Food52 helps people become better, smarter, happier cooks. It was named Best Food Publication at the 2012 James Beard Awards and Best Culinary Website at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 IACP Awards.
By Katherine Oakes
It turns out, everything you need to know about balancing flavors is on the tip of your tongue.
Your taste buds know more than you think they do: They are capable of helping build a recipe from scratch or fixing one that's gone awry. There are five "tastes" that serve as the foundation for the flavors in every recipe: sweet
, and umami
. You may find that some tastes are more prevalent in certain dishes than others, or that only one or two dominate in a certain foods. But, making delicious food is all about balancing these tastes, and once you are comfortable doing so, you'll have more confidence cooking without a recipe
, or curating a killer cheese plate
. The next time you're faced with a dinnertime dilemma, think about the five tastes and, work on building a fantastic recipe from there.