6 Simple Ways to Enhance the Flavors of Your Favorite Foods, Drinks and Vapes
By Space Coast Daily // January 20, 2022
When you really think about it, there’s no doubt that we are an extremely flavor-focused society. There’s a reason why people drink stout instead of light beer when they’re feeling indulgent. It’s the same reason why people roll corn in butter instead of simply salting it – it’s because foods and drinks that are heavier often taste better.
We love flavors so much that many millions of people around the world end up locked in a seemingly impossible struggle to control their weight.
Well, we’ve got some solutions for you – and they’re not going to involve slathering your foods with fat or increasing your carb intake unnecessarily. At you’re about to learn, there’s an almost endless way of enhancing the flavors of your favorite foods, drinks and vapes without making them any more calorically dense than they already are.
Have we piqued your interest? Try one of these flavor enhancing tricks the next time you eat, drink or puff. We think you’ll be happy with the result.
Rim Your Glasses with Fruit Juices or Spices
Are you one of the many people who has made the choice to ditch sugary sodas – or ones with artificial sweeteners – and switch to plain seltzer? If you have, you’ve probably noticed that plain carbonated water – even the flavored variety – can sometimes taste a bit bland. That, however, is easy to fix.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a margarita, you know that the cocktail isn’t complete without a glass that’s rubbed with a lime and rimmed with salt. What you may not have considered, though, is that rimming your glass with a fruit juice or spice can enhance the flavor of just about any beverage. Here are a few suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing.
■ When drinking seltzer, try rubbing the rim of your glass with a cut orange, lemon or lime. You’ll add a nice dash of flavor to your drink without affecting the calorie count in a substantial way.
■ For a mojito, try rubbing the rim of your glass with a lime and dipping the glass in a plate of powdered coriander seed.
■ For a Bloody Mary, try rubbing the rim of your glass with a lemon and dipping the glass in a plate of Old Bay seasoning.
Serve Your Drinks at the Right Temperatures
If you love to enjoy all of your drinks ice cold and wouldn’t consider drinking anything unless it’s served straight from the refrigerator, feel free to skip this bit of advice. You can enhance the flavors of many beverages, though, simply by serving them a bit warmer. When you serve a beverage at an extremely cold temperature, it’ll numb your palate and prevent you from tasting subtler flavor notes.
In addition, many great wines and beers don’t fully reveal their aromas until they’ve warmed up a little. Here are some suggested serving temperatures for a few of the most popular types of wine and beer.
Best Wine Serving Temperatures
■ New champagne: 40-45 degrees
■ Vintage champagne: 45-50 degrees
■ Dry white wine: 45-50 degrees
■ Vintage or oaked white wine: 50-55 degrees
■ Light-bodied red wine: 55-60 degrees
■ Full-bodied red wine: 60-65 degrees
■ Fortified wine: 55-65 degrees
Best Beer Serving Temperatures
■ Light lager: 33-40 degrees
■ Pilsner: 38-40 degrees
■ Dark lager: 45-50 degrees
■ Pale ale: 45-55 degrees
■ Stout and porter: 45-55 degrees
■ Wheat beer: 40-45 degrees
■ Belgian-style ale: 50-55 degrees
Keep Your Vape Coils Clean
If you vape, you know how difficult it can be to taste the subtle nuances of your favorite e-liquid after you’ve been using the same coil for a few days. That’s especially true if you tend to use very sweet vape juice because the sucralose that’s used to sweeten e-liquid can cause a thick, dark residue to build up on your coil very quickly.
You’re well aware of the fact that vape coil residue causes a terrible burnt flavor. Vape coils are expensive, though, and you might end up using your coils longer than you should because you want to save money.
Instead, you need to learn how to clean a burnt coil. Cleaning your vape coils – either by hand or by using a device like the ROBO2020 automatic vape coil cleaner – removes old e-liquid residue and restores the coils’ original flavor, allowing you to reuse those coils over and over.
Use Salt Liberally when Cooking Pasta, Rice and Grains
When you cook pasta, rice or grains such as farro and bulgur wheat, do you ever find that your dishes come out tasting a little bland? It’s probably because you either aren’t salting your cooking water or aren’t salting it enough.
When you cook pasta, rice and grains, you have only one opportunity to add seasoning to the inside of the food – and that’s by salting the cooking water. You can add salt to the finished dish, but it’ll never taste quite the same as using adequate seasoning during the initial cooking.
As a general rule, you should use at least a tablespoon of salt when cooking a pound of pasta. The water should taste a bit like seawater. When cooking rice and other grains, try a half teaspoon to one teaspoon of salt per uncooked cup of grain.
Try Sous Vide Cooking to Avoid Flavor Loss
The most exciting and fashionable cooking technique to find mainstream success over the past couple of years is undoubtedly the sous vide technique. When you use the sous vide technique, you begin by sealing your food in plastic and using a pump to remove most of the air.
Then, you immerse the food in a bath of water heated to a specific temperature. A sous vide cooker clips to the side of a pot of water. It includes a heating element and a temperature sensor, thus giving you very precise control over the cooking temperature and time.
So, what’s the point of sous vide cooking?
■ It’s virtually impossible to overcook your food using the sous vide method. The food can’t exceed your chosen temperature. When the food reaches that temperature, it’s done.
■ Sous vide cooking allows you to hold food at certain temperatures for a while as you work on other things. If you tend to burn one dish while working on another, sous vide can remove much of the stress of cooking a multiple-dish meal.
■ The most important feature of sous vide cooking is that the food’s flavor is entirely concentrated within the bag. Nothing is steamed, boiled or fried away. Because of that, you’ll find that sous vide cooking unlocks some extremely vivid flavors and can allow you to taste your favorite foods in exciting new ways.
Combine Wet and Dry Methods When Cooking Vegetables
When you cook a firm vegetable like broccoli, it’s often difficult to achieve the ideal doneness. If you use a wet cooking method, the vegetable either comes out crunchy and nearly raw, or it comes out overcooked and bitter. If you roast a vegetable or fry it in a pan, it ends up burnt on the outside and crunchy in the middle.
It can be frustrating to cook vegetables at home and end up with a result that doesn’t compare to what you’d get at a restaurant – and it’s hard to increase your vegetable consumption and make healthier choices if you don’t enjoy the flavor of what you’re eating. What’s the solution? Combine wet and dry cooking methods. This strategy works for a wide variety of firm vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.
Here’s how to do it.
■ Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
■ Add the vegetables, leaving them in the water until the colors become more intense. This should require no longer than about three minutes.
■ Remove the vegetables and plunge them immediately into a bowl of ice water until they’re fully cooled.
■ Drain the vegetables and toss them with a little oil and salt.
■ Roast the vegetables at 350-400 degrees until they just start to brown.
Using this hybrid cooking method, you’ll enjoy vegetables that are just tender and are absolutely bursting with flavor.