All Ingredients

alphabets
alphabets
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
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Alphonso olive
Alphonso olive
This large Chilean olive is cured in a wine or wine vinegar solution, which gives it a beautiful dark purple color and tart flavor. Its flesh is very tender and slightly bitter.
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Alpino salami
Alpino salami
This is an Italian-style salami.
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alum
alum
Pickling recipes sometimes call for alum to give pickles extra crunch.
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aluminum foil
aluminum foil
This is an excellent all-purpose wrapper, able to withstand both heat and cold. It's the best choice if you're wrapping foods for freezer storage, since it works better than plastic wrap at preventing moisture loss.
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amaranth
amaranth
These tiny ancient seeds have been cultivated in the Americas for several millennia. They're rich in protein and calcium, and have a pleasant, peppery flavor. One variety of amaranth is grown for its leaves, which are called Chinese spinach.
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amaretti
amaretti
These crisp, hard cookies are traditionally made with bitter almonds. Dessert recipes sometimes call for them to be crumbled or ground. Amaretti de Sarnonno are considered to be the best.
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amaretto
amaretto
This is a brandy-based liqueur that's flavored with almonds and apricot pits. It complements chocolate, coffee, and fruit especially well.
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amber rum
amber rum
This is similar to white rum, but has a stronger flavor. Most of it is made in Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Barbados, and the Virgin Islands. Bacardi, Ronrico, and DonQ are popular brands.
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ambrosia apple
ambrosia apple
Crisp and juicy, this is a great apple for snacking.
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ambrosia melon
ambrosia melon
This looks and tastes like a cantaloupe, but the flesh is a brighter orange.
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amchoor
amchoor
This is made from sun-dried mangoes, and it's used as a souring agent or to tenderize meats. Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores carry it.
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Amer Picon
This is a bitter French apéritif that's usually served with water and a sweetener, or sometimes mixed with beer.
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American black caviar
If substituting an inferior caviar, consider perking it up with a splash of fresh lemon juice.
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American cheese
American cheese
These are often sold in individually wrapped sandwich slices.
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American eggplant
American eggplant
This is the familiar large, dark purple, pear-shaped variety. Choose small or medium-sized eggplants (these have fewer bitter seeds) with healthy-looking green stems that are firm to the touch, but not too hard. Avoid mushy ones. Store them in the refrigerator.
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amorini
amorini
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
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Amphissa olive
Amphissa olive
These are dark purple Greek olives that are hard to find in the U.S. They're great for snacking.
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Anaheim chili
Anaheim chili
These large, mild chiles are perfect for chiles rellenos. Mexican cooks also like to dice or purée them, and then add them to sauces, soups, and casseroles. They have a tough skin, but it peels off easily if you first char the chiles over a flame and then steam them in a paper bag for several minutes. Anaheims are available year-round, but they're best in the summer. You can occasionally find red Anaheims, which are riper and slightly hotter. When dried, this pepper is called a chile Colorado.
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anasazi beans
anasazi beans
These heirloom beans are sweet, fast-cooking, and reputed to cause less flatulence than other bean varieties. They're great for making refried beans.
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ancho chili
ancho chili
These mild, dried poblano peppers have a sweet, fruity flavor and are a staple in Mexican cuisine. They're brownish-black and wrinkled, and commonly used in adobos, moles, salsas, and various sauces.
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anchovies
anchovies
It's best to get these salted rather than canned. Rinse the salt off before using. Unopened canned anchovies can be stored for up to a year in a dry, cool place. Once opened, they will keep for up to two days if you wrap them well and refrigerate them.
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anchovy paste
anchovy paste
Supermarkets carry tubes of this, usually near the canned tuna.
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andouille
andouille
This is a spicy smoked Cajun sausage that's used in jambalaya and gumbo. Don't confuse it with the milder French andouille sausage.
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andouillette
andouillette
This tripe sausage is a small version of French andouille sausage. Definitely not a party pleaser, but some people have grown accustomed to its taste.
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anelli
anelli
This variety of Italian pasta consists of small rings. It's used in soups and pasta salads. A tiny version is called anellini.
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anellini
anellini
These are shaped like rings, and used as a soup pasta.
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anesone
This is a name sometimes given to drier anise-flavored liqueurs, like pastis, ouzo, and arak.
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angel food cake
angel food cake
This is an airy white sponge cake made without egg yolks or any fat. It gets its volume from stiffly beaten egg whites, and it's normally baked in a tube pan. Many bakeries sell it ready-made. It will keep its shape better if you cut it with a serrated knife.
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angel food cake pan
angel food cake pan
These usually have removable bottoms.
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angel hair pasta
angel hair pasta
Angel hair pasta is like spaghetti, only the rods are very thin. It's usually served in a broth or with very thin and delicate sauces.
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angelica
angelica
Angelica is prized for its crunchy stems, which are often candied and used to decorate baked goods. You can also use the leaves and stems to add a celery flavor to liqueurs, sauces, and vegetable side dishes.
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angled loofa
angled loofa
A native of Pakistan, this mild vegetable has a slightly bitter edge that pairs well with sweet and acidic ingredients in stir-fry dishes. You can also eat it raw, or dry it to make a loofa sponge. You can leave the peel on, but some people find the flavor off-putting. Remove any large seeds if you wish to cut the bitterness.
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Angostura® bitters
Angostura® bitters
This famous rum-based brand of bitters was first developed in the 1800s by Simon Bolivar's personal physician. It's 45% alcohol, and comes in small brown bottles with yellow caps. It's now produced in Trinidad.
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anise
This is a name sometimes given to drier anise-flavored liqueurs, like pastis, ouzo, and arak.
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anise basil
anise basil
This is used in Southeast Asia.
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anise extract
anise extract
This tastes like licorice, and it's typically used to flavor cakes and cookies.
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anise oil
anise oil
This imparts a licorice flavor to foods. Look for it near the spices in large supermarkets or in candy supply stores or pharmacies. You can store flavoring oils indefinitely in a cool, dark place.
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anise seed
anise seed
Cooks use anise seed to impart a licorice flavor to baked goods, liqueurs, and candies.
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anise-flavored liqueurs
anise-flavored liqueurs
This is a category of liqueurs that are flavored with either anise, star anise, or licorice. Examples include anisette and pastis from France, ouzo and mistra from Greece, anesone and sambuca from Italy, anis and ojen from Spain, and kasra from Libya.
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anisette
anisette
This French liqueur is flavored with anise seeds. It's sweeter and lower in alcohol than other anise-flavored liqueurs. Marie Brizard is a well-respected brand.
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Anjou pear
Anjou pear
These economical pears aren't as tasty as some of the other varieties, but they're still good for both eating and cooking. The peel stays light green even when the pear is ripe.
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annatto seed
annatto seed
Annatto seeds don't have a lot of flavor, but they impart a rich yellowish-orange color to stews and sauces. Look for the seeds, either whole or ground, in Latin American or Caribbean markets. To extract the color, steep the seeds in boiling water for about 20 minutes, then discard the seeds.
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antelope
antelope
Antelope are related to goats, but the meat resembles strongly-flavored venison.
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apéritif
apéritif
Apéritifs are alcoholic drinks that, like appetizers, are served before dinner to perk up the appetite and wake up the taste buds. Examples include fortified wines, herbal and bitter liqueurs, and sparkling wines. Europeans often prefer these over cocktails.
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appaloosa bean
appaloosa bean
These heirloom beans have markings like Appaloosa ponies. They're often used to make chili and soups.
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