Five Element Acupuncture and Taste.
Including a great recipe for five-flavours sweet potato soup.
In five element acupuncture, the body/mind/spirit is divided into five elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Each element houses different aspects of our physical being, our personality, our moods and emotions and our characteristics. It is a system that is both complex, and wonderfully simple at the same time. In this blogpost, I hope to elaborate on flavours.
Each element is governed by a particular flavour:
Fire: Bitter flavours such as coffee, raw cacao and certain herbs and spices
Earth: Sweet flavours such as sugar and fruit
Metal: Pungent flavours such as spices and certain herbs
Wood: Sour flavours such as vinegar, lemon juice, onions
Water: Salty flavours such as salt and tamari
Of course, lots of basic ingredients have more than one intrinsic flavour, for example, garlic is both pungent and bitter, and cherries are both sweet and sour.
When it comes to flavouring a dish, it’s very useful to use different flavours to enhance and/or rein in others. Some dishes, notably many Asian dishes, include all these flavours, and, in the right quantities, they blend together to create complex and well balanced tastes that thrill the palate. There is an art to this as it can easily go wrong.
Classic flavour combinations may only include two or three different flavours, which can fire each other up to create lively and exciting blends. It’s not necessary to add all five flavours to every dish, just put the right ones together.
A good balanced diet will include all of the flavours, in a creative, interesting and varied way. An excess of any particular flavour in the diet is not such a good way to go.
What I want to say is this; bearing in mind these flavours, it’s possible to create really great dishes that have a complexity of flavour that exceeds the sum of the parts. It only requires a little imagination, exploration and experimentation.
A recipe for sweet potato soup that uses all five flavours.
Ingredients: (amply serves 4) Continue reading “Flavours. Sweet Potato Soup.”