Anti-flavours

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ArgonV
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Anti-flavours

Postby ArgonV » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:46 pm UTC

Say you make a mistake while cooking. Accidentally you add too much pepper, garlic or sugar. What can you then add in order to neutralize the flavour of what you just erroneously added?

I was wondering this today after I picked up some curry paste from the Asian market and, upon adding it to the mix, finding out it was quite a bit more spicy than the Europeanised ones you can buy at the supermarket. Only, I had no idea how to neutralize that extra spicy flavour, because I was pretty sure it was too spicy for my dad. All I could say to him was: Mix with enough rice...

So, does anyone know how to counter another flavour?

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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:59 am UTC

You can usually cut capsaicin spiciness a bit by adding cream, yogurt, or oil. That's because of its fat-soluble nature. But it doesn't do a whole lot, if you've really overdosed on the heat. The most effective thing to do might just be to add more of everything else in the recipe, in effect doubling it (or increasing it by any proportion) without adding any more of your spice.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby poxic » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:27 am UTC

Some things do offset: salt will reduce the perception of sweetness, and sugar will make oversalted food taste less salty (or acidic). I'm not sure of any other combinations, though.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Thesh » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:15 am UTC

To reduce heat, sugar and acid both help. Some lime may go well with curry (although I'm definitely no expert), and a little bit of honey may go good as well (probably not a lot though).
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby voidPtr » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:26 am UTC

This is completely anecdotal and not all substantiated, but in my experience, leftovers aren't as spicy as when they were just cooked.

Failing that, a spoonful of yogurt on top, lots of rice, a squeeze of lime..they all dull down a bit.

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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby psykx » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

lime works great with tomato curries, I'd also agree with the statement that left a while a curry looses some of its heat, I used to stick them in the freezer for a couple of weeks if it was too hot.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby melladh » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:49 pm UTC

The best thing against heat is cinnamon. It works well for bringing indian cooking down to edible levels of heat if you overspice something, but it doesn't work as well for thai food for example, since the taste of cinnamon doesn't go well with it. But I've never experienced anything neutralize heat as well as cinnamon does. Just be careful not to overdo the cinnamon either!
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:49 am UTC

I agree with Bakemaster, or rather, that's the solution I use. Potatoes are great for absorbing extra heat for curry I might add a can of chick peas or something--increasing the volume of food:spice is probably the most effective option. If I over spice chili I add more beans. If it's just a bit too spicy some sweet (molasses, honey, sugar) can help a little.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:36 pm UTC

Baking soda can also help cut down on the spice, and drinking or consuming some dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese) can help cut down the spiciness as well.

I've also heard of using cocoa powder, a little at a time, to help cut down on spice. This can be risky, depending on what blend of spices you've used.

But probably the best method is to double or triple the other ingredients, until it's not so spicy that you burn a hole in your stomach.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:17 pm UTC

voidPtr wrote:This is completely anecdotal and not all substantiated, but in my experience, leftovers aren't as spicy as when they were just cooked.

This must depend on the leftovers. I'm accustomed to things getting spicier the longer they sit.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:22 pm UTC

Just remember Eureka's Castle: Spicy Salty Sour Sweet, give us something good to eat!

There's some fruit whose name is escaping me atm, that desensitizes your tongue to sour flavors for a little while. I wonder if it could be used in a similar manner to what you're describing.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:41 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
voidPtr wrote:This is completely anecdotal and not all substantiated, but in my experience, leftovers aren't as spicy as when they were just cooked.

This must depend on the leftovers. I'm accustomed to things getting spicier the longer they sit.


I agree--there are some dishes I can only eat fresh because sometime during the night in the fridge they sail past my spice/heat tolerance.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby melladh » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:
Mr. Bakerstein wrote:
voidPtr wrote:This is completely anecdotal and not all substantiated, but in my experience, leftovers aren't as spicy as when they were just cooked.

This must depend on the leftovers. I'm accustomed to things getting spicier the longer they sit.


I agree--there are some dishes I can only eat fresh because sometime during the night in the fridge they sail past my spice/heat tolerance.


It really rather depends on the person I suspect, as well as the type of spice. I agree that food becomes hotter when they've been sitting for a while, however, my tolerance is lower when the food is newly cooked. Possibly because it's been heated to the core in a different way when it's new than when it's reheated, and I'm able to take the spiciness as long as the actual temperature of the food is fairly low.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby voidPtr » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:
Mr. Bakerstein wrote:
voidPtr wrote:This is completely anecdotal and not all substantiated, but in my experience, leftovers aren't as spicy as when they were just cooked.

This must depend on the leftovers. I'm accustomed to things getting spicier the longer they sit.


I agree--there are some dishes I can only eat fresh because sometime during the night in the fridge they sail past my spice/heat tolerance.



hmm..interesting. A quick google search didn't show any consensus on this either.

I kept this in mind while eating my leftover spaghetti today that I cooked last night. I cooked my spaghetti by frying up a fresh red chili in olive oil with dried oregano and basil, and other aromatic veggies before adding tomatoes and regular veggies to make a quick tomato sauce. After it was done i immediately mixed it with the pasta.

After a night of the leftovers sitting in the fridge and re-heated in a microwave the next day, I'd say there wasn't a big noticeable heat difference either way, but I noticed the dried herbs seemed to be more strong, so may be fresh vs. dried would have something to do with it? Also, the spaghetti also had more flavour in general, so perhaps it could seem like the heat is lowered because the other flavours become more pronounced?

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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

I've noticed the heat becoming more intense over time mostly with Thai and Indian food, I think. That might be due to those being pretty much the hottest things I eat on a regular basis, or it might have to do with the type of peppers they use or the method of preparation they use. Hypothesis: When some or all of the heat comes from whole or chopped peppers, the more time they sit in the dish, the more they release their heat? As opposed to flakes and powders which exhaust their supply pretty quickly? Seems plausible, anyway.
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Re: Anti-flavours

Postby ArgonV » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:46 pm UTC

Maybe it's also because of capsaicin and oils? As I understand it, capsaicin dissolves pretty good in oils, so maybe the longer it sits, the more capsaicin dissolves into the oils, changing the flavour?


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