Spices and Other Flavourings

75 Elements of Taste

Essentially there are a handful of elements that compose all of the taste profiles found in the foods we eat. Western definitions of taste conventionally define four major elements of taste:

  • Salty
  • Sweet
  • Sour
  • Bitter

Asian cultures have added the following to the list:

  • Umami (literally “pleasant savoury taste”)
  • Spiciness
  • Astringency

Foods and recipes that contain a number of these elements in balance are generally those that we think of as tasting good.



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Understanding Ingredients for the Canadian Baker Copyright © 2015 by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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