The FDA in the U.S. started preaching the low fat lifestyle a couple of generations ago, claiming that fat consumption would lead to heart disease. Responding to that, low fat diets became in vogue and big food manufacturers started pumping out low fat but highly processed foods with artificial flavorings for the consumers of the world. The masses were deprived of the real flavor of food. The FDA myth has since been proven inaccurate but people’s perception of what food should taste like had been altered.
Fat equals flavor. Think bacon, butter, french fries, dark meat chicken vs white, rib-eye steaks vs filet mignon. Pork chops taste better with a little fat on them. What about lamb and wagyu….yum!
Bacon is added to many recipes and foods to improve flavor. Burgers are often very dry, lack flavor and bacon is one of the most added ingredients to give them more flavor. They are also added to omelettes, salads, soups and many, many others. Even filet mignon is traditionally wrapped with bacon before cooking.
Duck is another fatty food that has lots of flavor. Duck fat is used for that favorite method of cooking, confit. It is used to produce the most decadent form of french fries. Try using ground duck meat when the recipe calls for ground chicken or turkey and you will increase the flavor of the dish by many folds.
Then there is the king of all fats, butter. How can anyone not like the flavor that butter enhances. In classical cooking, there is this saying that if you use enough butter, you can make cardboard taste good. The ever popular whipped potato that is a mainstay in French cuisine is made with half butter and half mashed potatoes. Butter is even added to steaks in the form of herbed butter.
With the current popularity of the Atkins and keto diets, more and more people are no longer adverse to fats and in the meantime also discovering the real flavor of foods.
I will expand on this topic, Fat Equals Flavor in future posts. Stay tuned!