Behind every great recipe, fresh and vibrant ingredients reside...
Start off with the 5 main tastes that all have a definitive essence and adjust to create balance in a dish. They also work together to create a sublime synergy; watch this space for a focus on #ingredients that amplify, refine or enhance... harmony of flavour!
We might immediately think of sugar, but honey is really the better example... there's something about cooking with it which isn't just about sweetness but rather a subtle richness and depth of flavour. Honey can add to or enhance overall taste, as well as bring balance.
Salt can dial up its own different subtlety of flavours depending on origins, and is even indispensable in baking! It also changes depending on when it's added. From plain table salt to ground rock salt, cooking with the former and finishing off with the latter works well.
Amp up the flavour with that essential acidity... Take the wholesome lemon... from something simple like the juice or even a tiny amount of zest, the additional taste dimension is huge! It can liven up a salad and bring balance to a sauce; as vital in cooking as it is in some wines.
Dark chocolate is much beloved by some but not for everyone... that bitter, tannin edge can be an acquired taste. Also think of this in the context of texture, such as rocket leaves in a salad or raw kale and spinach as complementary sides, or even pak choi in Thai cooking.
Said to be a newer entrant as the 'fifth taste' to the gastronomic world but really this could also be because of the fascination with 'umami', a Japanese term referring to savouriness found in stock, or caramelised meat and even veg; it's often the element behind the moreish factor...