Enhancing Flavor

In our last posting I spoke of the various salts and salt replacers in our never ending quest to reduce the total amount of sodium in our diets. We ended with the need to use highly flavored foods instead of salt to entice our palate. So exactly what are highly flavored foods?

There are many sensory attributes that a diner experiences during a meal. Seeing the name of the dish, hearing the sound of a sizzling platter, smelling the dish before it arrives, for example, all add to building flavor. The industrious chef artfully balances these elements, creating dishes where flavors do not compete with one another, but instead compliment.

So, how does one enhance these flavors? One way is to use highly flavored foods. That is foods that are high in glutamic acid. Glutamic acid sounds like msg, a chemical we all know to well from Chinese foods. MSG provides the umami profile described as savory or mouth watering. The fact is msg does make things taste better. However, I do not advocate using msg, but using foods that naturally have a high level of glutamic acid. Glutamate, or glutamic acid is an amino acid, is widespread and found naturally in all living cells. It excites the neurons in our brains and the taste buds on our tongues. The use of these foods will enable the chef to increase flavor without increasing sodium. So what are the foods we can use to add flavor without salt? There are many, but a few are:

-Meat all types used in small amounts can enhance a dish
-Cheese, all types
-Mushrooms, again all types
-Red bell peppers
-Soy sauce and soy Protein

Roast them, grill them, sauté them. However you use them, foods high in glutamic acid will add a kick of flavor to your dish without the need for heavy dose of salt.

Eat well!!

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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