Some of mine are garlic and onions (obviously! Lol) and whipping cream.
What are yours?
Lemons....If I want to take pretty much any baked good from bland to bright, just a little lemon zest will do wonders! If what I'm cooking just tastes fatty and flat, a spritz of lemon juice (or vinegar) will just wake everything up.
On my 9th birthday, my grandmother made me a boxed lemon cake with canned lemon frosting and my name spelled out in candy corn (my birthday is on Halloween). She was a strange lady and she figured since she liked lemon cake, I would. I tasted it and immediately burst into tears. I hated it. As a 9 year old, I didn't have the capacity to appreciate the gesture, nor the palette to appreciate lemon cake. I spent years in a desert of NO LEMON desserts. That's until I started baking for myself and using REAL lemons. I was blown away with how wonderful and versatile the flavor of lemon is. Lemon curd, lemon pound cake, lemon-blueberry muffins, lemon meringue pie, tarte au citron, the list goes on. Now its a go to for me. When in doubt, make something light and refreshing with lemon.
The chef-y me says salt, but I have to agree with PieceofLayerCake..lemons are pretty much in regular rotation in my kitchen. So is Tahini. Tough question!!
Lemons are a great one!! I use limes more than lemons.
Salt of course! I'm texan so we probably use more salt than preferred!! Haha
Love your answers!
Lemons are a good choice but had to give this some thought. I'd say honey. I use it on sliced apples and grind fresh black pepper on top. Great snack! Drizzle it on watermelon, cantaloupe, cottage cheese, bacon, yogurt, granola, use it in my coffee (yum! Honey coffee with cream!), in salad dressings, on potato chips ( yes, it is good...sweet and salty) and on just about everything! Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised. BB
Aside from the usual cast of characters (onions and garlic), I would have to say a good olive oil or 2. Cooking, drizzling, dressings. Haven't tried it on a bagel yet, but under the right circumstances I am sure it would work.
Parmesan! It's got pretty much all of the tastes and is therefore a great element to reinforce and blend flavors.
Sun dried tomato in oil. I like to add the sun dried tomatoes on most western cooking and making a simple sandwich by it on bread and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. The oil is also great to replace olive oil when making salad, stir fry, etc, as it already has spices and umami flavor from SD tomato.
Another cooking essentials is sea salt with iodine. Sea salt because it has more complex flavor than table salt, and iodine because it is essential for health - at least that is what WHO said.
For baking, it is vanilla paste, not as expensive as vanilla beans, but more flavorful than vanilla extract.
As Sam says, we can't live without salt.
Parmesan was my almost instant reaction, but after giving it a bit more thought, living without eggs would be really difficult.
Salt - pure and simple. Interestingly, most responses are flavor enhancers.