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Are we Becoming Flavor Coke-heads

Jfood was sitting at dinner the other night in a new restaurant and a great dish of sausage stuffed squid over lentils arrived. The flavors were unbelievbably deep and rich. It was a great dish. Jfood finished and wondered what would come next.

He looked at Mrs jfood and remembered one of their first dates when they saw a play "Modigliani" where he and other painters grabbed towels from butchers because the color were something they wanted to include in their next paintings. They chatted about finding the next new flavor like Modigliani was looking for the next depth of color.

It seems many of us are looking for that next level of flavor, that next texture combo and the dish we might have enjoyed two months ago may take a second seat to the one last night.

Are we almost becoming coke-heads on flavor where we cook longer, puree combinations for depth of flavor? Jfood now loves caramelizing his onions for the onion soup for a minimum of 2 hours. Are we insane or are we just becoming flavor coke-heads, needing more to get the same high?

PS - this is written before the first cup of coffee.

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  1. Becoming? I thought that is what it was always about.
    Funny, when I read the title I thought this was going to be about Cherry/Lime/Lemon Coke vs regular Coke.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AHan

      Speaking of coke, ever degaleaze a pan with it, add some bourbon and finish the pan sauce with butter?

      1. re: Demented

        No, but I do use it as a mop for BBQ sometimes.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I am still at the recreational use stage. I always liked food, but not until I discovered Chowhound did I learn to be more discriminating (in a good way). Some meals are new experiences for me now, as I pay better attention to flavors and textures. I also recognize now how many foods I used to like are no longer satisfying to me. But I am still not obsessed. Of course, now that I've passed through that gateway...

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I think we are heading down this road, jfood. Perhaps too much so in some ways. Deep flavors and long cooked flavors are spectacular but in many restaurants they seem to be pushing out other kinds of flavors. I also love the bright, fresh, high-note flavors that can come through in quick cooked dishes or especially in various Asian soups that feature chilis and citrus and herbs added at the last minute.

            I think I may like a combination of such things together. A caramelized tomato tart (from a Tom Collichio book actually) has long caramelized onions, long roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic with a caramel sauce but with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs to provide brightness and balance.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ccbweb

              So totally agree cc. I have often eaten at restaurants where the courses went from crescendo to crescendo without rest - leaving me exhausted at the end of the meal. Were they all great? Yep, but could have been so much better with a nice balance of less exhaustive flavors and more 'brightness'. It's like a CD that only focuses on 'best of the best' - it only leaves one note (but great) and nothing memorable. Give me a play of clean and complex on my plate and I'm yours!