1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email

Food Reference: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Order Eggs
Learn how to use the correct terminology to order eggs just the way you like them.
What is Molasses?
Molasses is the dark, rich, slightly sweet byproduct of the sugar making process. It is used as a sweetener and flavoring in many baked goods, as well as classic Boston baked beans.
Sriracha Sauce
Sriracha Sauce is a multi-purpose hot sauce that is deliciously addictive.
What is Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce is a sweet and savory sauce with a deep earthy flavor provided by oyster juices that have been cooked down and caramelized. This all purpose sauce is great on noodles, stir fry, meat, seafood, and vegetables.
What is Cellulose?
Cellulose is a popular food additive used as a stabilizer, emulsifier, thickener, calorie reducer, and anti-caking agent. Although cellulose is found in almost all plant matter, it is often derived from wood pulp or cotton.
Why Does Milk Curdle?
Milk curdles for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad. When you understand the mechanism behind why milk curdles, it becomes a lot less frightening.
What is Tapioca?
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root and is used in culinary applications as a thickener and binding agent.
Egg Size Conversions
Convert the number of eggs a recipe calls for into a different sized egg and maintain the same volume.
What is Citric Acid?
Citric acid is a weak organic acid found in many fruits and vegetables. On an industrial level, citric acid is produced with the help of special mold, and used as a flavor enhancer and preservative in food.
What is Annatto?
Annatto, a popular food coloring, is made from the seeds of the achiote tree. Annatto is also a popular ingredient in South and Central American cuisine.
What Can I Substitute for Buttermilk in Recipes?
A variety of options for substituting buttermilk in recipes.
Cookies - Soft vs Crispy
Some people like soft cookies, others like crispy. You can determine the texture, color, and shape of your cookies by using the right ingredients! Review this handy guide to tweak your favorite cookie recipe and get the results you like.
What is Chorizo?
Chorizo is a variety of heavily seasoned sausage, either cured or fresh, that is common in Spanish and Mexican cuisine.
How to Tell an Egg is Fresh
Learn a variety of methods to test eggs for freshness. Plus, what you can do with eggs that are less than fresh.
How is Salt Made?
Humans have been making salt since the beginning of time. Today there are two main methods for making salt: sea water evaporation and mining of rock salt.
How to Keep Avocados From Turning Brown
No one likes to let leftover avocado go to waste. Use these tips to keep a cut avocado fresh and green.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a cultured milk product that originated in Eastern Europe but has gained popularity throughout the world for its unique flavor and light, frothy, and slightly carbonated texture.
What is White Sugar?
White sugar is crystalline sucrose, comes in many varieties, and is responsible for many chemical reactions in cooking and baking.
The Five Basic Sauces
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Knowing the five
All About Eggs
Get the facts on eggs, varieties, uses, terminology, and more.
Functions of Fat in Food
Fats and oils play many important rolls in the creation and enjoyment of the food we eat. From flavor to texture and nutrition, fats greatly impact the quality of food.
The History of Doughnuts
This history of doughnuts including the origin, name, shape, automation, and doughnuts today.
Cornmeal vs. Grits vs. Polenta
Cornmeal, grits, and polenta are all ground corn products. Find out how they are similar and what makes each unique.
Yeast Conversions
Use this quick reference conversion chart to determine how much yeast to use when you don't have the variety of yeast listed in a recipe.
How is Cheese Made?
Cheese making can be a simple and quick or a lengthy process involving many steps. From curdling to aging and ripening, cheese making is an art form that has taken millennia to perfect.
How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs - Step 1: Place the eggs in the pot in a single layer.
All About Whipping Egg Whites
There is a science to whipping egg whites into the perfect airy foam. Use these tips to get the most volume out of your egg whites for perfect meringues and angel food cakes!
What are Marshmallows?
Marshmallows are a popular candy with a history dating back to the ancient Egyptians. These fluffy white treats are a big part of American traditions today.
USDA Beef Grades
The USDA beef grading system is based on the meat's maturity and level of fat marbling, both of which are good indicators of the meat's tenderness. The grading system is voluntary and designates eight distinct grades of meat.
What is Shortening?
Shortening is any type of solid fat used to prevent the formation of gluten in baked goods. Discover the varieties of shortening, how they work, and how they are used.
Beef Steak Varieties
There are many different types of beef steak available, each with its own flavor, texture, and appropriate method for cooking. Before you head out to your local steakhouse or invite your neighbors over for some backyard grilling, review these basic types of beef steak.
What is Guinness?
Guinness is a traditional dark Irish stout with a rich, complex flavor and a thick, frothy head.
Nut Nutritional Comparison Chart
Most nuts are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. But how do nuts compare side by side? Use this quick reference chart to compare the nutritional content of common nuts.
A Guide to Flour
There are many varieties of flour on the market today and with a little basic knowledge you’ll be able to navigate the baking aisle like a pro. Learn about the components, characteristics and best uses for the most common varieties of flour.
What is Brown Sugar?
Brown sugar contains molasses, which is responsible for its rich color and flavor. Learn about the varieties of brown sugar, including sugar in the raw, turbinado, Muscovado, and demerara, as well as how to make your own brown sugar and how to soften brown sugar.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a small, disc shaped legume that is high in protein and fiber. Lentils are an inexpensive source of protein and are a staple food in many cultures throughout the world.
What is SPAM?
Spam is a spiced canned ham product that rose to popularity during World War II. Although designed as a luncheon meat, Spam now has hundreds of uses. Spam is no longer just the canned mystery meat but it is now a pop culture icon.
The Twinkie Myth
Dispelling the myth that the popular snack cake, Twinkies, will stay fresh for years, even decades and can survive a nuclear war.
What is Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is a thin, brown, liquid made from fermented soy beans. Soy sauce has a strong umami flavor and is used frequently in Asian cuisine as both a condiment and ingredient in everyday cooking.
Marmite
Marmite is a salty, savory spread made from yeast extract that is popular in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Learn all about Marmite including history, uses, nutritional content, and where to buy.
Marinating Do's and Don'ts
Marinating tenderizes meat and infuses flavor. These helpful hints will make your marinade effective and flavorful!
What are Chayotes?
Chayotes are a light green, pear shaped fruit that are common in Mexico and other warm climates. Their mild flesh has a crisp texture and a mild flavor similar to a cucumber or summer squash.
What is Kale?
Kale is a green, leafy vegetable that is part of the cabbage family.
Mayonnaise Vs. Aioli
Mayonnaise and aioli have almost become synonymous in the American culinary scene as Chef's scramble to make humble mayonnaise sound more appealing. Although the two sauces have similarities, they are actually quite different.
Coffee Primer
Learn the basics on how coffee is made, different coffee varieties, and how to properly store coffee for optimum flavor.
Turkey Thawing Time Chart
Preparing roasted turkey takes time and preparation. Use this handy chart to determine how much time is needed to thaw a frozen turkey to have it perfectly prepared on time.
Moist Heat Cooking Methods
Moist heat cooking methods use water, steam, or another liquid to transfer heat to food for cooking. There are many methods of moist heat cooking, each of which will produce different results.
What are Dutch Ovens?
Dutch ovens are a multi-purpose piece of cookware that can be used to saute, fry, bake, roast, braise, or stew. Le Creuset and Lodge are two popular manufacturers of cast iron Dutch ovens.
What is Sambal?
Sambal sauce is a spicy condiment made primarily of chili peppers.
What is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is a salt cured, dry aged Italian ham. Prosciutto has a delicate, buttery texture and is often served thinly sliced.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide created by bacteria during fermentation of carbohydrates. Because it creates a gel with water, it is added to food products to enhance the appearance, texture, and stability.
Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures
Keep your food safe and protect yourself from foodborne illness by consulting the FDA recommended minimum internal cooking temperatures.
Functions of Salt in Food
Everyone knows that salt adds great flavor to food and that it has been used as a food preservative for thousands of years, but salt also has many other surprising functions in food!
Glossary of Baking Terms
A collection of short definitions for the most common terms used in baking.
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is a natural chemical leavening agent that is commonly used in quick breads and other batter based recipes.
What is Arrowroot Powder?
Arrowroot powder is a white, flavorless powder made from the starch of the arrowroot plant and is used for thickening sauces and other food products.
Coffee Drink Glossary
A glossary of coffee and espresso drink terms to help you navigate your way through your local cafe menu.
What is Jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a hearty mix of meat, vegetables, rice, and sometimes seafood. This dish has been popular in the Southeast United States, especially Louisiana, for centuries.
Why Does Cilantro Taste Soapy?
You either love or hate cilantro, but what makes people feel so strongly about it? A closer look at why cilantro can taste soapy or metallic to some, but delicious to others.
Scallop Basics
Scallops are a mollusk with sweet, tender flesh that provides low fat protein and valuable omega-3 fatty acids.
What is Yeast?
Yeast is a single celled organism with a wide variety of applications in food production.
What is Butter?
Butter is a spread made from the milk of mammals that consists of milk solids, or proteins, fat, and a small amount of water. Learn about the different varieties of butter and how to properly store your butter for maximum freshness.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a small, high protein seed that is cooked and eaten similar to grains.
Yeast Varieties
There are many forms of yeast on the market today including instant, active dry, rapid rise, fresh, and nutritional yeast. Discover the difference between the varieties of yeast and the best application for each.
Cookie Troubleshooting Guide
If your cookies are burned, pale, misshapen, or otherwise not good, use this cookie troubleshooting guide to determine what the problem might be.
Pastry Troubleshooting Guide
Making a perfect pastry is as much a science as it is an art. Learn the common pitfalls in pastry making and how to prevent them.
Fat Substitutes for Baking
There are many options for replacing fat in recipes with other, more healthful ingredients. Use these lower fat substitutes for the oil, butter, or shortening in your baked goods.
How to Get More Juice From Lemons & Limes
Employ one of these two kitchen tricks to get the most juice out of your lemons and limes without having to squeeze more.
Dry Heat Cooking Methods
Dry heat cooking methods use air, metal, fat, or radiation to transfer heat to food. Dry heat cooking use high temperatures and include techniques such as baking, broiling, grilling, frying, and roasting.
The History of Jelly Beans
Jelly beans have been a favorite candy for over a century, but have their roots in candy making techniques that are thousands of years old.
What is Sage?
Sage is a culinary herb with dusty green-grey leaves and an earthy flavor. Sage is well known for its use in sausages and stuffing.
"Sell By" vs. "Best By" Dates on Food
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >While there are
What is Hoisin Sauce?
Hoisin sauce is an all-purpose sauce used in Asian cooking. It is often compared to American barbecue sauce because of its variety of uses and sweet, salty, tangy, and slightly spicy flavor.
What is Buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a unique dairy product that provides a one of a kind flavor and plays an important role in the science of cooking. Learn more about the tradition, uses, and varieties of buttermilk on the market today.
All About Leavening
There are many methods to leavening breads and baked goods but they can be divided into three categories: physical, biological, and chemical.
The Science of Kneading Dough
Kneading bread dough allows loafs to be light and fluffy, but how does it work? Learn the science behind kneading dough.
What are Nuts?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Are they seeds?
What is vinegar?
Vinegar can be made from a variety of substances and provides unique flavors in food.
What is Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar is a popular vegan sweetener that is also loved for its low glycemic index.
What is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a savory, sweet, and tangy fermented sauce made from malt vinegar, anchovies, molasses, and other seasonings.
What is Bacon?
Bacon is a popular breakfast item in the United States made from the salt cured and smoked side of pork. Learn about bacon varieties, products, and general bacon facts.
Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta is a fresh Italian cheese with a mild flavor that can be used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes.
Tian
A tian is a popular way to eat roasted vegetables.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is an animal protein that creates a gel when combined with liquid and helps thicken or solidify many food products.
Beginners Sushi Glossary
A beginners guide to basic sushi related terminology. A glossary of words common to sushi.
Kimchi
Kimchi is one of the hottest food trends today and it’s easy to see why. With a complex flavor, a variety of uses, and an all-star nutritional scorecard, kimchi seems to have it all.
What is Rye?
Rye is a grain used to make bread, beer, whiskey, and other products. It is low in gluten and high in protein and other nutrients.
What is Fortified Wine?
Fortified wines are wines to which a distilled spirit has been added. They tend to be sweeter and have a higher alcohol content than regular wines.
The History of Popcorn
Popcorn is a popular snack food that is enjoyed across the globe and dates back thousands of years. Discover popcorn's long history of being loved by many cultures!
Curry Powder
Curry powder is a blend of spices used to flavor a variety of Indian and Southeast Asian dishes.
What is Ice Cream?
Ice cream is a popular frozen dessert made out of cream, milk, sugar, and other ingredients. It has been popular since the creation of refrigeration.
How to Slice a Mango
How to Slice a Mango - Learn how to cut a mango into clean slices and waste as little flesh as possible.
What is Edamame?
Edamame are immature soybeans that are steamed or boiled and usually served as an appetizer or snack.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are one of the hottest super foods, boasting high fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
What is Gelato?
Gelato is an Italian frozen dessert that is often compared to ice cream.
Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is an aromatic rice with a mellow nutty flavor that is popular in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Safe Handling - Meat & Poultry
Simple steps when purchasing, preparing, and cooking meat and poultry can prevent food borne illnesses.
What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a common chemical leavening agent used to make cakes, muffins, pancakes, and other baked goods light and fluffy.
What is Creme Fraiche?
Creme fraiche is a cultured dairy product that is popular in Europe and gaining momentum in the United States. Similar to sour cream but with a higher butterfat content, creme fraiche is used as a topping and ingredient in many dishes, both savory and sweet.
Classic Spice and Herb Blends
These classic blends of herbs and spices have withstood the test of time. From French fines herbes to Jamaican jerk seasoning, find out what they consist of and how they are best used.
Coconut Cream, Milk and Water
Many food products can be made from coconuts, including coconut cream, coconut milk, and coconut water. Each has its own characteristics and culinary uses.
How Long Should I keep my Food?
Using your nose to determine if food has gone bad is not only inaccurate, but it can be quite dangerous. Use this guide to help determine how long you should keep your food to stay safe and prevent food borne illness.
What is Caramel?
Caramel is a candy made by boiling sugar until it becomes golden brown and achieves its characteristically deep flavor.
What is Nutmeg?
Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree that can be ground into a powder and used as a spice. Nutmeg is wonderful for flavoring both sweet and savory dishes.
How to Tell Meat is Done
Although an internal meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the doneness of a piece of meat, there are many other clues including, color, texture, and moisture content. Use all of these cues to tell whether your meat is rare, medium, or well-done.
What is Bitterness?
Bitterness on its own is not a desirable flavor, but when combined with other elements it can be used to create a complex and enjoyable flavor palate.
What is Champagne?
Champagne is a variety of sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. It derrives it's unique bubbles from a second fermentation process within the bottle.
King Cake
King cakes are a festive tradition of Mardi Gras. Learn about the history, tradition, and availability of this delicious dessert.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a type of salt cured meat that is traditionally eaten during St. Patrick's Day celebrations and is a common deli item year round.
Weight Conversions
Weight conversions are an important step when doubling or halving a recipe. Get a complete chart of metric and imperial weight conversions as well as a list of key conversions.
Smoking Points of Fats & Oils
Each type of fat and oil has a unique smoke point, or the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. This table lists the smoke point for various cooking fats and oils.
What is Couscous?
Couscous is a small, granular pasta made out of semolina wheat flour.
What is Corn Starch?
Corn starch is used in cooking as a thickening agent for soups, sauces, stews, casseroles, pies, and more.
What is Umami?
Umami is one of the five taste sensation and can be described as savory, meaty, or brothy. Although its flavor is subtle, it plays a major roll in the sensory experience of eating.
What are Pecans?
Pecans are grown on the Hickory tree and are native to the south central region of the United States and Mexico. They are a popular ingredient in traditional southern cooking and are prized for not only their flavor but their health benefits.
What is Miso?
Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans or other grains like rice or barley. This salty, flavorful paste is used extensively in Asian cooking.
What is Rosemary?
Rosemary is an aromatic herb, most often used to season meat, that has a pine-like scent and appearance.
Tea Brewing Times and Temperatures
Every type of tea has an optimum brewing time and temperature. Use this reference chart to find out how to make the best tea possible.
What is Matzo?
Matzo is an unleavened bread with a crisp, cracker like consistency. It is Jewish tradition to eat matzo during the Passover holiday when leavened breads are forbidden.
The History of Cheese
The history of cheese dates back far before recorded history. What was most likely discovered by accident has become one of the world's favorite foods.
Yams or Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes and yams are two very different vegetables that have shared a name throughout history. Learn the difference between sweet potatoes and true yams and how the confusion began.
Volume Conversions
Volume conversions are an important step when doubling or halving a recipe. Get a complete chart of volume conversions in imperial units as well as information on converting between imperial and metric units.
What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world and is prized for its citrusy and floral flavor and aroma.
Glossary of Frozen Desserts
From frozen custards, ice creams, and gelatos to Italian ice, granita, and sno cones, find out what these frozen desserts have in common and what sets them apart from each other.
What is Ascorbic Acid?
Discover what ascorbic acid is, where it can be found in nature, how it is manufactured commercially, and why it is used in our food.
What is Canola Oil?
Canola oil has become a popular cooking oil because of its light flavor and heart healthy mix of essential fatty acids.
Anatomy of a Marinade
Marinades are used to add flavor to meat. There are three basic components to every marinade that can be customized to provide any flavor you wish.
What is Thyme?
Thyme is a culinary herb that is heavily used in the cuisines of southern Europe and the mediterranean region. Thyme pairs well with everything from meat, beans, and eggs to cheese and tomatoes.
Monosodium Glutamate - What is MSG?
MSG is a naturally occurring substance that is now manufactured as a flavor enhancing food additive.
Balsamic Vinegar Grades
There are three main grades of balsamic vinegar. The quality and methods used to make the vinegar can be deciphered by the wording on the label.
Egg Glossary
A glossary of words and terminology related to eggs.
Matcha Basics: Production, preparation, and...
Matcha Basics: Production, preparation, and uses.
What is Sesame Oil?
Sesame oil is widely used in Asian cooking and is prized for its flavor and antioxidant content. The variety of sesame oil you buy will dictate how and when it should be used.
What's the Big Deal about Coconut Water, Anyway?
Coconut water may be touted as a miracle drink, but it is a simple, natural, refreshing beverage that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years.
A Biography of Anthony Bourdain
He’s tough, he’s cool, he’s been to hell and back, and for the past 10 years he’s been traveling around the world. Once a humble dishwasher, Anthony Bourdain has built a successful career as a chef, writer and television personality.
What are Goji Berries?
Goji berries are a small red fruit native to the Himalayan region of Asia and are loved for their bright red flavor, sweet-tart flavor, and high nutrient content.
What is Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil is a lightly flavored, high smoke point oil that is excellent for frying.
Filipino Adobo
Adobo, a tangy, salty dish of stewed meat, is the quintessential dish of the Philippines.
Turkey Roasting Time Table
Prepare to make a perfect roasted turkey this holiday season by knowing how long the turkey must cook in order to reach a safe internal temperature. Use this reference chart to determine the roasting time for stuffed and unstuffed turkeys.
What is Pasteurization?
Many food products, including dairy, juices, beer, and wine are pasteurized to reduce the number of pathogenic organisms and prevent food borne illnesses.
Kitchen Knife Primer
Using the correct knife in the kitchen can make tasks easier and safer. The shape, size, and type of blade create unique assets to each knife. Learn the basics about the most common types kitchen knives and how each should be used.
How to Slice an Avocado
Step 1 - Use a sharp knife to cut the avocado in half vertically around the pit. Twist the Avocado to separate the two halves.
What are Soybeans?
Soybeans are an edible bean with a high protein and oil content. They are used to make several different consumer products and enjoyed around the world.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a unique plant oil that is solid at room temperature, making it a prized ingredient in vegan cooking.
Methods of Food Preservation
Common methods of food preservation and the mechanisms behind them. From ancient to new, how humans keep food safe and delicious.
What is Agar-Agar?
Agar-agar is a algae derived polysaccharide used to thicken food. It is a popular vegetarian substitution for animal derived gelatin.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea and a yeast and bacterial culture.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a fragrant and spicy tree bark that is excellent for flavoring both sweet and savory dishes.
Bar Glossary
A glossary of bar, liquor, and cocktail terminology.
What are Pepitas?
Pumpkin seeds are sometimes called pepitas and are a common snack food, especially in the fall. Pepitas have a wide range of culinary uses and have a high nutritional content.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.