Building Flavor Profiles
- Describe tastes that work well together
- List examples of classic flavor affinities
Learning to create flavor profiles in the kitchen is one of the keys to making meals that friends and family remember. We all have dishes we’ve made a hundred times and that one time something special happens. Fresher, better ingredients or maybe a slight change in technique and the end result is somehow elevated over what is normally a really great dish. Often, the ingredients make the difference.
Understanding what tastes marry well, considering the function that each ingredient will serve, and playing off flavor affinities that are known to taste great together is a big part of crafting a great dish.
You see, flavors are developed using complementary or contrasting tastes. The mastery is in knowing when and how to use each ingredient to get the result you want.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Fresh ingredients
- Water glasses
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by describing some of the tastes that play well together. Then describe the function of specific flavors. And then finally, describe a few of the classic flavor affinities.
Activity (20 minutes)
Prepare a tasting menu for the Students using the examples in the Flavor Profiles article. Present the ingredients individually and allow the Students to sample each. Then present the affinities and have the Students taste those. Have the Students take a drink of water between tastings to help cleanse their palettes.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What affinities did you like most? What function did the ingredients serve? How did it feel in your mouth? Did you notice a difference in taste when tasting the ingredient by itself and then with other ingredients? How did it change?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you have ever done a food tasting before?
- Now that you’ve done a food tasting, how many of you think you could do one for your parents at home?
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