I only know a few things that divide people more than food seasonings and bouillon cubes. They are said to add flavour to dishes by enriching the meals’ aroma. Some believe that they have no side effect, others, however, protest against the use of these seasonings, they simply hold as barbarism to add it to meals. The fact that these seasonings include flavour enhancers like monosodium glutamate, and only traces of dried vegetables can be found in them is as sure as death.
Since the market of food seasonings generates multi-billion dollar revenue worldwide year by year, it exceeds 5 billion forints even in Hungary, monosodium glutamate is protected by a very stong lobby notwithstanding that this flavour enhancer is responsible for the so-called Chinese restaurant syndrome. Symptoms such as headache, neck pain, muscle cramps, rapid heart beat may occur within 2-48 hours after eating the food. In addition, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; its prolonged consumption can be harmful to nerve cells. It may have a carcinogenic effect and it can cause behavior disorder in children.
Sodium glutamate is very addictive, you can get used to it very easily. The secret of this basically tasteless, colorless and odorless powder is that it makes every food tastier. It doesn’t change the food, but it affects your brain through receptors of the tongue, so you perceive the flavour of the food in a different way.
I’m not a fan of these artificial products, instead of buying them I’d rather prepare my own blend that contains only fresh vegetables and salt as a preservative. This homemade vegetable blend is an all-purpose seasoning that you can add while cooking, roasting or marinating. To make it, you will need only a few things: vegetables, salt, big bowls and a powerful grinder. This is a basic recipe, you can change the ingredients according to your taste.
- 500 g (~1 lb) carrot
- 500 g (~1 lb) parsley root
- 500 g (~1 lb) red pepper
- 200 g (~7 oz) celeriac
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) cauliflower
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) red onion
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) tomato
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) kohlrabi
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 large bunch of parsley
- 1 large bunch of celeriac leaves
Wash and clean the vegetables, then cut them into large pieces.
Push them through a meat grinder.
Measure the weight of the mixture.
Add 150 g (~2/3 cup) salt for every kilo of minced vegetables and mix up.
Wait until the mixture gives off juice, it takes about 30 minutes.
Spoon the blend into jars (preferably choose small ones). Press the mixture with spoon repeatedly to make it airtight.
Close the jars and put them onto the pantry shelf. Store in a cool, dark place in order to prevent the seasoning from losing its colour. It keeps for 9-10 months.