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  • chili powder
    chili powder

    When you see a spice jar labeled simply "chili powder," it's actually a mix of ground chiles with several spices like oregano, garlic powder, and cumin.

  • chipotle chiles
    chipotle chiles

    Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños; they have a sweet, smoky flavor.

  • chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
    chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

    Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños. Adobo is a tangy, slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple. Use just the chipotles for intense smoky chile heat or just the sauce for a sour-sweet flavor and a slightly less fiery smoky heat.

  • chipotle chile powder

    Chipotle chile powder is made up purely of dried and ground chipotle chiles (as opposed to standard "chili powder," which is actually a mix of ground chiles with several spices like oregano, garlic...

  • chives

    An herb related to the leek and onion, chives contribute a refined hit of onion flavor, and their green color adds lots of eye appeal.

  • chorizo

    There are two distinct styles of this pork sausage: Spanish-style dry-cured chorizo, and Mexican-style fresh chorizo.

  • cilantro

    There's a reason this tender herb is so widely used around the world in Asian, Latin American, and Indian cuisines—it has the magical effect of brightening other flavors, cutting through richness, and cooling spicy heat when combined with other flavors in hundreds of ways.

  • cilantro root

    An essential flavor in Thai cooking, cilantro root is just what it sounds like, the roots of cilantro plants. Milder in flavor and aroma than their leafy tops, cilantro roots provide a delicate herbal note and a plush, moist texture to curry pastes, bringing pungent ingredients like chiles, garlic, and galangal into a harmonious, flavor-packed whole.

  • cinnamon

    Warm, tingly, sweet cinnamon is a spice recognized by just about anyone who has enjoyed French toast, a snickerdoodle, or an aptly named cinnamon bun. But is the spice true cinnamon or its more common relative, cassia? Only your spice merchant knows for sure; often both are labeled and sold as cinnamon. Made from rolled, pressed, and dried tree bark, both cinnamon and cassia have a pleasing, woody fragrance and sweet flavor in both stick and ground form.

  • cipollini onions

    Cipollini onions (pronounced chip-oh-Lee-nee) are small, flat-shaped spheres. Popular in Italy, they are starting to catch on in the U.S. They have a well developed flavor that's a little sweet.

  • clams

    Briny, succulent, and sweet, clams are bivlave mollusks from the sea. They're delicious raw, grilled, steamed, and stuffed and baked, as well as in clam chowder and pasta.

  • clarified butter

    Clarified butter is made by melting butter slowly to evaporate most of its water and separate the milk solids out from the yellow liquid. The liquid is then decanted, leaving the solids behind. The result is fat with the flavor of butter that can be heated to higher temperature without risk of burning.

  • clementines

    Clementines are a diminutive orange citrus fruit, likely a cross of a mandarin and an orange, with a thin skin that peels off easily.

  • cocktail sauce

    Most famously served with shrimp for shrimp cocktail, classic cocktail sauce is a mix of ketchup and prepared horseradish. Often given a squeeze of lemon and a hit of hot pepper sauce, it is a brightly flavored condiment for all kinds of seafood.

  • cocoa powder

    When it comes to delivering deep, dark chocolate flavor, plain old cocoa powder is hard to beat. Made of finely ground partially defatted cocoa solids, it comes in two styles: natural (simply labeled unsweetened cocoa powder) and Dutch-processed (or alkalized), which has been treated with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Both taste bitter out of the box, but natural cocoa, which is lighter in color, has a fruitier, more acidic chocolate flavor, while Dutched cocoa, is mellower, with an almost nutty flavor.

  • coconut

    Though fresh coconut is delicious, it's literally a hard nut to crack. A dark brown, hairy husks with three indented "eyes" encases the white coconut meat and the pale white juice inside.

  • coconut milk

    An emulsion of coconut meat in water, coconut milk is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes.

  • cod

    Cod is a mild-flavored, firm, flaky white fish local to both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

  • cold-smoked salmon

    With its silky, delicate texture, cold-smoked is the salmon most people think of when they think of smoked salmon.

  • compressed yeast

    Not as widely available as other yeast products, fresh yeast is sold refrigerated in foil-wrapped blocks and cubes.

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