Flavorings Category

Flavorings
Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
tomato paste
tomato paste
Tomato past is made by reducing tomatoes to a thick paste and filtering out the skins and seeds.
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tomato puree
tomato puree
Tomato purée is thicker than tomato sauce but thinner than tomato paste.
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tomato sauce
tomato sauce
Tomato sauce is thinner than tomato paste and tomato puree. In Australia what Americans call catsup is often called tomato sauce.
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tomatoes canned
tomatoes canned
Canned tomatoes include whole peeled, diced or crushed. They usually contain seeds. They may need to be strained to remove the seeds and extra water.
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tonkatsu sauce, katsu sauce
tonkatsu sauce
This Japanese condiment is used to make yakisoba. Bull Dog is a popular brand.
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treacle, molasses
treacle
Treacle is the British version of molasses, and it's a close substitute. Varieties include golden syrup=light treacle, which resemble light molasses, and dark treacle = black treacle, which is more similar to dark molasses.
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truffle oil
truffle oil
This is a secret ingredient of many chefs, who use it to impart the earthy taste and aroma of truffles to their dishes. There are two varieties: the mild white truffle oil and the more pungent black truffle oil. Both are delicious sprinkled on pasta, but the black truffle oil is better suited to meats and heavy sauces while the white is the best choice for fish dishes, cream sauces, and vinaigrettes. If you're cooking with it, add it at the very end to prevent the flavor from dissipating. Truffle oil is expensive, but a little goes a long way.
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tuong, toi sauce, Vietnamese soy sauce
tuong
This is a salty bean paste used in Vietnamese cuisine.
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turmeric, fresh turmeric, Indian ginger, mango ginger, yellow ginger
turmeric
Turmeric has a pungent flavor, but it's more widely known for it's brilliant yellow color. You can find fresh roots in Southeast Asian and Indian markets, but dried ground turmeric is far more commonly used. Be careful when handling fresh turmeric--it can stain your hands and clothes.
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turmeric leaves
turmeric leaves
These are used in Indian and Southeast Asian dishes. There are no acceptable substitutes, just omit this from the recipe
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turmeric, ground, eastern saffron, Indian saffron, powdered turmeric
turmeric, ground
Turmeric has a pleasant enough flavor, but it's prized more for the brilliant yellow color it imparts to whatever it's cooked with. It's a standard ingredient in curry powders, pickles, and prepared mustards. Be careful--turmeric can stain your clothes.
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uda seeds
uda seeds
Look for these in African markets.
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umeboshi vinegar, pickled plum vinegar, plum vinegar, ume plum vinegar
umeboshi vinegar
This Japanese vinegar is quite salty, and it has a distinctive, slightly fruity flavor. It's typically used in dips and salad dressings.
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unsweetened chocolate, baking chocolate, bitter chocolate, chocolate liquor
unsweetened chocolate
What kid hasn't sneaked a bar of this out of the kitchen, only to discover that unadulterated chocolate is bitter and unpalatable. Some cooks prefer to use it over sweetened chocolate because it gives them better control of the sweetness and flavor of the product.
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urfa biber
urfa biber
This is a dried ground chili pepper used in Turkey on meat dishes. It is medium spicy and has a smoky flavor.
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V-8 Juice
V-8 Juice
To make your own: See the Mitch's V-6 Vegetable Juice Cocktail Recipe posted on Fabulousfoods.com.
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vanilla bean, vanilla pod
vanilla bean
Vanilla is used to flavor everything from baked goods to ice cream. Most recipes call for vanilla extract, but some argue that vanilla beans lend a more potent flavor. Select beans that are shiny, moist, and pliable--dried out beans aren't nearly as potent. If a recipe calls for just for the seeds, split the bean open and scrape the seeds out, and save the outer pod to flavor sugar or hot drinks.
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vanilla essence
vanilla essence
This has two meanings. In Britain, vanilla essence is the same as America's imitation vanilla extract. Elsewhere, vanilla essence may mean a highly concentrated and pricey form of pure vanilla extract.
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vanilla extract, natural vanilla extract, pure vanilla extract
vanilla extract
Vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans that have been steeped in alcohol. It's widely used throughout the world to flavor desserts, like baked goods, ice cream, beverages, and custards, but some chefs use it as a secret ingredient in savory dishes as well. Pure extracts made with vanilla from the Bourbon Islands, which include Madagascar, is especially well-regarded. Mexican vanilla extract is also excellent, and even more potent, but it's sometimes adulterated with a dangerous food additive that's banned by the FDA. Look for vanilla extract among the baking supplies in your supermarket.
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vanilla extract, imitation, artificial vanilla extract
vanilla extract, imitation
This inexpensive substitute for pure vanilla extract is made with synthetic vanillin and other flavorings. Many brands are quite good, since chemists know how to produce an exact copy of natural vanillin, the dominant flavor in vanilla. The problem is that vanillin isn't the only flavor component in vanilla, so even the best imitation vanilla extracts aren't quite as full-flavored and complex as the real deal. Food gurus are always saying that cooks should never, ever use imitation vanilla extract, but at least one taste test has shown that many people prefer a high quality imitation vanilla extract to pure extract. Avoid imitation vanilla from Mexico--it may contain a toxic food additive.
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vanilla powder
vanilla powder
This alcohol-free powder is made from vanilla beans that have been dried and pulverized. Unlike vanilla extract, it doesn't evaporate when heated, so it's well suited to making custards and other cooked desserts. It's also good for making dry mixes and for sprinkling onto drinks and dishes. Some brands have sweeteners added. Look for it in larger supermarkets and specialty shops.
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varak, gold leaf, vark
varak
Indians use these ultra-thin sheets of gold leaf to decorate dishes. Look for it in Indian groceries and cake decorating stores.
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verjus, verjuice
verjus
A medieval ingredient that's making a comeback, verjus is a sour juice made from unripened red or white grapes. Vinegars in salad dressings sometimes create off-tastes in the wines that accompany a meal. Verjus doesn't, so it's a good substitute for vinegar if you're planning to serve an expensive wine with dinner. Some people also mix it with sparkling water and ice to make a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink.After the bottle is opened, store verjus in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about a month. If you can't use it that fast, pour it into ice cube trays, freeze, then store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. Though becoming more popular, verjus is still hard to find. Look for it in gourmet specialty shops.
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vermouth
vermouth
This is a fortified wine that's heavily flavored with sugar, herbs, roots, flowers, and spices. It's sometimes served as an apéritif, but it's better known as a key ingredient in many cocktails, including martinis and Manhattans. It's also used to perk up sauces, especially those that accompany seafood. There are two main types: dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. Noilly Prat and Martini & Rossi are well-respected brands.
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Viognier
Viognier
This assertive white wine from California exudes a complex perfume of flowers and fruit. It's expensive and hard to find, but it's delicious with seafood and poultry.
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violet syrup
violet syrup
To make your own: See the recipe for Violet Syrup on RecipeSource.
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Vouvray
Vouvray
This is a slightly sweet French white wine made with Chenin blanc grapes.
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wasabi powder, Japanese horseradish, wasabe
wasabi
Look for this in the Asian foods section of your supermarket.
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watermelon seeds
watermelon seeds
These are much larger than the black watermelon seeds that we're familiar with. They're usually cracked open and eaten like sunflower seeds. Look for them in Middle Eastern markets.
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white chocolate, cholocate, white, white baking bar
white chocolate
Like milk chocolate, this is made of cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. The only difference is that white chocolate doesn't have any cocoa solids. Since the FDA won't let American producers label a product "chocolate" unless it has those cocoa solids, domestic white chocolate is known by a hodge-podge of different names. White chocolate scorches easily, so cook it gently. Bars and wafers usually taste better than chips. Avoid white chocolate that's made with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter--it's cheaper but not nearly as good.
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white chocolate chips, cholocate chips, white, white chips
white chocolate chips
These are used to make white chocolate chip cookies. They contain less cocoa butter than ordinary white chocolate, so it's harder to melt them.
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white Merlot
white Merlot
This blush wine goes well with poultry and seafood.
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white poppy seeds
white poppy seeds
Indian cooks use these as a thickener in their curries and as a filling in baked goods.
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white rice vinegar, su
white rice vinegar
This Asian vinegar is milder and sweeter than Western vinegars. It's used in Japan to make sushi rice and salads, and in China to flavor stir-fries and soups. Western cooks often use it to flavor delicate chicken or fish dishes, or to dress salads or vegetables. Japanese brands tend to be milder than Chinese, but they can be used interchangeably.
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white vinegar, distilled vinegar, distilled white vinegar
white vinegar
This cheap vinegar gets all the mundane jobs, like making pickles, cleaning out coffee pots, and washing windows. Distilled from ethyl alcohol, it's a bit too harsh for most recipes, but it does a great job with pickles. Be careful if you're substituting another vinegar in a pickle recipe--to adequately preserve, vinegar should have an acidity level of at least 5%.
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white wine
white wine
White wines are more delicate than red wines and are always served chilled. Dry (i.e., not sweet) white wines include Chardonnay, Chablis, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are normally served with fish, poultry, veal, blue cheeses, and anything with a cream sauce. Sweeter white wines are often described as "fruity" and include Gewürztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling, and Chenin Blanc. These are good with spicy foods, fruit, and desserts.
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white wine vinegar
white wine vinegar
This is a moderately tangy vinegar that French cooks use to make Hollandaise and Béarnaise sauces, vinaigrettes, soups, and stews. It's also an excellent base for homemade fruit or herb vinegars.
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white Zinfandel
white Zinfandel
This is the most popular blush wine, and it goes well with pork, poultry, and spicy dishes. It's not at all like ordinary Zinfandel, a dry red wine.
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wine essence
This is wine that's been reduced to a syrup, which de-alcoholizes it and allows it to be stored for a longer period of time. Professional chefs sometimes make this to use up half-empty bottles of wine that would otherwise go bad in a few days. The syrup can be used in sauces or other dishes that call for wine.
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