How to Surprise Your TastebudsJuly 8, 2016
It’s said by those in the know that good food requires a balance of elements, and interplay of flavours. If you’re wondering how to surprise your tastebuds, look no further than these hacks for finding the perfect flavour balance.
To cook something delicious, there needs to be something to stimulate all of our tastebud receptors; those that taste sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami. You’ve probably heard of the first four, but if you’re wondering about umami, it’s the savoury flavour in loads of delicious foods that isn’t quite straight saltiness – think seaweed, tomatoes, soy sauce or parmesan. It’s basically a short cut to tasty!
If you’re looking for a little something extra to these little tricks might be just the thing to throw a surprise party in your own mouth.
Different Kinds of Vinegar
Vinegar is perfect for injecting acidity needed to cut through rich flavours or ‘lift’ the taste of a meal. Not all vinegars are created equal either – there’s loads of different types suited to different dishes. White vinegar provides a clean, acidic flavour without much extra drama. Balsamic vinegar is rich and heady, perfect for pumping up a mild mozzarella. Rice wine vinegar is ideal for Asian dishes, while apple cider vinegar adds a fruity, delicate quality to salads and roast veggie dressings.
I can’t believe more people aren’t all over lemon zest! Throwing it into a pasta, on a tray bake or all over a roast joint of meat is an amazing way to surprise your tastebuds and your dinner guests. Likewise, in dishes you already add lemon zest to, why not try subbing in lime, orange or grapefruit? While the effect of adding zest will be largely the same, a more mellow orange or fragrant lime zest can be just what that guacamole or cake recipe needs to truly surprise and delight.
You may not have come across nutritional yeast before – but it’s amazing. It grows on the skin of sugar beets and other sweet roast veg, and when added to popcorn, vegetarian bolognese or massaged kale, it adds a rich umami hit similar to parmesan cheese – but totally vegetarian friendly. Give it a try the next time you’re reaching for the grated cheese and taste the difference!
Finally, Romeso sauce is one of our new favourite condiments. It’s got a little bit of everything, and is great on steaks, roast veggies, with chips and even on top of soup! If you’re needing the skinny on how to surprise your tastebuds, this is the business.
- 1 large roasted red red capsicum (if you can get a nice quality marinated one in a jar, all the better!)
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pulse the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add the oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Happy tastebud adventures, HelloFreshers!