We often work with chefs who bring out items for us to taste—new menu creations and old standards alike. They’ll offer them up with sampling spoons or complete portions, then stand there, arms crossed, and ask us to guess their “secret ingredient.”
It’s a fun challenge, and one which I generally fail. For one thing, I’m sensitive to keeping secrets, and love the fact that the chefs have given their own touch to something that might otherwise be run-of-the-mill. For another, while I have a decent palate, I’m an eat-everything girl who simply loves to taste a variety of different flavors, savoring them more than analyzing them.
I Have My Own Secret Weapons…
I’m also a home cook with a few of my own “secret ingredients.” I make up my own spice rubs and combinations that suit my palate. When my kids were small, I threw in a few hidden healthy ingredients, too, long before that became a “thing.”
Today, as I was throwing things into a pot of chili, readying it for a cold winter’s eve, I threw in my secret ingredient, then did a little internet searching. Turns out my secret—adding a can of V8, with its antioxidants and concentrated veggies—is pretty well known.
Don’t Be Afraid To Share
What started for me as a way to extend the chili for a crowd, or reconstitute it after sitting in the freezer, is a secret ingredient that many others have taken advantage of for years, and more power to them. We should share our secrets, share our cooking tips, share our knowledge of how to make things better, more healthy, more tasty.
That’s what we’ve attempted to do at foodchannel.com over the years, to bring you just a little more food education, food knowledge, and to build your comfort level with cooking.
So, whatever you claim as your own secret ingredients, just remember the most important one: enjoying cooking for the simple reason that you can make food with love.
Pass it on.