Cook With Aromats


Our sense of taste and our sense of smell are so intimately related that when one malfunctions so does the other. Smell and taste also enhance one another. Consciously smelling your food will add an extra dimension of enjoyment to the eating process, and stimulate your digestive juices. Savor the fragrance of food before you start to eat; the enticing aromas will activate your salivary glands.

You may also find that since you are giving more than just one sense the dining experience, you will be satisfied with less food. You can savor your calories with your nose, and never gain an ounce.

Since ancient man began to cook, aromats, or fragrant herbs and spices, have been used to flavor and to preserve. The modern cook is fortunate to have a wide range of fresh aromatic herbs and spices available in every supermarket. With only a teaspoon of dried, or two teaspoons of fresh herbs, you can transform a pedestrian dish into a gourmet treat. The addition of aromats also aids digestion, as spices and herbs titillate the sense of taste and smell.

Vinegars are vastly improves by adding dried or fresh dill, tarragon, basil, or rosemary. When adding dried herbs, heat the vinegar to near boiling. Fresh herbs should be macerated or pounded, and let sit for a while in lukewarm vinegar. Sage helps remove the acidity of tomatoes. Rosemary, used in soup or rubbed into lamb, will purify the food as well as your digestive tract. Marjoram changes the flavor of mushrooms, making them sweeter and more flavorful, and has a calming effect on your digestion. Garlic is not only a powerful seasoning, it contains alicin, a natural antibiotic, which parasites and bacterial hate.

Today, most health-oriented people are cutting down the fat and salt in their diets; aromatics can take their place in a beneficial and delicious way. Experiment with fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill, in salads and omelettes instead of salt. Saute vegetables in a little water with a touch of dried basil or rosemary, instead of butter. Fish is marvelous if marinated for two hours in sage, rosemary, thyme, and lemon juice, then quickly broiled. Large fresh basil leaves, both cooked and raw, add decorative flavor and fragrance to dishes; try them on big tomato slices. Fresh or dried, aromats make you a scentual cook.

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