Questions about the identification and evaluation of specific ingredients.

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2
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1answer
1k views

Are ripe meyer lemons supposed to be soft?

At the grocery store they were selling meyer lemons in mesh bags, they all seemed to be much softer than an ordinary lemon. Are meyer lemons supposed to be a very soft fruit? just touching them ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Key ingredients for classic Sauce Bolognese (Ragù Bolognese)?

What are the ingredients, both main and optional, for a classic Rag├╣ Bolognese? I tried getting an answer to this question. First I looked around this site. I found one question about a "secret ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

What are the effects of using different types of ground mustard?

I made a cheese souffle recipe that called for 1 tsp of dry mustard. I used ground mustard that was 40% yellow and 60% black.(And it wasn't fine like powder) Everything went perfectly with the ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

How to make frosting very white, fluffy, and shiny?

Given a typical recipe for frosting (preferably cream cheese), what can be done to make it fluffy and shiny -- even in a chilled state? I've noticed that my cream cheese frosting tends to do this if ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Asian toasting seeds

if a recipe says Asian toasting seeds how can I find out what is in the mix? Is there a definite selection of seeds and in what ratio? I have seen pouches for sale on the net but would like to make up ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Ingredients for Cocktails

I've recently taken an interest in mixing cocktails - I've never done it before or anything similar and I have a question about sourcing ingredients. I want to try making lots of different cocktails, ...
12
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11answers
18k views

How can I choose good avocados at the supermarket?

I've been trying to ignore my burning desire to make some guacamole because every time I go to the supermarket to buy avocados I can't manage to pick out good ones. They always either become too soft ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Could I use beer instead of/as well as water in my sourdough?

The sourdough recipe I use calls for 300ml of water to 500g of bread flour (along with the starter). Instead of this water, could I use beer - or a combination of beer and water? The reason I thought ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

Does the freshness of the ingredient impact the longevity of the cooked dish?

Using ingredients that aren't fresh will generally negatively impact the flavor of the dish, but does it impact how long the cooked dish will last before it goes bad? For example, if I make two pots ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Baking or Cooking - why orange and not other sweet citrus fruit?

In most of the recipes that have any sweet citrus flavoring, it is usually Orange (zest and juice). In fact I've hardly seen a recipe that uses a substitute like mandarin, grapefruit, etc. Is there a ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Is soy milk in America similar to the type in East Asia?

Finding soy milk in the States isn't very difficult - it's generally stocked in supermarkets and used as an alternative to dairy. However, I'm not sure if the flavour of typical American soy milk ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

If a recipe doesn't specify the type of vinegar, is there a standard type implied?

I occasionally come across recipes that call for vinegar, but don't specify which of the many varieties they mean. (A recent example is this recipe for a corn and pepper salad, which just says "2 ...
3
votes
1answer
18k views

Differences between haddock versus cod

I saw haddock on sale at our local grocer. It's really cheap this week. It grew my curiosity. Are there any similarities between haddock and cod as in flavor? I often see haddock and cod ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Bread-machine recipes: are liquid ingredients fungible?

I've noticed that the recipes that came with my bread machine all have about the same ratio of liquid ingredients to flour: for a 1.5-pound loaf, 3 cups of flour is accompanied by 1 cup of water +2T ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Which cuts of beef are suitable for slow cooking methods?

If I want to simmer or braise a piece of beef for a few hours, how do I choose suitable meat? Which of the usual cuts are great, which are adequate, and which ones will just turn tough? It would be ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Belgian chocolate milk

I've tried a lovely chocolate milk (cold, not to be confused with hot chocolate) from Marks and Spencer (a supermarket in the UK) and I'm trying to emulate it's rich Belgian chocolate taste. My ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Which salsa ingredient makes it taste like dirt?

I suppose it could also be considered "earthy". There is an ingredient that is often added to "authentic" salsas that often ends up making it taste too "earthy". Which ingredient is it? Is it ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Recipes - Adding up calories and nutritional info?

When cooking, a recipe has a list of ingredients. If I wanted to find the calories in the recipe would I just add up the calories of every ingredient? Same situation with carbs, protein fat ? Or does ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

Shelf life and Validation of Coconut Milk?

I use coconut milk for a pasta dishes, then put the carton back in the fridge. I may use some of it for a coffee additive, the use plenty more for another pasta dish or recipe. Alas, I do not cook ...
10
votes
5answers
14k views

What's the difference between masa for tortillas and for tamales?

I often buy fresh prepared masa from Mexican markets in order to make tamales and pupusas. Mexican cookbook authors stress getting the correct masa for the recipe, either masa for tamales or masa for ...
2
votes
8answers
809 views

secret ingredient in a restaurant bolognese

I have dabbled with almost every ingredient I can think of in varying amount to get my Bolognese to taste similar to a restaurant made Bolognese in the italian alps. Including: Pepper Sugar Salt ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Melon buying tips

I've just started buying rockmelons and they were only sweet a couple of times. The other times, they've been very low in sweetness and it felt like a waste of money. Are there any tips when buying ...
2
votes
1answer
337 views

What Tea leaves are used in Kashmiri Pink tea

I want to make Kashmiri pink tea but have not found an exact name in English for those tea leaves used in Kashmiri pink tea. As I am right now in china, here they have varieaty of tea. I would like to ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between good quality chocolate and cheap chocolate?

There are many types of chocolate out there, some higher quality than others. What are the main differences between good quality chocolate and cheap chocolate? And in practical applications in baking ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Which kind of basil should I use?

I'm new to cooking and I was planning to make a recipe I saw on TV with pasta. One ingredient is basil. The chef on the show advised always to use fresh herbs; he used a kind of vasiliko with large ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

What am I doing wrong with my Kool-Aid pickles?

I'm trying to make Kool-Aid Pickles (koolickles). I've tried with quartered Ba-Tampte pickles and I seem to get it right, but I'm not seeing the results I expect with halved pickles. I want to go ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Using cloves in stocks/broths

I have a (somewhat) recently purchased spice jar of cloves in my pantry that isn't getting much attention. I've seen stock/broth recipes that call for whole peppercorns, and am curious if subbing ...
1
vote
2answers
497 views

How to pick ripe plantains for maduros?

I'm trying to make sweet fried plantains (maduros) but I'm not having much success. I've tried frying on low, medium, and high heat and with varying amounts of oil. The plantains never come out soft ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

How do I choose frozen fish so that it doesn't release so much water?

I bought a package of frozen, individually wrapped, vacuum-sealed pacific cod fillets (about 150-200 grams each) from what I thought was a reputable brand (and not the lowest price) in my nearest ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Corn Starch vs Potato Starch

One of the recipes I am trying out asks me to use Potato starch to help thicken the sauce. A majority of the recipes I found online for it say to use Potato starch but at the store I mainly found corn ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Websites or apps that allow easy browsing of ingredients, flavors, and inspiration? [closed]

I know there are ten thousand cooking websites out there, but from what I can tell, 99.9% of them are just recipes, and most of them have kludgy usability to boot! What are some websites (preferably ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

What's the difference between Santa Cruz Rum and Jamaican Rum?

Reading through a book of cocktail recipes from the late 1800s, I notice some recipes call specifically for Santa Cruz rum and some call for Jamaican rum. Is this a mere place of origin reference, or ...
4
votes
3answers
627 views

What might cause a tangy flavor in hummus?

I'm pretty sure that this is an intended flavor; there's a great and authentic middle eastern restaurant nearby and their hummus tastes noticeably tangy. Others in the Yelp reviews have commented on ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there an official standard vegan packaging symbol designating that a product is vegan?

I'm trying to eat vegan and having a hard time determining (by the packaging) which products are appropriate for me. Are there symbols or certifications I can look for, preferably something backed by ...
7
votes
1answer
16k views

How do I tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?

I have a tough time telling if my cantaloupe is ripe (without opening it and trying it. Any suggestions?
15
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I identify dutch process cocoa?

I have a hard time finding "dutch process cocoa" in the store sometimes. What other names might dutch process cocoa be known as? Is there something else in the ingredients that might identify ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Shirred eggs elements

I've found a number of recipes online for shirred eggs. Some have a fat (cream, ham) beneath the eggs; others don't (except for a bit to grease the ramekin). Some have a cheese (Parmesan, Cheddar, ...
3
votes
7answers
321 views

What kind of onions for dal?

I'm making dal for the first time and have all of the ingredients below, but I can't decide whether to use white, yellow (vidalia), or red onions. I have all three in stock. Here are the other ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

How to know whether a coconut is ripe or rancid before buying

Buying the shrink-wrapped coconuts (in shell) at the store is similar to playing Russian Roulette. All this trouble of getting the water out and breaking the shell only to find out the coconut is ...
2
votes
1answer
504 views

How common are worms in dried mushrooms?

I was excited to try cooking with dried mushrooms until I saw some comments from people who found (many) dried worms mixed in with their dried mushrooms. How common is this?
7
votes
1answer
448 views

How do Crispbread manufacturers use so few ingredients?

I'm curious if anyone is familiar with how the major Swedish crispbread manufacturers like Ryvita, Wasa, Finn Crisp, etc., manage to produce those crackers with ingredients lists as short as "rye ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How to recognize fizzy wine?

I don't have much theoretical knowledge about wine, but I like the taste. So I often get a random bottle from the wide selection at the supermarket, avoiding only the bottom line of TetraPack wine. I ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

Domestic, fresh taste-alike for an Italian coffee

My wife is from Italy, and she got me hooked on this absolutely gorgeous coffee called Lavazza Qualita Oro. I love it, but unfortunately getting a fresh bag here in the United States is really hit or ...
20
votes
10answers
17k views

What can you surmise about coffee beans that have oil on them at the time of purchase?

I find myself favoring the purchase of coffee beans that have visible oil on them. My inference was that this bean had some extra flavor or awesomeness. Am I right, are beans 'better' if they are ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it true that good pistachio nuts should have yellowish shell, purplish skin and greenish flesh?

In China, where I live, most pistachio nuts sold on the market have very white shell, and yellowish skin and flesh, like this: Today I read some articles claiming that these pistachio nuts were so ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Kimchi / Mo-Chu Ka-roo?

I have been looking for this ingredient called ko-chu Ka-roo to make kimchi. I checked in a local asian grocery and I didn't find something with that name. But I found Maesri Chilli Powder. Is this ...
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vote
4answers
3k views

How does “Brownulated” light brown sugar compare with regular light brown sugar?

I'm assuming that the granulated sugar in the bag is easier to work with and won't turn into a hard block. It's also more expensive than the boxed kind. Are there any other differences, e.g. in the ...
4
votes
3answers
595 views

small, medium or large eggs

When I buy eggs, I have trouble deciding which size is the best value. Does any one have any tips?
1
vote
1answer
385 views

What would cause heartburn in marinara sauce?

So there's this pizza place in Rhode Island which makes some of the best pizza I've ever had. I tend to order the "plain" pizza, which is just sauce. It's that kind of pizza where the sauce is thick ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Where to buy food chemicals

So I want to experiment with making a food product, and I'm wondering where I acquire the chemical ingredients? Things like vitamin chemicals and caffeine. Thanks.