Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
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.Learn more
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.Learn more
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.Learn more