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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2
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2answers
128 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
76 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
votes
2answers
426 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
328 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
84 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
93 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
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 ...
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?
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
49 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
228 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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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
90 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
90 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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
47 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
699 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
159 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
68 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
934 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
vote
2answers
323 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
176 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
1
vote
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
536 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
987 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
926 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 ...
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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
115 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 ...