With our taste buds, we are able to experience if something is sweet, sour, bitter and/or sour. Since human taste buds are replaced approximately twice a month, there’s no need to “spare” them. Instead, give them just what they need! Together with olfactory receptors inside human nose, taste buds create the flavors we all love. That’s why I would like to talk about seasoning and its importance for any chef, whether professional or amateur.
Salt & Pepper are, of course, one of the key ingredients for seasoning steaks, fish and sausages. However, they won’t alter the flavor of the food you’re preparing, but simply enhance it; that’s why its called seasoning. If done right, seasoning makes the significant difference. So, season everything you cook by don’t over-season your meals: season it, then taste it and, if there’s need for more seasoning, repeat the procedure.
Like with other ingredients, you should choose fresh-cracked peppers and high-quality salt (sea salt, volcanic salt etc.). Once you learn how to find the perfect balance between salt, pepper and meal you’re cooking (and usually, it involves a lot of tasting to bring out the best in the food), it’s time to move to other things that are used for seasoning: herbs and spices. Dried or fresh leaves of succulent plants are usually referred to as herbs, while spices basically include other parts of the plant, such as buds, fruit, stems, roots, seeds and/or bark with/without leaves. Also, you have to make the right sweet and sour balance with sweet and acidic ingredients.
Finally, for anyone who doesn’t have enough time to be playful in the kitchen and yet wants to prepare and eat perfect meal, there are numerous wonderful seasoning blends on the market. Most of them are based on the special culinary traditions of certain region and/or culture. Among the best seasoning blends for meats like steak and chicken as well as vegetables like spinach, brussel sprouts and asparagus are Season 1 blends. They are rapidly gaining popularity and can be found at Whole Foods, Kings Supermarkets and several independents throughout the tri-state New York area. They are expanding along the East Coast and have plans to go west and beyond.
So, next time you invite your friends over for a dinner, either spend some time seasoning the dishes in an old-traditional way or buy one of the blends such as those produced by Season 1 and you won’t go wrong!