The Holy Trinity

As I was writing my guest blog for another site I was traveling down memory lane of foods I have eaten on my travels. While reviewing my tasty adventures in New Orleans I came across the holy trinity.

No, no, I am not getting religious on you. I am talking about the Louisiana holy trinity in cooking, which  refers specifically to chopped celery, bell peppers, and onions, used as the staple base for much of the cooking in the Cajun and Creole regional cuisines.

I was surprised to find out the term “trinity” can also be a trio of ingredients key to a particular cuisine. Because these three ingredients are so common in the recipes of some cuisines, they are almost indivisible and often end up being treated as a single ingredient and provide the distinctive flavoring of specific cuisines.

Trinities can essentially be flavor bases often arrived at by sautéing a combination of any three aromatic vegetables, condiments, seasonings, herbs, or spices. Cooking these few base ingredients in butter or oil releases their flavour which in turn is infused into other ingredients. This technique is most typically used when creating sauces, soups, stews, and stir-fries.

Common trinities in other cuisines are:

French cuisine

  • Mirepoix: celery, onion and carrots.
  • butter, cream and eggs is typically found in classical French haute cuisine.
  • bouquet garni: parsley, thyme and bay leaves tied together as a flavor base for liquid dishes.

Indian: garlic, ginger and onion, often ground or mashed into “wet” pastes and sauteed.

Chinese: trinity of scallions, ginger and garlic

Greek: trinity of lemon juice, olive oil and oregano

Italian: tomato, garlic and basil

Korean: garlic, ginseng and kimchi

Lebanese: trinity of garlic, lemon juice and olive oil

Mexican: corn, beans and chilies

Russian: trinity of carrot, onion and vegetable oil is used as a base for soups

Spanish: bread, olive oil and wine.

Thai: trinity of galangal, kaffir lime and lemon grass.

The following list was taken from Wikipedia. I am sure there are more trinities not mentioned.

Hugs and biscuits
Evelyne

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