Linda brandt taste of food begins before the first bite – news – sarasota herald-tribune – sarasota, fl best apples for juicing

Reading about the sense of taste for today’s column, I learned that contrary to what I remember from high school science, our tongue is not divided into sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savory (umami) “zones.” taste receptors are more concentrated around the perimeter and back of the tongue, but the whole tongue senses all tastes. Also, I was amused to find in an article at livescience.Com that proposals had been made to add piquance (heat), calcium (chalky), carbon dioxide (fizzy), coolness (menthol), fat (mouthfeel), kokumi (richness) and metallicity to the five basic tastes.

Taste is only one sense by which we experience food. A firm, fragrant, green apple or smooth red tomato or slow-simmered sauce on pasta with parmesan stimulate your other senses so you already have expectations for the food you are about to eat.


Smell, touch, sight and even hearing combine to influence taste, the sense that will determine whether that first bite meets those expectations.First bite

There is a reason that recipes instruct cooks to “taste and adjust seasonings “multiple times during the preparation. “we can’t have confidence in any dish we serve if we haven’t tasted and seasoned each component along the way,” says cooking instructor and cookbook author joanne weir in a washington post interview, and yet “taste is overlooked or underutilized by almost every student I teach.”

The harsh odors and flavors of cut onion and garlic intensify over time so chop or mince them just before adding to your recipe. Soak sliced raw onion in a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda per cup of water to reduce its pungency. Rinse thoroughly.

To ensure that marinade penetrates meat, especially thick cuts, prick the surface with a fork or make shallow cuts with a knife. Place meat in a zip top bag, press air out, and seal. Flip the bag halfway through marinating time to be sure all of the meat is exposed to marinade.First bite

Keep fats from becoming rancid. Store sticks of butter in a zip-top bag in the back of the refrigerator. Keep vegetable oils in a dark pantry and nut and seed oils in the refrigerator. Freeze nuts in a zip-top bag for up to a year.

Incorporate the fond, flavorful bits that stick to the skillet when meat is browned, into soups, stews and pan sauces. Deglaze the hot pan with wine or broth and loosen fond with a wooden spoon.

Meat that has been removed from the pan to cool releases juices that will enhance a pan sauce when added back into the skillet. Simmer sauce for an extra minute or two to restore its consistency.

To intensify the flavor of commercially ground spices, cook them in a little oil or butter until they smell toasty before adding liquid to the pan. If your recipe begins with sautéed aromatics, add the spices to the pan when the vegetables are nearly cooked.

Instead of adding salt to boost flavor, add a little lemon juice or vinegar to reduce the perception of bitterness and brighten other flavors.First bite

Rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and marjoram release maximum flavor when added early in the cooking process. Add delicate parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives and basil at the end of cooking, or as garnish.

Boost umami flavor by adding soy sauce, worcestershire sauce or anchovies. Mix a teaspoon or two of soy sauce into chili or add a couple of finely minced anchovies to a chicken braise.

Over seasoning is often irreversible, but in mild cases, an overpowering ingredient may be masked by the addition of another from the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. Start with a small amount, about 1/8 teaspoon and add more as needed.

Too sweet: add acid (vinegar or citrus juice) or seasonings (chopped fresh herbs or a dash of cayenne). Desserts may benefit from a bit of liqueur or espresso powder.

Gremolata: combine 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, 1 minced clove garlic and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.Combine tablespoons add to soup, stew, pasta or hearty braises.

Herb butter: combine 4 tablespoons unsalted softened butter, 1 small minced shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put a dollop on meat, fish, chicken or soup just before serving.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, add shallot or onion. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly translucent.

Add rice and stir briskly with a wooden spoon so grains are coated with oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until you notice a slightly nutty aroma, but don’t let rice brown. Add wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is fully absorbed.

Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice; stir until liquid is fully absorbed. When rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock; repeat the process.Combine tablespoons stir constantly to prevent scorching; add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.

If you run out of stock before rice is tender, finish the cooking by adding hot water just as you did the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.