Dennis M. Reed "Califa" - Cooking - Asian Tastes and Flavors

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"TASTE IS NOT FLAVOR": "Some people use the terms taste and flavor interchangeably, as in 'that vanilla ice cream tastes good,'and 'I like the salty flavor of clams.' That's fine because that's the way normal people speak, yet taste and flavor have simple scientific distinctions that every cook can benefit greatly from understanding." from "The Fifth Taste - Cooking with Umami" by David & Anna Kasabian. According to the Kasabians, flavors are the result of taste and aroma.

Tastes or Flavors ===> The
Five
Elements
SWEET SOUR SALTY BITTER HOT
(PICANTE)
(PUNGENT)
BLAND FRAGRANT GOLDEN UMAMI
(Japanese
name)

Xin Wèi 味
(Mandarin
name means
"tasty taste")
Chinese information provided by
liuzhou from eGullet
Source of Information

 |
 |
V
  SWEET
taste
&
flavor
SOUR
taste
&
flavor
SALTY
taste
&
flavor
BITTER
taste
&
flavor
HOT
flavor
BLAND
flavor
FRAGRANT
flavor
GOLDEN
flavor
UMAMI
taste
&
flavor
The Five Elements Theory of Chinese Cooking - Learn about the Role of the Five Elements in Chinese Cooking
chinesefood@about.com
Element

Yin

Yang


Feeling

Color

Taste
Earth

Spleen

Stomach


Thought

Yellow

Sweet
Wood

Liver

Gall
bladder

Rage

Green

Sour
Water

Kidneys

Bladder


Fear

Black

Salty
Fire

Heart

Small intestine

Happiness

Red

Bitter
Metal

Lungs

Large
intestine

Sorrow

White

Spicy
       
The Fifth Taste - Cooking with Umami
by David & Anna Kasabian
©2008
  SWEET
taste
SOUR
taste
SALTY
taste
BITTER
taste
HOT
 
BLAND
 
FRAGRANT
 
GOLDEN
 
UMAMI
taste
maybe
flavor
Eight Immortal Flavors
by Johnny Kan
©1963

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka hzrt8w from eGullet has provided the Chinese characters suggests that the Chinese Flavor Names are probably Toisanese dialect because "This author most likely speaks the Toysanese dialect, as clued by the pronunciation of his family name".
  SWEET
Chinese flavor name:
TEEM


Toysanese:
HEM




not
necessarily
sweet like
syrup;
the flavor
of lotus
root is considered
sweet
SOUR
Chinese flavor name:
SEEN


Toysanese:
THLUON




like vinegar
SALTY
Chinese flavor name:
HOM


Toysanese:
HAUM
(falling
tone)


like salt
BITTER
Chinese flavor name:
FOO


Toysanese:
can be FU or more commonly "NIK"

from very
slightly
bitter to
very bitter
HOT
Chinese flavor name:
LOT


Toysanese:
LAHT





like in
mustard
or chili
peppers;
BLAND
Chinese flavor name:
TOM


Toysanese:
HUM (rising tone)



like rice
or the
"baked"
flavor of
bread
FRAGRANT
Chinese flavor name:
HEONG


Toysanese:
?




pan aroma
Wok Hay
鑊氣
GOLDEN
Chinese flavor name:
GUM


Toysanese:
?




cool,
acrid-sweet
like citrus
peel
UMAMI
Chinese flavor name:
?


Toysanese:
?




not defined
in this
source
The Good Food of Szechuan - Down-to-Earth Chinese Cooking
by Robert A. Delfs
©1974 (7th printing)
  SWEET
Sichuan
flavor
name:
TIAN

sweetness, from sugar
or honey
SOUR
Sichuan
flavor
name:
SUAN

sour, the taste of vinegar
SALTY
Sichuan
flavor
name:
XIAN

salty, from salt or soy sauce
BITTER
Sichuan
flavor
name:
KU

bitter, the
taste of green onion or leek
HOT
Sichuan
flavor
name:
LA

taste of red peppers or sometimes
the taste of
black pepper
or Sichuan  peppercorns

Sichuan
flavor
name:
MA

the flavor
of sesame imparted by
seeds or oil;
also the pepperiness
of black pepper
or Sichuan peppercorns
BLAND
Sichuan
flavor
name:
?
FRAGRANT
Sichuan
flavor
name:
XIANG

the taste
of garlic and/or
ginger
GOLDEN
Sichuan
flavor
name:
?
UMAMI
Sichuan
flavor
name:
?
Food Culture in China
by Jacqueline M. Newman
©2004

Note: John D. Keys, Food for the Emperor, ©1963, says Cantonese chefs consider "natural" to be an additional taste.

Page 33:

Table 2.1

Five Chinese Tastes and Some Representative Foods with additional information from other parts of the book including some ancient and modern Chinese names

SWEET SOUR SALTY PUNGENT BITTER SAVORY ANIMAL FAT
Ancient: kan

Modern: kan
Ancient: suan

Modern: mei
Ancient: hsein

Modern: shiyan
or yan
Ancient: hsin

Modern: ciji
Ancient: ku

Modern: ku
Ancient: jiang

Modern: xian

Japanese: umami
Ancient: fei
or feipang

Modern: fei
or feipang

(no actual taste name)
beef

Chinese date

foxtail millet

frog

lotus root

melon

onion

orange

oyster

peanuts

potato

shark's fin

shrimp

spleen

watermelon

white radish
carrot

celery

cherry

chicken liver

eel

jellyfish

plum

pork liver

red seaweeds

red turnip

scallion

tomato

walnut

watermelon

wheat

wild birds
abalone

bean leaves

beans

black mushroom

black seaweed

carp

chestnut

clam

cloud ear fungus

dried persimmon

eggplant

ginko

matrimony vine

pig kidney

prawn

sea urchin


all sauces jiang
adzuki bean

almond

bean sprouts

dried fish

garlic

ginger

horse lung

kumquat

long cabbage

mud snail

peach

river crab

taro

yellow seaweed
apricot

asparagus

beer

bitter melon

cherry

loach

millet

mutton

pickled scallion

river shrimp

sea cucumber

sheep heart

spinach

stone parsley

strong wine

white seaweed
fish pastes

oyster and fish sauces

meats

mushrooms

monosodium glutamate (MSG)

all foods with glutamates, including those just names and others such as the tomato
animal fat
Notes: Foods can have more than one taste, depending upon how prepared and other factors. Regional and minority differences are not represented.

Toysanese pronunciations from Ben Hong at eGullet:

Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:52 PM
Unofficial Toysanese pronunciation of above terms:

Green plum sauce ... teng moi deng
Plain old fish sauceyu loo...ngui loo
hom (salty)...haum (falling tone)
fu (bitter)...can be fu or more commonly "nik"
Tom (rising tone) bland like plain white rice...hum (rising tone).
Heung means aromatic in any dialect, as in ng heung foon (5 spice powder)
teem (sweet)...hem (Toysan)
Seen or suen (sour) ...thluon (Toysan)
Laht means "hot" in a capsaicin or chili sense.

To outsiders Toysanese sounds like the clearing of a lot of throats in conversation but to the speakers it was the only true Chinese dialect that was understood by all overseas Chinese until about 50 years ago. Sun Yat Sen (almost a Toysanese) had to speak the dialect when he went to all the Chinese enclaves all over the world to gain support and to recruit money. You might say that modern China was born speaking Toysanese.