What is flavour? How can we choose a favourite, or more to say, how can I? When choosing a favourite flavour, it’s not an easy question to answer yet it’s an easy subject to talk about.
The flavour is not to be confused with the 5 taste elements that build our perception of flavour. I’m fascinated by continuing to push and develop my palette with varied success and enjoyment.
Sometimes there are unique moments when it comes to developing dishes, and food and beverage pairings, I experience those mostly when I am in a new restaurant or country trying something completely crazy or new to me.
I’m intrigued by the likes and dislikes of different countries, regions, people, their food philosophy and what is normal for me, it’s completely alien to someone else. Think haggis or stinky tofu. We are not born with food dislikes or favourite flavours. We learn and develop our palettes as we grow depending on which part of the world we are in. What makes us enjoy one thing over another? What makes children dislike broccoli?
I think what makes us all special and unique is that we all appreciate tastes differently. Personally, I love bitterness and acidity, yet my wife cannot stand bitter but loves acidity and sweetness. Perhaps I think we could all agree that umami rocks?
I tend not to be a very loyal guest when it comes to restaurants or food, not because I’m not too fond of the food or experience, but quite the opposite. I am constantly searching for new things to try. Will I ever have enough time to explore every flavour, restaurant and cuisine? Well, I’m giving it a good try!
When it comes to cooking, I enjoy creating complexity of flavour, while using fewer ingredients and building on simplicity. The first thing to consider is using the best possible ingredients, then creating balance with the 5 tastes and enhancing with that unique touch to add depth.
To come back to the original question, flavours … I like vanilla, coffee, ginger, jasmine, strawberries and any kind of cheese…