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Cooking with bitters


TAPrice
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So I'm making a cocktail tonight, and for the first time I actually read the label on the Angostura bottle. And down at the bottom I see:

"Angostura makes food more appetizing!"

Does it? Really?

Helpfully, the bottles suggested 2 dashes with cooked or canned fruits, 2-3 dashes with each CUP of mayonnaise or French dressing in a salad and 2-3 dashes in soup.

So, does anyone cook with bitters? And if Angostura is really so great, what about other bitters?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Bitter is one of the tastes on the tongue, so of course if something has bitter in it it makes the dish feel more round and possibly more pleasing.

There are a lot of common things we eat or do to food to make it bitter. Why do we grill food? For some of the smoke flavor, yeah, but also the grill marks to make it bitter.

Coffee is bitter. So is chocolate, and many types of salad greens.

I'm not sure if drinking straight bitters would be good--but I can certainly see how adding it for some taste elements to certain foods could make them more appetizing.

I mean, you added it to your cocktail, right? Take a moment to think about why you did that.

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I put bitters of some sort in probably about half my food. I use different kinds for different reasons. They just add a different element to a dish and help to marry other ingredients. Like salt in a dish, bitters help accentuate other flavors rather than dominating them.

Angostura is good, Fee's Old fashioned,Fee's Peach bitters (Roasted chicken legs with peach bitters, lemon and thyme is one of my wife's favorites), Regan's orange bitters, Peychauds. These are all good and not to hard to find, are cheap and last a long time.

All of them are useful to have on hand, and if a dish is missing just a little, try a couple dashes and see if that doesn't do the trick.

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I put bitters of some sort in probably about half my food. I use different kinds for different reasons. They just add a different element to a dish and help to marry other ingredients. Like salt in a dish, bitters help accentuate other flavors rather than dominating them.

Angostura is good, Fee's Old fashioned,Fee's Peach bitters (Roasted chicken legs with peach bitters, lemon and thyme is one of my wife's favorites), Regan's orange bitters, Peychauds. These are all good and not to hard to find, are cheap and last a long time.

All of them are useful to have on hand, and if a dish is missing just a little, try a couple dashes and see if that doesn't do the trick.

Wow, this is a great idea, I can't believe I never thought of this.

PS: I am a guy.

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Wow, this is a great idea, I can't believe I never thought of this.

Second that.

I loooove bitter drinks and drinks with bitters. Don't know why I never thought to add to food (and I'm always raiding the bar for cooking ingredients). Just picked up a chicken to roast today, so maybe I will try some in the sauce and report back. We have Angostura and Peychaud's in the house right now.

Fabulous post!

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I will have to try them in savory items. I do use Angostura in baked goods. Add a few drops along with cinnamon to my chocolate chip cookies, and in pumpkin pies and breads, carrot cakes, etc.

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A few dashes of Angostura stirred in with the other seasonings and the apples of your favorite apple pie recipe adds a nice complexity, that no one can identify. I started using it a few years ago, and the bitters are here to stay.

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A few dashes of Angostura stirred in with the other seasonings and the apples of your favorite apple pie recipe adds a nice complexity, that no one  can identify. I started using it a few years ago, and the bitters are here to stay.

Brilliant. I can totally taste this in my head. I'm not waiting for apple pie -- I'll add a splash to applesauce, apple chutney, apple crisp ...

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Also seasonal, pumpkin pie. I'll have to try that soon. Essentially, anything with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg could use a bit more complexity from bitters.

And consider orange bitters. I can see that being especially good in salads.

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Also seasonal, pumpkin pie. I'll have to try that soon. Essentially, anything with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg could use a bit more complexity from bitters.

That's exactly what I was thinking, only I couldn't find the words for it.

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Today, I made my basic fall cake, a pumpkin spice cake with diced apples, candied ginger, and bourbon soaked raisins...now, with bitters!!! Seriously, I might have to start buying this stuff in bigger bottles.

I had a buncha spices out today, because I like to use a similar blend that's found in good Indian chai in my spice cake. I found that the bitters had a really strong allspice note that I never noticed till I compared the two side by side.

I dashed some in with the bourbon that I soaked the raisins in, and yeah, definitely good. It enhanced the raisins, and the whole cake.

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I use bitters in a couple of my chocolate centers. Especially good in the Campari and grapefruit center that really needs the extra bitterness with the chocolate.

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I Especially good in the Campari and grapefruit center that really needs the extra bitterness with the chocolate.

That sounds astounding, Kerry. I'm no chocolatiere, but that combination of ingredients gives me furiously to think about Campari, grapefruit, chocolate and bitters. Hmmm.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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