The Influence of Other Ingredients

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Because aroma chemicals are generally more soluble in oils, fats, and alcohol than in water, the ingredients in the dish will also influence the speed and degree of flavor extraction, as well as the release of flavor during eating. Oils and fats dissolve more aroma molecules than water during cooking, but also hang on to them during eating, so that their flavor appears more gradually and persists longer. Alcohol also extracts aromas more efficiently, but because it too is volatile, it releases them relatively quickly.