Have you ever been told to try something because it is so good you will be amazed? However, when you actually try it, its nothing special. Either someone is having some fun with you at your expense, or there actually is something you are missing. You say tomato….
To find out if your friends are all goobers or you just have a junk palette (mwah-haha), you don’t need an expensive class or to spend time with a stuck up snob trying to ‘educate’ your taste buds. Right? How much fun would that be? Not so much.
Check out this book- It’s author, Barb Stuckey, has been a professional food developer for fifteen years. Her goal in writing this book was to make a “Tasting for Dummies” kind of book that teaches the reader to taste all the flavors and nuances of their food. She starts with the five basic tastes- sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami- to the profiles of spices, grassy, pungent, warm smoky floral, etc. The book is very interesting, particularly in its recipes and experiments, which teach your brain how to taste differences and hone in on what those differences are.
With salt, water and accent flavor enhancer, you can finally find out without a shadow of a doubt what umami really is. Yes, it’s meaty/savory/etc, but to taste it is completely different and is definitely an ‘Ah ha!’ moment. This book is full of them.
Not only will you learn what these profiles and tastes actually are, but you will learn how to really use them in your everyday cooking to further expand your nightly dinner menu into that of an expensive restaurant’s. Or just bust out of your routine 🙂 I’m no Gordon Ramsey, but it’s been fun playing with tastes and flavors.
Just don’t forget it’s always add a little bit at a time. It is much harder to take an ingredient out of the pot then to put more in. It is amazing how complex a simple tomato vegetable soup can become with just a few added spices and some well trained taste buds. My husband was really, really into the soup and insisted I add that line in. He says to make sure you know I mean it. Do you know? I mean it. (You know now!)
To get a good ‘taste’ for the book, take a look at Ms. Stuckey’s site Taste What You’re Missing. Or get the book at a fine book retailer near you or online.