Ingredients and Glossaries

"If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?"Anonymous

Garbage in, garbage out. So true of cooking. The qualityof ingredients is paramount to quality dining. And there are subtle but important differences among salts, vinegars, oils, flours, and so on. In this section we will try to explain the differences.
cocoa beans and nibs
Here's what you need to know about cacao pods, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and how chocolate is made, including the different types of chocolate, how to melt chocolate, and how to cook with it. read more
pickles
What is the difference between Kosher Dill and Genuine Dill pickles? Here's your guide to everything you need to know about fermented pickles, refrigerator pickles, quick pickles, pickling liquids, pickling spices, gherkins, bread and butter pickles, half sours, and other pickled foods besides cucumbers. read more
corn
Fresh sweet corn is a seasonal pleasure you should enjoy every year! Here's what you need to know about different types of fresh corn, including varieties such as yellow, white, bi-color, Silver queen, and supersweet. Learn how to buy them, store them, grill them, savor them, and cook the best corn on the cob. read more
peppercorn melange
Black pepper is the most popular spice in the world. How are black peppercorns related to white peppercorns and pink peppercorns? Are black peppercorns related to red hot chili peppers too? Find out all about different peppers, peppercorns, and the different compounds that make them taste pungent. read more
anatomy of a jalapeno
Chile, chili, chilli, chilies, bell pepper, black pepper, paprika, aji, capsicum, chiles pasado, pimento, pimiento...what's the difference? Let's straighten this out. Read all about capsaicin, Scoville Heat Units, taming the heat, various hot sauces, hot pepper pastes and condiments, and how to make red pepper flakes. read more
steaks in clarified butter
Do you know the difference between clarified butter and ghee? Longer cooking! That's it. Ghee whiz! Read on to see a recipe for clarified butter and ghee, and why this simple process raises the smoke point so you can fry in clarified butter or ghee and so you can store it at room temperature without it going rancid. read more
caramels
Find out everything you need to know about sucrose, fructose, and glucose, as well as how to cook with different sugars, syrups, and artificial sweeteners, including granulated sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, demerara, Barbados, muscovado, and more. Plus a handy guide to the stages of sugar syrup for candy making. read more
sage leaf
Here is everything a cook needs to know about herbs and spices as well as a list of essential herbs and spices to buy, how to store them, substituting dried for fresh, substituting one herb or spice for another, toasting spices, blooming spices, and other preparations that get the most flavor out of them. read more
yeast sponge pizza dough
There's yeast for baking, for brewing, for making wine, and for nutrition. Read on to learn more about the type used most often in cooking: baker's yeast. Find some good tips for buying, storing and using active dry yeast, instant yeast (quick rise yeast), fresh yeast (cake yeast), and wild yeast (sourdough yeast). read more
Barbecue definition
Here is an A to Z glossary of barbecue and cooking terms. Some might call it "jargon," which is the specialized language that people of like mind use to communicate. Either way, get to know these terms, use them, and you'll be on your way to becoming a barbecue insider. read more

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ingredients prepared in advance of cooking is the sign of a professional

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