Archive | June, 2015

Flavours and taste

14 Jun

What is the difference between taste and flavour? This is something I have been asked many times by young chefs.

OK let’s start with taste. Very simply taste is; SWEET, SOUR, SALTY, BITTER and UMAMI


Salt is a mineral, and is fairly easy yo detect.

Sweet taste is a good taste, it makes us think high energy: bananas, honey, etc, we need some of that too.

When it come to sour tasting foods we tend to take it a little easy. Most people don’t eat too much sour food, like lemons

Bitter taste as you know is not nice and lets us know not to eat that food, or to eat very little of it.

Umami, known as the fifth taste, is described as meaty and savoury, and I say a little earthy, like mushrooms. Someone told me the best way to understand Umami is to a cheeseburger with tomato ketchup – which apparently brings out the Umami meaty, fully flavour.

So to be brief – flavour is a combination of taste plus many other sensations and factors such as aroma, texture, juiciness, sensation or ‘feel’ of the food on the tongue and even colour.

Can we improve our sense of taste and flavour? Yes we certainly can! It’s all about knowledge and remembering all the different factors that make up flavour. In the kitchen we spend so much time around ingredients, taking in their smells, textures and colours. So much so that they become imprinted in our brains and can be used to come up with different flavour combinations to make great food.

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