and otherAsian dishes
i Juniper berry Whole Slightly soft, purpte berries with piney flavor; Marinades, game dishes, sauerkraut

j: Lemongrass Fresh sta lks


:
principal flavoringofgin
tropica grass with a stightly
A I lbous base used in south east Asia n ishes
bu d d n
. and an aroma of lemon dishes influenced byAsian cuisine
an i

: Mace Whole (blade), ground Orange outer covering of nutmeg; similar


flavor, Baked-goods, desserts, fruits, sausages,
but milder pork, fiih, spinach, sqast,tf,.r'
: i
vegetables
i Marioram crushed leaves Gray-green herb with pleasant aroma and pts and ground meats,
braised meats,
ii :lightty minty fla ror, similar to oregano, sauces, rost lamb, poury anJ poultry
I -

:
but much milder stufflngs
i lVtint Leaves familiar cool flavor; d fruit beverages,
i i
rmint and peppermint oes
i Mustard seed Whole, ground (also in white oryellow and
prepared mustard; see p. gg)
hes, pickling, meats,
i rown is stronger
i Nutmeg whole, ground sweet, aromatic kernel of nutmeg fruit soups, cream sauces, chicken, veal,
! manyvegetables (spinach, mushrooms,
. :
squash, potatoes), desserts, custards,
i breads, pastries

:
i orega no Leaves, grou d ngent n rb known as the "pizza herb"
Pu he lta n d Mexica nI iahes, mato
an d is to
ii Paprika products
Ground Ground form ofa dried, sweet red chile. Spanish: used (oroverused) primarityas
variety is brighter in color, mild in
'
i
i :panish garnish
flavor; Hungarian is darkerand more
on light-colored foods;
pungent Hungarian: gutash, braised meats and
I
, poultry sauces
i Parsley Fresh: whole sprigs, in Most widely used herb; dark green curly or Almost all foods
i unches; dried: i frakes flat reaves with eiiiai, sweet navor
i Pepper,black Whole(peppercorns); ground Small blackorcreamywhitehardberry; Mostwidelyusedspice(seep.g/)
::1.yll: ...llf,medium,o',ouir pungentfravorandaioma
BUILDING FTAVOR

Pnooucr Mlnrr tonns DscntPTol{ Exlwrpr-s or Us


Pepper, red (see Cayenne)
Bright pink dried seed or berry; pungent, Limited uses in meat, poultry and flsh
Peppercorn, pink Whole
floral taste; unrelated to black pepper dishes; sauce garnish; used in pepper-
corn mixtures

Whole Tiny btue-btack seeds with faint but Garnish for breads and rolls, buttered
Poppy seed
distinctive flavor noodles; ground: in pastry fltings

Whole Light green leaves resembling pine needles Lamb, braised meats and poultry soups'
Rosemary
tomato and meat sauces

Whote (thread) Red stigma ofsaffron crocus; gives bright Steeped in hot liquid before use; rice
Saffron
yellow color to foods; mild, distinctive flavor; dishes, poultry seafood, bouitlabaisse'
very expensive baked goods

Pungent gray-green herb with fuzzy leaves Pork, pouttry, stuffings, sausage, beans,
Sage Whole, rubbed (finer
consistency than whole tomatoes
Ieaves), ground
Crushed Ieaves Fragrant herb of mint family; summer savory Many meat, poultry, fish, egg, and
Savory
is preferred to winter vegetabIe dishes

Smatlyetlowish seed with nutlike taste; familiar Bread and roll garnish
Sesame seed Whole (hulled or unhulled)
hamburger bun garnish; high oil content
Brown seed pod, usualty partialty opened; Spicy meat and pouttry dishes
Sichuan Whole
peppercorn spicy, pepperyflavor, but unrelated to black
peppercofns
Dried, star-shaped seed pod with an anisetike Braised Chinese dishes
Sta ntSe Whole or broken
ftavor (but unrelated to anise) but more aromatic
Delicate green herb with flavor both minty and Barnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar,
Tarragon Crushed leaves
licoricelike chicken, fish, salads and dressings, eggs

Tiny brownish-green leaves; very aromatic One of the most important and versatite
Thym e Crushed [eaves, ground
ofherbs; stocks, soups, sauces, meats,
poultry tomatoes

lntense yellow root of ginger famity; mild but A basic ingredient of curry Powder;
Turm eflc Ground
distinctive pePPery flavor pickles, relishes, salads, eggs, rice

1. Solt is the most important seasoning ingredient. Don't use too much. You can always
add more, but You can't take it out.

. Table salt has a fine granutation. lt may contain iodine as a dietary additive' Table
t
satt also may contain other additives to prevent caking' BasiI

. Kosher salt is prized in the kitchen because of its purity. Unlike tabte salt, it contains
no additives. Because of its coarse or ftaky granulation, it does not dissotve as
quickty as table salt, but it is easierto use when added to foods by hand, so many
chefs prefer it to table salt at their cooking stations.

. Sea satts of many origins and types are avaitable. Many of them have colors
ranging
from grayto green to red, from various minerals and other impurities. These impuri-
gives them
ties atso add subtle flavors to the salt. ln addition, their coarse granutation
salts are used primarily
a pteasant mouthfeel. More expensive than other satts, sea
as garnishes for Plated foods.

2. Pepper comes in three forms: white, black, and green. A[[ three are actually the same Chives
berry, but processed differentty. (Btack pepper is picked unripe; white is ripened and
the hutl is removed; green peppercorns are picked unripe and preserved before their
color darkens.)

. Whole and crushed black pepper are used primarity in seasoning and flavoring -'-\.
stocks and sauces and, sometimes, red meats. Ground black pepper is used in the
Garlic chives
dining room bY the customer.
CHAPTER 4 BASIC PRINCIPI.ES OF COOKING AND FOOD SCIENCE

o Ground whte pepperis more important as a seasoning in the food-service kitchen.


Its flavor is stightly different from that of btack pepper, and it btends welt (in smalt
quantities) with many foods. lts white color makes it visuatty undetectable in
tight-
colored foods.

' Green peppercorns are fairly expensive and are used in special recipes, primarity
in
Clantro luxury restaurants. The types packed in water, brine, orvinegar (those in waterand
in brine have better flavor) are soft. wet-pack peppercorns are perishable. water-
packed peppercorns keep only a few days in the refrigeratorafterthey are opened,

Dill while the others keep longer. Dried green peppercorns are also available.

3. Red pepper or coyen ne is comptetely unretated to btack and white pepper. lt betongs
to
the same family as paprika and fresh sweet bell peppers. used in tiny amounts, it gives
a spicy hotness to sauces and soups without actually altering the flavor. ln larger
' amounts, it gives both heat and flavor to many spicy foods, such as those of Mexico
and lndia.

Epazote 4. Lemon iuice is an important seasoning, particularty for enlivening the flavor of sauces
and soups,

5. Fresh herbs are almost always superiorto dried herbs. They should be used whenever
cost and avaitabitity permit. Not long ago, the onty fresh herbs generally available in
many areas of North America were pa rsley, chives, and sometimes m int and diil. Now,
however, most herbs are available fresh. The accompanying photos illustrate the most
commonly used fresh herbs as well as some unusualfresh flavoring ingredients.

6. onion, gorlic, shallots, and other members of the onion famity, as well as carrots and
cetery, are used as flavorings in virtualty alI stations of the kitchen and even in the
bakeshop. Tryto avoid the use ofdried onion and garlic products, except as a compo-
nent of spice blends. They have less flavor, and the fresh product is always available.
green ginger
7, wine, brondy, and other atcoholic beverages are used to ftavor sauces, soups, and
many entres. Brandy should be boited orflamed to eliminate the high percentage of
alcohol, which would be unpteasant in the finished dish. Tabte wines usualty need
some cooking or reduction (either separatety orwith other ingredients) to produce the
Lemongrass
desired flavors. Fortified wines Iike sherry and Madeira, on the other hand, may be
added as flavorings atthe end ofcooking,

8, Prepared mustard is a blend of ground mustard seed, vinegar, and other spices. lt is
used to flavor meats, sauces, and salad dressings and as a table condiment. For most
cooking purposes, European styles such as Dijon (French) or Dussetdorf (German) work
best, while the bright yellow American ballpark style is more appropriate as a table
condiment than as a cooking ingredient. A coarse, grainy style is sometimes called for
in specialty recipes.

Marjoram

Mint Parsle flat


Rosemary
Parsley, curly

Thyme

Tarragon
Sage
BUILDING FTAVOR

9. Grated lemon and orange rind is used in sauces, meats, and poultry (as in duckting

['orange) as we[[ as in the bakeshop. 0nty the colored outer portion, called the zest,
which contains the flavorfuI oils, is used. The white pith is bitter.

70. MSG, or monosodium glutomate, is a flavor enhancer widely used in Asian cooking.
MSG doesn't actuatly change the flavor offoods, but it acts on the taste buds. lt has a
reputation for causing chest pains and headaches in some individuals'

Using Herbs and Spices


Definitions
Herbs are the leaves of certain plants that usuatly grow in temperate ctimates.

Spices arelhe buds, fruits, ftowers, bark, seeds, and roots of plants and trees, many of
which grow in tropicalctimates.

The distinction is often confusing, but it is not as important to know which flavorings are
spices and which are herbs as it is to use them skittfully.
Tabte 4.1 is not a substitute for famitiarity with the actual products. Eventuatly, you
shoutd be abte to identify any spice on your shetf by aroma, taste, and appearance without
looking at the labet. The accompanying photos illustrate a number of whole spices.

Top row, left to right:


black peppercorns,
gfeen PePpercorns,
pink peppetcorns.
Bottom row, left to right:
white peppercotns,
Sichuan peppercofns

Top row, left to right: cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon sticks.


Bottom row, left to right: iuniper berries, cardamom, saffron,
star anise

Top row, left to right: celery seed,dill seed, coriander seed, caraway seed.
Bottom row, left to right: fennel seed, cumin seed, anise seed
CHAPTER 4 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COOKING AND FOOD SCIENCE

Guidelines for Using Herbs and Spices


1. Be familiar with each spice's aroma, flavor, and effect on food. looking at a spice chart,
induding the one in this booh is no substitute for familiarity with the actual product.
2. Store dried herbs and spices in a cool place, tightly covered, in opaque containers. Heat,
light, and moisture cause herbs and spices to deteriorate rapidly.
3. Don't use stale spices and herbs, and don't buy more than you can use in about 6 months.
Whole spices keep longer than ground, but both lose much flavor after 6 months.
4. Be cautious after you have replaced old spices. The fresher products are more potent, so
the amount you used lefore might now be too much.

5. Use good-quality spices and herbs. It doesn't pay to economize here. The difference in
cost is only a fraction ofa cent per portion.
6. Whole spices take longer to release flavors than ground spices, so allow for adequate
cooking time.
7. Whole herbs and spices for flavoring a liquid are tied loosely in a piece of cheesecloth
(called,a sachet) for easy removal.
8. When in doubt, add less than you think you need. You can always add more, but it's hard
to remove what you've already added.

9. Except in dishes like curry or chili, spices should not dominate. Often, they should not
even be evident. If you can taste the nutmeg in the creamed spinach, there's probably
too much nutmeg.

10. Herbs and spices added to uncooked foods such as salads and dressings need several
hours for flavors to be released and blended.
1 1. Taste foods before serving whenever possible. How else can you adjustthe seasoningl

. How do chefs use the idea offlavor balance to combine a variety ofingredients into a
single dishl
. What is the difference between seasoning and flavoringl
. What guidelines are used for conectly adding herbs and spices to foodsl
QUESTTONS FOR DTSCUSSION

TERMS FOR REVIEW


cooking infra red ba rbec u e molecular gastronomy
carametizaton microwave rangetop smoke-roast colloid
gelatinization moist-heat methods pan-smoke hydrocoltoid
fiber dry-heat methods broil flavor profite
denature boit gritt umami
coagu lation simmer griddte primary ftavor
Maitlard reaction poach pan-broil supporting flavor
connective tissues bla nch saut season i ng
oits steam degtaze flavoring
smoke point en papitlote pan-fry volatile
evaporation braise deep-fry herb
cond uction stew pressure fry spice
convection roast sous vide
radiation bake

QUTSTIONS FOR DISCUSSION


Your broiter cook has just broited a codfish fillet that turned 7. A cook in your restaurant is roasting severaI pans of chickens.
out dry, rubbery, and shrunken. Explain what happened to it. He thinks they are browning too fast, and he covers the pans
2. Why might adding some tomato product to a beef stew help with foilto keep the chickens from browning much more' What
make the meat more tender? is wrong with this?
3. You are roasting a [arge quantity of ducktings and must use 8. You are sauting beeftenderloin tips for stroganoff, and you
both your conventional ovens and your convection oven. suddenly find the meat is simmering in tiquid rather than
You set a[[ the ovens at the same temperature, but find the sauting. What did you do wrong?
ducktings in the convection oven are done first. Why did this 9. Your customers complain your French fries are too greasy and

h a ppen? soggy. How can you correct the problem?


4. You are roasting two beef tenderloins of the same size, one in 10. What food safety probtems are posed by the vacuum packag-
an oven set at 450oF (230'C), and the other in an oven at ing a n d the low cooking tem peratu res of sous vide cooking?
250"F (12OoC). You remove both ofthem from the oven when 1 1. Descri be th e d ifferen ce belw een p ri m a ry fl avor and s u p po rti n g

the temperature at the center is 135oF (57"C). Describe the flavor.selectafavorite recipe and explain the function ofeach
doneness ofeach tenderloin from outside to inside. ingredient, indicating which are primary ftavors and which are
5. Arrange the following cooking methods in three groups, de- secondary flavors.
pending on whether they are moist-heat methods, dry-heat 12. What is meant by the phrase "adiust the seasoning"?
methods without fat, or dry-heat methods with fat: braising, 13. What iswrongwith addingwhote caraway seed to a portion of
n g, deep-fryi n g, sa uti ng, poach in g, steaming, broi ti n g,
roasti goulash just before serving?
pressure frying, grilling, sim mering.
6. What are some advantages of braising a pan of Swiss steaks
in the oven instead ofon the range?