Questions about selecting desirable ingredients (e.g. checking fruit ripeness). Please do not use for "which ingredient should I use in my dish" - this kind of question is subjective and will be closed.

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5
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7answers
709 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
875 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
283 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.
6
votes
2answers
424 views

Finding good bamboo shoots

I recently tried to make a soup recipe that called for bamboo shoots. I found some canned shoots from a local Asian supermarket and attempted to use those---but they were awful. They had a bitter, ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What methods are appropriate for preparing a 'chow chow' (chayote)?

I saw this in a grocers in an area which is predominantly populated by Korean people. It reminded me of Audrey 2 from 'The Little Shop of Horrors'. Any ideas on how to use it?
1
vote
3answers
102 views

Looking for meat ingredient suggestions for a Yoghurt Cake recipe

I know the flavours of "meat" and "sweet" can sometimes go together well. There's a sausage and fennel (licorice sensation) pastry that I very much enjoy. That's the concept this question is based in. ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

When a recipe calls for a can of condensed soup, is the water implied?

There are many recipes that will use a can of cream of mushroom soup, for example, not as soup, but as flavoring or sauce. When this is the case, and the recipe does not mention the "add water" ...
3
votes
2answers
371 views

What is the name of this dish involving fruit & sugar - blended and baked thin and flat?

I don't know what it is I'm doing (IE, the name of the technique or dish) I can't research it. I cook either rhubarb or passion fruit with a few tablespoons of sugar, blend until very smooth, ...
0
votes
2answers
192 views

Salad ingredients: how to pick them at the market?

I often make salads with lettuce and a few vegetables (perhaps some of carrot, celery, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, green beans, snap peas). I can plan the ingredients before I go to the grocery ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

How to choose fresh, ripe (hot) jalapeños?

When shopping at a supermarket or a farmers market, how can I tell which jalapeños to take home? I want them hot and ready rock that very day. Do they get hotter off the vine? Is a ripe jalapeño a hot ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
335 views

How can I use these new findings on tomatoes to my advantage?

A new study appears to suggest that the characteristics that make a tomato most appealing when choosing one at the store also make it the least appealing when biting into it. Apparently, it is the ...
9
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
37k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
10k 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
2answers
28k views

When to use chicken thigh versus breast?

The America's Test Kitchen recipe for Chinese Orange Chicken calls for chicken thigh, explaining that it has a better taste and texture for the recipe. It does not explain why, however. So that has ...
15
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference in the taste/seeds of egg-sized eggplants, and long and slim eggplants?

Is there a difference in the taste/seeds of egg sized eggplants or brinjals, and long and slim eggplants or brinjals? They are different in shapes. Is there any other "known/visible" difference?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to compare the strength of commercial natural vanilla extracts?

Vanilla extracts usually don't give details on the content of vanilla. Only the main ingredients are listed in descending order of concentration. On the Kirkland brand I saw a figure of 2000ppm ...
1
vote
4answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Yellowness of egg yolk

Related question: Why are Italian eggs so yellow? Occasionally I get served a fried / poached egg with a deep yellow/orange yolk. I find it extremely appetising and visually attractive. Sometimes ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What to look for when buying good quality loose black tea?

What features should I look for when buying good quality loose black tea?
2
votes
1answer
960 views

What makes a good quality pasta brand?

When I browse the pasta aisle I see a number of different brands (De Cecco, Rummo, etc.). Are there any notable differences between these brands? If I have a choice between different brands of the ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What differences, practical and aesthetic, are there between egg washes?

An egg wash can be done in six major variations: [with | out egg white] mixed with [water | milk | cream]. My first hit when searching 'egg wash ratio' My Persian Kitchen where the use was for ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I identify bad peanuts before using them?

Every once in a while I encounter a bad peanut - too bitter and sour which overwhelms the peanut flavor. (For example, when topping cookies with individual peanuts.) Since I can't taste and then use ...
5
votes
3answers
44k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

How can I detect bad-fed or fast-fed chicken eggs before buying?

I have traveled in Eastern Europe and I am annoyed to find out supermarkets seem offer only stale eggs (like white inside, no A -vitamin, tastes bad), they cost in the range of 7-12 cents per egg. My ...
5
votes
1answer
544 views

Fresh mussels, or are they?

I bought and cooked these mussels today. I'd like to know if there is anything wrong with the left hand mussel. Is the color, size an indicator for freshness? I'm guessing it was 'captured' (OK, ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I tell if a balsamic vinegar is good?

I bought a bottle of balsamic vinegar, and it smells so sour when I put my nose over the bottle. Is it supposed to be like that?
16
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
34k 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
6answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
679 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?
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I pick the best potatoes at the supermarket?

I was picking potatoes randomly from the supermarket without much thinking, and some potatoes take more time to bake properly. So on what basis should I pick potatoes, potatoes for baking? I'm not ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

Flavor notes of olive oil varietals?

I prefer extra-virgin olive oils with fruit and grassy notes, rather than the peppery back-of-the-throat flavors that some folks enjoy. Are there particular olive varietals that are more likely to be ...
7
votes
2answers
23k 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?
14
votes
11answers
27k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between various cuts of steak?

I'm sure each has their own differences in texture (and cost) but don't really know exactly what they are or what they are best used for. I like bone in ribeyes so I haven't bothered to try ...