Spices create the flavor
The good old salt and pepper are not the only spices that bring flavor to food. The right spices bring out and enhance the original flavor of the food without overpowering it.
The ABC of seasoning
Seasoning is not difficult – but to get the best results, you have to keep on practicing. There is no one right way to season. If you want the characteristic flavors of the ingredients to stand out, use spices judiciously, only a few per dish. On the other hand, remember to be bold while seasoning. A versatile use of spices and spice combinations bring out completely new features of the food.
The basics of seasoning
Start seasoning carefully and gradually add the spices. Always taste the food before adding more spices. Measure the spices with a spoon or the palm of your hand. Do not pour the spices directly from the jar. It takes about fifteen minutes for the spices to release their best aromas in warm dishes. In cold dishes, such as dipping sauces, it takes around two hours for the flavors to fully come out.
1. Whole spices
Whole spices, such as pepper, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick are used in dishes that require a long simmering time. Add them when you start preparing the food.
2. Ground spices and groats
Add the ground spices and groats as well as the more delicate herbs that tend to lose their flavor at the end of preparing the dish. Savory, rosemary, sage and thyme are exeptions and release their best aromas during simmering.
3. Seared surface
Add the spices to the freshly seared surface so that they do not burn during frying. Over-flavoring can be corrected by increasing the amounts of other spices and providing mild side dishes (potato, rice, pasta). Excessively strong flavors can also be alleviated by adding fat or dairy products to the food.
4. Adding salt
Add salt only when the dish is fully prepared. Always taste the dish before adding salt. When using salty spice mixes, be especially careful when adding more salt to your dish. Many spice ranges also contain unsalted spice blends that only add taste instead of increasing the salinity of the dish.
Spices increase the attractiveness of food
The most common use of spices is to modify the flavor of food. However, spices have another important purpose - improving the look and smell of the food.
Heating some curry and paprika powder in a dash of oil before adding other ingredients will give your food a beautiful color and enhance the flavor.
How to store spices
Buy spices according to your needs in fairly small batches. The worst enemies of spices are light, heat, air and moisture. The best place to store spices is a dry and cool place, protected from sunlight. The spice rack on top of the stove might be conveniently at hand, but it is not to be recommended as a place to store the spices!
Check your spice cabinet at least once a year and remove old products that no longer have the aroma left. Whole spices retain their aroma longer than ground spices.