Flavorings Category

Flavorings
Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
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. This brownish sauce is often colored red to resemble tomato catsup.
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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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basa genep
See the Basa Genep posting on RecipeSource.com.
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basil, great basil, sweet basil
basil
Basil is widely used in Mediterranean countries, where it flavors everything from pasta sauces to pesto, and in Southeast Asia, where it's often stir-fried with other ingredients. There are numerous varieties, ranging from the more pungent Asian basils to the sweeter and milder European varieties. Use dried basil only in a pinch--it's not nearly as flavorful as fresh.
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basil seed, sweet basil seed
basil seed
Look for it in Southeast Asian markets.
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bay leaf, bay laurel leaf, laurel leaf, sweet bay laurel leaf, Turkish bay
bay leaf
Bay leaves are a staple of Mediterranean cuisines, lending a woodsy flavor to sauces, stews, and grilled meats. It's best to add whole leaves, then remove them before serving the dish. The Turkish bay leaf is smaller and less potent than the California bay leaf, but more highly prized due to the complexity of its flavor. Dried leaves are a good substitute for fresh.
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bean sauce, bean paste, brown bean paste, brown bean sauce, mo yuen shih
bean sauce
This salty brown sauce is made from fermented soybeans, and is available in cans or jars. If you buy it in a can, transfer it into a jar. It can then be stored indefinitely in the refrigerator. Chinese bean sauce isn't as salty as Thai bean sauce.
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Beau Monde seasoning
Beau Monde seasoning
This is a seasoning mix manufactured by Spices Islands that combines salt, onion, and celery flavors.
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Beaujolais
Beaujolais
This is a region in Eastern France that produces light, fruity, fresh-tasting red wines that are relatively low in alcohol. Beaujolais wines should be drunk while young.
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berbere, Ethiopian spice mix
berbere
This is a spicy chili blend.
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berbere sauce
This is a spicy sauce made with berbera powder and other spices.
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berry syrup
berry syrup
Berry syrups make a wonderful topping to pancakes, waffles, French toast, oatmeal, ice cream, pies, and other dishes. To make your own: See the recipe for Sweet Berry Syrups on recipegoldmine.com, or for Berry Syrup on RecipeSource.
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berry wine
berry wine
These wines are made from berries, including blackberries, loganberries, cranberries, elderberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, boysenberries, and currants. They tend to be very sweet, and some are fortified to raise the alcohol level. They're usually served chilled as a beverage, or poured on ice cream or fruit as a dessert.
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betel leaf, pupulu
betel leaf
The Vietnamese wrap beef in these leaves, while others chew them like gum.
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bittersweet chocolate
bittersweet chocolate
This is a sweetened chocolate that's heavy on the cocoa solids and light on the sugar, giving it a rich, intense chocolate flavor. Many pastry chefs prefer bittersweet to semi-sweet or sweet chocolate, but the three can be used interchangeably in most recipes. The best bittersweet chocolates contain at least 50% cocoa solids.
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black bean sauce
black bean sauce
This is made from fermented black beans. A variation is hot black bean sauce, which has chile paste added, and black bean sauce with garlic. See the Asian Black Bean Sauce posting on RecipeSource.com.
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black cumin seeds, kala jeera, royal cumin seeds, saah jeera, shahi jeera
black cumin seeds
Indian cooks use this spice in many of their curries and tandoori dishes. It's darker and sweeter than ordinary cumin. To bring out its nutty flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them.
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black currant jelly
black currant jelly
Black currant jelly is sweeter than more common red currant jelly.
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black garlic
black garlic
Black garlic results from the aging of regular garlic in a controlled environment. It has a softer milder taste.
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black muscat wine
black muscat wine
This is a late harvest dessert wine made with black muscat grapes and sometimes fortified with brandy. Unlike many dessert wines, it goes well with chocolate.
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black mustard seeds
black mustard seeds
Indian cooks prefer these over the larger yellow mustard seeds that are more common in the west. Look for this in Indian markets or health food stores.
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black salt, kala namak, sanchal
black salt
Look for this in Indian markets, either ground or in lumps. It's more tan than black, and has a very strong, sulfuric flavor.
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black sesame seeds
black sesame seeds
Look for this in Asian markets
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black stone flower
black stone flower
Black stone flower is a lichen used as a spice in soups and meat dishes.
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black treacle, dark treacle
black treacle
This is the British version of America's blackstrap molasses. It's common in Britain, but hard to find in the United States. Look for it in specialty markets. Don't confuse this with golden syrup, which is sometimes called light treacle.
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