You may have heard of the terms like holy trinity, mirepoix, or sofrito; all of which refer to three ingredients that represent the base of a national cuisine. Each “trinity” is usually chopped very fine and sautéed all together in oil or butter to release their flavor. These ingredients are commonly vegetables, seasonings, and/or herbs. If you want to start experimenting with different cuisines, it is important to know their trinities. Here is a list of some you may or may not know about.
Brazilian cuisine: Dende oil, coconut milk and malagueta pepper (used in the Northeast region).
Cajun/ Creole cuisine: Celery, bell pepper, and onion.
Chinese cuisine: Scallions, ginger, and garlic.
Cuban cuisine: Garlic, bell pepper, and onion
French cuisine: celery, carrots, and onion (mirepoix).
Greek cuisine: Lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano.
Indian cuisine: Garlic, ginger, and onion.
Indonesian cuisine: Garlic, chili peppers, and shallots.
Italian cuisine: Tomatoes, garlic, and basil (used in the South of Italy).
Japanese cuisine: Dashi, mirin, and shoyu (similar to soy sauce).
Korean cuisine: Garlic, ginseng, kimchi (fermented cabbage).
Mexican cuisine: Uses 3 types of dried chili peppers to make mole sauce- ancho, pasilla, and guajillo.
Spanish cuisine: Garlic, onion, and tomato (garlic is substituted for olive oil in the Catalan region).
Thai: Kaffir lime, lemongrass, and galangal (relative to ginger).
West Africa: Habaneros or scotch bonnets, onions, and tomatoes.