Stop Trying to Squeeze Out All the Lime Juice. Over-Squeezing Leads to Bitterness

When squeezing citrus juice, you probably try to get the most juice out so as to not waste money or the fruit. However, there’s a culinary reason you might want to squeeze only almost all the way: to avoid too much bitterness.

Source: Stop Trying to Squeeze Out All the Lime Juice. Over-Squeezing Leads to Bitterness

Over-squeezing leads to bitterness… Bitterness leads to hate… Hate leads to the Dark Side.

Come to the Dark Side… we have cookies.

Why Some Honey Tastes Like Cat Pee

Walk into a high-end health food store these days, and you’re bound to find a shelf of pricey specialty honeys purporting to tickle your tastebuds with distinctive flavors. But isn’t it all just one big marketing ploy? Do they really taste that much different from standard honey? The science says yes.

Source: Why Some Honey Tastes Like Cat Pee

Sometimes, I’m envious of those who can taste more than I do.  Not this time… 😉

When a Food has an “Acquired Taste”, What is Actually Happening When We Begin to Enjoy It?

A large part of taste is expectation. Things that you think will taste of one thing but instead taste of something else usually cause an adverse reaction. For example this video of a blindfolded milk test with one of the “milks” being orange juice. It’s not that orange juice is disgusting in itself, but if you’re expecting milk it is.

When you think of what foods are considered an “acquired taste” most of them have a pretty unique flavour. I think beer is probably the best example of an acquired taste, since most people like it, but basically no one likes it when they first try it. Beer has a taste that’s completely different and unexpected compared to other beverages, so your first reaction is unpleasant. I’m sure one could come up with a bunch of evolutionary reasons why things that taste weird cause an unpleasant reaction. But essentially you need to get used to a taste before your expectations align with reality, and only after can you really enjoy the flavour.

Human evolution explains the distaste for alcohol at first. We are incredible at identifying poisons. Poisons have a severe bitter taste which is why when poisoning someone, say someone putting antifreeze in their spouse’s drink, they have to mask it with an overwhelming amount of sugar.

Another aspect is the impact of culture. People will limit their dietary choices, consciously or not, due to their upbringing.  Likewise, some cultures will expose us to things we would not in others.  Haggis, vegemite/marmite, Durian, root beer…  Religion, societal/class norms, etc. play a role in learned dislikes. A similar process happens, as you become accustomed to the food and get over the mental barrier which prevents you from enjoying it.

Lastly, sometimes we don’t get a choice.  Starving?  Not where you’ve missed a meal but actual food deprivation.  When you’re hungry, anything tastes good…

Roll Chocolate Pastries in Cocoa Powder Instead of Flour for More Chocolately Flavor

Be prepared to get your hands dirty and apply sprinkles liberally.

Source: 10 Tips from One Week as a Professional Baker

It also keeps chocolate cookies brown (or black). I frequently make black bat sugar cookies and they come out looking much better with cocoa powder instead of flour.

Chicken Broth Comes Out Better on the Stovetop or Pressure Cooker, Not the Slow Cooker

…there are also times when I’m in a hurry and I want that great chicken stock NOW. Likewise, there are days when I need to step out for a while and I don’t want to leave an unattended pot simmering on the stovetop. This is when I think about pulling out the pressure cooker or the slow cooker. But how do the results compare?

Source: Ask the Food Lab: Can I Make Stock in a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?

Don’t forget that you can alter the body by adding gelatin.

  1. The author set his slow cooker on low. He should have made a fourth batch with it set on high.
  2. Different slow cookers reach different temperatures. Mine reaches a good simmer on low and a boil on high.
  3. He doesn’t say whether he started with cooked or raw chicken scraps. A couple of the best batches of stock I’ve ever made were from the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey done in a slow cooker which I started right after the meal an let simmer all night. I wonder if using cooked bones makes a difference.

Start With a Cold Pan For Perfectly Cooked Garlic

It never gets old. That moment when you’ve heated oil in a frying pan, and toss in the minced garlic. It hits the skillet and sizzles, turning golden as it releases that savory aroma. You feel a surge of confidence. Now you’re really cooking, right?

Source: The Trick You Should Use Every Time You Cook Garlic

FYI: Different ways of mincing garlic will also affect the flavour.  And when sauteing, garlic after onion?

Dip Tomatoes in Warm Water Before Chilling to Make Them Taste Better

Any true tomato fan knows that you do not put them in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures cause tomatoes to lose their flavor, which is why so many that arrive in your home from a store are already bland.

But new scientific research has found there might be an unbelievably easy fix: a quick dip in hot water before they are ever chilled.

Source: Scientists have an incredibly easy solution for better-tasting supermarket tomatoes

I have found that washing my tomatoes before putting them in the refrigerator (which arguably would be similar to putting them in warm water) makes them go bad faster.

The note about shipping tomatoes in a gas is a common practice for shipping produce.  Lots are shipped in an environment without oxygen to delay ripening.

Why Food Tastes so Bland on an Airplane (and How to Make It Better)

Whether you eat the in-flight meal or pack your own favorite snacks, food tastes pretty bland when you munch on it at 10,000 feet. Here’s why.

Source: Why Does Food Eaten on an Airplane Taste so Blah?

This was actually an episode of “Next Iron Chef” several years back. The contestants had to make a first-class airline meal with the catch being that they had to over-flavor everything to make sure that it actually tasted good once they were up in the air. Very cool stuff.

You Have Taste Receptors in Your Colon. Here’s Why.

Taste receptors don’t only exist in your mouth. You can find them all over your body, including your stomach, your lungs, and your colon. Why? It turns out the taste receptors are much more versatile tools than we suppose.

Source: You Have Taste Receptors in Your Colon. Here’s Why.

The flavors are so pronounced, you can just sense the aftertaste on the tip of your bum. But that might only be the spicy food…

Add a Pinch of Salt to Fruit for Enhanced, Fruitier Flavor

Using salt on both ripe and unripened fruit should be your new kitchen trick.

Source: Salt, Meet Fruit

The trick is to put on just a little – just enough to make the flavor ‘pop’. If you can taste salt, you’ve put on way too much. Also, I find iodized salt just a bit bitter, so if you’re getting a bitter note try a sea salt, finely ground.