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Seasoning is the process of adding or improving flavor of food. Seasonings include herbs, spices, and all other condiments (which may themselves be referred to as "seasonings"). Salt may be used to draw out water, or to magnify a natural flavor of a food making it richer or more delicate, depending on the dish. For instance, kosher salt (a coarser-grained salt) is rubbed into chicken, lamb, and beef to tenderize the meat and improve flavor. Other seasonings like black pepper and basil transfer some of their flavor to the food. A well designed dish may combine seasonings that complement each other.
In addition to the choice of herbs and seasoning, the timing of when flavors are added will affect the food that is being cooked.
In some cultures, meat may be seasoned by pouring sauce over the dish at the table. A variety of seasoning techniques exist in various cultures.
Infused Oils is another method of seasoning. There are two methods for doing an infusion — hot and cold. Olive oil makes a good infusion base for some herbs, but tends to go rancid more quickly than other oils. Infused oils should be kept refrigerated.
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