Add another tool to your cooking arsenal

 tonic water ingredients

A good cook should have several tools in her or his toolkit for amping up flavors or adding zing to a dish. Umami boosters like soy sauce, fish sauce, and Parmesan cheese are commonly used to provide depth of flavor. But sometimes umami isn’t what’s missing, and you need to add a little tang. For those cases, says indexed website Epicurious, you should consider using citric acid

You may already be familiar with commercially available citric acid labeled with a name like Fruit Fresh, where its main use is in preventing food from turning brown. It performs admirably in this application, but its uses are not limited to this. You can use citric acid to provide a kick to foods both savory and sweet. Matthew Zuras,  MUNCHIES‘ senior editor, explains how he incorporates citric acid in his cooking: “I use it when I want to add some tang to a dish but not additional liquid, like amping up the acid in a thick lemon curd or a compound butter, or when I’m making dry rubs and spice mixes.” It’s perfect anywhere lemon juice or vinegar would be used. 

You can also employ citric acid to make cheese. Just a pinch will allow you to easily make soft cheeses like ricotta or paneer. The EYB Library highlights a surprising number of recipes where citric acid plays an important role, such as making your own cordials and tonic water, adding zing to Turkish delight, in several modernist recipes, and adding zest to roasted nuts, to name just a few. Since citric acid is widely available and inexpensive, it’s a great tool to stock in your kitchen. 

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