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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0
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4answers
78 views

What ingredients can I add to food or gum recipes to add grittiness without any carbs?

I have a sugar free gum recipe that I'd like to add some grittiness to so that it scrubs teeth while it's being chewed. I need help finding an ingredient to add this grit, meeting the following specs: ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Which sugar for brining?

I've come across various brining solutions that include sugars: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, etc. Are these sugars interchangeable? Is one sugar more desirable for a certain kind of meat over ...
-2
votes
0answers
58 views

What is the ideal age for cooking with hostas?

I've read that hostas can be fibrous, and stringy when they get to old, so what is the ideal age for hostas when you cook with them? It turns out they're used in japanese cooking if you're wondering ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Replacements for baking soda in a cake?

Sometimes I wish to bake a cake, but sometimes the country that I'm in doesn't have baking soda (it's not the country that's changing itself, but me that's changing country from time to time). I have ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Marinara Sauce recipe

I've been trying cook Marinara Sauce for a while now, I visited the states and had that sauce in their pizza hut. When I got back i tried cooking the same Pizza hut Marinara sauce but can never get ...
6
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2answers
434 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?
4
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

What spicy ingredients hit the sinuses?

My sinuses are constantly congested. I know some spices can help with clearing them. However, I also know that some types of spice affect my nose and sinuses while others merely burn my mouth (not ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Tamago-su preparation

In tamago-su recipe, egg shell is first dissolved in vinegar. Then the membrane is broken apart and the white and yolk are poured into vinegar. But I am not sure if these should be poured into the ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
46k 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 ...
10
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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?
23
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11answers
35k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Culinary term for non-flavor defining ingredients

In a strongly flavoured soup/stew, curry, or sauce, or salad, you sometimes add other ingredients (eg mixed vegetables) that do not strongly influence the flavor of the end result, but are chosen for ...
4
votes
3answers
234 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Help translating an older Recipe

I have an old recipe handed down from my great great grandmother in law, for what she called brown bread. Unfortunately it has a few ingredients that I don't recognise. I did some searching on google ...
14
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

What do the base ingredients in pancakes do?

So here are the ingredients for "Dutch" pancakes (which are much like French crepes, quite flat): Flour Milk Eggs Pinch of salt And for more "American" style I guess you also need: Baking powder ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

How to apply transglutaminase brand “Saprona TG F”

I have transglutaminase/activa powder branded "Saprona TG F". The ingredients are Salt, Gelatin, phosphate and transglutaminase. The dose is 1%. I'm making chicken roulade - should I apply it as a ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

How is jin jun mei (a Chinese tea) made?

I'd like to know whether jin jun mei (golden beautiful eyebrow, a Chinese tea) is kosher. To know that, I first need to know its ingredients and how it's processed. What are the ingredients in Jin ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Why add flour to grilled onions?

I enjoy a dirty rice recipe that has you sauté onions, celery and green peppers in sausage grease and then add a tablespoon of flour. What does the flour do?
15
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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 ...
1
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1answer
48 views

What is the difference between preserves and conserves?

I will start off by admitting that I do see technical definitions here, but I did not actually learn that there was such a thing as conserves until today. I am used to putting jelly, or jam or ...
4
votes
3answers
711 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the “Chili sauce” ingredient in this recipe?

I want to make this Copy Cat A1 Steak Sauce but I'm not exactly sure what one ingredient is. What is it calling for when it says Chili sauce? Also, if it turns out I don't have the chili sauce they ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What natural ingredient besides honey and fats can I use to bind a mixture of powders together?

So I need to turn super food powders into something more tangible, like a stick form. Honey seems to not be that effective and has a lot of sugar and fats melt quite easily. Water obviously not a good ...
8
votes
3answers
975 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Does sugar give moisture?

I have seen a discussion regarding a replacement for sugar in brownies to give moisture. Does sugar give moisture when baking?
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Substitute directory?

Whenever I don't have an ingredient I thought I had, or it is not sold around me, I often find myself running to my old cookbooks which have substitutes in the back of the book(s). I don't always ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Mysterious bitter taste from tropical fruits and coconut

I cook every day, and today I had an experience I am at a total loss to explain. I am hoping the combined knowledge of the Internet can help. Today, I decided to make a tropical fruit custard. Being ...
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?
1
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2answers
331 views

Difference between french bread and japanese bread

I live in japan for 1 year now, but i cannot find french bread - Baguette - in tokyo as we have in france They're bread is not crunchy nor crispy at all, and it's chewy, I kind of feel like i am ...
1
vote
2answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
191 views

How should I prepare the coffee to be used in my tiramisu?

I'm making tiramisu. Coffee is a large component of the recipe, so I imagine that the choice and preparation of the coffee used will have a big impact on the final taste. Or will it? I'm not a coffee ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
725 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

What everyday ingredient will emulsify rapeseed oil?

I'm about to concoct a batch of Falernum (spiced ginger & lime syrup for adding to coctails), and one of the possible ingredients is almond extract which I've just found out is in rapeseed oil. I ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Beans, bacon, and chicken [closed]

I am eating a mix of boiled bacon, broiled chicken, and boiled beans (+ salt & pepper). It tastes awkward. What can I add to improve this flavor within $5 to restaurant quality? (I am not ...
1
vote
2answers
549 views

Key ingredients for classic Sauce Bolognese (Ragù Bolognese)?

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

Emulsifying ingredients for vinaigrettes

My weekday vinaigrette recipe goes something like: 1 part olive oil 1.5-2 parts seasoned rice vinegar dollop of Dijon mustard put into sealed container, shake, pour This emulsifies nicely thanks ...
3
votes
3answers
965 views

What is levure equivalant in America?

We have a chocolate cake (brownie) recipe from France and calls for a packet of levure. We have been putting in yeast but not sure if it is wrong or right. Yeast, baking powder, other?
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
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 tbsp....
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
98 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
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2answers
3k 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 ...