Cooking and eating is all about using our senses. Taste Sight Smell Touch hearing Taste buds in our mouth detect ◦ Sweet – tip of tongue ◦ Sour – side back of tongue ◦ Salty – side front of tongue ◦ Bitter – back of tongue ◦ Unami (savory): 1st identified in Japan meaning delicious, it refers to a meaty, brothy flavor of food that is not sweet. Has no identified part of tongue. Usually our first experience with a food dish Food should look good Should have appealing colors We can identify foods just by their smells. Aromatic refers to a strong smell Smell will help determine like or dislike of a food. Texture - how a food feels Temperature - hotness or coldness of food Something that is thick and chewy will stay in the mouth longer The way a food tastes, its texture, appearance, doneness, and temperature We use our sensory perceptions to help determine the flavor of food by combining taste, aroma and other sensations. Taste: the sensations when food comes in contact with the taste buds Ripening or aging - richest flavor Temperature - cold is less flavorful Consistency - thicker foods have less intense flavor Preparation and cooking - this changes the taste most significantly Look ◦ Opaque: light doesn’t pass through ◦ Translucent: some light passes through ◦ Transparent: clear ◦ By color Smell ◦ by the name of the food ◦ Descriptive words: perfumed, pungent, earthy, stale, musty, fresh, strong, intense Feel ◦ Descriptive words: firm, hard, soft, crisp, crunchy, crumbly, warm, cold, watery Sound ◦ Descriptive words: snap, sizzle, pop, crackle,crunch, fizz Our perception of taste can be compromised by: ◦ Age - taste perception declines with age as taste buds quit working ◦ Health - colds interfer with smell and some medications interfer with taste ◦ Smoking - less sensitive to odors and tastes Ingredients added to food to improve the flavor Seasonings are used to: ◦ Enhance the natural taste ◦ Balance tastes ◦ Cut the richness 4 basic seasoning: salt, pepper, sugar & light sweeteners, & acids High sodium foods: soy sauce, parmesan cheese, bacon, olives Table salt: refined of other minerals and impurities Iodized salt: has iodine added Sea salt: not refined so has minerals Kosher salt: made without additives ◦ Use twice the amount when substituting for table salt Rock salt: less refined, used in ice cream makers Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): comes from seaweed and is not actually a salt but used as one- -provides the umami taste Pepper: a spice that brings out flavor ◦ Black - unripe berries available as whole berries, cracked, or ground. Grind pepper for a fresher more aromatic taste ◦ White - ripe berries that are dried and used in light colored sauces Sugar: universally used to enhance flavor ◦ Brown sugar is a flavoring agent not a seasoning ◦ Liquid sweeteners include corn syrup, honey, maple syrup Acids: gives a tart/sour flavor from lemon/ orange juice, vinegar, wine and also improves the appearance and texture An ingredient that adds a new taste to food and alters the natural flavor Done using herbs, spices, vinegars, condiments Layering: adding flavor on top of other flavors to create pleasing combinations When flavoring, more is used as compared to seasoning where a small amount is used. Can be used dried or fresh but both will lose flavor as they age Certain herbs are associated with certain cuisines ◦ Italian - oregano, basil ◦ Greek - oregano, mint Dried herbs should have a pleasant smell. Herbs older than 6 mo. Will have no aroma Fresh herbs ◦ should have intense flavor, good color ◦ leaves should be intact and stems firm ◦ Store loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel in a loosely closed plastic bag ◦ Should be cut right before cooking For a more intense flavor add herbs at the end of cooking 1 tsp. dried herb = 1 T fresh herb From the bark, seed, bud/berries of plants Once very costly Whole spices last longer than ground spices Ground spices last about 6 months. Include: ◦ Curry powder ◦ Chinese 5 spice powder ◦ Jamaican jerk seasoning Spices and herbs don’t add fat or calories to food. Vegetables: onion, garlic, leeks, green onions, mushroom, celery, tomato Fruit: lemon, lime, orange ◦ Zest: the outer peel of fruit ◦ Forms: zest, juice, dried Liquids: broth, wine, brandy, liqueurs, stock, extracts Oil:any fat that remains liquid at room temperature Smoke point: the temperature at which fat breaks down and smokes Flash point: the temperature at which fat ignites Rancid: fat that is spoiled Vegetable - odorless, neutral flavor, cholesterol free Canola - no cholesterol, high monounsaturated fat Nut - strong flavor and aroma, heat diminishes the flavor Olive - from fruit and labeled by acidity level (low acid is preferable) ◦ Extra virgin is 1% or less acidity, virgin is 3% or less Flavored: bread dips, marinades, dressings, sauces Once included any item used to flavor foods (herb, spice, vinegar), but now includes cooked or prepared mixtures used to flavor or season foods Can be used in preparation or added by the individual diner Can make from scratch, buy fresh, bottled, canned, or jarred Can use a little or a lot ◦ Relish: cooked or pickled sauce of vegetables or fruit ◦ Chutney: a relish of fruit, spices, & herbs ◦ Ketchup: American tomato sauce ◦ Mustard: mustard seeds, vinegar, salt & spices ◦ Dijon mustard: named after town in France ◦ Soy sauce: fermented liquid from cooked soy beans, wheat, and salt Sour liquid made from fermenting wine or alcohol ◦ Wine vinegar ◦ Malt vinegar ◦ Distilled vinegar (grain alcohol) ◦ Cider vinegar ◦ Rice vinegar ◦ Flavoered vinegars Use of more than 1 flavoring 3 most common types ◦ Mirepoix ◦ Sachet d’epices ◦ Bouquet garni Additional Aromatic Ingredients ◦ Aromatic fruits and vegetables ◦ Aromatic liquids ◦ Cured and smoked foods Mirpoix is a combination of vegetables with 5common types: ◦ Standard: onion, carrot, celery - used in stock and soup ◦ White - parsnips are used in place of carrots - used in white stock/soup ◦ Cajun trinity - onion, celery, green pepper ◦ Matignon - onion, carrot, celery, ham ◦ Battuto - fat, garlic, onion, parsley, carrot, celery and sometimes green pepper - used in Italian cooking 1. Rinse onions, carrots, celery. 2. Trim all ingredients. 3. Cut ingredients to correct size. 4. Add mirepoix at the correct time. 5. Cook long enough to flavor the dish. Sachet d’Epices ◦ Mixture of fresh and dried herbs and spices in a cheescloth bag peppercorns, thyme, parsley Bouquet Garni ◦ Only fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables tied in cheesecloth Herbs: Thyme, parsley, rosemary, citrus peels Vegetables: leeks, garlic, scallions The cheesecloth bags are simmered in food dishes then removed and discarded. Condiments: prepared mixtures used to season and flavor foods. ◦ Something extra served on the side added by to food by the dinner Changes food by: ◦ Adding flavor (spicy, sweet, sour, salty, etc.) ◦ Add color or texture to look of food When purchasing condiments, make sure container is intact without leaks, bulges, or dents. Before using condiments check for freshness, off odors, if container date if past prime, off-taste Nuts are the fruit of various trees Exception: peanut is part of the root system Come in shell or shelled Come uncooked, roasted, blanched Come whole, halved, slice, slivered, chopped Tahini: the butter or paste produced from sesame seeds Examples: almond, cashew, chestnut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, peanut, pistachio, walnut Part of the plant that can grow into a new plant Comes from herbs, flowers, vegetables Used whole: sesame, poppy Used as flavoring: mustard seeds, cumin, nutmeg, fennel seeds Best stored in cool, dry place If vacuum packed will last long time In shell up to 6 months Roasted keep about a month Sliced or chopped nuts - not more than 3-4 weeks unless stored in sealed container in the freezer Butters: follow label instructions 1. Shell nuts or seeds. 2. Add to a dry, hot saute pan. 3. Stir constantly. 4. Toast until aromatic and slightly brown. 5. Transfer to a cool bowl. If nuts and seeds are overcooked they can become bitter.