Nut Flavor

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Nuts provide us with a distinctive, appealing, and versatile set of flavors. Nuttiness is a cluster of qualities: slightly sweet, slightly fatty, slightly roasted or toasted; a delicate flavor, yet with some depth. The nuts’ ample endowment of oil is key to their character; the less rich grains take on a pleasant flavor when simply toasted dry, but develop an added dimension when cooked in oil or fat. The quality of nuttiness complements many other foods, whether savory or sweet, all the way from fish to chocolate.