Flavor Exercise: Seasoning Broth

At Home Activity: Seasoning Broth Using the Five Flavors

Before you begin this flavor exercise, you need to first read about Roundness of Flavor, the 5 flavors, and what they taste like.

Ingredients Needed: 1 tbsp. each

kosher salt

soy sauce or MSG

red pepper, black pepper, or cayenne pepper

red wine vinegar

granulated white table sugar

chicken or vegetable broth (a cup)


In a small sauce pan, heat broth over medium heat until broth begins to boil.

Remove pan from heat and taste using a clean spoon. CAUTION! The broth will be extremely hot. Pinch your nose while tasting the broth to prevent your sense of smell from becoming involved. After tasting the broth, take notes on the flavor of the broth using the chart that is provided below.

Now, slowly add each of the 5 basic flavors, one at a time, in very small increments. Do not add the full amounts as called for by the ingredient list. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the seasoning completely. Add one at a time and taste after adding each individual flavor. Make notes using the chart below.

Start with salty, and move linearly through each flavor, as I have prescribed. Taste in between each seasoning to experience and understand how the flavor of the broth changes in between each seasoning. Makes notes on the lines below indicating what each flavor did for the broth.

After seasoning with all five flavors, adjust the broth to your specific flavor preferences as needed. Did you like it a little more spicy? Add more black pepper. Did you like the broth a little lighter? Add more red wine vinegar.

This exercise helps both the caregiver and the cancer patient understand how flavors develop inside of a real food item and helps both parties to understand the cancer patients preferences.

Make notes how the broth changed as you seasoned it:

Before seasoning:

After salt:

After MSG:

After black pepper:

After red wine vinegar:

After sugar:

Food For Thought

Think about what you just learned and how it applies to your situation. Ask yourself these questions.

1. How did the flavor of the broth change as you adjusted the seasoning?

2. Do the 5 flavors taste like you thought they tasted?

3. What flavor is your favorite?

4. What flavor is your least favorite?

5. How will you apply this information in your cooking?

Go To Mixing the Five Flavors

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