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Taste Test: Seasoning



Taste Test: Seasoning

One of the most important skills you can develop as a cook is learning to taste food. That means that you taste a dish before you serve it, to figure out if it needs anything — even if you’ve already added all the ingredients listed in the recipe! You have your own preferences, for one thing, and different ingredients will require different adjustments, for another. You’ll want to learn how to season food so that it tastes as good to you as it could possibly taste. To learn a little bit about some of the main seasoning elements, try this:
Servings 20 Taste tests

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Small pot with lid
  • Colander


  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • fresh lemon, cut in half
  • salt
  • Pepper
  • Other seasonings


  • Put the potato in the pot, fill the pot halfway with water, and put it on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potato is tender, around 15 minutes. (You’ll know the water is boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over the surface.)
  • Put the colander in the sink. Pour the potatoes in the colander and set them aside until cooled, about 20 minutes. 


Take a cube of potato and eat it plain. What does it taste like?
Sprinkle a little salt on a cube and taste it.
Squeeze a little lemon juice on a cube and taste it.
Grind or shake a little pepper on a cube and taste it.
Now combine the seasonings and figure out what your perfect balance is: How much salt? How much lemon? How much pepper? Is there one you prefer not to use?
What other seasonings can you try? Consider garlic, cayenne pepper or hot sauce, different spices, even a little of the grated zest from the lemon. What do you like best? Which flavors work best together?
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