Qualifirst’s Guide to Proper Seasoning

specialty ingredient distributor

Seasoning a dish properly is an art, as there are many flavor factors to consider. Often a recipe will call for seasoning “to taste” so it is a matter of preference. To make sure you are seasoning your dish to its full potential, here is a simple list of questions to ask yourself when it comes to spicing it up:

Does it need salt?

It is surprising how often the answer to this question will be “yes!” Adding salt to your cooking reduces bitterness and can accentuate other flavours in the dish. Though you do not want your dish to be salty, try adding about a half teaspoon of salt at a time, then taste to see when your dish reaches the optimal salt level. The goal is for your dish to be seasoned so well that your guests/diners do not need to add any after the fact.

Does it need more spice?

Not necessarily spice with heat, but sometimes your dish may need more spice flavour. Basil, thyme, tarragon, sage- these are some spices that elevate and give great flavour to cooking if you add the optimal amount. Sometimes, it may be the freshness of your spices that is affecting the flavour- if they are less fresh, the flavour won’t be as pronounced resulting in needing to add more to achieve that balance of flavours. Always choose fresh over dried herbs.

Does it need some acidity?

Some dishes need a healthy dose of pucker to bring out the flavour. Adding vinegar, citrus (like lemon juice), or wine can add a level of complexity to the flavour profile, and accentuate the spices and seasoning you have added to the dish.

Does it need depth?

If your dish has good flavour but you’re looking to make the dish extra savory, add some complex umami flavour. Some ingredients with umami flavour are tomato paste, parmesan cheese, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce- depending on what will fit with your dish, add any of these or other umami ingredients you desire.

Is it rich enough?

Sometimes your dish will hit the mark with flavour, but needs an element to bring the flavours together. A good fix for this is to add richness- add some butter or a splash of cream to give your dish a rich note.

Once each level of the flavour profile is enhanced to your liking, your dish is ready to serve! The key in adjusting flavour in any dish: tasting. As the chef, you need to taste your dish at each stage to ensure you are getting the most of the flavours you add. Using premium ingredients will ensure you get the best quality flavours. For the best quality dishes, order from Qualifirst, your trusted gourmet foods and specialty ingredient distributor. Or, call us today at 1-800-201-1177.