The fat source in a dish plays a pivotal role in flavoring the food. When you think of something tasting beefy, chicken-y or porky, what you're often tasting is the influential taste of fat. Just think of how distinct the smell and taste of bacon grease is.
That also means that you can bring greater variety of flavor to your food by experimenting with fats. Instead of automatically reaching for the olive oil or vegetable oil, stock your cupboard with additional fat sources so you can bring new flavors to your dish or better replicate the flavor of cuisines from around the world.
Check out the table below from the book "Salt Fat Acid Heat" for a deep dive on the world of fat.
I'm Natasha Ho, a trained chef and avid traveler. I've studied culinary traditions from cuisines around the world, and I help food lovers learn how to cook a wide variety of meals that are consistently delicious so they can have more fun, ease and joy in their kitchen.