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Old 06-23-2007, 04:14 PM   #1
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Ingredients that make anything taste good?

What are some ingredients that can make anything taste good when added to a dish? (if there such a thing?) I'm thinking of stuff like onions, garlic, honey... maybe maple syrup. Can anyone think of others?

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Old 06-23-2007, 04:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baking fool
What are some ingredients that can make anything taste good when added to a dish? (if there such a thing?) I'm think of stuff like onions, garlic, honey... maybe maple syrup. Can anyone think of others?
Salt is the ONLY thing that you can add to most any food to improve it's flavor, even sweet foods like fruit and chocolate.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
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You beat me to the punch IC.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Salt was going to be my #1 choice but oddly another couple ingredients that can be used in sweet or savory dishes is cilantro and lime. I've just got a "thing" for those two flavors. They are a great addition to fruit i.e., fruit salsa, or just some fresh fruits, like watermelon, and pineapple, and they add so much flavor to chicken, pork, fish, etc.

But that one certain thing would have to be salt.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Salt was going to be my #1 choice but oddly another couple ingredients that can be used in sweet or savory dishes is cilantro and lime. I've just got a "thing" for those two flavors. They are a great addition to fruit i.e., fruit salsa, or just some fresh fruits, like watermelon, and pineapple, and they add so much flavor to chicken, pork, fish, etc.

But that one certain thing would have to be salt.
I love working with those flavors too KElf, but they're both cuisine and flavor specific. You need to be looking for a certain end result to use either because they have such distinct flavors that they can either accentuate or totally ruin a dish. They're both one of those flavors where it will depend if a person likes the taste of it or not. The one herb that I think can be used in more dishes than most is thyme. In can be used in mostly any European cuisine, Latin cuisine, Contemporary American cuisine, and in many Asian dishes too. Soy, citrus, and thyme go very well together. With citrus, lemon is probably the most universal.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:18 PM   #6
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You mean I can't just think of me????? Yes, I was totally thinking of only my tastebuds with those two ingredients. Those were the only two things I could think of that I actually use quite a bit without having of a certain cuisine in mind......only thinking of my.


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Old 06-23-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:52 PM   #8
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i think some people took me a bit too literally. I also think salt is the only thing that can improve the flavour of ANY dish. What I was really wondering was if anyone could think of stuff that seem to be in A LOT of dishes (like onions and/or garlic).
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:49 AM   #9
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Ketchup!

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Old 06-24-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baking fool
What I was really wondering was if anyone could think of stuff that seem to be in A LOT of dishes (like onions and/or garlic).
Chiles/peppers: They're key in Indian, Asian, Mediterranean and American (North and South) cooking.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baking fool
What I was really wondering was if anyone could think of stuff that seem to be in A LOT of dishes (like onions and/or garlic).
That's exactly what I do. I put onions and garlic in just about everything. Yummy!
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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A squirt of lemon juice will freshen the taste of fruit dishes.

Mire poix; onion, carrots and celery; sweated as a flavor base for many dishes adds a depth of flavor.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:11 AM   #13
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Maybe not everything but I would be lost without soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:15 AM   #14
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Bacon. Everything is better with bacon.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:01 PM   #15
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Whipped cream.

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Bacon. Everything is better with bacon.
(And, there's always room for J-e-l-l-o. )
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:05 PM   #16
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Cardamoms and nutmeg enhance the taste of beef stews, Dhania (Cilantro) for all stews and yes, as Ironchef mentioned, dhania and lime are best mates, they go down well together. Rosemary for chicken, Garlic for just about everything. Parsley to enhance the freshness of your mouth ! Plenty plenty plenty of great food marriages.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:07 PM   #17
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lol @ amy

yep salt is very important to bring forth flavour
i do use salt, soy and sometimes fish sauce interchangeable
most of my vegan soups i feature in the restaurant i sub soy sauce for the salt and they are amazing
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #18
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Baking fool, that's a pretty tough question to answer. There are lots of ingredients that are in lots of foods, but that's usually due to the cooking style or specific regional cuisine that the dish in question comes from. For example, one thing you could add to Asian dishes that could enhance the flavor is soy. Soy is a pretty major building block for Asian flavors, and works well in other cuisines as well, but, you won't find much soy in classical French cooking, for example. Just like you aren't likely to find Indian curry in German sausages, or any other example.

Building flavor in a dish really depends on what you want the dish to be, and finding the best way to introduce the appropriate flavor. For example, if I wanted I dish to be spicy, I wouldn't add cream to it, because cream will partially mute flavors. If I wanted to serve halibut with a saffron-vanilla beurre blanc (delicate fish with a delicate sauce), I would not choose to serve mashed potatoes loaded with bacon, garlic, cheddar, and chives as my side dish.

Did you have a more specific type of cuisine you were looking at? That might help the rest of us give you a more directed answer.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:40 PM   #19
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Did you have a more specific type of cuisine you were looking at?
not really... I was just trying to find out what ingredients people would be 'lost without' as auntdot said & that's all.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:50 AM   #20
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Bacon. Everything is better with bacon.
Amen, brother! I can understand that!
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