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SH1605

BASICS IN THE KITCHEN


I. SEASONING AND FLAVORING

A. Definition of Terms (Gisslen, 2009)


Seasoning
Enhancing the natural flavor of the food without significantly changing its
flavor
Flavoring
Adding a new flavor to a food, thus, changing or modifying its original flavor

B. When to Season and Flavor (Gisslen, 2009)

When to Season When to Flavor


The most important time for seasoning Only a few flavorings can be added
liquid food is at the end of the cooking successfully at the end of cooking. These
process. include fresh herbs, sherry or flamed
brandy, and condiments like prepared
mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
Salt and other seasonings are also added Most flavorings need heat to release their
at the beginning of the cooking. flavors and time for the flavors to blend.
Whole spices take longest. Ground spices
release flavors more quickly and do not
require long cooking time.
Adding some of the seasoning during Too much cooking results in loss of flavor.
the cooking process also aids in Most flavors, whether in spices or in main
evaluating the flavor along the way. ingredients, are volatile, which means they
evaporate when heated. Herbs and spices
should cook with the food long enough to
release their flavors but not so long that
their flavors are lost. If cooking times are
short, you can generally add spices and
herbs at the beginning or middle of cooking
time. If cooking time is long, it is usually
better to add them in the middle or toward
the end of cooking time.
Do not add much seasoning if it will be
concentrated during cooking, as when a
liquid is reduced.

C. Common Seasoning Agents

1. Salt (Basic Foods for Filipinos, 2006)


It is the most common seasoning. The most common salt in the Philippines is solar
salt, derived by evaporating sea water by sun-drying salt beads. Salt may not be
iodized. Iodization is done by incorporating potassium iodide to salt. Lastly, salt may
also be combined with herbs and spices to make seasoned salt, garlic salt, and celery
salt.

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SH1605

2. Pepper (Basic Foods for Filipinos, 2006)


It comes in three (3) forms: white, black, and green. They are actually the same berry
but processed differently.
Whole and Crushed Ground Pepper
Used in seasoning and flavoring stocks and sauces and sometimes red meats.
Ground black pepper is usually used in the dining room.
Green Peppercorns
Expensive and are used in special recipes
Ground White Pepper
More important as a seasoning in the food service kitchen, its flavor is slightly
different from that of black pepper and it blends well with many types of food.
Its white color makes it visually undetectable in light-colored food.

3. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate


White crystalline compound used as a food additive to enhance flavor; often used
in Chinese cooking; "food manufacturers sometimes list MSG simply as artificial
flavors in ingredient lists" (The Free Dictionary.com, 2003-2015)
Monosodium glutamate, a sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid that
enhances the flavor of certain types of food. Originally isolated from seaweed,
MSG is now made by fermenting corn, potatoes, and rice. It does not enhance the
four basic tastes (bitter, salty, sour, and sweet) but it does enhance the complex
flavors of meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. MSG is an important ingredient
in the cuisines of China and Japan and is used commercially worldwide in many
types of food. It is naturally present at high levels in tomatoes and Parmesan
cheese. In China, MSG is known as wei jing, which means flavor essence.
(MedicineNet.com, 2012)

D. Condiments: Seasoning or Flavoring? (Basic Foods for Filipinos, 2006)

1. Salty Condiments
Fish Sauce or Patis
A clear amber liquid derived from hydrolysis of heavily salted fish (often dilis,
galunggong, tamban). Most countries in Southeast Asia have their version of
patis.
Soy Sauce or Toyo
Prepared from salted soybeans and wheat flour. The traditional process is
called brewing, where fermentation is carried out by enzymes derived from
molds.
Fish Paste or Bagoong
The basic kinds of bagoong are fish, small shrimps (alamang), and shell fish.
These are all salted and allowed to ferment until the characteristic texture and
flavor is developed. Dilis, padas, and other small fish are also used to create
fish paste.

2. Sour Condiments
Vinegar or Suka
Product of a (2) two-stage fermentation of a sugary substance like fruit juice.
The first stage converts sugar to alcohol and at the second stage converts
alcohol to acetic acid.

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SH1605

In the Philippines, the common raw materials for vinegar are coconut sap
(tuba), nipa sap, sugar cane juice, and augmented coconut water.

3. Catsup and Other Fruit and Vegetable Sauces


Catsup/Ketchup
A spicy condiment made up of cooking fruit or vegetable, vinegar, sugar, and
spice
Banana Catsup
Banana sauce is a Philippine invention and can be rightfully be called banana
catsup. It was first developed as a substitute for the then imported tomato
ketchup which explains its red color. It is made from ripe saba instead of fresh
banana. This is the most popular catsup in the Philippines.

II. Basic Sauces

A. Sauce
Are flavorful liquids, usually thickened and used to season, flavor, or enhance
food. Sauces normally consist of three (3) major ingredients such as liquid,
thickening agent, and additional seasoning or flavoring ingredients.
o Liquid ingredient provides the body or base of most sauces.
o Thickening agents bind the sauce together so that it will not run off the plate.
However, sauces should not be too thick nor too watery at the same time.
o Other seasonings and flavoring ingredients give additional flavor to the basic
sauce and give the final character to it. An addition of one or two (1-2) ingredients
to the basic sauce can change the flavor altogether.

Mother Sauce /
Liquid + Thickening Agent =
Leading Sauce
White Stock + Roux* Veloute
Espagnole /
Brown Stock + Roux*
Brown Sauce
Milk + Roux* Bchamel
Tomato + Stock + Roux* Tomato Sauce
Clarified Butter + Roux* Hollandaise
*Roux = Fat + Butter

B. Characteristics of a Good Sauce


1. The color is appetizing and shows no signs of fat. It should be smooth and has a good
shine.
2. The consistency is light. It should not be too thick or pasty, but thick enough to coat
food lightly.
3. The flavor is distinct and is not overpowered by spices. There should be no starchy
taste.

References:
Gisslen, W. (2009). Professional cooking, 5th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
TheFreeDictionary.com (20013-2015) Retrieved on September 11, 2015 from
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/MSG
MedicineNet.com. (June 14, 2012). Retrieve on September 11, 2015 from
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15581

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