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Old 06-27-2005, 02:10 PM   #11
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okay it's logical now that you moved both the Piquant and the Savory posts. That makes sense. I couldnt figure out why the one.

The board still seems like it has too many categories to navigate through although in the months since I've been gone the folders do seem to be filling up more.

I think the first board someone comes across should be the basic food groups or those basic categories that we had originally. As it exists now, the food portion of the folders is down so low that you dont even see it till you scroll downward. on my pc, all I see is "General cooking' terms techniques," etc. I dont even see Meats etc. until I scroll down I cannnot help but think a lot of people who have never been here are going to miss it.
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:18 PM   #12
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It's umami, with an "m."

Food scientists describe umami or savory as the 5th taste sensation.

Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

But it is commonplace to call anything that isn't sweet "savory." This is more like shorthand and not food science, though.
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:31 PM   #13
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Savory: 1. Appetizing to the taste or smell; 2. Piquant, pungent, or salty to the taste, not sweet (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). It's one of those cases where the word can mean two things, and it is easy to confuse. As when you apply hot and/or spicy to a dish, it can mean many things to many people. In cooking most people I know who cook (and I am by no means a pro) use sweet and savory as opposites; when they say savory, they mean something you aren't going to eat for desert. On the other hand, anything you love can be called savory, and that is more commonly used by someone not cooking. And, well, we haven't even gotten into the herb in my garden!
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:19 PM   #14
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I love it! Savory is defined as Piquant. We keep running around in circles! No seriously, that is a useful definition Claire. The entire thread has been quite illuminating, thanks everyone.
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland
I love it! Savory is defined as Piquant. We keep running around in circles! No seriously, that is a useful definition Claire. The entire thread has been quite illuminating, thanks everyone.

I thought this was a funny circle, too!
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Old 06-28-2005, 06:38 PM   #16
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that's a good one.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:03 AM   #17
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I made the mistake of thinking I could find a definative answer and pulled out my copy of ORIGINS: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Eric Partridge. Lets just say that the origins of savory and piquant get even more convoluted when you add in pungent!

So - the best I can come up with is the simple standard concept that savory means not sweet. Obviously, if something is "sweet and savory" then it is a mixture of mutually exclusive terms/flavors - as in sweet and sour sauce. So:

Savory: not sweet, piquant
Piquant: Pungent
Pungent: acrid, with a punch
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:54 PM   #18
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that's great I'm glad it sparked your interest. Can you elaborate on anything else you found interesting when you did your foray? I mean since you took the trouble to research it, is there anything else worth mentioning that we might be interested in? I know I started out having one basic def'n but then when I saw it used in a certain way that Joy of Cooking did, then I got more confused...
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:17 PM   #19
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I think the bottom line is that it boils down to whatever the a cook or chef's individual preference is. For me, savory does not include anything sweet or that has a predominant citrus, acid, or spicy flavor. Although a sauce or dish can have some citrus and spicyness and still be savory (i.e. chili), I don't personally like to intertwine the three tastes. Like I said before, for myself, I like savory to be rich with a lot of depth in flavor, used more in reference towards a sauce (i.e. a Porcini-Merlot Demi Glace). But that's my own personal interpretation of the word.
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