This cheese is slightly tangier than mozzarella.
Though not so well known in the United States, guava is a popular fruit in many tropical countries. Native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, guavas (guayabas in Spanish) are...
A mixture of salt and sodium nitrite, curing salt inhibits bacterial growth.
Prosciutto cotto literally means “cooked ham.” What we often refer to here as simply prosciutto is actually prosciutto crudo.
Add sweet heat to your recipes from gochujang (GO-choojahng), a fermented chile and soybean paste from Korea that’s sure to be the next Sriracha.
This deeply flavored, richly textured condiment is made by cooking down savory ingredients like dried scallops and shrimp, and often Chinese ham, with spices, chiles, and shallots.
Though they make a crunchy snack in their own right, biscotti can also be a component of more complex dishes, crumbled over a parfait or crushed to make a crust.
A traditional German sausage made of pork, beef, or veal, bratwursts in the U.S. are most often made with pork, and simmered in beer before being served hot dog-style on a bun.
A clear liqueur made from Marasca cherries, maraschino is made by crushing the cherries, along with their pits and stems. The flavor is floral and a bit nutty (from the pits), with only a mild cherry undertone.
These thin pastry sheets are made of wheat flour, water, oil, and salt, and their square shape makes them ideal for wrapping the fried Filipino spring rolls known as lumpia. Don't confuse them with...
Coconut oil has a savory yet sweet, slightly nutty flavor. It's useful in recipes such as curries, where a little coconut flavor is welcome.
Microgreens have long been used in professional kitchens as an attractive garnish
Annatto is a common Mexican spice
00 flour is a type of superfine Italian wheat flour used in pasta and pizza dough.
Lardo is an Italian delicacy. Made from pork back fat that’s been cured in salt, herbs, and spices, lardo has a mild porky flavor and a luxurious melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This miniature Chinese cabbage has tender stalks without the tough fibers of full-size bok choy, and its bright green leaves have a sweet, clean flavor balanced by a hint of peppery, mustardy bitterness. This vegetable is fast-cooking, versatile, and available year-round.
The term “cordial” means different things in different countries. In the United States a cordial is synonymous with a liqueur. In England it refers to a light nonalcoholic syrup.
Produced from the fermentation of corn sugar, xanthan gum helps improve the viscosity of doughs and batters. It improves the texture of baked goods, giving them a pleasing "mouth feel." Xanthan gum...
Grana Padano is an aged cow's milk cheese with a slightly sweeter and subtler flavor than that of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Known as the “prince of rice” for its delicate, deliciously nutty flavor, this aromatic, milled, medium-grain rice from Bangladesh also goes by the names govinda bhog and baby basmati.
Brown basmati is the same as white basmati rice except that it’s unmilled, so its long, needle-shaped grains retain all of their bran and germ.
Bhutanese red rice is a medium-grain rice that comes from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where it’s the staple food.
A hybrid of arborio and another rice named Stirpe 136, this plump, milled, shortgrain rice is grown in Turkey and Italy.
Known as “forbidden” rice because it was originally served only to the emperors of ancient China and forbidden to their subjects, this unmilled, medium-grain rice comes from northern China’s Zhejiang province.
A country ham is the hind leg of a pig, cured in salt, brown sugar, and seasonings, often (but not always) smoked, then left to age in a dry environment for months.
A staple in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and much of Asia, yuca has rough, crackled, brown exterior, creamy-white flesh, and a delicate, slightly sweet and nutty flavor.
Fresh pork belly is just what it sounds like—the meat and fat from the underside of a pig. It becomes bacon when you brine and smoke it.
Called sablefish in Europe, black cod is one of the richest-tasting fish on the market.
If you love prosciutto, imagine it with subtle herbal undertones and a touch of smoke, and you’ve got speck.
Sweet, earthy, rich, aromatic—all of these words describe the flavor and heady fragrance of wild black trumpet mushrooms.
Anasazi beans have stunning burgundy and cream-color speckles, and are the size and shape of a small pinto bean. Ananazi is the Navajo word for “the ancient ones,” cliff-dwelling Native...
Butter beans, or large lima beans, are big, flattish beans that range from pale yellow to white.
Cranberry beans are smooth, pinkish, oval-shaped beans with gorgeous dark-red speckles. They’re medium size, plump, and soft in texture, with a sweet, chestnut-like flavor.
A type of edible thistle, flavorful cardoons have an appealing, slightly bitter taste with notes of celery and artichoke.
These dark-green spear-shaped leaves are highly aromatic and pleasantly bitter, a mainstay of Indian cooking.
A fresh mozzarella-like cheese from the Italian region of Puglia, burrata is prized for its two textures and its rich milky flavor.
These tapered pod-shaped vegetables are a culinary staple south of the Mason-Dixon line.
If you like Greek yogurt, then you’ll love labneh (lob-nay). This delicious Middle-Easternstyle strained yogurt is lightly salted and even thicker than Greek yogurt
Found in nearly every Costa Rican home, restaurant, and roadside food stand, Salsa Lizano is a smooth, light brown vegetable-based sauce with a touch of sweetness and a hearty punch of spice...
If you’re from the southeastern part of the United States, you may already be familiar with upland cress; it’s known there as creasy greens. This cousin of watercress has been foraged in...
For cooks, garlic is indispensable. But with its piquant flavor and strong aroma,it can also dominate a dish. For a sweeter, more subtly aromatic, and delicately flavored alternative, look to green...
Sea Bass is a popular variety of lean fish that takes well to virtually any cooking method. Black Sea Bass is sweet and meaty.
Known as golden oranges in their native China, kumquats do indeed look like a miniature version of the citrus fruit. But with edible sweet skin and punchy, sour pulp, kumquats are in a category all their own.
Candied citrus peel, or citron, is the rind of any citrus that is boiled in sugar syrup until preserved in sugar crystals. Citron is a welcome addition to baked goods, sprinkled over ice cream, or dipped in chocolate to make orangettes, a classic French confection.
Jícama is a large tuber that has crisp, juicy flesh reminiscent of a very crunchy, unsweet apple.
This cut "hangs" from the last rib just below the tenderloin. It's not often found in supermarkets (there's only on per steer, and butchers like to keep it for themselves), but this flavorful, tender...
An affordable cut that’s nearly as tender as filet mignon, flat-iron steak is ideal for quick-cooking methods like grilling (or searing in a cast-iron skillet).
Save the hefty, perfectly shaped jack-o’-lantern varieties like Connecticut Field and Spirit for Halloween; their flesh is thin and stringy, with little flavor. At this time of year...
A dried Mexican chile that’s an essential ingredient in classic mole Poblano. It is fairly mild in heat, with slightly anise-y notes, with the flavor of dark fruits like prunes and cooked...
Farro is an ancient variety of wheat cultivated in Italy that has recently caught the attention of cooks in the United States. It has a nutty flavor and a firm, chewy texture that resembles barley more than wheat. Italians put farro in soups, salads, and stuffings.
Za'atar is both a Middle Eastern herb and a spice blend.
If you find squash blossoms at a farmers’ market you’re in luck. They’re deliciously edible and simple to prepare.
Often made from day-old or stale bread, croutons are added to soups and salads for extra flavor and crunch.
A Cajun specialty, tasso is a highly spiced and smoked piece of pork shoulder that’s mainly used as a seasoning or accent flavor in soups and bean, egg, pasta, and vegetable dishes.
Kecap manis is a sweet, thick Indonesian soy sauce made with palm sugar, garlic, star anise, and galangal, among other ingredients.
Dandelion greens are earthy, nutty, and bitter in a pleasing way; a bit tart-sharp like endive or radicchio.
Ham comes from the hind leg of a pig, and if it's called ham, it usually means it's cured.
A morel is a hollow, ace-of-spades-shaped mushroom, full of little pits and ridges.
While fava beans look a bit like lima beans, they're less starchy and fuller in flavor: nutty and slightly sweet, with just a hint of bitterness and a discernable taste of cheese. Though popular in...
Gingersnaps are ginger- and molasses-flavored cookies with a crisp, brittle consistency.
Lemon curd is a sweet sauce made by cooking lemon juice with butter, egg yolks and sugar in a nonreactive double boiler or saucepan.
Baileys Irish cream
A bitter or bittersweet liquid used to flavor cocktails, apéritifs, and foods. It is distilled from aromatic herbs, barks, roots, and other parts of plants.
evaporated cane juice sugar
Rosy-red, sweet-tart rhubarb is a harbinger of spring, the first fruit to come into season. Actually, though it's usually treated as a fruit and used mainly in desserts, rhubarb is technically a vegetable.
This prickly cousin of the thistle is a sure sign of spring.
Agave nectar comes in light and dark varieties, the light being very mild—almost neutral—while the dark has a deeper, almost maple-like flavor.
Flour made from ground rice is gluten free and used as a replacement for wheat flour by many people with gluten sensitivities.
Tortilla chips are usually corn tortillas cut into wedges and fried, although baked versions are also widely available, and you can also make chips from wheat-flour tortillas. Though there are plenty of good-quality store-bought options, it’s also quite simple to make your own tortilla chips, and it’s a great way to use up extra tortillas.
The pressed, filtered juice of fresh apples. Apple juice is generally distinguished from apple cider in that the latter is unfiltered and may contain apple solids.
Apricot nectar is apricot juice. The word "nectar" refers to the fact that the juice tends to be thicker than apple or citrus juices, including some puree.
A small, round, yellow grain, millet is eaten daily in Africa and in its native Asia. Until recently, Americans used millet only as bird feed. It’s an excellent plant protein, rich in iron, B vitamins, and several minerals. Millet has a mild, creamy flavor.
Teff is the smallest grain in the world. Native to Africa and an integral part of Ethiopian cuisine (it’s used to make their national bread, injera), it can be white, red, and even purple. The most common variety is chocolate-brown. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, full of iron and protein, and a good source of fiber and calcium.
Developed in Canada, Yukon Golds are a cross between a North American white potato and a wild South American yellow-fleshed one. Their golden flesh is richly flavored and fairly firm and moist, with medium starch content. A perfect compromise between dry, fluffy russet potatoes and moist, waxy varieties, Yukon Golds are incredibly versatile. They're superb for mashing and in soups and chowders, and they're great for roasting and sauteeing, too.
A favorite in Latin American countries, dulce de leche (sweet milk) is a thick, luscious, creamy dessert.
These hearty brown tree nuts, which are available only from late fall through winter, are like no other nut we know—they’re slightly sweet, with a deep, rich flavor and a dense, starchy texture.
The iconic centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving dinner, turkeys are larger than chickens, generally weighing in between 12 to 24 pounds (though some breeders are raising turkeys as small as 5 to...
Named for the crisp spaghetti-like strands of their cooked flesh, these football-size squash are more about texture than flavor.
Apples range in taste from just plain sweet to spicy-sweet to tart; in texture from downright hard to crisp and juicy to dry to mealy; and in color from blackish red to palest yellow. Some are tender...
Though it is treated like a vegetable, eggplant (a member of the nightshade family along with tomatoes and potatoes) is actually a giant berry.
When Europeans first settled in coastal New England, lobsters were so plentiful that farmers plowed them into fields as fertilizer. Once abundant, Maine lobsters are now a luxury.
Juicy and sweet, small, round, and, well, blue, blueberries are a hallmark of summer, finding their way into pies, cobblers, muffins, poundcake, and pancakes.
Zucchini, the fast-growing summer squash we all know best, is just one of many summer squash varieties.
Strawberries, which are a memeber of the rose family, are not technically a fruit. These bright red, cone-shape berries are sweet, juicy, and aromatic when ripe.
Fresh peas are creatures of cool weather—in other words, spring, which means their appearance is brief in most places.
Chicken sausages come in a variety of different flavors.
Don’t let this tropical fruit’s reptilian-looking exterior deter you. Inside that scaly green skin lies sweet, smooth flesh that tastes like a delicate combination of banana, pineapple, papaya, and strawberry.
The quintessential herb of spring, mint adds a fresh, crisp flavor to just about anything. There are more than 200 mint varieties, all of which fall into one of two categories: spearmint or...
Lemongrass, a stiff grass native to India, is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. As the name suggests, it has a citrus aroma and lemony flavor. It can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.
Lamb rib chops, with their pearly white "handles," are cut from the ribs just behind the shoulders along the spine
Napa cabbage has ruffled, thin light-green leaves that are as tender as lettuce and crunchy white stems that are similar in texture to green cabbage.
All paprikas are made from the same family of peppers. Different varieties within this family account for the unique flavors and degrees of spicy heat found in different paprikas.
Scallops are bivalves (mollusks with two hinged shells). Although there are hundreds of species of scallops in the world's oceans and bays, only a handful are commonly available. The largest and most...
Made from cow's milk, Stilton has extremely fine veins of mold in a characteristic radial pattern that can look like shattered porcelain.
The most potent, albeit the most expensive, way to add vanilla flavor is with the bean.
Don't be fooled by passionfruit's dull, leathery exterior--it belies the jewel-like seeds and heady, fragrant pulp contained within.
Made from unrefined cane sugar, Chinese brown sugar is the behind-the-scenes ingredient that gives red-cooked dishes their deep, complex flavor. Don't confuse it with palm sugar, which may look...
As the name suggests, the pollen of the fennel plant. It is a common spice in Tuscany, though not much used outside of the region.
Famously mashed to make guacamole, avocados are a unique fruit; they have a yellow-green, buttery, smooth, mild-tasting flesh surrounding a large stonelike pit. There are several varieties of avocado. The two most widely available are the Haas, which has a rough texture and a skin that ranges from dark green to purpley black. The Fuerte is larger with smooth emerald-green skin. Whichever kind you choose, be sure that it's ripe before eating it; the fruit is ripe when it's gives a little when pressed.
Oranges are a citrus fruit that grows in warm, sunny climates (Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California in the U.S.).
Red cabbage, which leans more to a purply-pink than actual red, is a gorgeous sister of green (or white) cabbage. It has a slightly more peppery flavor. Pretty and tasty in slaws, it also stars in braises.
With its bold, rich flavor and buttery texture, pink hued salmon is an easy fish to love. Farmed salmon has a rich, fatty texture, while wild salmon has a leaner texture and a more complex flavor, so...
English walnuts, the walnuts we see most often, originally came from Persia, and are now used all over the world in dishes both sweet and savory.
As opposed to cheese labeled simply "Parmesan," Parmigiano-Reggiano must meet certain requirements to earn the name.
Anchovy paste is a mixture of ground anchovies, vinegar, spices, a small amount of sugar and water, and is sold in tubes or tins at most supermarkets.
Spice up your cooking with this flavorful condiment.
The sunchoke’s intriguing, subtly sweet, nutty flavor is more reminiscent of potato and jícama, with a hint of artichoke.
The meat from the shoulder (and sometimes arm) of a veal calf, veal shoulder can be somewhat tough, since it's well-excercised and full of connective tissue. Like pork shoulder and lamb shoulder...
Giblets is the term used to described the heart, liver, and gizzard of poultry, and often the neck, too. In processed birds, these parts are put in a bag placed in the cavity of the bird and must be removed before cooking. They are great for making a quick stock or to enrich gravies and stuffings, so don't throw them out.
Flounder is a type of flat fish. It has firm, flaky white flesh and a mild flavor.
Cracked wheat is not bulgur. The two look alike and are sometimes interchangeable in recipes, but cracked wheat isn
On a chicken breast there's a thin piece of meat barely attached, which is actually the most tender part of the chicken. However, the tenderloin can often get in the way when it comes time to pound or saute a boneless chicken breast. Instead of throwing these tasty pieces away, however, you can cook them separately or save them for stir-fries or to coat with a breading and fry to make chicken "fingers".
A tiny spherical pasta that's often added to soup.
Acorn squash is a winter sqaush shaped like its namesake nut. It may have white-gold, warm orange, or dark green skin, but all have the same golden flesh inside. A great choice for baking, the flesh cooks up dry and sweet, with a definable but pleasant texture.
Yeast is the driving force behind fermentation, the magical process that allows a dense mass of dough to become a well-risen loaf of bread. Active dry yeast, which is sold in sealed, foil-lined packets, provides baked goods with a pleasant yeasty flavor. In the packaging process, about 25% of the yeast cells die off, releasing a small amount of glutathione, which causes relaxation of gluten (this makes it a good yeast for pizza dough, but it
Adobo is a tangy, slightly sweet, Mexican red sauce often comprised of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and spices. Chipotle chiles (dried, smoked jalapeños) are often sold canned in adobo sauce. The chipotles have an intense smoky chile heat but the sauce on its own has a slightly less fiery smoky heat.
There are many varieties of tuna, some as large as 1,500 pounds and others as small as 10 pounds, but all have in common a meaty texture (as opposed to flaky) and are moderate to high in fat. Bluefin tuna comes from the largest of tunas; adult bluefins have a deep red color and a luxurious texture especially prized in sashimi. Yellowfin (also called ahi) is also a high-quality tuna and have a pale pink flesh and a mild yet rich flavor. Albacore is the only tuna that has a nearly white flesh; it's the best of the tunas for canning. Small bonitos are the strongest-flavored tuna.
This dark red, flaky ground pepper from Northern Syria has deep fruity flavors that aren't overwhelmed by its moderate heat.
The seedlings of the alfalfa plant add a welcome crunch to sandwiches and salads.
True to its name, all-purpose flour is a good choice for all kinds of baking because it has a middle-of-the-road protein content (between 9 and 13%). Cakes made with cake flour might be more tender, and loaves made with bread flour might rise higher, but the differences are subtle. All-purpose flour is also a good choice for other cooking jobs tackled by flour, such as thickening sauces and coating foods.
Indigenous to Jamaica, whole allspice berries look like peppercorns but taste like a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, hence the name.
An intensely flavored liquid made by combining almond oil (from bitter almonds) with ethyl alcohol.
Oil made by pressing almonds.
Almond paste is a firm paste made of blanched almonds and sugar finely ground between heavy-duty rollers.
The seed kernel from a fruit similar to peaches and apricots, almonds are used in both sweet and savory cooking.
Light and crispy and crumbly, these Italian macaroons give an intense almond flavor to desserts and classic preparations like pumpkin ravioli.
Hailing from Italy, Amaretto is an Almond flavored liqueur (though it's often made with the kernels of apricot pits as well as almonds).
Born of an evergreen tree, cloves are indigenous to Indonesia but are also cultivated in Malaysia, India, and Madagascar. Its warm, spicy flavor is an integral element to gingerbread, pumpkin pie spice, and Jamaican jerk seasoning.
This light green chile has a pleasant vegetal flavor and ranges from slightly warm to medium hot.
An ancho is a dried poblano chile. It has a mild to medium heat with a sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig.
Ancho chile powder is made up purely of dried and ground ancho chiles (as opposed to standard "chili powder," which is actually a mix of ground chiles with several spices like oregano, garlic powder, and cumin.
Anchovies are tiny fish from the waters of southern Europe. Though they can be eaten fresh, they're generally filleted, cured and packed in oil or salt.
Spicy, smoky andouille sausage is a hallmark in Cajun dishes such as gumbo and jambalaya.
Angel hair pasta is a long, thin dried pasta, in essence a very thin spaghetti. It's best paired with light, olive-oil-based sauces.
Anisette is a French, aniseed-infused liqueur, with a sweeter flavor and lower alcohol content than other anise-infused liqueurs.
Apple butter is a concentrated form of applesauce, which is slowly cooked until its sugars caramelize.
True apple cider contains fruit solids and is unfiltered, hence its cloudier color and richer, tangier flavor.
Apple jelly is made from the juice of apples that have been simmered in water. The juice is then mixed with sugar and lemon juice and cooked until a jelly forms.
Cider vinegar a is golden-colored vinegar that is distilled from apples, and it has a slightly fruity flavor. It is a lovely component in any savory dishes that incorporate apples or apple...
Applesauce is a purée or mash made from cooked apples.
Apricots are stone fruit, meaning it has a large pit surrounded by sweet flesh.
Apricot preserves are often used to glaze tarts and as additions in other desserts
Arborio is a medium-grain rice typically used to make risotto.
Armagnac is made from white wine grapes in Southern France and is aged in casks of black oak.
Arrowroot is a powder extracted from a plant native to the West Indies. It is used as a thickening agent and a starch alternative
At the center of every artichoke, there lies a tender heart...literally.
A bold, peppery leafy green that's excellent both raw and cooked.
Asafetida is a spice often used in Asian cooking, especially in India. Made from a resinous substance from a species of giant fennel, it has a potent sulfur-like stink that dissipates once cooked. In parts of India, it's used as a substitute for garlic and onions and is an ingredient in the spice mix called chaat masala.
A semi-firm Italian cow's milk cheese with a mild, slightly tangy flavor.
There are two types of sesame oil: toasted (aka dark, or Asian) sesame oil, and light sesame oil. Oil made from toasted seeds, ranges from golden to brown in color and has a pronounced nutty flavor. It
Asian chile pastes are hot sauces made primarily from ground chiles, oil or vinegar, and salt.
Fish sauce, made from the liquid drained from fermented anchovies, is used in Southeast Asian cuisine much like salt or soy sauce as a flavor enhancer.
These pears are round and crisp like apples.
Asian pennywort has scalloped, large green leaves with long, sleek stems and can be eaten raw or cooked like a green.
Tender green stalks of asparagus signal the arrival of spring.
Baby back ribs are cut "high on the hog," near the backbone, so they're usually more tender but also a little less flavorful than spareribs.
A relative of cabbage predominant in Asian cuisine, bok choy has a mild, sweet cabbagy flavor and a soft crunch.
Brined and smoked pork belly, bacon comes unsliced (called slab bacon) and, more commonly, sliced in either thin, regular, or thick slices. Its salty, smoky flavor and crisp texture makes it a welcome addition to salads, soups, vegetable dishes...well, let's face it: anything tastes better with bacon. Bacon is often added to dishes in the form of lardons: small (about 1/2-inch-wide) strips that are browned to
Baking potatoes are the high-starch potatoes, such as russets, that have a light, mealy texture best for baking, mashing, and french-frying. High-starch potatoes fall apart when boiled, making them not so good for salads.
Baking soda is a white, water-soluble powder also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda.
Baking powder is a chemical leavener. White and soluble, it produces carbon-dioxide gas when mixed with a liquid; the resulting bubbles cause pancakes, waffles, breads, and cakes to rise. Unlike baking soda, which needs an acidic ingredient added to it in order for it to react, baking powder contains both baking soda and an acid, which means it can be mixed with any type of liquid and create its own bubble-producing reaction.
True balsamic vinegar begins with Trebbiano grape juice, must be aged for a minimum of twelve years in wooden casks, and is approved by a consortium of master tasters.
Bamboo shoots are the tender, two-week old shoots of the bamboo plant that are harvested before reaching one foot in height. They are most widely available canned, but fresh shoots fall into two...
Any of the countless sauces used to baste barbecued meats, most often the recipe will include a sweetened tomato base with the addition of onion, garlic, and dried spices, but other styles might use fruit or mustard as the base ingredient.
Barley is probably the oldest grain on the planet. It has a mild sweetness and, when cooked properly, a chewy but tender texture. Barley soup is standard diner fare, but this grain is also an excellent candidate for a creamy risotto or a simple pilaf.
A fragrant, tender herb, basil has a distinct flavor that includes hints of licorice, cloves, and mint.
The predominant rice in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, basmati is marked by its extra-long grains and subtly nutty fragrance and flavor.
Bay leaves may be used more often than any other herb. A leaf or two gets added to to soups and stews almost as a matter of course and then removed after its flowery and spicy bouquet has been lent to the dish.
The smaller relative of sea scallops (about 1/2-inch in diameter), bay scallops and are considered to be the sweetest and most succulent.
The crisp tender sprouts of various beans and seeds. Thick mung bean sprouts, often used in stir-fries, are perhaps the most famous, but sprouts from lentils, radishes, or soy beans have a delicous earthy flavor and a crisp texture. Delicious on sandwiches and in salads, they make great garnishes, tpp.
cellophane noodles are long, thin, clear and gelatinous noodles made from ground mung beans.
Brisket is a cut of beef taken from just below the shoulder of the steer. A tough cut, it cooks up deliciously tender if cooked low and slow, especially with moist heat, and has a full beefy flavor.
Beef broth is the flavorful liquid made by simmering beef, vegetables, and aromatics. It's used as a base for soups and is added to stews, braises, and sauces.
One of the best cuts of beef for making beef stew is chuck. Chuck comes from the well-exercised shoulder and upper foreleg of the steer, so it has lots of tough connective tissue and sinew, a quality that makes it unsuitable for dry-heat, short-cooking methods like grilling and sautéing. But slow, moist, gentle cooking (stewing or braising) transforms the toughness into delectable fork-tenderness and rich flavor. But not all cuts of chuck are the same. A single chuck contains a complicated network of muscles (from the steer
A boneless steak, found under the steer's back bone closest to the rib section.
Short ribs are the meaty ends of the beef ribs from the hardworking chest and front shoulders of cattle.
Sirloin tips are a great choice for a quick braise, as they're full of flavor and will have a pleasantly chewy texture.
Think of this steak as a T-bone or porterhouse with the tenderloin removed, which leaves you with just the juicy, tender, flavorful top-loin muscle. It takes especially well to dry rubs and compound butters.
The long, narrow tenderloin muscle is a special-occasion treat. Boneless and so tender that you can cut it with a butter knife, tenderloin often gets roasted whole to serve a crowd. (It can be grilled over indirect heat, too.) With the meat's tenderness, however, comes a slight tradeoff in flavor. Beef tenderloin is famously used to make beef Wellington. Châteaubriand refers to a roast taken from the center of the tenderloin tthat's sized to serve two and served with Bernaise sauce. Steaks cut from the tenderloin are called filet mignon of beef filet steaks.
The sirloin consists of several muscles, and steaks cut from this area, while flavorful, vary in tenderness and marbling. Top sirloin is the most desirable. (Those labeled simply sirloin are tougher.)
Any of several varieties of large tomatoes with thick, plump flesh, a beefsteak has smaller seed cavities and therefore a greater ratio of flesh to juice and seeds.
Full of sweetness and saturated color, beets become tender and full-flavored when cooked
Belgian endive, a member of the chicory family, has slightly bitter, juicy, and crisp leaves that grow in a tight, elongated head no longer than about six inches.
Bell peppers are the most popular variety of sweet pepper. Like most peppers, bells start out green before ripening to their mature color, which is most often red, yellow, or orange.
The term commonly refers to Bell's Poultry Seasoning, a combination of dried rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and marjoram, this seasoning mix has been around since 1867 when it was invented by Boston cook, William G. Bell. It's called poultry seasoning because among its famous uses is as a seasoning for stuffing.
Flageolets are tiny, tender French beans that are harvested from their pods when they are tender and just mature. They are popular in French cooking, delicate in flavor, and range from creamy white...
A type of butter lettuce, Bibb lettuce is the smaller of the two most popular varieties you'll find at the supermarket (the other is Boston lettuce).
Thai and other Asian chiles are slender and thin-walled with a very hot, nutty flavor. Available fresh or dried, fresh are sometimes sold green but are more often lipstick-red. Bird chiles are perfect for all kinds of stir-frying. Drop a couple into a bottle of sherry vinegar to make a hot and sour cooking condiment. The tiny pods are easy to air-dry for year-round use.
Whether a chocolate is called unsweetened, bittersweet, or semisweet depends mostly on the percentage of cacao it contains.
These small, glossy purplish-black beans are one of the hundreds of varieties of the common bean.
In general, black olives can refer to any ripe variety of olives, such as kalamata or nicoise. (Unripe olives are green.) However, black olive often refers to the large meaty olives usually sold canned. Their lye curing process leaves them with a very mild to bland flavor not desired for most recipes.
Black peppercorns come in many varieties with varying degrees of heat and flavor complexity.
Prized for their intense flavor in China and Japan, black sesame seeds are often used as garnishes for meats and fish. They taste similar to regular sesame seeds, but with notes that are slightly bitter.
Blackberries are "aggregate" fruits, meaning that one berry is not one fruit, but rather a cluster of small fruits called "drupes." When ripe, their skin is delicate, shiny and black (if they are...
A small beige bean with a black "eye" at its inner curve.
With their stunning garnet-red flesh, blood oranges contribute an exotic look to salads or other dishes. They
"Blue cheese" refers to cheeses inoculated with mold during the cheesemaking process, which results in the characteristic blue veining throughout the cheese and a distinctively strong flavor.
A salty, dry textured addition to miso soup, ponzu and other Asian specialties, bonito flakes are shavings of dried, aged pieces of preserved bonito, a type of tuna.
A type of butter lettuce, Boston lettuce has large, soft, tender, gently cupped leaves.
Bottled clam juice is the strained liquid of shucked, cooked clams.
Bourbon whiskey is distilled from a grain mash that's at least 51% corn and may also contain barley, rye, and sometimes wheat.
A cream cheese flavored with herbs or black pepper, Boursin is often served as a spread for crackers but is also used in cooking.
Boysenberries are a cross between a blackberry, a loganberry and a raspberry—a hybrid created by Rudolph Boysen in 1923. They are large, reddish-purple berries with large seeds, and taste...
Breadcrumbs are an amazingly versatile ingredient. They can thicken, add bulk, and bind or they can serve as a crunchy coating or topping.
A creamy, runny cow's milk cheese named after the French province, Brie has a fruity, luxurious flavor.
It may not be the world's most exotic vegetable, but broccoli is a cook's dependable friend.
This distant cousin of broccoli has slender stalks, toothed, leafy greens topped with small broccoli-like florets.
The new thin-stemmed broccolini is a cross between conventional and Chinese broccoli with a flavor reminiscent of both.
Lentils, like other legumes, are seeds that grow inside of pods.
Unlike white rice, brown rice kernels still have their bran layer and germ intact, so they have a nutty, grainy character and are rich in complete proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages (and are a member of the cabbage family) and have a flavor that's both assertive and somewhat sweet.
Dry wines with a lower level of sweetness and a higher level of carbon dioxide gas, which is either naturally occurring or due to carbon dioxide injection.
A thick spaghetti-like (but round) pasta with a hollow center like a straw. Most famously featured in bucatini all'amatriciana, the dried pasta fills with whatever sauce its paired with.
Bûcheron is an aged goat's milk cheese, traditionally made in the Loire Valley of France, which is encased in light-colored rind and sold in short logs. The texture of Bûcheron resembles...
A staple in Middle Eastern kitchens, bulgur is made from whole wheatberries that have been steamed, hulled, dried, and cracked.
In its most simple terms, butter is cream churned until it reaches a semi-solid state.
One of two major kinds of lettuce (the other being crisphead), butter lettuce's silken leaves grow in softly folding heads.
Originally, buttermilk was the milky liquid that remained after churning cream into butter. But the product that we use today is made in a different way, more akin to yogurt. Its slight acidity helps make pancakes rise and rise, biscuits rich and flakey, and muffins, scones, and shortcakes moist and tender. Beyond baking, it's the main ingredient in Ranch and other creamy dressing s that want a little tanginess, and when used in batter for fried chicken, it makes the meat extra tender.
With its sweet, creamy, dark-orange flesh, butternut squash is one of the best and most versatile of all the fall squashes.
Made from a blend of goat's, sheep's, and cow's milk, Cabrales (pronounced kah-BRAH-lays) is a piquant, acidic, and creamy Spanish blue cheese.
Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour and forms weaker gluten, which means it will produce a more tender product.
A brandy made from apples, Calvados may be served straight as an appertif, but is often used in sweet and savory cooking, too.
A cross between a soft-ripened cheese such as Camembert and a Gorgonzola-style blue. Its flavor combines the creaminess and moistness of camembert with the pungent sharpness of gorgonzola.
Rich, buttery Camembert is a raw soft-ripened cow's milk cheese made in Normandy, France.
More like ham than bacon, Canadian bacon is a cured, lightly smoked pork loin and so it much leaner than regular bacon, which comes from pork belly. It's neat, cylindrical shape makes it an ideal choice for eggs Benedict and sandwiches. It's also a good option for adding a slightly, smoky, meaty flavor to dishes without adding a lot of extra fat.
When fresh tomatoes are out of season, diced canned tomatoes make an excellent and convenient substitute in sauces, soups, side dishes, and even salsas.
Foul muddamas, also known as fūl, is a type of canned, Egyptian fava bean, called fūl hammām. They are brown, smaller and rounder than the green, fresh fava beans that we are...
Aside from the few months each year when truly local, just-picked plum tomatoes are available, the best tomatoes you can buy often come in a can. The reason is that tomatoes destined for the canning plant are picked ripe and red (meaning more real tomato flavor), and processed in very short order. Imported Italian plum tomatoes, especially San Marzanos (a specific Italian variety grown in the Campania region), are especially high in quality. All canned tomatoes come peeled
These large Italian beans are one of the many varieties of the common bean.
A light, mild-tasting oil that's popular for cooking because of its high monounsaturated fat content and neutral flavor.
The melon that most of us refer to as a "cantaloupe" is not actually a true cantaloupe. A true cantaloupe is a specific European-grown melon that is not imported to North America.
Capers pack big flavor in a tiny package. These little spheres are the flower buds of a prickly shrub that grows all over the Mediterranean...
Caraway seed is similar in appearance to cumin seed but distinct in flavor. It is a popular ingredient in Northern/Central European cooking--namely Germany, Scandinavia and Austria. Caraway seed...
Native to India, cardamom is related to ginger. But whereas ginger is valued for its rhizome (an underground part of the plant), it’s cardamom’s dried seed pods that are most commonly used in cooking.
Carnaroli rice is a short-grain rice used primarily to make risotto. Compared to the more widely available Arborio, it has a smaller grain with a super-high starch content. What that means is that it can absorb huge amounts of liquid without overcooking, creating the ultra-creamy yet toothsome texture that is the hallmark of a superior risotto.
This root vegetable is the workhorse of the kitchen. When used raw, carrots make a crisp and refreshing salad. When cooked, their sweetness intensifies and they become tender. Along with onions and...
Shaped like a kidney bean and tan in color, cashews are native to Brazil (though they are also grown in India and the West Indies). High in fat, they have a buttery texture and an almost sweet flavor.
Cauliflower, like broccoli and cabbage, is a member of the healthful cruciferous vegetable family. Usually white to pale yellow in color, it’s comprised of florets in stalks that come together to form a rounded head shape. Nowadays you can also find cauliflower that’s deep-golden or purple. Then there’s the exotic lime-green Romanesco, with conical, spiral florets that look like seashells. Despite their different appearances, all types of cauliflower have a similar sweet, assertive flavor that pairs well with both rich, pungent ingredients and more delicate ones.
Short, tubular, and corkscrew shaped, cavatappi goes well with sauces that are thick or chunky. It's also a great choice for baked macaroni and cheese.
Cayenne is a very hot red chile generally sold whole and dried or dried and ground into cayenne powder.
Celeriac is the root of a celery plant, and tastes like a cross between celery and parsley.
To most Americans, celery equals crunch. But it also plays a big role in mirepoix, the aromatic vegetable base that begins many soups, stews, and braises.
Chambord is a raspberry liqueur, made in the Loire Valley of France. It begins as cognac that is steeped with black raspberries, honey, vanilla and a mixture of herbs. The mixture is then distilled...
In Europe, only sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France can legally be called Champagne, but some high end sparkling wine producers in the United States have acquired permission to use...
Vinegar made from Champagne. It has a pale color and a delicate flavor.
The golden hue of chanterelles befits their bright, fruity flavor. Their size can vary from tiny blossom-like specimens to impressive 5-inch trumpets (fresh versions can weigh up to two pounds) and in both fresh and dried forms, they can be quite pricey.
Cheddar, a firm cow's milk cheese that originated in England, has become the all-American, all-purpose cheese. Often savored simply as an appetizer, it has great melting properties making it a mainstay of grilled cheese sandwiches and beloved in "mac and cheese." It comes in a range of flavors from mild to very sharp (depending on age) and colors, from white to a deep orange from food coloring. Farmhouse English Cheddar is always a big, drum shape and never a block like its American counterpart.
Cheese ravioli are pillows of egg pasta dough filled with a mixture that traditionally involves ricotta and Parmiggiano Reggiano, but different combinations are also delicious. While unstuffed pastas...
As the name suggests, cherry juice concentrate is made from cherry juice that has had a large percentage of the water content evaporated from it, which concentrates the flavor of the fruit. The...
Sweet cherries are cooked with sugar, water and (sometimes) pectin to make preserves, which are available jarred at the market, especially during the late spring and early summer, when cherries are...
Red, orange, yellow, or green, these round bite-size tomatoes are about an inch or less in diameter.
A mixture of pork neck and shoulder, capocollo is lightly aged cured pork that is stuffed into casing and usually seasoned with white wine and nutmeg. The flavor is similar to prosciutto di Parma but...
Chervil, a close relative of parsley, is a aromatic, mild-flavored herb with a subtle anise flavor.
Chicken broth that has been dehydrated and compressed into a cube shape, or a chicken bouillon cube, is an inexpensive pantry staple. The cubes add a depth of flavor and richness to soup stocks.
Thin sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken cutlets are quick cooking.
When a recipe calls for a chicken breast, chances are it's actually referring to a chicken breast half. A full chicken breast, rarely seen at the grocery store, would include the two halves connected by a breast bone.
To make chicken broth, you simmer fresh chicken meat (and sometimes bones), carrots, onions, celery, and a few aromatics, such as parsley, thyme, and peppercorns.
Chicken legs consist of both the thigh and the drumstick and are referred to as chicken leg quarters if both pieces are still intact. Usually sold bone-in and skin-on, thighs and drumsticks also show up skinless, and, in the case of thighs, boneless as well.
Probably one of the most identifiable types of artisan bread, the baguette is a traditional French food staple.
Good stock is a real treasure for cooks, used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. Chicken stock is made by covering chicken bones, aromatic vegetables, and herbs in a pot with cold water to cover, and simmering.
Chicken thighs are the top part of the chicken leg where it connects to the body (as opposed to the drumstick, which is the bottom half).
Chicken wings are just what they sound like. Fried, roasted or grilled, they make a fabulous appetizer.
The pleasantly nutty flavor and creamy texture of this tan colored legume makes them a delightful addition to salads, soups, and stews and tossed with couscous and pasta.
While chicory root is commonly used as coffee filler or substitute, the salad versions of chicory come in several varieties and are eaten as leafy green vegetables. Salad chicory fall into two...
A chile sauce that’s a blend of chiles, garlic, salt, and vinegar. Similar to Asian chile pastes, the mixture is generally a little looser in consistency and often a little milder. Its...
These chiles are thought to be related to the cayenne pepper, and are named for the woody stem attached to them. Chiles de arbol remain a vibrant red when dried, unlike other varieties, and are quite...
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.
Chinese egg noodles are classic Asian noodles made from wheat flour, water, and egg. Springy with a slight chew, these noodles are made in thin or thick strands. Look for fresh ones in the...
Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños; they have a sweet, smoky flavor.
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 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...
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.
Runnier than ganache, chocolate syrup is a common dessert condiment that can be added to ice cream and baked goods. While it is always available the supermarket, you can also easily make your own, as...
There are two distinct styles of this pork sausage: Spanish-style dry-cured chorizo, and Mexican-style fresh chorizo.
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.
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.
Chihuahua cheese is a Mexican cheese that originated in the Chihuahua region of Northern Mexico. It is a cow's milk cheese with a flavor resembles cheddar, and it is salty, mild and...
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 (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.
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 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 are a diminutive orange citrus fruit, likely a cross of a mandarin and an orange, with a thin skin that peels off easily.
Club soda is a clear, flavorless carbonated beverage. Although it is most commonly used to mix with other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, it is also the component that makes a light and airy...
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.
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.
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.
Concentrated liquid flavoring made by distilling the essential flavor of coconut.
An emulsion of coconut meat in water, coconut milk is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes.
Cod is a mild-flavored, firm, flaky white fish local to both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Coffee beans are the seed (or fruit) of the coffee plant.
Produced in the town of Cognac in France, Cognac is an iconic type of brandy that is distilled from a specific blend of grapes. Related to Armagnac, Cognac is aged in oak barrels for at least two...
A clear liqueur made from neutral alcohol, bitter and sweet orange peels, water and sugar, Cointreau can be considered a stronger form of Triple Sec. It has a higher alcohol content (40%), itnbspis...
Cola is the generic name of a sweet, caramel colored beverage flavored with a syrup called Fantasia, which is a mixture of vanilla, citrus, and cinnamon flavors. It also contains phosphoric acid and...
With its silky, delicate texture, cold-smoked is the salmon most people think of when they think of smoked salmon.
The dark, vibrant green leaves of collard greens are packed with vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. They're also extremely satisfying to cook with, and lend themselves well to olive oil braising...
Not as widely available as other yeast products, fresh yeast is sold refrigerated in foil-wrapped blocks and cubes.
Comte is made from unpasteurized (raw) cow's milk and comes from the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. The rind is light brown in color and the interior is usually creamy yellow that is...
Dating back to the Middle Ages as a way to preserve small amounts of meat, mincemeat still remains on supermarket shelves, although it is far less common. It is a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, citrus...
Confectioners' sugar is pulverized granulated sugar that's been milled with a bit of cornstarch (about 3% to 4%).
Round, tan, papery seeds of the cilantro plant, coriander has a warm, spicy-sweet scent and flavor that's slightly lemony, warm, and piny with a whiff of caraway.
Certain things just taste like summer, and corn on the cob is one of them. Popular kitchen wisdom used to dictate that the way to cook corn on the cob was to set a large pot of water to boil, run out...
Corn tortillas, as traditional to Mexican cooking as Baguettes are to French, also go stale just as quickly, and therefore should be eaten promptly after they've been made or purchased.
Crisp cornichons contribute a tangy edge to anything they're added to. The French-style sour gherkins are unripe baby cucumbers that have been pickled in a vinegary brine.
A cross between White Rock and Cornish chickens, Cornish hens are basically miniature chickens.
Côtes de Provence wines refer to a region of Provence that stretches along the French Riviera from Marseille to Nice. 80% of the wines produced in Provence are rosé, so the majority of...
Cotija is an aged, crumbly, slightly salty Mexican cheese traditionally made from cow's milk. The texture is somewhat akin to feta, and the cheese is excellent in pasta and salads, or as a garnish...
A cheese curd product with a mildly salty and tangy flavor, cottage cheese cow's milk that has been curdled and drained, but not pressed so that some of the whey remains, and it can be...
One of the most ancient and popular types of flat breads, focaccia can be viewed as a distant relative of and predecessor to pizza. It is flat yeast bread that is usually baked with added herbs...
Neither a grain nor a pasta, couscous is durum semolina flour that has been lightly moistened with salted water and rolled into little granules.
Cranberries are the fruit of a low, trailing, evergreen vine. These slender vines flower in late summer and produce their distinctively tart, deep red berries in early fall.
Cranberry juice cocktail is sweeter than cranberry juice, as it is usually made with either a mixture of cranberry juice concentrate, sugar or corn syrup, ascorbic acid and water, or cranberry juice...
Cream cheese is a creamy, spreadable cow's milk cheese with a slightly tangy flavor. Delicious as a spread for bagels, it's also widely used in baking.
Cream of tartar is the commercial name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, which is an acidic salt that has many uses in baking. Since grapes are the only natural source of significant amounts of...
At its most basic, peanut butter is simply ground peanuts and salt, which is all you'll find in many natural peanut butters. Emulsified peanut butters, which is what is spread on most lunch box peanut butter sandwiches, contains sweeteners, oils, and ingredients that keep the peanut oil and nut mass from separating.
A blackcurrant liqueur, crème de cassis is a specialty of Burgundy, France, made from crushed blackcurrants that are refined into alcohol and mixed with sugar. It is delicious in aperitifs...
Crème fraîche is a soured cream containing about 28% milk fat. Much like sour cream, crème fraîche is soured with bacterial cultures, but it has a thinner consistency and milder flavor. Originally a French product, crème fraîch is now available in many countries.
Cremini mushrooms are closely related to common white mushrooms, but they have a darker hue and richer flavor. Large cremini mushrooms are called portobello mushrooms.
Dried and crushed red chile peppers, often hot with a pungent, smokey flavor.
This soft, candied form of fresh ginger lends sparkle, complexity, and texture to all kinds of baked goods.
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 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 (a.k.a. chicory or curly chicory) has narrow stems and frilly, very curly leaves.
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.
Related to the gooseberry, currants can be either red, white or black. Black currants are sweetest, then white, and then red, which tend to be tart.
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.
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.
Boiling potatoes are any waxy, low starch potatoes that hold their shape well when boiled. Because of the low starch content inside boiling potatoes, the cells of the flesh adhere to each other and allow the vegetable to stand up to the cooking method. Look for red potatoes, Yukon golds, and ruby crescents.
A specialty brown sugar sometimes marketed as a "raw" sugar, Muscovado sugar is less processed than regular brown sugar.
These convenient cans of aerosolized oil can be sprayed in a fine mist for even distribution. Most cooking sprays consist of the oil itself (canola, vegetable, or olive oil) with additives and propellants. Cooking sprays provide a way to grease your cookware or bakeware without adding extra calories.
Dehydrated garlic is, as its name suggests, garlic that has been dehydrated. It is minced into smaller pieces that incorporate well into any dish and impart a garlic flavor without the texture. The...
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.
An English version of turbinado sugar, to which it's very similar except for a slightly larger crystal size.
Originally from Dijon, France, Dijon mustard is a condiment made from mustard seeds, white wine, grape must, and seasonings.
Used to flavor many dishes such as salads, sauces, meats, and seafood, fresh dill is a delicate, aromatic herb.
The seed of the dill weed, both dill seed and weed are members of the parsley family. The seeds taste similar to caraway, strong and crisp. Dill seed and weed should not be used interchangeably in...
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.
Shaped like short little tubes, ditalini translates to "little thimbles," and the pasta is most often used in Campagnia. Ditalini are ideal choices for hearty soups and warm pasta salads, because the...
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 are pitted, unpeeled apricot halves that have been mostly dehydrated. There are two main types of dried apricots: Turkish and California.
Dried cherries are fresh cherries that have been dehydrated, and may or may not contain added sugar. No preservatives are added in the drying process, but, as with other dried fruits, many of the...
The cloud ear is a type of dried Chinese mushroom, and it is a hallmark in Chinese cooking. The Chinese word for cloud ear translates to “little ear,” which reflects the resemblance of...
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...
"Currant" is a bit of a misnomer; dried currants are in fact tiny raisins, the dried version of the Black Corinth variety of the common grape (Vitis vinifera). They are totally unrelated to the Ribes family of berries known as fresh red, black, and white currants.
Dried porcini add depth of flavor.
Madeira is a Portuguese white wine fortified with brandy.
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.
cover the different types: fino, amontillado, oloroso
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.
The Dungeness crab has white-tipped claws and a brownish shell, and boasts an average shell width of about 7 inches.
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.
Lean, green, and high in protein, edamame—Japanese for “beans on a branch”—are a type of soybean that’s picked when young, plump, and tender (as opposed to field...
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.
Egg white is a mixture of protein (10%) and water. In baked goods, they help dry out and crisp. In deep -fry batters, whites help repel grease making a lighter product. But egg whites are best known for how they whip up to lofty heights to be used in soufflés, meringues, angel food cakes, and chiffon pies.
Egg yolk is the glorious yellow center of an egg, containing most of the nutrients as well as the fat and the cholesterol.
Also known as greenhouse, European, or seedless cucumbers, English cucumbers are 10 to 12 inches long and slender and are usually sold in plastic sleeves. With their thin skins, undeveloped seeds...
Escarole, a member of the chicory family, has wide, succulent stems and leaves that look more crumpled than curly. Like other chicories, it has a bitter flavor, though somewhat less so than curly endive. Though it can be eaten raw in salads, its hearty leaves benefit from cooking and is delicious with bacon, sausage, and added to white bean soups.
Tofu is made from soybeans, water, and a coagulant, such as calcium sulfate, nigari (a natural sea salt extract), magnesium chloride (also an extract of sea salt), calcium chloride (derived from a mineral ore), vinegar, or lemon or lime juice.
Farmer's cheese is pressed cottage cheese, and as a result is drier and holds a shape (often rectangular) but is still spreadable.
The general name "fennel" applies to two varieties of the plant: Florence fennel, or finocchio, and common fennel. Florence fennel has a bulbous base, long celery-like stalks, and delicate bright green fronds. Common fennel is the variety of the plant from which fennel seeds are harvested.
A grassy, slightly bitter herb used in Indian cuisine (the seeds are also used).
Fennel seeds come from common fennel. These oblong, greenish-brown seeds are often confused with aniseeds, which are similar in flavor and appearance, but smaller.
Tan, squarish fenugreek seeds are an important ingredient in Indian cuisine (as are fenugreek leaves). They're used in many spice blends, including South Indian sambhar powder. The flavor is bitter...
Chinese fermented black beans are soybeans that have been fermented in garlic, salt and other spices, chiles, and possibly wine or ginger. They impart a characteristically rich, salty flavor to the...
Chinese fermented black beans are soybeans that have been fermented in garlic, salt and other spices, chiles, and possibly wine or ginger. They impart a characteristically rich, salty flavor to the...
Feta is a rindless, white cheese aged in brine originally from Greece.
Fettuccine, Italian for "little ribbons," is a kind of pasta. These wide, flat noodles can stand up to cream sauces and ragùs, and are good for soaking up juicier sauces.
This exceedingly tender beef steak is cut from the tenderloin that delicious seared or grilled. Filet has a bit less flavor than other cuts, but it makes up for that in its silken texture. Filet mignon is a good match for rubs, sauces, or flavored butters.
Small and slender and somewhat resembling fingers (hence the name), fingerlings are a low-starch potato that holds its shape well making them a good, albeit petite, all-purpose potato.
A broth made from fish bones, heads, and other trimmings, a good fish stock is the backbone of bouillabaisse, chowder, paella, and other classic dishes.
Flank steak isn't really a steak at all, but actually an entire cut of meat; it's a long muscle found along the belly just below the rib cage.
One of two common varieties of parsley (the other is curly).
Fleur de sel is a delicate white salt from the northern Atlantic coast of France, harvested by skimming the top of the evaporating sea water in salt marshes.
Fregola is a type of pasta that's made by rubbing semolina and water into tiny pearls and then toasting them.
This mild-tasting Italian cheese is made from either cow's or (in Italy) water buffalo's milk.
Choose chiles that are shiny and firm pods with strong, uniform color.
Frisée is essentially baby curly endive. Its tender leaves are finer and its flavor is milder than its more mature cousin.
Made from evaporating apple juice, apple juice concentrate contains the sugars and flavor of juice without the extra water.
Shorter, oblong pasta shapes with edges that curl inward, cavatelli are expert at holding sauces, dressings and cheeses. Use cavatelli with textured sauces or in a dish that requires the pasta to...
If you can’t find good fresh peas or you crave peas when the season’s over, frozen peas are a terrific alternative.
Phyllo, or filo, is a tissue-thin dough used widely in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.
Puff pastry is a rich, multilayered dough. This traditional French pastry is known as a "laminated" dough because it alternates layers of fat (usually butter) with dough. It's used to make a variety of classic French pastries like croissants, napoleons, and palmiers.
Pecorino (derived from pecora, Italian for sheep) is a sheep's milk cheese made with either pasteurized or unpasteurized milk.
A spiral-shaped pasta that ranges in length from about 2 to 12 inches long.
Medium Italian olives cured in either salt or brine. Brine-cured gaetas (shown in the photo) have a tangy yet mild flavor.
This cousin of ginger is prized for its extraordinary flavor.
Garam masala, which means hot spice in Hindi, is an Indian spice blend usually used for finishing dishes throughout northern India.
Countless recipes begin with the step of sautéing a little garlic because the cloves of this edible bulb (a member of the lily family) are so very flavorful.
Gemelli, which menas "twins" in Italian, is a short, corkscrew-shaped pasta made up of two thick strands twisted together.
Though often referred to as a root, ginger is actually a rhizome of a tropical plant.
Though the term is a catchall for any cheese made from goat's milk, for most Americans, it calls to mind soft, white, logs of fresh cheese with a mild but tangy flavor.
An extremely hot chile with a fruity flavor. Habaneros are usually orange, although you may also find red, yellow and green varieties. They're a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine.
Ice cream is a frozen dessert made from dairy products, usually cream and milk. It also contains a sweetening agent like sugar, honey, or corn syrup, and sometimes solid ingredients like fruit, candy, nuts and other mix-ins. Some ice creams have an egg custard as part of their base.
Gorgonzola dolce, or "sweet" gorgonzola, comes from Italy. It is sweet and mild with a rich, creamy interior that makes it an excellent choice for cooking. It has an ivory-colored interior that can...
Few pantries don't contain a bag, bin, or box of granulated sugar. Whether made from sugar beets or sugar cane, white sugar is 99.9% pure sucrose that's refined and processed into small crystals.
A bite-size tomato, this one is sweet and shaped like an elongated sphere (just like a grape). It's usually red or yellow and less than an inch in diameter. Use like cherry and pear tomatoes.
Grapefruit, a large citrus fruit, is a sweet-tart delight that goes beyond breakfast, can be used in deliciously unexpected ways. Try adding segments to a green salad (it's also delicious with sliced...
Popular in baked bean dishes, great Northern beans are large and shaped like lima beans.
Traditionally made with sheep's milk, Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt, which makes it thicker and creamier than regular yogurt.
“Green bean” is a generic term used for the skinny, long green beans almost universally available canned, frozen, and fresh. But the world of beans is much wider (and more colorful), as a trip to a farmers’ market will attest.
Sunflower oil is valued for its light taste, health benefits and frying performance. There are three types of sunflower oil: NuSun, linoleic and high oleic. NuSun has a lower level of saturated fat...
Although no longer produced in the Chartreuse monastery where it earned its name, Chartreuse liqueur is a French herbal liqueur that is still produced under the supervision of monks. It is made with...
Very hot chiles that are smaller and hotter than jalapeños. Serranos are most often sold green, when they lend a tangy, herbal, vegetal flavor. In late summer, you may see fully ripe, red...
include red and green varieties (recipe for each on site), mention massaman, other styles.
French green lentils hold their shape well and make an attractive salad or warm side dish.
This sweet, juicy tropical fruit varies in shape, size, flavor and texture depending on the variety and the region in which it's grown. There are over 1,000 different mango varieties cultivated around the world ranging in size from 6 ounces to 4 pounds, in texture from soft and pulpy to firm to slightly fibrous, and in color from green, yellow, orange, and red.
Green olives are the unripened fruit of the olive tree.
Green peppercorns are young berries that are mildly tart and full of heat but lacking in complexity, which makes them best suited for lighter foods, such as vegetables, chicken, and fish.
Hominy grits are made from dried ground corn.
Ground beef often gets shaped into patties for hamburgers, but it can also be the main ingredient in meatballs, meatloaf, and chili.
The dried and ground version of fresh ginger, dried ginger has an earthy flavor that's a natural with other baking spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, and is what give ginger snaps and gingerbread their familiar warm flavor.
Pasilla powder is made up purely of dried and ground pasilla chiles (as opposed to standard "chili powder," which is actually a mix of ground chiles with several spices like oregano, garlic powder...
A berry that is dried and ground into a tart spice, sumac is used throughout the Middle East, often as a stand-in for lemon juice.
Lean veal meat and trimmings ground up and sold in patty or bulk form.
An open textured loaf with lots of holes and a clean, simple flavor and crisp crust, country-style bread is similar to ciabatta, baguette or pugliese and makes for great panzanella salads, croutons, and light, fluffy bread puddings.
Haddock, which is closely related to (but smaller than) cod, is a salt water fish.
A homogenized blend of milk and cream, it contains between 10.5% and 18% milkfat (compared to heavy cream, which has at least 36%).
Halibut, a large member of the flatfish family, thrives in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
A soft cheese from Cyprus that's traditionally made from goat's and sheep's milk.
Ham hocks come from the bottom part of the pig’s leg, between the meaty ham and the foot.
Hard apple cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple cider.
These delicate, very thin beans come in green and yellow. Picked at their peak, they are the crème de la crème of beans.
Just about every area of the world has a favorite type of chile sauce. In North Africa, it’s harissa, a chile paste scented with cumin, coriander, and garlic.
Hazelnut oil, as the name indicates, is made by pressing the oil from hazelnuts. It has an intense flavor—slightly sweet, roasted, and nutty.
Hazelnuts are delicious ground in pastries, tortes, tarts, and ice cream. Add chopped hazelnuts to a winter fruit salad, or dress steamed asparagus with a hazelnut vinaigrette and then sprinkle on plenty of roasted, chopped hazelnuts.
Hearts of palm have a mild artichoke flavor.
When unhomogenized milk is left to stand it separates. The thick stuff on top is the cream.
Heirloom tomatoes are grown from seeds that are pollinated naturally and handed down from year to year. Unlike commercial hybrid tomatoes, which are engineered for durability and uniform color and shape at the expense of taste, heirlooms are all about variety and richness of flavor, color, shape, and texture.
A blend of dried herbs that thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Provence in southern France.
Hoisin sauce is the intensely flavored, dark-brown Chinese dipping sauce that perks up classics like Peking duck and mu-shu pork.
Sweet, thick, and viscous honey is made by bees from nectar. The kind of blossom from which the bees get their nectar determines a honey's flavor as well as its color.
Honey mustard is a prepared, mustard-based condiment commonly used as a spread, dip, or dressing.
A sweet, juicy melon with a smooth, creamy-yellow rind and pale green flesh.
Chile peppers are members of the genus Capsicum. They contain varying levels of the substance capsaicin, which accounts for different levels of heat. Many fresh chiles are available in their green (unripe) as well as red or orange (fully ripe) forms; some chiles are only consumed as unripe or ripe.
A coarse pork sausage, usually flavored with garlic and fennel and sold in links, hot Italian sausage (as opposed to the sweet version) also contains hot red pepper and will look reddish-orange when raw.
Hot pepper jelly is just what is sounds like: jelly made from hot peppers—usually hot peppers combined with bell peppers, or other kinds of fruit, to balance the spiciness.
Hot-smoked salmon may be cured or not, but the difference between it and cold-smoked salmon is that it cooks in the smoker giving it the firm and meaty appearance of regular cooked salmon with a full smoky flavor.
Prized for its a crisp texture, the fact that iceberg lettuce doesn't have a ton of flavor is almost beside the point.
Espresso powder is made by grinding the beans, brewing the espresso, and then taking the already-brewed grounds and drying them. These dried ground are then crushed further into a very fine powder.
Instant flour is low-protein flour that it dissolves quickly and smoothly in liquids, regardless of temperature.
Instant yeast came along about 30 years ago and has become more popular as its availability has increased...
Instant rice has been fully cooked and then dehydrated before being packaged and sold.
Irish oats are made from whole oat groats that are cut with steel blades (regular and old-fashioned oats are steamed and flattened with a roller rather than cut). They have a nutty flavor and a...
Israeli couscous, also known as maftoul, is shaped like small pearls and is much larger than traditional North African couscous. It’s lightly toasted in an open-flame oven, but if you’re preparing it like rice pilaf, it benefits from being toasted again so that it will absorb the cooking liquid and yet remain al dente.
Similar in flavor and texture to Western, or globe, eggplant, this Italian variety is smaller and shaped more like a teardrop.
Italian prune plums are small and sweet and have a lower water content than most other plums.
The classic Tex-Mex hot chile and one of the world's best-known.
This long, slender eggplant variety is sweet and rich, with tender skin and soft, creamy flesh.
Pepperoncini are sweet, moderately spicy peppers.
Piquillo peppers are a type of chile traditionally grown in Northern Spain.
Jarred roasted red peppers are typically red bell, pimiento, or cherry peppers that have roasted, peeled, and seeded and then preserved in an acidic brine
Salsa, the Mexican word for sauce, refers to a wide range of condiments.
Jasmine rice, from Thailand, has long, translucent grains. When cooked, it has a seductive, slightly floral aroma and a soft, clingy texture.
Used widely in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially in curries, wild lime leaves give dishes a refreshing, lingering lift that is intensely floral and citrusy.
Kalamatas (or Calamatas) are Greek olives named for their geographic region of production; they're great for both eating and cooking.
Kale is like cabbage with an attitude: a little peppery, a little sweet, with a slight mineral edge, perhaps, but none of the metallic quality of spinach.
Ketchup, or more specifically tomato ketchup, is a thick, tangy condiment made primarily from tomato concentrate.
Kirsch, also known as Kirschwasser, is a clear fruit brandy distilled from cherries.
The kiwi is an odd little fruit. It's small, egg-shaped, and covered in a fine layer of soft brown hair. Inside, its flesh is bright green and studded with tiny, black edible seeds.
Kosher salt, so named because it's used in the process of koshering meats, has a larger grain than table salt.
Buttercup Squash is a thin-skinned winter squash, dark green with grayish stripes that run from pole to pole, and sweet flesh.
Directly behind the ribs, running down the spine towards the animal's hindquarters, are the lamb loins. It is a popular cut of lamb and is usually the most tender cut.
Loin chops are cut from the lamb's back, directly behind the ribs, running down the spine towards the animal's hindquarters.
The shank is the lower portion of the lamb's leg, virtually always sold bone-in. It's a tough cut, best suited to slow, moist-heat cooking methods like stewing and braising, which melt the ample...
The least known (and least expensive) lamb chops come from the shoulder.
When it comes to cooking lamb, shoulder probably isn’t the cut you’d think of first. But inexpensive cuts like lamb shoulder are the unsung heroes of the butcher case.
Long, wide noodles used to make the layered pasta dish lasagne.
Though we know their distinctive aroma from soap and shampoos, lavender flowers (and sometimes even their bitter greens) are an elegant asset to both sweet and savory cooking.
Leeks, which are related to onions and garlic, look something like an oversized scallion. They have thick, white stalks with slightly bulbous root ends, and broad, flat, dark green leaves.
Leg of lamb is a classic spring roast. You can find leg of lamb in a variety of different cuts: bone-in, boneless and rolled, or butterflied.
A bright yellow citrus fruit, tart lemons brighten both sweet treats and savory dishes.
Lemon oil is the intensely flavored oil extracted by pressing lemon rinds.
Corn syrup is the product of cornstarch that is extracted from the pulpy center of corn kernels, mixed with natural enzymes, and broken down into glucose. These sugars are then heated to form corn...
Small green citrus fruit. There are two main varieties: the Persian, or Tahiti, Lime and the Key lime. The most common (and widely-available) is the Persian lime which is about the size of a small...
Flatter and wider than spaghetti, but thinner than fettuccine, linguine (which comes from the Italian word meaning "little tongues") is a long, flat pasta.
A warm and fragrant spice blend common in Chinese cuisine. It's typically composed of star anise, cloves, fennel seed, cinnamon, and Sichuan peppercorns. Licorice root and ginger are also components of some recipes.
As its name suggests, long-grain rice is made of grains that are long and slender. The grains contain a type of starch that is more apt to let them stay separate and fluffy as they cook.
Already-picked, fresh crabmeat is a convenient option when you don't have the time or inclination to cook and pick whole crabs.
Developed by Lundberg Family Farms, Wehani Rice originated from a type of Indian basmati seed. It is brownish-red in color with a nutty, hearty flavor, and it has a mildly chewy texture that...
Macadamia nuts have a subtle, buttery rich flavor, with a texture that's more creamy than crisp.
Mâche is a tiny, dark green salad green that has a distinctly sweet, nutty flavor.
Mackerel is the common name for several species of slim, cylindrical fish that have rich, firm, oily flesh and strong flavor.
Walnut oil is made by crushing shelled walnuts to a thick paste, then filtering out the oil from the solids.
Often used by professional bakers, malt powder, synonymous with malt flour, is made when whole grains are allowed to sprout briefly, then dried and ground.
Malt vinegar is a dark, flavorful vinegar that's made by malting barley, making the barley into beer, and then turning that beer into vinegar.
Manchego, Spain’s most famous cheese, is made from sheep’s milk and always features a basket weave pattern on its rind.
Marjoram is a perennial herb in the mint family known for its sweet, citrus-pine flavor.
A flour made from specially treated ground corn, masa harina is the foundation for tortillas, tamales, sopes, and many other corn-based Mexican treats.
Mascarpone is a thick and buttery double- to triple-cream cow’s milk cheese (containing over 60% and often over 75% milk fat).
Matzo meal is made by grinding matzo, a traditional Jewish unleavened bread.
Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy white condiment made by emulsifying oil, egg yolks, and some form of acid—usually vinegar or lemon juice.
A sharp, biting, salty flavor and crumbly texture make this handmade Iowa cow's milk blue cheese a great choice for dips and sauces. Maytag Blue should have a creamy but crumbly texture. A light dispersion of blue veining is normal for this cheese.
Medjool dates, often called the king of dates, are considered to be the most sought after for their large size and rich, intensely sweet flesh.
Merlot is the comfort food of red wines; its lush, plummy fruit flavor, herbal notes, and soft, velvety texture pair well with a wide range of food.
Though the word mesclun used to mean something more specific, today it is used to refer to just about any mix of tender young greens that range in color, texture, and flavor from sweet and tender to bitter and crisp to peppery and pungent.
Made from ground roasted cocao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon, Mexican chocolate has a slightly granular texture and a distinctive, spiced flavor.
In the U.S. that milk is synonymous with cow's milk, though in other parts of the world goat, buffalo, or sheep's milk is more common.
In the U.S., milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor (though it often contains more) and 12% milk solids. Although popular to eat out of hand, milk chocolate is used less widely in baking than semi- or bittersweet chocolate.
Mirin is a sweet golden-yellow wine used in Japanese cooking as a sweetener.
One of the more fragile summer fruits, figs sweet flavor and soft texture are a welcome additon to both savory and sweet dishes.
Many baked goods, like gingerbread, owe much of their deep, complex sweetness to molasses. True molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane processing. Sugar cane juice is boiled, crystallized, and then centrifuged to separate the crystallized cane sugar from the liquid.
Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk. It's most widely available in its unaged form, which is creamy white in color and very mild—bordering on bland—in flavor.
Moscato, or Muscat, generally refers to a variety of sweet, often fortified wines made from Muscat grapes.
Muscat de Beaumes-de-venise is a sweet, lightly fortified wine made primarily from white Muscat grapes.
A type of bivalve with a more elongated, oval shell than a clam. Mussels are more common in European (especially Belgian) cuisines than in the U.S.
The leaves of the mustard plant (Brassica juncea) are hot and peppery tasting, and can be yellowish-green or reddish-purple in color. That pungent flavor is flattered with garlic, hot pepper flakes, and vinegar.
cover yellow, black, brown
Navels, a member if the sweet orange family, is characterized by its thick skin and an embryonic fruit within the fruit. The flesh and juice of navels are delicious but can turn bitter when exposed to air, so these are best eaten out of hand, especially because they are seedless, or served soon after peeling.
Often used in Boston baked beans, navy beans are small and white. (It gets its name because the U.S. navy has long served this bean as a staple food).
Technically, a new potato is harvested from the vine while the leaves are still green. At this stage, the immature potatoes are thin-skinned and haven't developed their full complement of starch. So regardless of their variety, new potatoes are low in starch and high in moisture.
Think of this steak as a T-bone or porterhouse with the tenderloin removed, which leaves you with just the juicy, tender, flavorful top-loin muscle. It takes especially well to dry rubs and compound butters.
Niçoise olives are a French favorite, produced in the region around the French Riviera. Brine-cured, they have an intensely savory flavor and often come packed with herbs.
These tiny black seeds, widely used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, have a nutty and pleasantly bitter onion flavor.
Nori is the Japanese name for a kind of edible seaweed.
Nutella is a brand of creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread whose flavor is similar to that of gianduja, the hazelnut-flavored chocolate from the Piedmont region of Italy.
This spice comes from the nutmeg tree, which grows in tropical climates and actually yields two spices. The crinkled, hard nutmeg "nut" itself is encased in a lacy scarlet membrane which, when dried and ground, becomes mace.
Oaxaca cheese (pictured top left in the photo) is a soft, Mexican cow's milk cheese that melts easily. It's widely available in supermarkets in the Southwest but is increasingly found across the country. It is delicious on pizzas, over nachos, or in grilled cheese sandwiches.
Dry-cured olives have a dry, wrinkled, pruney appearance and often a coating of olive oil. They have a meaty texture and a slightly bitter, smoky flavor that lingers on the tongue.
Old Bay seasoning is spice mix traditionally used to flavor seafood, particularly crabs and shrimp
Rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed and flattened with large rollers.
Olive oil is the flavorful monounsaturated oil extracted (often through pressing) from ripe olives. Olive oils range in color and flavor depending on the grade, the growing region, the quality of the fruit, and the process by which they are extracted. The finest, and most expensive grade of olive is known as extra-virgin.
Orange flower water, which is made by distilling the orange blossoms rather than the fruit itself, has a seductively flora (rather than citrusy) aroma.
The juice squeezed from oranges. Great for drinking on its own or to use in cocktails, baked goods, marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces.
Concentrated orange juice is made by squeezing the juice from fresh oranges and then removing a large percentage of the water, usually by heating it.
Orange Marmalade is a fruit preserve that is similar in consistency to a jelly, but also has bits of fruit, in this case orange, suspended evenly throughout.
Oregano is a warm, aromatic herb used widely in Italian, Greek, and Latin American cooking.
Orzo is a small pasta that’s similar in size and shape to rice, and can resemble risotto in both flavor and richness when cooked and combined with broth and cheese.
Derived from an ancient, hardy marsh plant called smallage (wild celery), celery seeds are light brown in color, with a scent that resembles grass or hay. The seeds have a strong, warm, bitter and...
These craggy bivalves are worshipped by conoisseurs but misunderstood by many. There are five major types of oysters available in the U.S.: the Eastern, European Flat (aka Belon), Kumamoto, and...
Pancetta, the Italian version of bacon, is made by seasoning a pork belly side with salt and lots of pepper, curling it into a tight roll, and wrapping it in a casing to hold the shape. It differs from bacon in that it is cured, but it isn't smoked.
Japanese-style breadcrumbs with a crisp texture and shard-like shape.
Papayas are luscious tropical fruits with smooth greenish-yellow skin, deep orange flesh, and a peachy-apricoty flavor.
Parsley root looks deceptively similar to a parsnip, but is a purer white with a less earthy flavor.
A root vegetable that looks like a white carrot, parsnips are an often-overlooked winter delicacy.
A small, round summer squash with scalloped edges.
Pea shoots are the tender, uppermost leaves and tendrils (vines) of pea plants.
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.
Technically a legume, and not a tree nut, peanuts are grown in the southern United States.
Pearl onions are simply onions whose growth has been stunted in the field.
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 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.
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.
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...
Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur from France, enhances the flavor of the Fennel, Red Onion, and Parmigiano Gratin.
A mild Basque chile that's usually dried and sold as a coarsely ground powder.
The green olives sold pitted and stuffed with pimento (most often sold in jars) are Manzanilla olives.
Pine nuts are a great addition to salads, pesto, and pasta dishes.
Fresh pineapple's tropical aroma and spunky acidity are wonderful winter pick-me-ups. Two common varieties are Golden Ripe and Hawaiian Jet.
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.
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 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, Spanish for "painted," refers to the reddish streak found on this small, flavorful bean when dried (the streak fades when cooked).
With its natural creaminess and distinctive tang, plain yogurt is a key ingredients for many delicious soups, sauces, and drinks.
These tropical mainstays look like oversize bananas and taste a bit like them, too. But plantains (which can be pronounced plan-tins or plan-tanes), or plátanos machos in Spanish, are like three fruits in one because they can be eaten at three distinct stages of ripeness, each with a different texture and flavor. Unripe, with green peels, they’re firm and starchy with a potato-like flavor that has subtle banana and peanut notes.When the peels are yellow with brown spots, they’re partially ripe and slightly softer, with a delicately sweet flavor that’s a mix between banana and butternut squash. And in their ripest state, when their peels are dark brown or black, they have a creamy texture and a buttery taste. This diversity makes these so-called cooking bananas a favorite in hot climates around the world.
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 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 are a cross between a plum and an apricot. They come in many varieties and are sweet, juicy, and smooth-skinned like the former, but tender and tangy like the latter—truly the best of both worlds.
Fat, wide, and dark green, the poblano is rich in flavor and mild to medium in heat.
The term polenta is used to describe both the popular Italian dish of cornmeal mush as well as the cornmeal used to make it.
Introduced in the U.S. in 2002 by California grower POM Wonderful, pomegranate juice gets the credit for starting a full-on pomegranate craze
This boiled-down pomegranate juice is a key ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines.
Pomegranates are approximately the size of an orange with a flared, spiky crown at one end and red, leathery skin. Cutting into one reveals hundreds of ruby-colored seeds (called arils) packed in compartments separated by tough, shiny membranes.
The gentle giants of the citrus world, pomelos have a fragrant sweetness balanced by a mild tartness—think grapefruit with less bitterness.
Porcinis are wild mushrooms with a meaty texture and a deep, earthy, woodsy flavor.
Blade chops come from the shoulder blade end of the loin. These have the most fat of any pork chop and great flavor, but they also have more gristle and bone and can be chewy.
Pork breakfast sausage is the sausage you want to eat at breakfast. This is also commonly known as pork sausage and the predominant flavor is derived from sage. They are traditionally stuffed into sheep casings but can also be formed into patties and fried like burgers or stored in bulk for poultry stuffing.
A small cut of meat taken from the rib section, pork chops come in two readily available types: The rib chop
Country-style ribs aren't ribs at all, but blade steaks or chops. Cut from the blade portion of the loin's shoulder end, they often include part of the upper rib bones, though they may be boneless. They have a lot of connective tissue and fat, making them ideal for barbecue, not unlike real ribs.
The finest cut of pork for roasting is the loin, which stretches along the backbone from the shoulder and provides a continuous strip of tender, juicy meat. Sometimes the loin is left on the bone. It’s then called a rack of pork...
Pork sausage is made by grinding pork meat with fat, salt and other seasononings (as well as preservative and fillers in some cases). It can be sold in bulk, as patties, or as is most common, packed into a casing to form links.
Pork tenderloin comes from the loin a pig, inside the rib. Similar to beef tenderloin, it's the most tender cut of pork, and quite lean, too.
cover ruby port and tawny port
Cut from the short loin, a porterhouse steak consists of both the tenderloin and the top loin muscle. (It differs from a T-bone in that it has a larger tender- loin muscle). With its ample marbling, this is a steak lover's dream cut.
These large, meaty mushrooms, which are simply oversized creminis, are low on moisture and big on flavor.
Pasteurized and dried egg whites (meringue powder also contains sugar and additives), powdered egg white is convenient--it requires no refrigeration and has a long shelf life--and it eliminates the risk of salmonella, especially useful in uncooked preparations like royal icing.
Horseradish, member of the mustard family, has a root that's hot and pungent.
Prosciutto is a hindquarter cut of pork that's cured, dried, and age. Thinly sliced, the best ones are ever-so-slightly sweet with just the right degree of saltiness, and a silken texture that melts in your mouth.
be sure to mention grades a and b, what "dark" and "light" mean in a recipe.
Canned pumpkin is the go-to ingredient for pumpkin pies, breads, and more.
Pure vanilla extract, made by macerating vanilla beans in an alcohol-water mixture, is an easy way to add vanilla flavor to baked goods, as it mixes easily into batters.
A Mexican pressed cheese originally made from goat's milk, queso fresco is now more widely produced from cow's milk. Used generously in Mexican cuisine, it's quite salty and crumbly. Crumble it over...
This South American grain is a nutritional powerhouse.
Rack of lamb is the cut made up of the seven or eight ribs cut from either side of the spine and their attached meat. Though the ribs are sometimes cut apart and sold as rib chops, a whole rack makes...
Radicchio is a type of leafy chicory known for its spicy, bitter taste. There are many types of radicchio...
The radish is a kind of root vegetable known for its fresh, peppery flavor and crisp, crunchy texture. It's most common variety is the red globe radish.
A small, full-flavored, white-fleshed fish. Domestic, farm-raised rainbow trout is a great choice.
Raisins, produced and used in cooking throughout the world in dishes both savory and sweet, are simply dried grapes.
Raspberries, the most intensely flavored member of the berry family, are made up of connected drupelets (individual sections of juicy pulp, each with a single seed) surrounding a central core.
Reddish-brown kidney-shaped beans often used in chili and soups.
The crisp texture, mild flavor, and bold color mean red onions are at their best when eaten raw, sliced on a sandwich or burger, chopped for a salad or salsa.
Red-skinned potatoes (as well as round whites) are considered "waxy;" slice into one, the flesh looks translucent and firm. Though not all red potatoes are "new" (they can only be considered that if they were picked young) red potatoes, like all true new potatoes have a low-starch content and so can be used interchangeably.
Red wine vinegar, as its name implies, is vinegar made from red wine.
The finest cut of pork for roasting is the loin, which stretches along the backbone from the shoulder and provides a continuous strip of tender, juicy meat. When the loin is left on the bone, it’s called a rack of pork. A rib crown roast, is two pork racks tied together with the ribs Frenched—or scraped clean.
A steak cut from the rib section of the steer, rib-eye steaks may be sold boneless (shown) or bone-in. It's an exceptionally tender and juicy steak, ideal for quick-cooking methods like searing or...
Rice noodles are made from rice flour and water, with the addition of tapioca or cornstarch to enhance their chewy texture and transparent appearance.
Thin, translucent sheets of rice-flour dough, rice paper is used to wrap up Vietnamese summer rolls.
Rice vermicelli are thin rice-flour noodles common in Chinese, Thai,Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asian cuisines, where they are often used in stir-fries, soups, spring rolls, and salads. Don't confuse rice vermicelli with cellophane noodles, another thin Asian noodle that's made with mung bean starch.
Chinese or Japanese vinegars made from rice wine. Rice vinegar generally has a mild, sweet taste because it contains about 4 to 5% acidity, compared to 5 to 7% for most other vinegars.
Brewed from rice and water, rice wine is a staple of drinking and cooking in China. It adds an acidic element to stir-fries and sauces and tenderizes in marinades. Chinese rice wine should be golden in color, with nutty flavor undertones.
Garlic powder, and its cousin, granulated garlic, are both dried, ground garlic cloves.
Ricotta is a soft, fresh cheese made from the whey leftover in the production of other cheeses.
Ricotta salata is a smooth, firm sheep's milk cheese that's lightly salted.
Rigatoni are a wide, ridged, tube-shaped pasta. Their large holes capture pieces of meat and vegetables in sauces, and their ridges provide even more texture for sauces to cling to.
The most popular fruit in the United States, bananas have a sweet, honey-like flavor and a comforting soft texture.
Famously featured in Caesar salad, romaine lettuce has a sweet, gentle flavor and a crisp bite that stands up well to punchy flavors. The hearts (the interior, lighter colored leaves) are especially crunchy and refreshing and will stay crisp even with a warm dressing, making romaine a good choice for main-course salads.
Hailing from France and made from sheep's milk, Roquefort is an intensely flavored blue cheese with abundant veins of greenish-blue mold that reach right to the edge of the cheese.
A byproduct of making rose oil for perfumes, rose water has been used for centuries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, where it flavors drinks like hot milk or tea, desserts like Turkish delight, baklava, and rice pudding, and even adds a subtle complexity to savory foods.
This classic herb, with it's pine needle-like leaves and pine-y scent, is one of the few that's truly hardy in cold weather, making it the perfect herb for winter cooking.
Russets are long and large with a thick, rough, skin. A high-starch potato, with a flesh that's snowy white and very dry, they are the quintessential baking potato. They also make first-rate mashed potatoes.
Rutabagas, which are members of the Brassica family, are probably a hybrid of a cabbage and a turnip. These firm vegetables have a sweet, snappy flavor.
Safflower oil is an oil pressed from the seeds of the safflower plant, a thistle-like member of the sunflower family grown mainly for oil production.
A key ingredient in bouillabaisse and paella, saffron has the reputation of being the most expensive spice by weight in the world.
The wonderful flavor and aroma of fresh sage is reminiscent of eucalyptus and the tannin in a good red wine, with hints of lemon and thyme.
Salt pork is salt-cured fat from the belly and sides of the pig. It’s mainly used in small amounts as a flavoring in certain dishes.
The ruffled blue-green leaves of savoy cabbage are tender and crisp with a more delicate flavor than other cabbage varieties. It's especially beautiful in slaw or cut into wedges and steamed or braised.
A member of the onion family, scallions have a white base that's an immature bulb and tall, stalk-like green leaves; both parts are used in cooking.
One of the hottest chiles in the world (some say the hottest), Scotch bonnets are irregularly shaped with color ranging in shades of green, yellow, orange, and red.
Sea salt is salt that is harvested from the evaporation of sea water (as opposed to mined salt).
Plump and juicy, grapes come in colors ranging from jade green to lustrous blue-black.
Semisweet chocolate and bittersweet chocolate are both subcategories of sweet chocolate. While both must also contain a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor, semisweet chocolate will contain less sugar...
Specially formulated morsels that retain their shape and creamy texture without burning, chips are ideal as mix-ins for cookies and quick breads. Though most are semi or bittersweet, there are also...
Sesame seeds are the seeds from an annual herb that grows in warm climates; sesame seeds come from China, Japan, the Middle East, Mexico, and Central America.
A paste made of ground sesame seeds, tahini has a rich, nutty flavor that helps to amplify the flavors of other foods.
Celery salt is a mixture of ground celery seeds and fine grained salt.
On the assertiveness scale, these mild-mannered relatives of garlic are similar to white onions, but their flavor is more refined and complex.
Sherry vinegar is made from sherry wine, which is produced in the Jerez (Xérès or Sherry) denomination of origin in southwestern Spain.
An Asian mushroom variety used widely in cooking, both in its fresh and dried forms.
Campanelle is a bell-shaped pasta with fluted, petal-like edges and a hollow center for capturing sauce.
Sweet, succulent, and slightly briny, shrimp is America's favorite seafood. Delicious cooked all kinds of ways—poached in shrimp cocktail, battered and deep fried, sautéed, broiled, and grilled—this crustacean is quick-cooking and incredibly versatile.
Shrimp paste is made from tiny shrimp which are boiled, peeled, salted, dried, and then ground to a fine, sturdy, and very aromatic paste.
A common spice in Chinese cuisine, Sichuan pepper is not related to black or white peppercorns (Piper nigrum) but is rather the seedpod of an entirely different plant (genus Zanthoxylum). It is instantly recognizable for the tingly sensation it produces on the tongue.
Cut from the plate (underbelly) section of the steer, this distinctive looking steak is the long, thin diaphragm muscle. It's a coarse-grained steak, with a grain that runs crosswise, rather than...
Bluefish are notoriously oily fish with an "acquired" taste. In the case of selecting bluefish, bigger is actually not better.
A variety of pea that's eaten pod and all while the pods are still thin and tender, snow peas make a frequent appearance in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.
Somen noodles are long, thin Japanese noodles.
Sorrel is a perennial herb in the buckwheat family (which also includes rhubarb). High in vitamin C, it was a common ingredient in medieval times, when it was eaten to prevent scurvy (citrus fruits weren’t widely available). The word sorrel is of Germanic origin, from sur, meaning sour. Its characteristic sourness comes from the presence of oxalic acid (which is also found in spinach). There are two varieties of sorrel, both of which are edible: garden sorrel, which has pointy, arrow-shaped leaves and a bracingly tart flavor, and French sorrel which is milder, with rounded leaves.
Cream that has soured by the action of lactic-acid bacteria, sour cream is thick and has a slight tang.
Soy sauce is a condiment used extensively in the East in place of salt; it is used to flavor rice, oil, vinegar, and tea. It was developed by the Chinese a little over 2000 years ago and introduced to Japan in the 7th century. It is made by fermenting soy beans with roasted wheat or barley and salt, then filtering, pasteurizing, and bottling the liquid.
Made from semolina, water, and sometimes eggs, this popular pasta gets its name for the Italian for strings, which is what this long, thin, round noodle resembles.
Spanish bomba rice is the best paella rice available.
The most versatile of cooking greens, spinach is great blanched and creamed, sautéed with brown butter, or wilted and tossed with pasta. Or use it raw in a spinach salad.
A member of the mollusk family, this relative of the octopus has an elongated body and 10 arms.
The most commonly found pork ribs in the supermarket, spareribs are thick and meaty ribs from the pork belly, so named because they...
A standing rib roast, or prime rib roast, is cut from the back of the upper rib section of the steer, and it usually comprises a total of seven ribs starting from the shoulder (chuck) down the back to the loin.
This star-shaped spice is the dried fruit of a small Asian evergreen tree (a member of the magnolia family). Harvested when it's still green and unripe, it's dried in the sun, where it develops its...
This tropical fruit is crisp and juicy, with a flavor vaguely reminiscent of a grape or a pear: mildly sweet and floral. Try them in fruit salads for visual punch, or as a garnish to a cheese platter.
Tiny, star-shaped pasta often used in soups.
Marinara is a simple Italian tomato sauce made from a few deliciously basic components: tomatoes, olive oil, garlic (or onions), herbs, and perhaps a pinch of hot red pepper flakes.
Sundried tomatoes are exactly what they sound like: ripe tomatoes that have been dried in the sun (or by artificial methods) to remove most of the water content.
Superfine sugar, which has tiny, unifrom crystlals, dissolves well in cold and room-temperature liquids, making it useful for meringues (which weep if there's any undissolved sugar) and in iced tea, lemonade, and cocktails. The tiny granulation can improve the texture of cakes and other butter-and-sugar batters because the crystals' many sharp edges cut into the butter during creaming, forming many air pockets to produce a fine delicate crumb.
Mango chutney is a condiment much like a jelly or relish that is made from unripe (green) mangoes, vinegar, sugar, spices, and perhaps a little onion to offset the sweetness.
If you’re a cherry lover, June is your jackpot. For what seems like only a moment, they’re everywhere—at the farmers’ market, in grocery stores, and at farmstands.
A mixture of turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, fenugreek, white pepper, (sometimes) arrowroot, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and red pepper, sweet curry powder packs the...
A fresh sausage made from coarsely ground pork mixed with seasonings including fennel seeds.
Sweet, moist, and typically orange, this root vegetable is often and incorrectly called a yam.
Sweetened condensed milk is made by boiling whole milk to evaporate about 60 percent of the water content.
This tender winter green makes a colorful change of pace from spinach.
Tamari is a type of shoyu, or Japanese soy sauce. It is made by collecting the liquid that drains from miso, a fermented soybean paste, as it ages. Unlike soy sauce, it is not fermented with wheat...
Cooks from all over the world add the pulp of this tropical fruit to a wide range of dishes—sauces, marinades, salads, stir-fries, even sorbets and cool, refreshing summer drinks.
The distinctive red-orange color of tandoori chicken is the result of the flavorless tandoori coloring.
A delicate herb that packs a surprisingly bold anise-fennel flavor, tarragon is an essential herb in French cuisine.
Fresh sour cherries are vibrant fire-engine red fruits, with yellow interior flesh. They have intesne flavor and are traditionally used in pies, tarts, cakes, confections, and jams.
Black, oolong, green, and white teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. Black tea has been allowed to oxidize longer, growing stronger in flavor and possessing more caffeine.
Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area, Thymus vulgaris is a perennial shrub belonging to the Labiatae, or mint, family.
Small, round fruits encased in a delicate, papery husk, tomatillos can ripen to various colors, from yellow to red and even purple. But they’re most flavorful if harvested just before ripening, when they’re vibrant green.
Canned tomato purée is made from tomatoes that have been cooked briefly and strained. The result is a thick liquid that doesn't usually contain any extra spices or seasonings.
Technically a fruit (but treated as a vegetable) tomatoes are a hallmark of summer, ripening on vines in gardens everywhere. Juicy and often sweet, Tomatoes come in a wide range of shapes and sizes from tiny currant tomatoes to giant beefsteaks and in colors from green to brownish purple. Different varieties are better than others in certain preparations. Plums, for example, with their relatively low water content, makes great sauce while cherry tomatoes are great for quick sautes and for using raw in salad. Tomatoes, especially plum tomatoes, are also often canned.
These tiny tubular pasta are great in soups as well as side dishes.
A coarse, crunchy, golden sugar with a slight molasses flavor.
Liquid smoke is a seasoning ingredient for cuts of meat that benefit from a smoky, mesquite flavor. It comes in different flavors, which suit different types of meat (applewood for ham and hickory...
Turmeric is a relative of ginger. Both the rhizome and the leaves of the turmeric plant are edible, but it’s the rhizome that’s most widely used. The small, knobby rhizome looks like a cross between a knob of ginger and a carrot, and it tastes that way too. It’s slightly bitter and metallic in flavor and ranges in color from sunny yellow to a saturated, Technicolor orange.
These humble root vegetables really shine in the winter.
These wheat-based Japanese noodles are available both dried and fresh.
Bread flour, which ranges in protein from 12 to 15% is specially formulated to enhance gluten elasticity making it ideal for yeast-raised breads. The strong gluten gives the heavy dough structure and the finished product a pleasantly chewy texture.
Gelatin (a stabilizer derived from animal collagen) can make gelatin desserts out of just about any liquid, including your favorite juice-based cocktails. Gelatin can also give a gorgeous sheen to icings and, when adds body to mousses, Bavarian cream, and sweet, cold souffles. It comes in powdered and sheet (or leaf) form. In Europe, sheet gelatin is more widely used,and many pastry chefs prefer it, but powdered gelatin is more readily available.
Unsweetened chocolate contains no sugar and so is about 99% chocolate liquor.
Vanilla paste combines the best of both bean and extract. It has the consistency of a thick syrup and holds hundreds of vanilla seeds in suspension.
A flavored sugar you can easily make with scraped vanilla bean halves you might otherwise throw away.
Thin, very lean cuts of veal from the leg region of the animal.
Vegetable oil is a broad term for a category of oils pressed from the seeds, nuts, grains, or fruits of plants. With the exception of specialty oils (such as toasted sesame or nut oils), vegetable...
A solid fat made by hydrogenating vegetable oil, shortening is virtually flavorless and odorless. It is used similarly to butter and lard, especially in baking. Though it adds none of the flavor or...
Vidalias are a sweet onion that hails from Vidalia, Georgia. (Mauis from Hawaii, Texas Sweets, and Washington's Walla Wallas are all also coveted for their sweet flavor).
Canned tuna is a mainstay of the American pantry. Who doesn't have a can or two stacked in the kitchen cabinet, ready to be opened in a pinch for a quick sandwich?
Watermelons are loosely considered to be a type of melon. They have a thick, smooth, variegated green rind and juicy, sweet flesh that is usually red and dotted with small black seeds.
Whole wheatberries have a nutty flavor and resilient texture that many people adore.
Whisky is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting a mash of grains such as barley, corn, or rye.
A cultivated member of the lily family, tender stalks of asparagus signal the arrival of spring. While green asparagus is most common, the white variety is especially prized in Europe. To grow...
Though it lacks the Italian pedigree of traditonal balsamic, white balsamic makes a nice, sweeter alternative to white wine of Champagne vinegar. Fruity and floral, it has the sweet-and-sour balance of regular balsamic without the dark color or caramel undertones.
The mushrooms you most commonly see in the supermarket are cultivated white mushrooms. Their caps range in diameter from 1/2 to 3 inches, but it is only the smallest specimens that are labelled "button mushrooms."
Green cabbage is one of three basic types of European (as opposed to Chinese) cabbages; the other two are red and Savoy. Its color can range from green to almost white and has a tight, compact head. Shredded or chopped, it adds crunch and subtle flavor to slaws, sautés, braises and soups.
Technically not chocolate at all, white chocolate consists of cocoa butter mixed with sugar, milk solids, and flavorings.
This fermented soybean paste is as staple of Japanese cuisine.
Onion powder is a seasoning made from dehydrated ground onions.
White peppercorns come from the same berries as black peppercorns, but they're vine-ripened longer, and the black shell is stripped before drying.
Very aromatic, with a deep earthiness, white truffle oil is olive oil infused with the flavor and aroma of white truffles. It's used as a finishing touch (heat can alter its flavor) and usually...
(such as Vya or Noilly Pratt)
White wine vinegar, as its name implies, is vinegar made from white wine.
Native to the Middle East, aniseed is grey-brown in color and oval shaped, and it tastes deeply of licorice.
When people say, "It taste like chicken," it just shows how ubiquitous this domesticated fowl is. Raised around the world for its eggs as well as its meat, chicken takes well to just about every...
Nasturtium is known for its peppery-tasting, pungent, flat leaves and colorful, trumpet shaped blossoms. Although unrelated, it is usually grouped with cress because of its similar flavor. Nasturtium...
When it comes out of the cow, milk contains about 3-1/2 percent fat. Whole milk, unlike low-fat or nonfat milk, hasn’t had any of this fat removed.
Flour ground from the entire wheat kernel, including the germ and bran, has more fiber and nutrients than all-purpose white flour.
Made from whole durum wheat, whole-wheat pasta offers the nutritional benefits of whole grains, including three times as much fiber as regular pasta. But its assertively wheaty flavor and coarser...
Wild rice isn't a true rice at all, but the seed of a grass native to North America.
These thin sheets of wheat-flour pasta have a versatility that belies their name.
Quite simply, cornmeal refers to any ground, dried corn. It may be white or yellow, depending on the type of corn used. With just slight differences in flavor, the two may be used interchangeably.
Yellow Finns (medium starch) have the best flavor of the all-purpose potatoes. These golden-yellow, creamy-textured potatoes are great for gratins or roasting.
Yellow onions are all-purpose onions. Since they are inexpensive and readily available, they're used more than any other type. They have the strongest flavor of all the globe onions, so they
Yellow summer squash have thin, edible skins, mild flavor, and silky flesh that doesn't require much (if any) cooking.
Pear tomatoes are a little smaller than cherry tomatoes. As their name suggests, they resemble a tiny pears.
Zebra tomatoes are an heirloom tomato. Gorgeously striped, they stay green when fully ripe (as opposed to green tomatoes, which are unripened red tomatoes). They are low in acid and quite tangy.
A short, tubular pasta, ziti pairs well with all kinds of sauces, but especially those that are thick and chunky.
No matter what part of the steer it comes from, beef is made up of muscle, connective tissue, and fat.
Juniper berries, from the coniferous juniper tree, are the primary aromatic component in gin. In cooking, juniper is often used to lend a bright, resinous flavor to fatty, deeply flavored ingredients like wild game, duck, and choucroute (the Alsatian sauerkraut and sausage dish).
Table salt is a finely ground, highly refined, mined salt.
This popular New England squash usually has a gorgeous, gray-blue shell, with a fine-grained flesh that's dry, somewhat mealy, and very flavorful. Probably the largest squash you
A Japanese variety of winter squash, this squat, medium-sized squash has a rough, dark-green skin that
A less acidic cousin of common lemons with an herbal fragrance, Meyer lemons are believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange.
The heat from Sriracha is sweeter than the vinegary tang that marks most hot sauces.
Ladyfingers are sweet, spongy cookies that are simultaneously crisp, but also cake-like.
Sweet, plump Marcona almonds, imported from Spain, are typically roasted or fried in oil and salted. You can get them for less than $10 a pound at the warehouse store (they cost up to twice as much elsewhere).
Blue crabs are found most prominently in the Chesapeake Bay but are also caught along the rest of the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The unusual-looking vegetable known as chayote (chah-YO-tay),aAlso known as a mirliton or vegetable pear, is part of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, squashes, and melons.
Pork is the name that refers to the meat from pigs. And what a lot of meat that is...
Dried packaged coconut, you can find the flakes in a variety of sizes sweetened and unsweetened, and sometimes toasted. Sweetened coconut has been combined with confectioner's sugar and is best used in sweet preparations. Use unsweetened in savory dishes.
In general, lettuce is the greens used mainly in salad. There are hundreds of different varieties of lettuce, most of which are green and leafy, though colors can range from a pale green thats...
Whether it's sear-roasted rack of lamb, roasted leg of lamb, or ground lamb burgers, lamb is a welcome change of pace from beef or pork. Its slightly gamey flavor pairs well with Mediterranean and Indian flavors, and it takes well to a variety of cooking methods.
All real chocolate comes from the cacao bean, the fruit of a tropical tree, Theobroma cacao.
The top portion of the front leg of the hog, pork shoulder is commonly used for braising, roasting, or barbecue.
With fisheries predominantly on the eastern seaboard, striped bass has begun to rebound from overfishing in the 1980s, thanks to sensible fishing practices. As a result, its population is increasing.
Shochu is a Japanese or Korean spirit typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, or rice. It has a light, slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Fruit lambic beers are tart Belgian brews fermented with wild yeasts and aged with crushed fruit or fruit juices.
Beneath the scaly skin of the lychee lies a delicate, juicy, fragrant fruit wrapped around a hard, inedible pit. With a sweet perfumed flavor and a texture a bit like a peeled grape, lychees (or litchis) are prized in many Asian countries, particularly China.
Making your own cheese requires a few specialty ingredients, including calcium chloride.
Making your own cheese requires a few specialty ingredients, including lipase.
Making your own cheese requires a few specialty ingredients, including rennet.
This sweet, juicy fruit is closely related to the peach. Unlike peaches, nectarines have smooth skin and slightly firmer flesh, and they tend to be a bit smaller than their fuzzy relatives.
Tapenade is a French olive spread.