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Fab Foodie

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Dave5N, 14 Jan 2008.

  1. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    Blind me with science, will ya?

    I had a meal tonight that had been prepared a few weeks ago and frozen.

    It featured chilli pepper.

    It was really hot tonight. ;)

    I have heard before that chilli in frozen meals gets much hotter. Indeed, the other half told me I should always add seasoning to the meal after it's defrosted, not before it's frozen.

    Is this true? If so, how does it work? It's not getting more concentrated, and if it is a chemical reaction turning one chemical into a hotter-tasting one, why does freezing accelerate it? Surely at lower temperatures reactivity decreases in me dinner?



    (I'm a bit bored tonight, obviously)
     
  2. longers

    longers Veteran

    I'm not FabFoodie or a food technician in any way but I decided that it was to do with water.

    As the food freezes the water forms small crystals which break up the flavour particles further - hence more taste ;).
     
  3. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Does this to some extent in the fridge too, does it not?

    My spag bol sauce always has much more flavour when I eat the leftovers a day or 2 later.
     
  4. longers

    longers Veteran

    That's just dissolvation of your flavours. Simple chemistry.

    Perhaps I'm a food scientist and I just don't know it.
     
  5. Abitrary

    Abitrary New Member

    I think food sort of carries on cooking in the freezer as well. My bolognaise sauce always tastes better after a couple of days in the freezer, sort of richer.

    It might be the richness that makes it taste hotter in a different way. The only way to know for sure is the measure the scoville units of the food before and after freezing.
     
  6. longers

    longers Veteran

    I think I've already explained this. Next?
     
  7. Abitrary

    Abitrary New Member

    How do you measure scoville units?
     
  8. longers

    longers Veteran

    Without googling, I don't know. More training needed.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    I think Arbitrary's been moonlighting over on Wikipedia again!!
     
  10. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hi Dave5N

    Good question...to which Longers has provided most of the answer!

    Certainly where you have whole spices (ground) and flavours in cells like garlic, the process of freezing and thawing does indeed rupture more cells and release more of the flavour compounds. This is most likely the major cause.

    Furthermore, the process of cooking causes myriad flavour reactions and interactions to occur some which will continue while the food is warm and cooling down and again whilst being reheated.
    Further cooking also concentrates flavours a bit more especially salt which has quite an impact on boosting flavour perception particularly heat. This is a real issue when making low salt products taste like the full salt versions.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    So what about 2nd day soup?

    Why is that always better?
     
  12. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I think its because it has been at a high temp for a longer period of time that it develops more flavour compounds...it "matures" if you like. When food is warm it is in effect breaking down into smaller and more reactive componants...these react giving all sorts of volatile flavour componants depending on the product and cooking method; Alcohols, acids, esters, ketones, phenolics, savoury "Umami" flavours from Protein/Amino acid and flavour base interaction, fat breakdown products, caramels from starch and sugar degredation, maillard breakdown compounds from reducing sugar and protein reactions etc etc

    Texture also changes with storage and re-heating. Recent research showed that quite subtle changes in viscosity of a product will usually enhance/reduce the perception of flavour. IIRC, thicker products are thought more flavoursome even if the level of flavour and release rate is the same.
     
  13. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    Is that why broths usually taste so cack?
     
  14. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Broths can taste cack IF they contain a lot of starch as a thickener (ie from Potato or Flour as Starch can exhibit a flavour masking effect, so subtleties are lost.
     
  15. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    Fair enough, sounds reasonable.

    Anyway, on the soups subject - what's your favourite everyone? And has anyone ever made Borscht as I have a recipe for it but am too afraid to make it in case it tastes horrible...