If you watch cooking shows or read other cooking blogs, you’ve probably come across the term flavor profile. Was it defined, or did the writer simply assume you knew what they were talking about? Was it a collection of ingredients, and maybe a cooking style or two? Were speaking of a single dish’s flavor profile, or of a cuisine as a whole?
Flavor profile has such an elusive definition, there isn’t even a Wikipedia article for it!
The concept of a flavor profile isn’t a new one. Flavor profile charts for wines have been around for quite some time. I suppose it comes from our desire to classify everything, but in a way, it helps. By being able to describe things in an empirical way, we can remember them and recall them later on with more accuracy. As a food writer, I realize that I have an obligation when describing food, to do so in a way that conveys how food the I prepare tastes in a way that is meaningful to those who read it.