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Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

Understanding Flavor: Our Favorite Aromatics

June 15, 2021

Although you may not have heard the term ‘aromatics’ before, chances are you’ve used one in your cooking. Recipes that start with garlic, onions, ginger, celery, or carrots are all utilizing aromatics. They get their name from the delicious aroma they release once they’re heated. Today, we’re sharing more about aromatics – what they are and how to use them in cooking. 

What Are Aromatics?

Aromatics include vegetables, herbs, and sometimes even meat (yes, meat!). At the start of cooking a recipe, they’re typically heated in fat like butter, oil, or even coconut milk. The fat is a crucial piece of the process – it helps the aromatics release their signature aroma and give the recipe a deep flavor. 

Since they have different flavor profiles, putting them together helps create a rounded and deep flavor. ou’ll also find aromatics in almost every recipe, from homemade broth and sauces to soups, stews, stir-fries, curries, and more. They’re such an easy way to add something special to any dish!

Some of our favorite aromatics include: 

  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Bay leaves
  • Thyme
  • Parsley 

How to Use Aromatics in Cooking

Aromatics can either be taken out of the final dish before serving, or they can be eaten with the final product. If you’re planning on taking them out, there’s no need to chop them up. Recipes commonly call for things like bay leaf or sprigs of thyme, and those are fine to add to the recipe whole or roughly chopped!

If you’re planning to make the aromatics a part of the final dish, it’s best to more finely chop them. Not only will the extra surface area help your chosen aromatics release more flavor, but it will also help them mesh better with the final texture of the dish. 

According to Cook Smarts, here are some recipes that benefit from aromatics:

  • Sauces – common in French, Italian, and Latin cooking
  • Braises – common in French, Latin, and Middle Eastern cooking
  • Curries – common in Indian and Thai cooking
  • Vegetable sautées – common across all cuisines
  • Stir-fries – common in Chinese cooking
  • Soups, stews, and stocks – common across all cuisines

We love using aromatics in our meals here at Snap Kitchen! In fact, we start out almost every meal with one. You can check out all the fragrant, flavorful options here.

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