Definition: The process of imparting flavour to, or improving the flavour of food.
I firmly believe that seasoning needs it’s own page. All to itself. That’s how important seasoning is.
I remember as a child my Mum would cook a wonderful recipe called Potage Madrilène, a tomato soup made with dry sherry. She’d learnt to make the soup on a gourmet cookery course, and in the years that followed, dinner parties would always start with this wonderfully aromatic soup. At some point during my teenage years (angst ridden and silent from the ages of 13 to 19), Mum decided that salt was BAD and that her cooking was good enough to do without.
The flavours of this once heady and fragrant soup somehow became dull and muted and it soon fell from favour as a dinner party recipe.
At some point during my 20’s (carefree and drunken) we decided to give Potage Madrilène another shot. Mum and I gathered in her kitchen, this time watched by my cousin Dave, and made the famous family soup. Just as I was about to throw in a generous amount of Maldon sea salt my Mum screamed …. “NOOOOOOO! No salt in MY Madrilène!”
After the ensuing argument, we all gathered around the pot and added a small amount of salt, a little at a time ….
The first pinch …. our mouths started to water a little
We added some more …. all sorts of flavours were coming alive
We balanced the final seasoning and …. HALLELUJAH! The soup was alive again! Fresh zingy mouth watering flavours. The soup of my childhood!
> Think before you leave the seasoning in the cupboard.
> Use a good quality salt, it not only tastes better and it’s better for you too.
> Look at other ways to season your food – miso, soy, fish sauce. Or herbs or chili.
> And always remember the definition of seasoning: The process of imparting flavour to, or improving the flavour of food.