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  • parsnips
    parsnips

    A root vegetable that looks like a white carrot, parsnips are an often-overlooked winter delicacy.

  • pea shoots
    pea shoots

    Pea shoots are the tender, uppermost leaves and tendrils (vines) of pea plants.

  • peaches
    peaches

    During the last weeks of June, white peaches and the early yellow varieties arrive in stores. These first peaches of the season are low in acid and have a clear, sweet taste that makes them perfect for eating out of hand, but bakers should wait a month or so before they start rolling out their pie dough.

  • peanuts

    Technically a legume, and not a tree nut, peanuts are grown in the southern United States.

  • pearl onions

    Pearl onions are simply onions whose growth has been stunted in the field.

  • pears

    A perfectly ripe pear can be the best things in the world to eat. The flesh is creamy, smooth, and sweet, and the juices so abundant they run down your chin. Their fragrance and flavor makes them a favorite in desserts ranging from the elegant poached pear to more homey cobblers and crisps.

  • pecans

    Pecans are a native American nut most famously featured at Thanksgiving in pecan pie. They also pair well in desserts featuring apples, chocolate, and other nuts. Pecans have a rich, sweet flavor and a tender, almost crumbly crunch.

  • penne pasta

    Italian for "pen" but referring to a quill, penne pasta is a short tubular pasta cut on an angle. They may be smooth or ridged and are a good match for thick sauces.

  • pepitas

    Pumpkin seeds for cooking are usually sold with their white hull stripped away, so they won't look like the seeds you scoop out of a jack o'lantern on Halloween. Slightly larger than sunflower seeds...

  • piment d Espelette

    A mild Basque chile that's usually dried and sold as a coarsely ground powder.

  • pimento stuffed green olives

    The green olives sold pitted and stuffed with pimento (most often sold in jars) are Manzanilla olives.

  • pineapple

    Fresh pineapple's tropical aroma and spunky acidity are wonderful winter pick-me-ups. Two common varieties are Golden Ripe and Hawaiian Jet.

  • pink beans

    A small, smooth light red bean, especially popular in the Southwest of the United States. Used interchangeably with the pinto bean in refried beans and chili.

  • red lentils

    One of the many variety of lentils, red lentils become very soft when cooked, making them ideal for soups and purées. Often used in Indian cooking. Like many lentils, they have a warm, earthy flavor.

  • pink peppercorns

    Pink peppercorns aren't actually peppercorns; they're the berries of an unrelated tree. Mildly sweet and aromatic, they don't contribute a lot of flavor.

  • pinto beans

    Pinto, Spanish for "painted," refers to the reddish streak found on this small, flavorful bean when dried (the streak fades when cooked).

  • plain yogurt

    With its natural creaminess and distinctive tang, plain yogurt is a key ingredients for many delicious soups, sauces, and drinks.

  • plum tomatoes

    This egg-shaped meaty tomato is usually found red, though it can also be yellow. It's good for cooking and canning because its water content is relatively low, and it yields lots of thick sauce.

  • plums

    Plums are small, round stone fruits with juicy, sweet-tart flesh and smooth skin that ranges in color from deep purple to red to yellow.

  • pluots

    Pluots are a cross between a plum and an apricot. They come in many varieties and are often brightly colored and very sweet.

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