Flavorings

Flavorings
Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
cachaça
cachaça
This sugarcane brandy is made in Brazil, where the name means "burning water." Velho Barreto is a well-regarded brand.
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California bay leaf
California bay leaf
The more potent California bay leaf is highly prized due to the complexity of its flavor.
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candied angelica
candied angelica
These are used to make decorative flower stems on cakes.
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candied chestnuts
candied chestnuts
A French specialty, these are whole chestnuts that are candied in a sugar syrup. They're used to make various desserts.
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candied ginger
candied ginger
Candied ginger is ginger that is stored in a sugary syrup, but the name is also sometimes used for crystallized ginger, which is ginger that's been cooked in syrup, then dried out and rolled in sugar. The two are often used interchangeably.
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cane vinegar
cane vinegar
This is made from sugar cane syrup, and varies in quality. You can get cheap cane vinegar in Filipino markets, but the Vinegarman at www.vinegarman.com recommends that you hold out for the smoother Steen's Cane Vinegar, which is made in Louisiana.
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caraway seed
caraway seed
These are widely used in Eastern Europe, especially for flavoring rye bread, cheeses, and sauerkraut. Toast them first over low heat in a frying pan for a few minutes to bring out the aroma.
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cardamom
cardamom
Cardamom figures prominently into the cuisines of India, the Middle East, North Africa, and Scandinavia. It best to buy cardamom seeds still encased in their natural flavor-protecting pods, which you discard after you remove the seeds. You can also buy cardamom without the pods, called cardamom seeds = decorticated cardamom, but the unprotected seeds lose flavor quickly. Ground cardamom seeds are even less flavorful. Recipes that call for cardamom usually intend for you to use green cardamom, named for the green pods that encase the seeds. Some producers bleach the green hulls to a pale tan, but this makes them less aromatic. Brown cardamom is a similar spice that Indians use in savory dishes.
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carob
carob
Carob is sometimes used as a substitute by those unfortunates who are allergic to chocolate, since its flavor is vaguely similar. Others use it as a healthy alternative to chocolate, since it contains less fat and no caffeine. It's available as raw pods, chips, and either as toasted or untoasted powder (toasting helps bring out the flavor). Look for it in health food stores.
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carob chips
carob chips
You can use these in place of chocolate chips in cookies or trail mix.
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cashew butter
cashew butter
This is an interesting alternative to peanut butter, though it's a bit pricey.
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cassia cinnamon
cassia cinnamon
Most of the cinnamon that's sold in America is cassia, which is cheaper and more bitter than the choice Ceylon cinnamon.
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cayenne pepper - ground
cayenne pepper - ground
Dried cayenne peppers are sold either whole, crushed (called red pepper flakes), or ground into a powder called cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is fairly hot and has a smoky flavor.
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celery seed
celery seed
Celery seed is used to impart a celery flavor to stews, pickles, and other dishes. Use it sparingly--a little goes a long way. Ground celery seed is sometimes called celery powder.
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Chablis
Chablis
If made in France, this is a very dry, delicately flavored white wine that's made with Chardonnay grapes. It's great with seafood, especially oysters. If made domestically, like a California Chablis, it's a sweet and cheap jug wine.
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champagne vinegar
champagne vinegar
This light and mild vinegar is a good choice if you're want to dress delicately flavored salads or vegetables. Mix it with nut or truffle oil to make a sublime vinaigrette.
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Chardonnay
Chardonnay
This elegant white varietal wine is crisp and dry, and great with seafood, poultry, ham, egg dishes, salads, and any dish with a rich cream sauce. California Chardonnays are often excellent.
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Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This is a village in Provence that's known for its excellent red wines, which are blended from as many as 13 grape varieties. These wines tend to be pricey.
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chee hou sauce
chee hou sauce
This braising sauce is made from soybeans, garlic, and ginger. Look for it in the condiments section of Asian markets
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chemen
chemen
Look for this in Middle Eastern markets.
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Chenin blanc
Chenin blanc
This is a grape variety that's often blended with others to make inexpensive white jug wines and domestic Chablis. It's relatively inexpensive and goes well with salads, seafood, poultry, ham, and spicy foods.
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chervil
chervil
This feathery green herb tastes like a subtle blend of parsley and anise. It's far more plentiful in Europe than in America. Avoid the dried version--it has very little flavor.
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chestnut cream
chestnut cream
This is made with puréed chestnuts, brown sugar, and vanilla. It's used as an ingredient in several desserts, including Mont Blanc. Refrigerate after opening.
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chestnut purée
chestnut purée
Europeans use this to make everything from soups to stuffings to desserts. You can buy it either sweetened or unsweetened. If you're not sure which one your recipe is calling for, get unsweetened purée and add sugar later if needed.
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chia seeds
chia seeds
These are small edible seed that originated in Mexico.
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Chianti
Chianti
A lot of cheap domestic red wines go by this name, but the real thing comes from Tuscany and has a seal of authenticity on the neck. Italian Chianti is a hearty wine that's great with Italian food
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chile leaf
chile leaf
This herb isn't nearly as hot as the chile that comes from the same plant. It's sometimes used as a cooking green in Southeast Asia.
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chile paste
chile paste
This is a blend of hot chile peppers, garlic, oil, and salt that's commonly used in Asian cuisine. Includes: Chinese chile (or chili) paste = Szechuan chile (or chili) paste = Sichuan chile (or chili) paste = chile paste with garlic, Korean chile paste, and Vietnamese chile paste = tuong ot toi Vietnam = prik kaeng, which is hotter than the Chinese chile paste. See also separate entries for these other chile pastes: nam prik pao, chile bean paste, sambal oelek, and sambal bajak.
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chile verde sauce
chile verde sauce
This is a mild green sauce often used to stew pork
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chili bean paste
chili bean paste
This reddish-brown sauce is made from fermented soybeans and hot chilies. It's very hot.
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chili powder
chili powder
Don't confuse chili powder, a spice blend, with chile powder, a close relative of cayenne.
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