The most basic yet most integral ingredient in any dish is the simple salt. Too much salt can spoil the dish whereas little less can make it bland! Seasoning with simple salt and pepper is more often than not enough to make the dish really tasty! Similarly, with desserts over indulgence with sugar can make one sluggish after a meal whereas too less sugar makes one feel deprived.
This makes all the difference between a well prepared meal and a superlative meal. The meal can be simple and plain but the right presentation, right color coordination, and the right combination of protein, carbohydrate and fiber can make the humble pie seem exotic. Try to add more color to the food. For example while serving the simple steak, dress it up with a colorful salad and an divinely smelling sauce, the plain mashed potatoes will only add flavor to this meal!!!
One cannot stress the importance of fresh ingredients in making a meal yum. The fresher the vegetables and condiments are, the tastier the food is. Throw away those old and outdated spices and try to just grind them in the food processor just before you cook!! Thyme, rosemary, fennel etc are easily available in dry form but are more easily grown in your kitchen garden!!! Just take time to grow and nurture them, the flavor fresh herbs and condiments bring to the food is just worth all the effort.
Certain vegetables like onions, garlic, and herbs need to be cut just before cooking else they lose their aroma. Also, science has shown that a cut onion does absorb all the bad odors, tastes from the surroundings! Hence, while using an onion make sure to slice it just before it goes into the vat. Even while indulging in a salad, one has to take care to avoid salads with onions and too much dressing.
Though these are taboo to the arteries, fat and oils in the right amount and the right type can enhance or diminish the flavor. Oils like olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, gingelly oil are very nutritional but flavorful oils. They add a very distinct taste to the meal they are added to. So be wise while adding these oils. We wouldn’t want a Spanish omelet tasting slimy just because we added the almond oil instead of the regular vegetable oil!!
Staying on the topic of oil and fats, the temperature at which you cook with the oils also makes a huge difference to the meal. While adding tempering or vegetables for sauté, it is important that the oil is warm, not cold not burnt but warm to the right degree to help aid in flavor.
Oils enhance the vitamins present in carrots and beets so warm to moderate hot oil while sauté will be apt, while real hot oil is needed to temper Indian foods with mustard, cumin and chillies. The crackle of the mustard and the fried cumin and chillies bring an authentic taste to Indian cuisine.
The sustainer of life! Sip a glass of sparkling water through your meal and see how it enhances your taste. Do not gulp down water like a thirsty camel, small sips through the meal helps one relish the meal better. Unlike fruit juices or alcohol which are full of sugars and spirit, pure water is bland by itself but definitely enhances the flavor of the meal.
Try to eat a balanced diet and automatically it will taste better. By balance one doesn’t mean avoiding desserts or fries. Most definitely go ahead and have them, just remember a little bit of everything is much more than an overindulgence of just one thing.
While more flavors means a delicious meal don’t go overboard. Too many flavors will numb your taste buds and all food will taste the same. Try to stick to basic flavors and let the protein ,fibers and carbohydrate do their job.
Invest in good crockery even for daily use, you will eat better. Heavy porcelain or metal convince the brain that the food is rich and heavy and tasty. One tends to eat better if they believe that the food is tasty.
Remember grandmother used to admonish you “chew your food well”?; believe it or not chewing food properly will help food taste better. Chew food slowly and from both sides of your mouth using all your teeth. This causes increased salivation, stimulation of the taste buds which increases taste perception. A well chewed meal will burst its flavors into the mouth enhancing taste and also aid in digestion making one happier and real hungry by the next meal time.
Seeing is believing:
Don’t believe me? During the next meal time, switch off all electronics, sit at the table comfortably, plate up all you want, look into your plate and see what you are eating. Visualize every mouthful of food as it goes into your mouth and, your food will definitely taste much-much better when compared to eating with the television on, mobile in your hand, and the stereo playing loud music. Same goes to being stress free. Don’t bring office politics to the dinner table, sort out marital differences before you eat, say a prayer before eating and enjoy the meal!
These simple but effective tricks should help one eat and taste better! Bon apetite!