When it comes to flavor, there are two primary factors:
- What we have
- What we do with it
We may have a pantry full of goodies, but if we don’t know how to use them — or better yet, how to enhance them — then what good are they?
Take these lemon halves, for example. Just a regular Meyer lemon, but what we’ve done here is placed it face-down in a cast iron skillet to give it a good sear. Why? Because that searing causes the sugars in the lemon to caramelize, which then enhances not only its flavor properties, but also its aesthetic qualities. (I mean, come on… how gorgeous is that seared lemon?)
While the searing might not necessarily affect the flavor of the juice, it will affect anything you used pieces of the lemon on. Think of lemon slices on a fillet of salmon, used to garnish a lemon pie, or even a gorgeous wedge slip onto the rim of a gin and tonic, which would allow the smoky aroma to permeate every sip.
The lesson here today is this: start thinking about HOW ELSE your ingredients can work for you. Food is more flexible than you think.