35

Although it doesn't explicitly say so, that's allergy information. It's just been processed in a place that also (potentially) processes those things, so it potentially contains a trace amount, which could be bad if you have a really sensitive allergy. It won't contain enough of those things to matter for any other purpose. Often labels like that are ...


22

There are a few things that you can do: Buy in bulk. There's typically a major discount for buying a 'family pack' (usually 5+ lbs) at once. I like shopping at Wegman's, because they sell steaks that are on sheets where each one's individually wrapped, so I can leave some sealed for later in the week or even freeze them. Shop at more than one store. ...


17

The first step is to only pick up items you're likely to buy. Then you should only have to put down items that have an actual problem already. For some things you want to check for ripeness, but under-ripe items are more robust, so it should be possible to pick them up gently without damage and put them down again. After all, it's handled by people and ...


16

Heavier limes tend to be more juicy, but another important factor is the color and texture of the skin. Look for the brightest green (sometimes with almost a yellow tinge) and smoothest skin you can find. Many bumps or shriveled looking areas are good indications that there will be less juice. If that's all that's available in your store, though, just get ...


16

Since you mention Whole Foods, I'm assuming you're in the US. That being the case, you are likely within reasonable driving distance of a Costco or Sam's Club (big warehouse stores that require memberships). At these stores and many other outlets, you can buy what are known as "primal cuts" in choice and even prime grades. Primal cuts are big anatomical ...


12

Sushi does not require fish, sushi is the style of rice preparation (rice, salt, a little rice vinegar, occasionally some kombu). So long as you have the correct preparation of rice, you technically have some form of sushi (you could just throw it in a bowl with some additions on top and have a type of sushi called chirashizushi). Second, there is no such ...


11

Most seafood counters will sell you small vacuum sealed portions of frozen fish. The fish is often frozen on the ship where it is caught and so will be fresher than even if you bought it at the dock. The freezing will also kill any parasites and is the only prerequisite for the label "sushi grade". See this question: What exactly is "Sushi Grade" ...


11

As far as I am aware, you cannot recognize this in advance. What you describe is due to very damaged cell structure in the fish. The "water" are the fluids contained in and around the fish cells, which make the filets juicy. They flow out when the cell walls in the fish rupture. The reason for rupturing is that the fluids are water-based, and water ...


11

The spots aren't anything to worry about. From Egg Safety Center Eggs with blood spots and meat spots are fine to eat. Most eggs with blood or meat spots are detected by electronic spotters and never reach the market, but it’s impossible to catch them all. Blood or meat spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface when it’s ...


8

There are a few consideratons that I can think of: How durable the device is. Generally, this is going to mean that you want something metal & heavy, but I'd really look at reviews of any model that you plan to buy online, particularly from something like Amazon which lets you see those 1 star ratings, and you can see why people rated them so poorly. ...


8

Yes it is still good. A lettuce that is kept outside (as in a farmer's market) will get wilted outer leaves, and the merchant will usually cut them off to make the heads nicer. Depending on the resulting size; if they cut out too much compared to other lettuces, I might ask for a lower price if sold by the unit. Personally, I will buy the lettuce with as ...


8

The most tell-tale factor I have found -- and this applies to lemons and oranges too -- is the thickness of the pith. When there's a half inch of that bitter white stuff, the pulp which contains all the juice is necessarily reduced in size. This seems to vary seasonally. It is most easily tested by rolling the fruit on a table under your palm, with gentle ...


8

This is not a traditional Bulgarian product (*). It was created by one specific dairy company ("Jossy") and it is not even listed on their normal web page (http://www.josi.bg). There is one reference to it on their Facebook page (https://bg-bg.facebook.com/JOSIltd/photos/a.153616871328971.29781.150703611620297/926675350689782/) where they ask users to ...


7

One element of the question that hasn't yet been answered: "Is it really necessary to stock 3 types of flour in my pantry...?" Probably not. At least two are good, but it will cost you more than just buying AP. You can actually blend your own all-purpose flour by mixing a soft flour (like cake or pastry flour) and a hard flour (like bread or "high-gluten" ...


7

The juiciest limes will generally be the heaviest ones. Water is dense, citrus peel and dry citrus are not so much.


7

I hadn't really thought about this until I saw your question. I don't use capers all that often, so I usually end up with the smaller ones as that's what I usually find at the market. Interestingly enough, most of the sites I looked at said that said that there wasn't any difference and that it was a myth that seemed to perpetuate the idea that the smaller ...


6

My advice is simple -- don't plan ahead. Being fresh produce, most of us have no idea before you get to the store what the current stuff coming out of the local fields are. This is going to affect both price (in season stuff that hasn't been shipped from the opposite hemisphere is typically cheaper, especially w/ today's fuel prices), and quality (how long ...


6

Harvest time can have a large effect on the quality of the tea. First off, whether it was the first harvest of the year or a later one will greatly change the character of the tea. The dates can also be used similar to the vintage dates of wine. If you got a tea from a specific region and know the date of the harvest, if you find another tea from the same ...


6

For the general case of cutting vegetables, I will always recommend a mandoline. Cutting with a mandoline vs. knife is like drawing a straight line with ruler vs. without - even though very experienced people can get good results both ways, using the mandoline is always quicker and more precise. And for anybody whose fine motoric skills are compromised, the ...


6

There are several ways to measure water salinity (water salt content), most are impractical for that situation. A very effective and quick way to measure salinity to use a salinity meter, these are small electronic devices which measure the conductivity of the water. You just dip it in the water and take a reading. More salt = more conductivity. These can ...


5

The price of a cut of meat depends on what cut it is (oyster blade vs fillet, for example) and where in what country you are buying it. Prime Beef is an American designation for high grade meat. You will have to go to a butcher or high end specialty shop, if you can get it at all, as such quality of meat is generally bought by restaurants and other ...


5

You should try Mexican and Indian stores to start with, if you have any. After that try any sort of Asian store, since it's used in other southeast Asian food too. Might even be worth a trip to a nearby larger city; there'll probably be a lot of things you can stock up on. (I see several of each in Minneapolis/St. Paul.) Note that generally, if you're ...


5

The marks and various labelling quirks might help you but this is something that's going to vary hugely from product to product. Ultimately, I can't see a good solution that doesn't involve talking to the genuine version's creators. They might be able to explain printing errors or recipe changes, They should be able to describe their product so you can ...


5

This is an exercise in data modeling, more so than cooking. What you are describing is the design of your database. You are on the right track. You will want to consider how many of each of the fields you need to have. For example: Quantity - Unique [there will be exactly one of these] Quantity unit - Unique [exactly one] Brand - Unique [optional] (either ...


5

No, those are absolutely not the same thing. They're completely different compounds: baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and citric acid is C6H8O7. And they're not even similar chemically: baking soda is a base, and citric acid is (surprise) an acid. Also, to help out in the future, Google is actually really good for questions like this. If you ...


5

Based on what they say on their web page they use both early and late varieties. The type of tomato therefore probably changes throughout the canning season. Since they source their produce locally (they are based in Livorno) I would guess that two of the varieties are Pisanello and Perino (the last variety is similar to Roma). Here's an overview of the ...


4

Just look out for artificial flavorings; a lot of bacon comes with artificial "hickory" or "maple" flavors, which are disgusting and often taste like chemicals. The better bacon won't include such things. Nitrate-free bacon is important if you're sensitive to nitrates. The fat content is more of a matter of taste than a hard-and-fast rule; personally, I ...


4

Well, let me just cover bottled spices here, since that seems like enough to bite off: Age: while often difficult to determine, age is the #1 determinant of spice quality. Unfortunately, most mass market brands of spices do not print packaging dates on bottles (deliberately). Try asking the staff at your market. Dried herbs are at their best for 3-6 ...


4

A quick Google search turns up a couple of companies. I didn't look for locations since you didn't specify yours or whether you're open to international shipping options. This one looks like it deals in rather large quantities, some as low as one kilogram, others as much as a ton. Seems like a larger investment than you might be prepared for; you'd probably ...


4

The first half of the clove is easiest to slice, since you have something to hold on to. Since you will use up food-processed and frozen garlic, I suggest you use two "first halves" every time you want a clove of finely sliced garlic, then process the two second halves for later use. (Don't want to use the food processor for such a tiny job? Try a garlic ...


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