The flavoring materials most commonly used are salt, sugar, spices and extracts. The fine art of cookery consists of developing the full natural flavor of the foods themselves and in combining them in pleasing ways.

The amount of salt to be used depends, in general, on the total volume of the food. When food tastes salty, too much has been used. A safe proportion is one teaspoon salt to one quart of liquid in soups, cereals, sauces, or to one quart of flour in doughs. When the flavors are delicate, somewhat less salt is used, and with strong flavors, somewhat more. Cakes in which much salt butter is used do not need more salt.

The quantity of sugar to be used depends on the taste desired. Foods served frozen need more sweetening than when at ordinary temperatures. On the other hand, foods that are served warm taste somewhat sweeter than when at ordinary temperature.