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Are there any advantages to freshly ground salt?
79 votes

Not really in terms of flavor, no. Salt doesn't have a substantial number of volatile compounds that are released by grinding, in contrast to something like whole peppercorn, which releases a range of ...

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Why does diluted half & half not make a substitute for whole milk?
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62 votes

The difference between whole milk (or any milk, really) and half-and-half is one of fat content, not overall concentration. Half-and-half gets its name from being a 50/50 blend of milk and cream, ...

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How do I convey an order for over medium eggs without runny yolks?
53 votes

Not to be dismissive, but this just sounds like a difficult guest to me. I think you'll find that this happens from time to time and it can be tough to know exactly what they're asking for. There are ...

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Labeling Food for the Freezer
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36 votes

As mentioned in comments, masking tape is an excellent solution. It's cheap, it holds well yet comes off easily, it can be torn off at whatever length you need, and you can write on it with just about ...

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Should I taste-test food before serving it?
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29 votes

Any halfway competent chef should indeed be tasting. The only way to know whether you're putting up good food is to check it yourself - and you'd better be consistent if you want to continue getting ...

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Are limes and lime juice more acidic than lemons and lemon juice?
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27 votes

I'm culling a lot of information from one of my favorite cocktail books for this one. Yes, limes have a slightly higher acid content (on average) than lemons do - about 6% for limes, compared to 4.5% ...

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Are carrots dyed orange?
25 votes

It's probably not anything so sinister. Even typical orange carrots do vary somewhat in hue. And as with many other vegetables, "heirloom" varieties of carrot have started to make a bit of a comeback ...

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Does it make sense for a cake icing recipe to call for vinegar but not baking soda?
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24 votes

It's fine as written. Combining vinegar with baking soda (or any acid with any base) is usually done in baking to produce gas, which can lighten the finished product. This is an icing, which is ...

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How are pulses split into dal?
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21 votes

It happens more-or-less naturally. Most legumes have a seed structure with two large cotyledons that serve as storage reserves for the developing embryo, which is nestled between them at one edge of ...

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pressure cooker overflowing while cooking soup
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18 votes

Simply put: it's happening because you're now blending the vegetables prior to cooking. All vegetables are composed of plant cells, which have relatively rigid, fibrous walls composed of various ...

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Is yogurt plus milk considered buttermilk?
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18 votes

Technically, this is not precisely buttermilk, but it's pretty close in both composition and usage. The term "buttermilk" can actually refer to a wide range of fermented milk varieties. ...

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Is there a way to experience pepper's endorphins effects without the burning sensation?
16 votes

According to my research, the effect of capsaicin that causes the burning sensation is indirectly responsible for the pleasurable release of endorphins, which are the brain's way of counter-acting the ...

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How to get rid of foam on shaken cocktails
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15 votes

Foam in shaken cocktails is often actually considered a desirable quality. This is the reason why you'll sometimes see egg white included in recipes like the whiskey sour - the proteins in the egg ...

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What is the correct procedure for cooling and reheating leftovers?
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14 votes

From a food safety perspective, the most important thing is that you get your leftovers cooled as quickly as possible, so that they don't spend too long in the temperature "danger zone". This can be ...

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Are egg rolls supposed to be eaten with chopsticks or hands?
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14 votes

It's a matter of personal preference when referring to restaurants in the United States. Some egg rolls are too large to be easily handled with chopsticks, and they can be eaten using your hands; ...

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How does velveting work?
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14 votes

I think what's really happening here is mostly physics, rather than any magical reaction between the meat and the "velvet" (i.e. egg and cornstarch; I'm going to use this term for brevity). The ...

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Why are roasts wrapped in foil?
13 votes

One of foil's main functions is providing a watertight barrier to trap moisture inside the food. This can be especially helpful when slow roasting because you're cooking in a hot, dry environment for ...

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Why was my Last Word cocktail red?
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12 votes

More likely is that he used the syrup that maraschino "cherries" are stored in. It's sometimes used by those who don't know better in things like Shirley Temples. It is bright, bright red, very ...

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Failed pan sauce didn't thicken and tasted far too much of wine
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12 votes

The biggest reason your sauce didn't thicken is that you didn't have much of anything at all in the pan that will gelatinize and help trap the water molecules present in the sauce. Starches (flour, ...

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Any food safety risk eating cold refrigerated pizza?
11 votes

Not really. Assuming that the pizza has been cooled down and stored properly (for which see here and here) then it most likely won't have developed a potentially harmful microbial load. Additionally, ...

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Can cheap vodka be used for cooking (with good results)?
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11 votes

Cheaper spirits can certainly be used in culinary applications. The results won't be identical, but inexpensive liquors are a lot more cost-effective since the subtle differences in flavor between ...

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Broiler Drawer vs Oven Broiler?
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11 votes

I cannot speak to price; I haven't comparison-shopped with this feature in mind. However, I have used various home gas ranges with either type of broiler. I'll go ahead and sum it up: tl;dr: I ...

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How to reduce the bitterness of tonic water in a non-alcoholic citrus drink?
11 votes

EDIT: My original version of this answer came from my incomplete recollection of a chapter in Kevin Liu's Craft Cocktails at Home on flavor balancing. Now that I have the book in front of me again, I'...

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What does it mean when a chef says a dish is a "rustic" dish eg. a "rustic pot roast"
10 votes

There's no standard definition - it's a descriptive term, not a standardized culinary one. In practice, it's often used in fine-dining contexts to denote a deliberately less subtle or carefully ...

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Why does a (vodka) martini often come with an olive on a stick?
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10 votes

Olives (and onions) are a very traditional garnish used by bartenders to add a slightly savory flavor to a drink. As with many things behind the bar, they're used nowadays largely because they're ...

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Is there a substitute for port wine in a dessert risotto?
10 votes

The best nonalcoholic substitution that I can think of for a ruby-style port would be pomegranate or black cherry juice, something not from concentrate. The POM brand is readily available, at least ...

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Is the pouring method of beer really important?
9 votes

The release of aromatics is most certainly part of the reason for producing a head when pouring beer. You're creating a buildup of bubbles that contain carbonated gas coming out of solution; that gas ...

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Can I use a flavored liqueur to make vanilla extract?
9 votes

One of the first things you'll need to consider is that the creme de cacao is already chocolate-flavored. Vodka is very clean and neutrally flavored, so if you use it to make an extract you'll get a ...

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Does honey actually tenderize meat?
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9 votes

Based on the description given in the manga (specifically "I rubbed it on the meat before boiling" [emphasis mine]) I would guess that this is not actually an effect of tenderization at all. Instead, ...

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What is the difference between Atlantic and Steelhead farmed salmon in taste and how to cook?
9 votes

Technically, steelhead is an ocean-going subspecies of rainbow trout (a term more commonly applied to fish who live only in fresh water). They're definitely related, though; salmon, trout, and char (...

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