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Building Blocks of Flavor

Building Blocks of Flavor

These tips from Chef Rob will help you perfect your meals by building upon flavors with popular chef techniques

To execute flavor & craveable wellness, one must first fully understand the “building blocks of flavor.”  Chefs want to create food that generates repeat business and deliver flavors consumers crave.  But how exactly do you achieve this?

To build flavor, remember the acronym C.A.T. – as all parts of C.A.T. must harmoniously work together to produce the end result – flavor.

C = Complementary Appeal

  • Use emotional cues & connections
    • Tap into nostalgia to create indelible food memories
    • Comfort foods remain strong consumer connection points
  • We eat with our eyes
    • Plating, food presentation & menu verbiage play a key role in how we experience food
    • Complementary colors & the visual appeal of food act as purchase triggers
  • Actual temperature & perceived temperature
    • Temperatures are essential elements of taste
    • Proper temperatures are critical to perceptions
    •  Ingredients (vs. actual temperatures) can trigger nerves for false temperatures (chiles, spices, wasabi, spearmint, menthol, Sichuan peppercorns)
  • TextureOpposites Attract
    • Texture & mouthfeel is a key component of taste
  • Opposites Attract​
    • Hot/cold, spicy/cooling, lean/fatty, vibrant colors/earth tones, tall/flat

A = Aroma

  • 80% of what we taste is through our nose
    • Highlight the natural aromas of food
    • Use aromatic ingredients

T = Taste

  • There are 5 tastes we perceive with our taste buds
  • Sweet – softens & rounds out flavors
  • Salty – stimulates & amplifies flavors
  • Sour – brightens & heightens flavors
  • Bitter – balances flavors
  • Umami – savory/meaty taste


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