Posted by: nekojita | March 20, 2008

Thoughts on Smokiness…

I like a lot smoky-tasting things–most notably bacon, and roasted chili peppers (fresh or dried, any kind), and barbeque, et cetera and so forth.

But I don’t like smoked salmon very much, and I have never quite been able to figure out why. Also, many hams are just too much for me, as are some dishes cooked in a wood burning oven (such as roast chickens and pizzas). The smokiness of these dishes just makes me feel overwhelmed and nauseated. They taste bitter-harsh, and seem to swell up stickily in my mouth.

I guess that it must come down to balance. Smokiness is not a substitute for other flavors–it enhances them, much like table salt or MSG.  When it becomes the dominant or only taste in a dish, it makes my mouth hurt. Everyone probably has their own threshold for this (again like salt or MSG), but I guess that what I am trying to get across is: smokiness needs spice or sweetness in order to taste good. It plays poorly by itself.


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