Water vs. fat soluble herbs and spices
July 27, 2006 2:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a single-source exhaustive list of water-soluble and fat-soluble herbs and spices.

Some herbs and spices distribute their yummy goodness components when heated in water, and some need a bit of fat to get their deliciousness going. I don't know whether some need a little acid to do their voudou.

I have searched in vain for a single source document which lists the two for, say, 30-40 of the more popular spices. This list will help to sort out brines and marinates, and I'd really like one. Any ideas?
posted by ykjay to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The excellent book On Food and Cooking talks about which chemicals are 'active' in tons of spices, but it doesn't always say what they are soluble in. Sometimes it does:
Vanillin and the other flavor components [in vanilla] are more solble in alcohol than water, so the higher flavor content desired in the extract, the higher the proportion of alcohol necessary to carry it.
and sometimes it doesn't:
Wintergeren is the leaf of Gaultheria procumbens or fragrantissima, a North American bush in the blueberry and cranberry family, whose refreshing aroma is created mainly by methyl salicylate
If you know more chemistry than I, you might be able to figure out whether methyl salicylate, phenolic compounds, and cetera are soulable in.
posted by aubilenon at 4:23 PM on July 27, 2006

Boy I can't type soluble today! Sorry
posted by aubilenon at 4:24 PM on July 27, 2006

Not a list, but the information here should help you. Also, thank you for asking the question and so causing me to find this resource.
posted by tellurian at 6:08 PM on July 27, 2006

Katzer's site is great, especially for disambiguating different common names of flavorful plants. But that particular page won't help you, for example, instantly know that saffron needs to be bloomed in water before you add it to fat.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:13 PM on July 27, 2006

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