Flavorings

Flavorings
Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
absinthe, absynthe
absinthe
This potent anise-flavored liqueur contains the narcotic herb wormwood, so it isn't available in most developed countries. If you wish to live dangerously, you might be able to find it in Spain.
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acesulfame K
An artifical sweetner. Popular brands are Sunett and Sweet One.
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acidulated water
This is water that's been mixed with a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to make it slightly acidic. If you put freshly sliced fruits or vegetables in acidulated water, they won't darken.
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advantame
An artifical sweetner.
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African bird pepper
African bird pepper
This is the North African equivalent of our cayenne pepper.
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ajwain, ajowan, ajowan seed, ajwain seed, ajwan, ajwon, bishop's weed
ajwain
These look like small caraway seeds, but they taste like a pungent version of thyme. Indian cooks like to sprinkle them on breads. Look for them in Indian markets.
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allspice, clove pepper, Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, newspice, pimento
allspice
Allspice comes from a single tree, but it tastes like a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. You can buy it already ground, but for better flavor and a longer shelf life, buy the berries and grind them yourself.
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almond butter
almond butter
Almond butter is grittier and more expensive than peanut butter, but it can substitute for peanut butter in many recipes.
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almond extract
almond extract
This is made with almond oil and alcohol, and it's especially good in cookies and cakes. It's potent, so recipes usually call for no more than a teaspoon. Bitter almond extract is even stronger.
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almond filling
almond filling
This sweet filling is used to make pastries and cakes.
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almond paste, Bitter almond paste
almond paste
This is a paste made with finely ground blanched almonds, sugar, glycerin, and sometimes almond extract. Bakers use it to make cakes and cookies. Bitter almond paste is flavored with oil of bitter almonds, and is worth seeking out if you plan to make amaretti. Look for tubes or cans of it among the baking supplies at your supermarket.
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amchoor, aamchur, amchor, amchur, dried green mango, dried mango powder
amchoor
This is made from sun-dried mangoes, and it's used as a souring agent or to tenderize meats. Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores carry it.
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anchovy paste
anchovy paste
Supermarkets carry tubes of this, usually near the canned tuna.
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angelica, archangel, ground ash, masterwort
angelica
Angelica is prized for its crunchy stems, which are often candied and used to decorate baked goods. You can also use the leaves and stems to add a celery flavor to liqueurs, sauces, and vegetable side dishes.
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Angostura® bitters, aromatic bitters, Angostura aromatic bitters
Angostura® bitters
This famous rum-based brand of bitters was first developed in the 1800s by Simon Bolivar's personal physician. It's 45% alcohol, and comes in small brown bottles with yellow caps. It's now produced in Trinidad.
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anise basil, bai horapha, húng qu?, licorice basil, Thai basil
anise basil
This is used in Southeast Asia.
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anise extract
anise extract
This tastes like licorice, and it's typically used to flavor cakes and cookies.
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anise oil
anise oil
This imparts a licorice flavor to foods. Look for it near the spices in large supermarkets or in candy supply stores or pharmacies. You can store flavoring oils indefinitely in a cool, dark place.
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anise seed, anis, aniseed
anise seed
Cooks use anise seed to impart a licorice flavor to baked goods, liqueurs, and candies.
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annatto seed, achiote seed, achote seed, achuete seed, annotto seed
annatto seed
Annatto seeds don't have a lot of flavor, but they impart a rich yellowish-orange color to stews and sauces. Look for the seeds, either whole or ground, in Latin American or Caribbean markets. To extract the color, steep the seeds in boiling water for about 20 minutes, then discard the seeds.
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apéritif, aperitif, apertivo
apéritif
Apéritifs are alcoholic drinks that, like appetizers, are served before dinner to perk up the appetite and wake up the taste buds. Examples include fortified wines, herbal and bitter liqueurs, and sparkling wines. Europeans often prefer these over cocktails.
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apple brandy, apple jack, applejack, calva, Calvados, cider brandy
apple brandy
This exquisite brandy has a soft apple fragrance. Calvados = calva (cal-VAH-dohs) is the French version, applejack = apple jack is the inferior American version. Calvados is ranked much like cognac. The very best Calvados are labeled Napoleon, Extra Old (XO), Extra, or Hors D'Age. After that comes VSOP, Vieille Reserve, or VO. Next come Vieux or Reserve Calvados, then those with three stars or three apples on their labels.
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apple butter, black butter, Irish black butter
apple butter
Apple butter isn't made from real butter. Instead, it's made by cooking apples until the sugar in them caramelizes, turning the sauce a rich brown color. It's used as a spread, and also as a fat-free substitute in many baking recipes.
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apple cider
apple cider
Apple juice and apple cider are very similar, except that all of the apple pulp is filtered out of the juice, while some remains in the cider.
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apple jelly
apple jelly
You can use this like any other jelly, but it's often used as a glaze when roasting pork.
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apple juice
apple juice
Apple juice and apple cider are very similar, except that all of the apple pulp is filtered out of the juice, while some remains in the cider.
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applesauce, apple sauce
applesauce
Applesauce is a purée made from cooked apples. It's often flavored with sugar, lemon juice, and spices like cinnamon and allspice. It's often served as an accompaniment to pork, sausages, and potato pancakes. It can also be used as a fat substitute in baking.
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apricot brandy
This is distilled from apricot juice. Brands include the French Abricotine, and the Hungarian Barack Pálinka.
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Armagnac
Armagnac
This French brandy is similar to cognac, but with a more pronounced flavor. Since their quality varies, Armagnac brandies don't share cognac's exalted reputation, but a good Armagnac compares favorably with any cognac.
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aromatized wine
These are wines, like vermouth and retsina, that have been flavored, usually with herbs and spices.
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asafetida, asafoetida, asafoetida powder, devil's dung, ferula, foetida
asafetida
This powdered gum resin imparts a very strong onion-garlic flavor to Indian dishes. Use it sparingly—a little goes a long way. Look for it in Indian or health food stores or in the spice section of larger supermarkets.
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asem candis
This is a souring agent used in Indonesia. It's very hard to find
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Asian barbecue sauce
Asian barbecue sauce
This is made with oil, soy sauce, and other seasonings. Don't confuse it with the much sweeter American barbecue sauce.
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aspartame
An artifical sweetner. Popular brands are Equal and Nutrasweet.
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avocado leaves, hoja de aguacate
avocado leaves
Mexican cooks use these to impart an anise-like aroma to foods. They're often used as wrappers, or crumbled into stews. Toast the leaves before using.
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baharat
baharat
This is mixture of ginger, rose buds, and numerous spices. It's often used to season meats.
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bai-toey, bai toey, bai touy
bai-toey
This name is also used for screwpine leaves. Bai-toey leaves are about four inches in diameter, and smell a bit like a dentist's office. Look for them in Southeast Asian markets.
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balsamic vinegar, aceto balsamico, aceto di balsamico
balsamic vinegar
This enormously popular Italian vinegar is prized for its sweet, fruity flavor and mild acidity. It's terrific for deglazing pans, dressing salads and vegetable dishes, and for seasoning everything from grilled meat to poached fruit. Its quality varies enormously. Expensive artisan-made balsamic vinegars (labeled traditional or tradizionale) are aged in wood barrels for at least 12 years and can cost over $100 per bottle. They're exquisitely complex, syrupy and only slightly acidic. Those who can afford them often drink them as they would a vintage port, or use them in desserts, where their sweetness and subtleties can be shown off to best advantage. Cheaper commercial brands are watered down with wine vinegar and artificially colored, but they're fine for most recipes.
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bamboo salt, jook yeom, jukyom, parched salt
bamboo salt
This is made by roasting sea salt in bamboo cylinders plugged with yellow mud. The salt absorbs minerals from the bamboo and mud, which in turn leach the salt of impurities. Look for plastic bags of it in Korean markets.
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banana catsup
available in Asian food stores.
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Banyuls
This is a red dessert wine that's produced in France. It's one of the few wines that's good with chocolate.
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baobab leaves
baobab leaves
African cooks use leaves from the massive baobab tree to thicken their stews. Like okra, the leaves give the dish a slimy texture that's characteristic of West African stews.
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barbecue sauce, barbeque sauce, BBQ sauce
barbecue sauce
See the Kansas City BBQ Sauce recipe, Yet Another BBQ Sauce recipe, both posted by RecipeSource.com.
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Barbera
Barbera
This is a hearty red wine that's usually blended into jug wines, but sometimes sold as an inexpensive varietal wine
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barley malt syrup, barley syrup, dark malt syrup, extract of malted barley
barley malt syrup
This tastes a bit like molasses, and it's not as sweet as sugar or honey. It's mostly used to make beer, but it's also used to make breads or other baked goods.
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