Unusual Flavors to Experiment With
By Editorial Staff
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Creating flavorful food is what cooking is all about.
The best part is there are no rules when it comes to creating strangely delicious dishes (as long as you’re prepared to make a few duds along the way).
Be brave. These unusual flavors to experiment with are the perfect place to begin your next culinary adventure.
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10. Toasted spices
A few minutes on a hot pan is all it takes to intensify the taste of spices, seasoning and dry herbs. This is a simple way to get more bang from older spices, too. Grind seeds and spice blends like cumin and mustard seed and toast with a little oil. Broaden the types of cuisine you cook with tumeric powder, cardamom pods, garam masala, sumac and other bold spices.
This root is famous for its pungent spiciness. It’s an affordable alternative to wasabi, and has a unique taste all its own. Try it in applesauce, on potato salad, base for meat sauce, in potato soup or on a chicken sandwich.
8. Grilled fruit and cheese
Grilling does something magical to certain fruits like pineapple, peaches, watermelon, figs and bananas, and it only takes about 2 minutes. The sweet caramelization melts in your mouth, making it a perfect, if uncommon, partner with sharp gourmet cheese. The combo is a yummy savory treat or a crafty way to brighten up a burger or grilled cheese.
Tea lovers know there’s practically no end of fragrance and mouth-watering flavor combinations available. Many home cooks are beginning to discover how exotic and traditional teas like oolong, jasmine and rich darjeeling elevate cooked fish, meat, vegetable, broths and desserts.
6. Nutty citrus
Curry leave have a distinct citrusy, nutty overtone. It’s an herb used in many South Indian dishes, added to curries and dahl. This is one of the more unusual flavors to experiment with as the mouth-filling aroma can also elevate many ordinary dishes like scrambled eggs.
5. Everything bacon
The high fat and salt content of smoked bacon is a flavor many many people crave. It’s unusual in that you can pair it with almost anything and you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy the results. Whether you crisp it on the stove top, bake it or make a savory jam of it, cooking bacon is almost fool proof. New cooks can let the imagination run wild. Try it with chocolate, maple syrup, peanut butter or crumbled in banana bread.
Edible flowers like lavender, Nasturtiums, carnations and dandelions make for a beautiful garnish or colorful edition to salads, but they don’t add much flavor. Rose water does and it’s easy to find. Add a few drops to a creamy sweet or elegant savory dish for a feminine, rosy finish.
3. Sweet and earthy beets
Beets are not wildly popular in the United States. Buy them fresh and the dirty skin and stringy roots aren’t exactly appetizing. However, cook beets properly and they’re loaded with nutrients and unusual flavors to experiment with. Pickle them, roast them for a walnut goat cheese salad, use them as natural sweetener in a chocolate cake, glaze them with carrots or throw them in hummus.
2. Key Lime… toffee
Key lime and candy makes key lime toffee that aren’t unusual at all by themselves but take a classic British treat a step further. Try making a unique flavor like this part of a sauce – over ice cream, perhaps – or dessert.
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Sipping cider isn’t the only way to enjoy the robust flavor of unfiltered cider or the clean, crisp sweetness of filtered. Cooking accentuates the bright, soothing taste. Add it to wintry stews, mix it with mustard and herbs for roasting chicken, use it in a protein marinade or create a sticky campfire glaze with honey for dipping sausage.
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