White table salt is a standard, but it’s far from the only choice. Salts from various parts of the world can add interest in terms of colour and texture, along with interesting variations in mineral flavours. Try using Kosher, Himalayan pink Sea salt, Black Hawaiian, Fleur de sel, or Smoked salt.
Try nature’s own sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup. Both of these ingredients add their own flavour profile along with extra sweetness. You can also use ingredients like natural stevia leaves to enhance sweetness without adding additional calories.
Emphasize bitterness with citrus zest, squid ink, dark chocolate, or espresso powder.
The savoury taste of umami has been identified as one of the flavours responsible for people “liking” a food.1 It occurs naturally in foods that contain the common amino acid glutamate, like meat, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms.
Certain ingredients also interact with each other to enhance umami flavours. Try these combinations:
- Kombu seaweed + dried bonito
- Onions, celery, and carrot + beef
- Spring onions and ginger + chicken
FIRE & ICE
While they’re not related to temperature, the experiences we perceive as “burning” or “cooling” can also intensify the eating experience. Look for these ingredients to turn up the heat or keep your guests cool.
For a hot sensation, try using hot pepper, cinnamon, ginger, or garlic. For a refreshing taste, try using mint, or tarragon.
1Miyaki, T. Umami Increases Consumer Acceptability. Journal of Food Science Research. 2015