Flavor Profiles for Everyday Meals

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

A flavor profile is a set of basic and common spices, seasonings, and aromatics that emulate a specific cuisine. Spices give aroma, color, flavor, and sometimes even texture to food. Each spice, chile, or herb has specific, unique chemical compounds that create the specific qualities you look for in your cooking.

Flavor profiles are memorize-able. Meaning, you won’t need a recipe to whip up a Mexican-inspired meal because you will already know the basic ingredients that will make it taste kind of like Mexican food.

I’m breaking down the flavor profiles of some of our favorite cuisines and telling you which spices and ingredients work well together and give your dishes the flavors you’re craving.

Asian Inspired -- there are many different types of Asian foods, but some familiar basic Americanized Asian dishes include: stir-frys, rice bowls, noodle bowls, broccoli bowls (all the bowls).

What you’d need to create an Asian-inspired meal:

Spices -- a combination of any of the following work, but to me, ginger is the most important for that Asian flair.

 Garlic Coriander
Ginger Star Anise


Ingredients -- like those listed below, are all suitable for Asian cuisine. Choose a protein and noodles or rice, and you’re set!

Soy Sauce  Sriracha (or any type of chile sauce) Meat: beef, chicken, fish, seafood
Rice Vinegar White or Brown Rice Noodles
Sesame Oil Tofu


Italian Inspired -- herbs (as opposed to spices) play a large role in Italian cooking. In fact, many popular Italian dishes are seasoned with no more than herbs and olive oil. While the most potent flavor comes from fresh herbs, dried will always work in a pinch.

Basic Italian meal prep dishes include pasta, pizza, and roasted meals (think chicken bakes).

What you’d need to create an Italian-inspired meal:

Spices -- Choose 2 or 3 of these to get Italian flavor.

 Garlic Oregano Rosemary
Basil Parsley Thyme


Ingredients -- prepared pasta sauces should be on this list too. Marinara or Alfredo is found in most grocery stores.

Parmesan and mozzarella Pesto  Lemon
Cheese Olives Mushrooms
Canned or fresh tomatoes Olive Oil Pasta


Mexican Inspired -- Mexican dishes often incorporate seasoned protein, corn product, beans, and cheese. The chili pepper remains the most important spice in Mexican cooking.

Basic Mexican dishes include burritos, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas.

What you’d need to create a Mexican-inspired meal:

Spices -- These are staples we should all have in the spice rack. Put these together and you get that Mexican deliciousness!

 Cumin Onion Powder
Chili Powder Garlic Powder


Ingredients -- The possibilities seem endless with these Mexican ingredients.

 Cilantro Peppers Rice
Limes Onion Tortillas
Avocado Cheese
Tomatoes Black Beans


Mediterranean Inspired -- Basic Mediterranean dishes include couscous and rice bowls, chickpea or lentil salads, and roasted chicken or fish with veggies.

What you’d need to create a Mediterranean-inspired meal:

Spices -- these are especially good when fresh in any number of Mediterranean dishes.

Basil Rosemary Dill
Parsley Oregano Mint


Ingredients -- The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the most healthy, and fresh ingredients like these listed below are the basics.

 Lemon Fish, chicken Chickpeas
Couscous Peppers Lentils
Rice Cucumbers Pita
Tomatoes Lettuce and greens


Knowing which spices go well together to create certain flavor profiles is an easy way to keep things simple; while keeping the family coming back for more. Another easy way to add delicious flavor to your meals is by using Bellisari’s Gourmet Sauces and Spreads in your recipes! Try some of the recipes on our website or come up with your own dishes. We’d love to hear about any creative ways you use our products.

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