What is the generic term for something that is used in food preparation, typically to impart flavour, but is removed from the dish before it is served?

For instance, a bouquet garni is a specific example - a bunch of dried herbs that is discarded after cooking. Another example would be cinnamon stick, or clove ("spice" is not the term I am looking for here).

I'm not really a foodie, but this one has been wracking my brain, and none of my friends can provide an answer.

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    I think you need to distinguish between 'edible' and 'digestible'. We eat lots of things that we do not digest. They are called 'roughage' among other things. – Nigel J Jan 30 at 20:38
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    Although the question is perfectly on-topic here, it is possible that the contributors to the 'Seasoned Advice' Stack Exchange are in a better position to provide the most precise answer. – jsw29 Jan 30 at 21:55


...something that is added to food or drink to give it a particular taste:

-Cambridge dictionary online

This seems to be a generic term. I cannot think of anything I would put in food that is not actually edible in powdered or crumbled form. Even Bay leaves have been called poisonous, and cooks are told to remove them, but the real reason for removing spices such as these before serving is that they do not pass through the digestive tract easily.

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    When I said "not itself edible", I was not being really accurate. They would likely be edible in powdered or crumbled form. I guess what I meant was a type of flavouring ingredient that is not palatable "as is" and is discarded before the dish is served. Perhaps there is no word for it in English, but maybe in a language like French? – Sean South Jan 30 at 20:24
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    @SeanSouth You should edit to reflect that. I have had this answer "on hold" for 3 hours waiting for more user input. We NEED accuracy to formulate answers, otherwise, you get closed for "unclear". – Cascabel Jan 30 at 20:40
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    So you are actually looking for a translation? – Cascabel Jan 30 at 20:44

I think immediately of a bay leaf. I would suggest a "seasoning" or maybe more generally and "enhancer or enhancement".



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