Flavorings Category

Flavorings
Includes sweeteners, herbs, spices, chocolate, and extracts.
chile verde sauce, green chile sauce, salsa verde
chile verde sauce
This is a mild green sauce often used to stew pork
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chili bean paste, bean paste with chili, chili bean sauce, hot 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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Chinese black vinegar, black rice vinegar, black vinegar, brown rice vinegar
Chinese black vinegar
The best Chinese black vinegars are produced in the province of Chinkiang (or Chekiang or Zhejiang--there are many spellings). Black vinegar is more assertive than white rice vinegar, and it's often used in stir-fries, shark's fin soup, and as a dipping sauce. Gold Plum is a well-regarded brand.
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Chinese chives, Chinese leek, garlic chives, gow choy, ku chai, Oriental garlic
Chinese chives
Unlike regular chives, these have flat leaves and a distinct garlicky flavor.
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Chinese five-spice powder, five heavenly spices, five perfumes
Chinese five-spice powder
Don't confuse this with panch phoron, a Bengali spice mix that's sometimes called "five spice." For a more detailed recipe, visit the Five Spice Powder posting on RecipeSource.com.
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chinese sugar, Chinese rock sugar, rock sugar, yellow lump sugar
chinese sugar
This includes yellow rock sugar = yellow lump sugar (pictured) or clear rock sugar.
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chives
chives
These slender, hollow shoots have a mild onion flavor. Many cooks use scissors to cut fresh chives, sprinkling them like confetti on potatoes, eggs, and salads. Always use fresh chives--they lose much of their flavor when they're frozen or freeze-dried.
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Chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is made from tropical cacao beans, which are transformed by machines and an inveterate spelling error into a bitter, brown paste of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. When this unsweetened chocolate is combined with sugar, vanilla, and other ingredients, the result, of course, is heavenly. Chocolate's notoriously hard to work with. If you don't store it properly (preferably at 65° or so), the cocoa butter can separate slightly from the solids, causing the chocolate to "bloom." This leaves a telltale gray residue on the surface and impairs the taste and texture slightly. Chocolate will scorch if you melt it at too high a temperature, or "seize" and become thick and grainy if you add even a drop of cold liquid to it as it's melting. You can prevent it from seizing by adding hot liquids (like cream) to chopped chocolate in order to melt it, or by making sure that anything you're dipping into the melted chocolate (like a strawberry or whisk) is perfectly dry. If your chocolate has seized, you can still use it in any recipe that calls for chocolate to be blended with a liquid. Just add the liquid to the chocolate and melt it again. If you plan to melt chocolate, it's best to buy it in bars. Chips contain less cocoa butter so that they can better hold their shape in cookies, but this makes them harder to melt and less tasty. It's easiest to melt chocolate in a microwave oven. Just break the chocolate into small pieces, heat it for 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, then repeat a few times. Take it out of the microwave when the chocolate is almost completely melted, then continue stirring until the melting is complete. If you don't have a microwave, use a double boiler.
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chocolate chips, chocolate morsels
chocolate chips
These are designed to go into chocolate chip cookies, muffins, and trail mixes. Chocolate chips often have less cocoa butter than chocolate bars, which helps them retain their shape better when they're baked in the oven. Avoid chips that contain vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter--they have a waxy flavor.
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chocolate curls, chocolate shavings, shaved chocolate
chocolate curls
This is a pretty and easily-made garnish for desserts. The curls are fragile, so it's best to move them around with a toothpick.
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chocolate-hazelnut spread, chocolate-hazelnut butter, chocolate-hazelnut paste
chocolate-hazelnut spread
This is a mixture of chocolate and hazelnut paste that Europeans use like peanut butter. Nutella is a popular brand.
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cicely, myrrh, Spanish chervil, sweet chervil, sweet cicely
cicely
This fern-like herb has a strong anise flavor. It's not well known in the United States, but it's popular in Scandinavia, where it's often used to flavor desserts.
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cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar
cider vinegar
Made from fermented apples, this fruity vinegar is inexpensive and tangy. While it's not the best choice for vinaigrettes or delicate sauces, it works well in chutneys, hearty stews, and marinades. It's also used to make pickles, though it will darken light-colored fruits and vegetables.
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cilantro, Chinese parsley, coriander green, coriander leaf, culantrillo
cilantro
Cilantro leaves are used throughout the world as a fragrant herb. Hispanic cooks use it in salsas, Asians in stir-fries, and Indians in curries. The seeds (called coriander seeds), stems, and roots of the plant are also used. Cilantro doesn't cook very well, so always add it to hot dishes at the last minute. Don't confuse cilantro with Italian parsley, which looks just like it but isn't nearly as fragrant
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cinnamon, canela, Ceylon cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon, Sri Lanka cinnamon
cinnamon
With its warm, sweet flavor, cinnamon is one of the biggest workhorses on the spice shelf. Cooks often use it to flavor baked goods and drinks, but cinnamon also works wonders in stews and sauces. The best cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon = canela = Sri Lanka cinnamon = true cinnamon. Indonesian cinnamon has a similar taste, but larger quills. Much of the cinnamon sold in the United States is cassia cinnamon, which isn't as well regarded.
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cinnamon oil
cinnamon oil
This is sometimes used as a home remedy for toothaches, but cooks also use it to make hard candies and cinnamon apples.
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cloudberry preserves
cloudberry preserves
These preserves are sweet and somewhat mild. Look for them in Scandinavian markets.
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clove
clove
Cloves are nail-shaped dried flower buds that have a sweet, penetrating flavor. They can be ground and used to flavor baked goods or sauces, or left whole and poked into roasted hams or pork. Use cloves sparingly--a little goes a long way.
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coarse salt, coarse-grain salt, coarsely-ground salt, gros sel
coarse salt
Most recipes calling for salt intend for you to use finely ground salt, though coarse salt is better for certain things, like making beds for oysters and salt crusts on meat or fish, or for lining baking dishes or the rims of margarita glasses. Many professional chefs like to cook with it because they can measure it more easily with their fingers. Kosher salt and sea salt often come coarsely ground.
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cocoa, American cocoa, cocoa powder, Dutch process cocoa, Dutched cocoa
cocoa
Cocoa is similar to unsweetened chocolate, only it's in powdered form and has less cocoa butter. Cooks like it because it allows them to make low-fat goodies, or to use fats other than cocoa butter. Cocoa's also used to dust candies and cakes. Dutched cocoa = Dutch process cocoa = European process cocoa is treated with an alkali, making it milder yet richer-tasting. It's the preferred cocoa for beverages and frozen desserts, and for dusting baked goods. Recipes for baked goods usually intend for you to use natural cocoa = American cocoa = regular cocoa = nonalkalized cocoa, which is more acidic than Dutched cocoa. You can often substitute one type of cocoa for the other, but if the recipe includes baking soda, it may be counting on the acid in natural cocoa in order to react. Don't confuse cocoa powder, which is bitter, with instant cocoa mixes, which are sweetened.
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cocoa bean, cacao seed, cocoa seed, cacao bean
cocoa bean
These beans are the source of cocoa solid from which chocolate is derived
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cocoa butter
cocoa butter
Pastry chefs add this to chocolate to thin it, usually so that they can pour a thinner coating on a cake.
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coconut egg jam, coconut jam, kaya
coconut egg jam
Southeast Asians spread this exquisite jam on toast, but it would also be great on ice cream. Look for small cans of it in Asian markets. Visit the Coconut Egg Jam recipe page, or the Kaya, Traditional Coconut Jam page.
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coconut syrup
coconut syrup
Hawaiians like to pour this syrup on pancakes, but it's also used in several mixed drinks. To make your own: See the recipe for coconut syrup posted on kitchenmixes.com.
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coconut vinegar, suka ng niyog
coconut vinegar
This is a somewhat harsh and potent vinegar that's common in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and southern India.
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cognac
cognac
The very best cognacs are labeled VVSOP, Napoleon, Vieille Reserve, Grand Reserve, Royal, or Vieux. Next in the rankings are cognacs labeled Extra Old (XO), Extra, or Hors D'Age. After that comes VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale), Reserve, or VO. Next come cognacs with VS or *** on their labels. Connoisseurs also check for the cru, or place where the cognac was made. The best crus are Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne.
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cold duck
cold duck
This is a sweetened blend of sparkling wines. It's cheap and tastes like it.
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comb honey, chunk-style honey, Cut comb honey, honey, comb, honeycomb
comb honey
Comb honey is honey that's sold in the (edible) wax comb just as the bees left it. It contains chunks of honeycomb.
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compound chocolate coating, chocolate flavored coating
compound chocolate coating
This is an inexpensive chocolate that's melted and used for dipping and molding. Since it's made with vegetable oils instead of cocoa butter, it's much easier to work with than ordinary chocolate. It also melts at a higher temperature, so it doesn't get all over your hands when you eat it. The downside is that it doesn't have the rich taste and texture of regular chocolate. Though it's considered to be a beginner's chocolate, it's still a bit fussy. It can scorch if you cook it at too high a temperature, or seize if you add even a drop of cold liquid to it after it's melted.
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cooking wine
cooking wine
You should never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink, but some "cooking wines" sold at stores violate this maxim. Avoid them and instead cook with inexpensive, but drinkable, table wines. Avoid putting wine in aluminum or iron pans for prolonged periods.
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coriander seeds, ketumbar seeds
coriander seeds
Coriander seeds are a common ingredient in the cuisines of India, the Middle East, Latin America, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. The popular herb cilantro comes from the same plant, but it's not a good substitute for the seeds. You can buy the seeds already ground, but for better flavor and shelf life, buy coriander seeds and grind them yourself. To enhance the flavor, toast the seeds in a pan for a few minutes first.
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corn syrup
corn syrup
This is a thick, sweet syrup that's popular in America, but hard to find in other countries. Unlike other sweeteners, corn syrup doesn't crystallize and turn grainy when it's cold, so it's a good choice for frostings, fudge sauces, and candies. Baked goods made with corn syrup are moister and stay fresher longer than those made with sugar. There are two types: dark corn syrup is dark brown and has a slight molasses flavor, while light corn syrup is almost clear and has a more delicate flavor. The two can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Karo is a well-known brand. Store corn syrup at room temperature.
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couverture chocolate, cholocate, couverture, coating chocolate
couverture chocolate
Couverture means covering in French, and professionals use this type of chocolate to coat candies and glaze cakes. It has a higher percentage of cocoa butter than ordinary chocolate, which makes for glossier coatings and a richer flavor. Available in bittersweet, semi-sweet, white, and milk chocolate. It's expensive, and you may need to go to a specialty store to find it.
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cranberry juice
cranberry juice
See the recipe for Cranberry Juice posted by Veggies Unite!
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cranberry sauce
cranberry sauce
This is a classic accompaniment to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It's made of cranberries that have been cooked with sugar and other flavorings, like orange zest, ginger, port, or maple syrup.
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