List Of Culinary Herbs And Spices And Their Uses How Does Cooking Affect Spice Flavor?

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How Does Cooking Affect Spice Flavor?

As you know, time is everything when it comes to food preparation. The same applies to flavors, that is, when you spices affects the strength of taste. Depending on the spice, cooking can increase potency, as you may have learned by adding cayenne to your spaghetti sauce. Or the taste may not be as strong as you think. This is especially evident when adding herbs that are cooked for a long time, whether it’s a sauce or slow-cooking in a crockpot.

Spices can be difficult when exposed to heat. Heat increases and destroys flavors, because heat causes the essential oils to escape. The advantage of the crockpot is that slow cooking results in better results when using spices in food. The covered pot keeps the moisture and flavors of the steam and oil from escaping, and allows the flavors to soak into the food in the pot. Using a microwave, on the other hand, will not allow the flavor to come out, especially in some herbs.

Common sense tells us that cooking spices, such as allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmeg and mint can be added at the beginning of cooking. It all takes a long time to cook, whether it’s cookies or a sheet cake. They also work well in sauces that need to be chilled, although nutmeg is often sprinkled on the product after serving. Cinnamon, as well as rosemary, will interfere with yeast recipes and both are considered yeast inhibitors. Caraway seeds have a tendency to turn bitter with prolonged cooking and turmeric can become bitter when roasted.

Most herbs soften a little when cooked. Their taste seems to cook from the sauce very quickly. Herbs include basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, coriander, dill (the seeds take longer to cook than the leaves), lemon grass, parsley (flat leaf or Italian is good for cooking), thyme, tarragon and marjoram. In fact, marjoram is often sprinkled on soup after a meal and never cooked.

The exception to this herb is a strong bay leaf, which is well preserved in a pot or stew. Oregano can be added at the beginning of cooking (if cooking for less than an hour) as well as thyme. Often the flavor of herbs has a lot to do with the temperature at which they are cooked, as well as the length of time they are cooked.

Onions and their relatives can withstand a long time at low temperatures, but they are added at the end of cooking. Leeks are different. Garlic can be bitter if overcooked. A mild shallot will hold up well, but it will be bitter if burnt.

Peppercorns and hot peppers are best added at the end, as they become stronger as they cook. This includes chili powder and Szechuan pepper. Here paprika is different and can be added at the beginning of cooking. Mustard is usually added at the end of cooking and it is better if it is not brought to a boil.

Sometimes undercooking affects the taste. Most of the herbs mentioned above are used in salads. Cold, raw foods like potato salad or cucumber can absorb flavor, so you can be generous with your seasonings and add them early in the preparation. Refrigerated foods can spoil flavors, so you may need to adjust the flavors after reheating.

Again most of the cooking depends on how long and at what temperature you cook your food. It also has a lot to do with how you like your food to taste. My relatives in the Midwest can’t handle hot peppers like we in the Southwest can, and I wouldn’t use cayenne in their presence. As you can see, taste is not objective, nor is it an exact science. But that shouldn’t stop you from playing mad scientist and getting into experiments.

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