Grinding things releases more flavor


It makes sense, doesn’t it? You squish something, and more of its essence comes out. The trick is to know when it works for you and when it doesn’t. If you grate a lemon, you get a more lemony taste. Yum. If you put garlic through a garlic press, it REALLY intensifies the garlic flavor. That could be good or bad depending on whom you plan to kiss that night.  

If you put red pepper flakes in a grinder, your dish is going to get real hot, real fast, so be careful. If you grate or shred your own cheese, you’ll get more of the flavor out of the cheese. You’ll also avoid the weird chemical, cellulose powder that coats packaged shredded cheese and, yes, I’m thinking I want to avoid cellulose powder ENTIRELY.

You can grind lime, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ginger, almost any spice… Yum!
You can grind any kind of peppers, but be careful. (Wash hands when done.)
If you grind up fruit or tomatoes, remember that it adds a lot of liquid to your recipe.
If you shred or grind potatoes, you need to cook them right away or they will turn brown.

Finally, be careful if you do this manually. You don’t want to add a chunk of your finger to the recipe. I’ve done this enough times for all of us. To avoid the discomfort, hold the thing you are grinding with a piece of aluminum foil. It will separate you from the tool you are using.

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