What is the Difference Between Seasoning and Flavoring

The main difference between seasoning and flavoring is that seasoning enhances or brings out the natural flavor of the food, while flavoring changes the original flavor of the food.

Seasoning and flavouring are two ways to enhance the flavor of food. Although we tend to use these two words interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between seasoning and flavoring. Sometimes, the difference between seasoning and flavouring may depend on the amount of the ingredient used.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Seasoning
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Flavoring
     – Definition, Features
3. Relationship Between Seasoning and Flavoring
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Seasoning and Flavoring
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Flavoring, Seasoning

Difference Between Seasoning and Flavoring - Comparison Summary

What is Seasoning

Seasoning is adding something to food in order to bring out or enhance its original flavor. In seasoning, there is no changing of the natural flavor. The most common seasonings we usually use in cooking are salt, pepper, and acidic substances like lime juice. When we add salt to a dish, we are not trying to change the original flavor, but only to bring out the flavor of the food.

Main Difference - Seasoning vs Flavoring

If a seasoning is used properly, it cannot be tasted in the food. They will only heighten the flavor of the food. However, if you use excess seasoning to change the original food, we can’t call it a seasoning anymore. For example, if you use excess pepper in a dish in order to make it hot and spicy, overpowering the original taste, then this is a flavoring. Generally, we add seasoning at the end of the cooking process.

What is Flavoring

Flavoring involves adding something to food in order to modify the original flavour of the food. The most common flavoring agents we use in cooking are herbs and spices. Garlic, onion, ginger, sauces, acids, and alcohols can also act as flavoring agents. We can use flavorings to add contrast to the original taste or to create a unique flavor in which it’s difficult to identify what the separate flavorings are.

Difference Between Seasoning and Flavoring

You can use flavoring anytime during the cooking process. Some ingredients require heat to activate them. Some ingredients, however, can also be added at the end of the cooking process. Timing is also a very important factor here as some ingredients need time to release their flavors, and if some ingredients are cooked for too long, they can lose their flavor.

Relationship Between Seasoning and Flavoring

  • Sometimes, the difference between seasoning and flavoring may depend on the amount of the ingredient used. For example, if you use a little amount of nutmeg to a dish, it may act as a seasoning, but adding a considerable amount so as to change the flavor is flavoring.

Difference Between Seasoning and Flavoring

Definition

Seasoning is an ingredient we add to food in order to bring out or enhance its original flavor, while flavoring is an ingredient we add to food in order to change the original flavor.

Flavor

While seasonings heighten the original flavor, flavorings modify the original flavor.

Examples

Salt, pepper, and lime juice are examples of seasonings while herbs, spices, and sauces are examples of flavorings.

Cooking

We mainly add seasonings at the end of the cooking process, but we can add flavorings at any time during the cooking process.

Conclusion

Seasoning is an ingredient we add to food in order to bring out or enhance its original flavor, while flavoring is an ingredient we add to food in order to change the original flavor. Thus, this is the main difference between seasoning and flavoring.

Reference:

1. Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez. “Seasoning and Flavoring” Libretexts, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “3368735” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “887348” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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