Essential Oils in Culinary – First Steps

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Most often we associate essential oils with aromatherapy and their diffuse use when we are sick and sore. Increasingly, however, essential oils are also used in culinary industry. To cook with essential oils means to be inventive, innovative and modern.

You probably know that essential oils are divided into three categories with respect to their aroma: peak notes, heart and base notes.

Peak notes are the most active and fast volatile, and last from 3 to 24 hours.
Heart notes are moderately volatile, affect human metabolism and activity, and last up to 3 days.
Base notes evaporate most difficult, most resistant and act relaxing to the body. They can last for a whole week.
It is good to know this when you start cooking with essential oils that they are extremely concentrated and can add the necessary flavor to any food you prepare.

Essential oils can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Spicy oils – black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger. These oils are “warm” and are suitable for use in your food during the cold winter months. These oils are natural aphrodisiacs and will surely “warm up” both your taste and your intimate relationship.
  • Cooling oils – mint in all its varieties – sweet, hot … Suitable for sweets, jellies, sauces, sorbet or in foods that require cooling of the body.
  • Floral oils – jasmine, lavender, rose, indicate – the most colorful combination of fragrances. They are suitable for cooking meat, desserts and recipes of your own taste. These are the oils of the adventure.
  • Herbal oils – basil, mahogany, oregano, rosemary, thyme. One drop is enough to give the summer breeze to the Mediterranean or the cut grass meadows and the brewing bread.

The possibilities for flavoring your diet with essential oils are countless. The best way, without making a mistake, is to always start with a small amount until you get the desired flavor, and then continue adding if the flavor seems weak.

Remember, a higher quantity of dry spice in the food by mistake can easily be taken out, but you can hardly remove the strong and overused aroma of essential oils that you poured into the food. You will have to throw away all the food or add as many products as you can to balance the food.

Here is a list of the essential oils and the different types of products you can use them with:

  • For meats – basil, cloves, dill, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
  • For fish and fish dishes – black pepper, dill, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, rosemary, thyme.
  • For chicken and chicken products – basil, lemon, orange, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon, sage, thyme.
  • For salads – basil, lavender, lemon, lime, rosemary, sage, thyme.
  • For desserts – tarragon, cinnamon, cloves, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, mint, rose.
  • For soft drinks and cocktails – cinnamon, grapefruit, lavender, lime, lemon, mandarin, orange, mint.

Useful advice on the use of essential oils in the culinary industry

  • When essential oils are used on their own it is important not to heat up their smoke point. This can easily be avoided by reducing the temperature of the hob and blending essential oils with olive oil or other vegetable oils. It is best to add the essential oils and when you remove the meal from the fire.
  • The aroma of essential oils evaporates over time. For this, it is best to close the container in which you store the dish or just before serving to add a small amount of essential oil, a pre-diluted portion of the sauce to the dish or in a suitable diluent.
  • When using essential oils in the culinary industry, the other ingredients of the dishes should be organic, natural when possible.

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