Culinary Student Journal, Week 23

Let’s talk about flavour

I am by no means having a superior palate compared to anybody else. But since i love to eat, especially for good food, just like anybody else, I try to balance all the spices and try to keep the seasoning as simple as possible. I am not against using a lot of spices, as long as it will produce a great food, I will always be on your team.

What I want to talk about is when you cooking something, I assume you want to have a great outcome. whether it just cooking a simple instant noodle, a stir fry vegetables, to a fancy steak and such. to achieve that I believe we have to keep all the flavour profile in balance in order to showing the real characteristic of the dish you wanted to show. Yes, we when we cook we might want to put our own twist and such, but we have to remember that we need to achieve the flavour of original dish.

Confused? Yea, me as well. Let’s talk example.

Let’s say we are making tiramisu, a light Italian classic with a combination of coffee and liquor that mixed with the light characteristic of a mascarpone cheese. For me, a good tiramisu should have a balanced ratio between the liquor, the bitterness of the espresso, and some sweetness from the ladyfinger. I won’t be satisfied to get a tiramisu that way too sweet nor bitter, as well as a heavily drunken tiramisu due to the massive amount of booze.

I once asked a friend why he make a tiramisu with a lot of liquor, and he said because I like to drink. For me that is stupid, if you really want to drink, just go buy a bottle and drink. you don’t have to go all the trouble by making a tiramisu for it. I know how it feels to love a flavour, I had done

eating parmesan cheese with steamed rice as well with instant noodle.

Weird?

Yeah, I know. But it is so good, tho.

Why I decide to write about this?

Because I found out that nowadays people tend to overuse an ingredients, like truffle oil anything, salted egg anything. Again, I am not saying it is wrong to do that. It is all an experiment of what goes well with what, but let’s just make sure that we don’t lose the balanced flavour that makes a dish beautiful.

I am not saying they who did that wrong, it’s just like a musician experimenting with a lot of sound to create music, and just like any other experiments some might works and some not. Just let’s be open for the failure and not being a stubborn that can’t receive a criticism. A flavour is again personal to everyone and everybody is entitled to their opinion as well as their own palate.

I only wish that I can assemble a nice tasty dish, just like a great composer able to mesmerise the listener with their beautiful music. To quote one of my chef instructor, Martin Yeo, ‘Cooking is similar to music, there are countless ways to mix and match it to make it your very own culinary masterpiece’

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