- 1). Choose spices that represent the five different taste sensations: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (taste of amino acids like hard cheese). The human tongue separately recognizes these five types of tastes. By using a spice from each, you can produce a dish that has a complete balance.
- 2). Use complementary herbs. There are traditional herb mixtures that are generally used together because they complement each other. Spicy dishes can include chili peppers, cilantro, garlic and cumin. Sweet dishes generally include allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Bouquet Garnis spice mixtures have bay, parsley, basil and oregano.
- 3). Use fresh herbs or herbs that have not gone past their expiration date. Herbs go past their primes at different times, which will result in varied tastes. Check the bottle of herbs or taste your fresh herbs to ensure that you are using herbs with a consistent flavor.
- 4). Measure out your herbs with measuring spoons prior to cooking. People often forget what spices they have used in a dish. By measuring everything, you can avoid adding more of one spice than another.
- 5). Cleanse you palette before tasting your dish. Drink a glass of water or eat a piece of white bread to neutralize the flavors on your tongue. By eliminating any aftertaste, you will be able to add the right spices to balance your dish.
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