Salt

A mineral substance that develops other flavors. It should not be used in excess. A small amount is desirable even in sweet dishes.

Acids

Vinegar, lemon juice, and juices of other sour fruits. These are pleasing in themselves, and in small quantities develop other flavors and give a certain brightness of taste. They are used with meat and fish, and in sweet dishes.

Spices

Red, black, and white pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, mace, and ginger are examples. They are made from the seeds of certain plants, used whole or ground. Stick cinnamon is a layer of a stem. Ginger is a root.

Herbs

Thyme, mint, sweet marjoram, summer savory are the leaves of old-fashioned pot herbs, used either fresh or dried. There were many others used in olden days that are not common now, such as sweet basil and pot marigold. A quite complete list will be found nowadays in any good seed catalogue. These herbs are used with meat dishes.

Vegetable Flavors

Celery seeds and stalks, onions, leek and garlick, carrots and turnips, all contain flavoring oils, and we use them for their flavors in small portions, in meat dishes.

Essences

The oils of vanilla, bitter almonds, lemon and orange peel are dissolved in alcohol, and used in liquid form in cakes and desserts. Violet leaves and violet essence are sometimes used, but are a fad as a flavor. Rose water made from rose leaves is an old-fashioned flavoring, used infrequently now in blancmanges. The fresh leaf of a rose geranium gives a pleasing flavor, for occasional use. Chocolate, coffee, and tea are used for flavorings as well as for beverages.

Coloring Substances

These come of many colors made from aniline dyes, and while probably not often hurtful, they should be used only in sweets and candies, and very seldom, if ever. It is better to depend on natural fruit coloring when color is wanted.

The fine art of cooking is to develop the natural flavor of each foodstuff by the proper application of heat, and never to use these condiments and flavorings in excess. The artist in cookery has a gift for flavoring, somewhat as the painter has for color.

Beverages

The dictionary defines "beverage" as "drink of any kind." The word is used in different forms in several languages and is traced back to the Latin bibere, to drink. The common beverages will be studied in detail in connection with their preparation. They have slight nutritive value, save for the added milk, cream, and sugar. Cocoa and chocolate contain fat, and so have to be classed as foods. Milk is not a beverage, strictly speaking, but a food, and should be counted as a part of a meal.

Exercises

1. State the important topics in the study of foods.

2. Explain the difference between a "food material" and a "foodstuff."

3. What are the important elements in protein, fat, and carbo-hydrates?

4. What food materials are rich in protein? In fat? In carbohydrate ? In mineral matter?

5. Explain the meaning and use of the "Calorie."

6. State the functions of food.

7. What is a food adjunct?

8. What is the waste material in food?