Cooking with flavourings

Posted by Paola

I recently ate gorgonzola – a very strong blue creamy cheese – in a coffee shop sandwich and it was an experience I still remember. I don’t think I’ve had blue cheese for a year.

It got me thinking: the flavour is enough to satisfy me – I don’t have to eat the real thing. Why don’t I get hold of flavourings to cook with?

For example, a blue cheese dressing would simply be yoghurt with blue cheese flavouring. I’d add coconut flavouring to yoghurt to substitute for coconut cream. And I could add a drop of peanut butter or vanilla flavouring to a cup of yoghurt to make a tasty but low-cal dessert.

I spent a few hours this afternoon looking online to see where I could buy flavourings. It seems they come in wet (use by the drop) or dry powder form.

The most promising are two food industry companies in New Zealand (Flavorjen) and the UK (H E Stringer). But a) they don’t provide a price list (a bad sign) and b) the sample-request sign-up only offered ‘my company’ options within the food industry.

There’s also Nature’s Flavors in America which sell oils and powders. But they only post by courier and so shipping is likely gonna be more expensive than the cost of a few ounces of flavoured oils.

But they all look interesting.

The blue cheese flavour is made from the same Penicillin roqueforti that makes blue cheese blue. Some flavours are natural and others artificial, which are regulated.

Here are the flavours on offer:

  • Dairy: Natural Dairy Cream, Natural Cream / Butter, Natural Sour Cream, Butter, Buttermilk, Milk, Yoghurt
  • Cheeses: Blue, Cheddar cheese, Cream, Parmesan, Romano, Swiss, Mozzarella, Havarti, Edam, Feta, Camembert, Muenster, Goat
  • Fruit: Apple, Apricot, Banana, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Boysenberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Grape, Guava, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee, Mandarin, Mango, Orange, Passionfruit, Peach, Pear, Melon, Pineapple, Juniper, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Watermelon, Mandarin, Fig, Gooseberry, Plum
  • Desserts: Butterscotch, Chocolate, Fudge, White chocolate, Honey, Maple, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown sugar, Caramel, Molasses, Bakewell, Malt, Blueberry cheesecake, Bubblegum, Carrot cake, Cheesecake, Custard, Danish pastry, Gingerbread, Lemon Meringue, Maraschino cherry, Marshmallow, Peanut Butter, Praline, Tiramisu, Zabaglione, Chocolate peanut butter
  • Drinks: Campari, Irish Cream, Coffee, Tea, Amaretto, Gin, Cola, Mulled wine, Cream soda, Ginger ale, Root beer, Brandy, Cappucino, Chai, Cider, Earl Grey, Eggnog, Espresso, Grand Marnier, Grenadine, Mocha, Pina Colada, Sangria
  • Nuts: Almond, Peanut, Cashew, Hazelnut, Macadamia, Pistachio, Chestnut, Walnut
  • Meats: Bacon/Ham, Barbeque, Beef, Chicken, Gammon, Grill, Char-grill, Hickory Grill, Lamb, Smoke, Teryaki, Pork, Oxtail, Mesquite Grill, Roast, Fat
  • Coriander, Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Chili, Cinnamon, French Onion, Horseradish, Saffron, Worcestershire Sauce, Coconut, Anise, Licorice, Lavender, Spearmint, Peppermint, Jasmine, Raisin, Rose, Tamarind, Violet
  • Veg: Cucumber, Leek, Red pepper, Mushroom, Spring onion, Tomato, Garlic, Ginger, Potato, Sweetcorn
  • Bread

I’d be interested to know what kinds of low-calorie things you’d cook up if you could add a drop of oil for flavour.

Finally, before starting this post, I searched for other people creating diet foods based on flavourings and found this article about The Sprinkles Diet.


6 thoughts on “Cooking with flavourings

  1. Wow, this seems all just a bit extreme… Surely, if you only need the flavour of something, then just have a bit of that something?

  2. I believe that, in this case, the end justifies the means.

    There are some things I find impossible to eat just a small piece of (see recent fruit liqueur post). I’m pretty sure that blue cheese will be one of those things, which is why I haven’t bought any of my favourite cheeses for a year (except for dinner parties).

  3. H E Stringer called me to follow-up on my request for samples. I told them I wasn’t in the food industry and why I was interested in their products. Their minimum order value is £250 (+ VAT, presumably) and so, unless someone shares an order with me, it’s a no go.

    I said that I was specifically interested in the blue cheese flavour and he said there are companies that specialise in it if I just Google for it.

  4. I take a small amount of blue cheese and mix it with yogurt to make a blue cheese dressing – but then of all the cheeses, blue is probably the one I’m least likely to scarf. For the others, the creamy/crumbly texture (or melting gooiness) is a huge factor in the desire.

    I used citrus oils when I was doing low carb cooking to avoid the sugars in fruit. I still use the lime one but the other two don’t add quite the right flavours in my opinion.

    For a lot of the high calorie food, I really want the texture, although there are things (popcorn!) that I’d be tempted to add butter flavor too if I could come up with something to mix it with.

    Most interesting are the strong drink flavours. I bet you could do some interesting things with Campari flavouring!

  5. Interestingly, when I was searching on-line for flavourings, one shop sold popcorn machinery and supplies, including the flavourings, mostly butter in powder form.

    When I did have blue cheese left over from dinner parties this last year, I tended to scoff it within a day.

    I find it hard to believe that I’m the first to think of low-calorie dressings, etc, using flavourings and so i will change my tactic and start searching for low-calorie dressings. Except for extra-light mayo (which is just barely mayonnaise-like), I’ve not bothered with bottled dressings but perhaps it’s worth looking to see what’s out there.

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