Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Five Basic Tastes

Bitterness, Saltiness, Sourness, Sweetness and Umami. Doesn’t include spicy, I wonder why? I like spicy foods, we used to grow our own birds eyes chillies and used them in a lot of cooking (Scoville 50k-100k). Now I have some plants of Habanero but I find them too hot at 100-350k Scoville units.

I remember one time I made a curry for the Bowes and it mostly had cinnamon and cumin as the spices, nothing I’d consider remotely hot. I’d actually though t the meal was a bit sweet. But Cameron in particular didn’t like it because it was too spicy. I had to take this to mean too many flavours.

Needless to say I rarely make something as hot as I like and then add a bit of perri perri sauce or something at the end. Never as good when its not mixed through but a decent compromise to be able to share my cooking.

I don’t quite follow the Umami taste category, apparently it’s the reason to add cabbage to chicken soup and the reason parmesan cheese goes well with tomatoes and mushrooms. The chemicals pertaining to it produce a long lasting meaty or brothy flavour. It also seems to require combination with another source of umami flavour in order to be pleasant.

Coincidentally Sun Tsu also mentions five basic tastes near the end of chapter five. I wonder if he includes spicy? Or maybe Acid is the last taste he considers?