Build Flavor In Any Recipe With the Five Elements of Flavor, According to a Chef

There’s a common misconception in the western world that plant-based food is flavorless, but nothing could be further from the truth when you know what you’re doing. Learn to play with the five pillars of flavor as well as other components of good cooking and you’ll enjoy everything you eat. For me, it’s fresh local strawberries right out of the basket, or the flavor bomb of the watermelon poke bowl out of my cookbook, or the rich, creamy joy of an Alfredo sauce.

Flavor and Your Health and Tied Together

As a professional French-trained chef, I learned long before I was plant-based that flavor comes from various sources, but most people lean into only three – fat, salt and sweet (which is also the base of French cooking). The most addictive and unhealthy foods also fall into this category since they are the pillars of meat-based diets and processed foods. Don’t get me wrong – those three flavors are essential to creating a delicious, balanced meal, but don’t stop there! When we bring in other flavor components like sour and umami, as well as consider things like seasonality, a whole new world opens up, blending good flavor with health.

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