Yowsahs! We had quite the full agenda today! We started at 8:30 AM and went straight through until 3:00 PM this afternoon. I have SO much great stuff to blog about now. I’m not sure that I will get it all posted today, but I’ll definitely get it up as soon as possible.
8:25 AM and ready for the day!
The first seminar of the day was called Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + “The X Factor.”
For the first session, we heard from award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. They discussed their book, The Flavor Bible, which is considered an indispensible guide to hundreds of ingredients along with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that best complement them.
The Flavor Bible is organized alphabetically so you can look up an ingredient and see what flavors it is compatible with it. As you probably know, when it comes to cooking, I usually just “wing it” in the kitchen, so I think I would really like this style of organization. Plus, we learned that 30% of the food in the US is wasted and most of what is wasted is untouched fruits and veggies. The Flavor Bible helps prevent waste by suggesting creative flavor combinations for your produce, especially when it’s at the “eat me now” stage. Pretty cool, right?
“The X Factor” that Karen and Andrew discussed is what is perceive by the other senses– plus the heart, mind and spirit, other physical senses, including visual, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I’m sure many of us have experienced tasting a meal that takes you back to a different time in your life. It’s such an individual experience, isn’t it? You can be served the exact same dish as someone else, but have totally different emotions attached to it. For instance, microwave popcorn always brings me back to my childhood, specifically staying up late and watching movies with my mom and my sister. It’s really interesting how food can bring out these emotions.
Mid-way through the session, Karen and Andrew led us through a tasting so we could apply their flavor formula. They highlighted ricotta because it can go either direction when it comes to flavor– sweet or savory.
The ricotta was spread on mini baguette pieces and paired with eucalyptus honey, prosciutto, and a glass of Prosecco.
We tasted a number of delicious flavor combinations:
- ricotta + baguette (creamy + crunchy)
- ricotta + baguette + prosciutto (creamy + crunchy + salty/meaty)
- ricotta + baguette + eucalyptus honey (creamy + crunchy + sweet/rich)
- ricotta + baguette + proscuitto + Prosecco (creamy + crunchy + salty/meaty + fizzy/tart)
- ricotta + baguette + eucalyptus honey + Proscecco (creamy + crunchy + sweet/rich + fizzy/tart)
Many of these pairings provided “three dimensional flavors,” which, of course, were very pleasing to my taste-buds! This session definitely got me thinking more in depth about how to combine foods and flavors in new and different ways.
The whole time while listening to Karen and Andrew speak, I thought to myself that I really wanted to own The Flavor Bible myself. Lucky for us, we received our very own copies! I’m psyched to dive into this cookbook and get creative with my flavors.
LOTS more to come!