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  • cucumbers
    cucumbers

    There are dozens of cucumber varieties, all of which can be used pretty much interchangeably. Cucumbers’ mild, sweet flavor makes them a good match for almost anything. They're great paired with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and any summery herb, as well as with fish and shellfish, chicken, pork, and lamb. Creamy dairy products like yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, feta, and goat cheese give them richness and a welcome tang, while aromatics like capers, olives, garlic, lemon, and lime add a little punch.

  • cumin
    cumin

    Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. Cumin seeds which resemble caraway seeds, are oblong, ridged, and yellow-brown in color. Cumin seeds, known for their distinctive aroma, are popular in North African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Cuban and Northern Mexican cuisine.

  • curly endive
    curly endive

    Curly endive (a.k.a. chicory or curly chicory) has narrow stems and frilly, very curly leaves.

  • curly parsley

    One of two common varieties of parsley (the other is flat-leaf parsley), curly leaf parsley may be most famous as a garnish., but this brightly flavored herb is particularly good in fresh salads. It has a bright, grassy flavor, with a delicate balance of tang and sweetness.

  • daikon

    What looks like an albino carrot on steroids and tastes like a radish? A large, crisp, juicy Asian radish typically known by its Japanese name, daikon.

  • brown sugar

    Originally made from semi-refined sugar that still had some of the natural molasses left in it, brown sugar is now typically made by spraying white sugar with molasses.

  • muscovado sugar

    A specialty brown sugar sometimes marketed as a "raw" sugar, Muscovado sugar is less processed than regular brown sugar.

  • delicata squash

    These small squash have yellow or cream-color skin with dark-green stripes. Delicatas have moist flesh that tastes like a combination of roasted corn and lemon zest; their flavor becomes richer when roasted or sautéed.

  • demerara sugar

    An English version of turbinado sugar, to which it's very similar except for a slightly larger crystal size.

  • Dijon mustard

    Originally from Dijon, France, Dijon mustard is a condiment made from mustard seeds, white wine, grape must, and seasonings.

  • dill

    Used to flavor many dishes such as salads, sauces, meats, and seafood, fresh dill is a delicate, aromatic herb.

  • distilled vinegar

    Distilled vinegar is made from a grain-alcohol mixture. Most often used in pickling, its harsh flavor makes it more often used in American kitchens as a cleaning agent rather than an ingredient.

  • Gorgonzola

    A cow's milk blue cheese from Italy, Gorgonzola comes in two varieties. Gorgonzola Dolce (sweet), which is mild with a rich, creamy interior that makes it an excellent choice for cooking. It has an ivory-colored interior that can be lightly or thickly streaked with bluish-green veins in layers. Mountain Gorgonzola (also called naturale) has a crumbly, dry texture and a potent blue flavor that

  • dried apricots

    Dried apricots are pitted, unpeeled apricot halves that have been mostly dehydrated. There are two main types of dried apricots: Turkish and California.

  • dried cranberries

    Dried cranberries are cranberries that have been dehydrated and sweetened, and some commercial brands are coated in vegetable oil so that they do not stick together. Cranberries add a tart kick to a...

  • dry red wine

    Delicious for drinking with food, dry red wines (dry meaning they have less sugar) are also useful in cooking. As with white wines, the acidity in red wine will punch up other flavors in the dish, provided there's not too much tannin or oak flavors to overshadow the food.

  • dry white wine

    White wine is a pantry staple for most cooks, and it's really versatile. Use it to deglaze the brown bits for a pan sauce for sautéed fish, chicken, pork, or mushrooms. Use it in risotto for a good touch of acidity. Add it to a pot of shellfish just before you put the lid on for steaming.

  • Dungeness crab

    The Dungeness crab has white-tipped claws and a brownish shell, and boasts an average shell width of about 7 inches.

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder

    In the mid-nineteenth century, a Dutch chocolate manufacturer came up with a process by which he could better control and standardize the color and flavor of cocoa.

  • eggs

    Eggs are such as basic, everyday ingredient that it's easy to overlook their powerful and diverse functions in cooking and baking. Eggs give structure to baked goods (cakes, muffins, pancakes) as well as savory foods like meatloaf. They work as a leavener, thickener and binder in sauces like hollandaise and mayonnaise and give smoothness to everything from custards to truffles. The whites have a drying ability that can help crisp waffles, meringues, and cream puffs, and their proteins can clarify soups. All this and eggs are nutritious and delicious on their own whether poached, fried, scrambled, or made into an omelet or frittata. Though salmonella is rare in eggs, people at risk should not consume raw or undercooked eggs. Pasteurized eggs, available at many markets, are a good alternative in such cases.

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