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Shallots, “The Onions of Ascalon,” were once considered a separate species within the onion family (Shallots’ scientific name is Allium Cepa var aggregatum or Allium ascalonicum). Today they are just considered as a form of onion by botanists, but in the kitchen they are still...
Simple Syrup, also known as “Bar Syrup” is made by dissolving sugar in water and then cooling the solution. Generally, the ratio of sugar to water when making a Simple Syrup can range from 1:1 to 2:1. Varieties Sweeteners used to make the Simple Syrup can include: White Sugar,...
When discussing Sheep, Cattle or Swine, the skeletal anatomy, that we follow to derive meat cuts, is similar with sides, quarters and primal cuts around the upper half shoulder, ribs, loin & rump sections and the lower half chest, foreleg, plate/flank & rear leg. The most tender...
What are density and specific gravity? Consider getting a jar and adding a handful of gravel, ½ cup of cooking oil, and topping it off with tap water. Imagine putting on the lid and shaking vigorously and then letting it sit for a minute. What do you think would happen? If you shook...
In cuinary arts, Sugar is the generic name for a class of sweet food stuffs and ingredients that include actual Sugars such as Sucrose, Dextrose, Galactose, Maltose, Fructose, Glucose, and Lactose, but also other sweeteners such as Honey, Molasses, Agave Syrup and Artificial...
Sweet Potatoes, Member of the Morning Glory Family are Neither Yams or Potatoes.
Humans taste with their tongues and soft palate (roof of the mouth). Both have taste buds (also called papillae), and our epiglottis, along with our sense of smell. For the taste component alone, when food enters your mouth, it comes into immediate contact with your tongue which is divided...
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A T-bone steak, a plate of pasta, a slice of pizza; while these may all be food favorites of many, would they be quite so pleasing if they weren’t served warm and steaming? Wouldn’t you be a bit unhappy if they came out hard and tough? Dessert items such as pudding and custard...
Water Boils at Different Temperatures Depending on Air Pressure and Altitude.
There are Many Different Varieties of these Larger Types of Tomatoes.
The words Roasting and Baking are artifacts of history, developed as culinary vocabulary when man learned the different uses of a cooking fire. Imagine early chefs cooking over an open fire. They originally had two primary and distinctive methods to use to cook the food. They could...
In 1930 Ruth Graves Wakefield, a dietician and food lecturer, was running a tourist lodge called the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts with her husband where her duties included cooking meals for the inn’s guests. Intending to make chocolate drop cookies, she discovered she had no...
In the history of food, whoever controlled access to flavorings such as spices had a powerful business advantage. With little Seasoning available, a European diet in the Middle Ages was bland and uninteresting. Europeans were nearly mad for spices and they would do (and pay) anything...
Though its origins are a bit unclear, Corn is a true American native. Corn most likely developed from a large grass called teosinte (Zea Mexicana) which still grows wild in Central America. Corn was the result of radical evolutionary changes from its parent plant and is quite different...
Before the Ancient Greeks, most educated people agreed that there were three tastes: sweet, of course, sour and salty. But a Greek philosopher, Democritus, thought about it long and hard several thousand years ago, and added the taste we call bitter today, making it four. His conception...
Granola was invented in 1863, long before the Hippies of the 60’s rediscovered it. But the history of granola started even earlier with Hardtack (or hard tack) the Great-Grandfather, if you will, of Granola. Before modern preservation methods, dried baked flour products were one of the...
Olives have been eaten and used by man for thousands and thousands of years. Since prehistoric times, people have been grinding and draining Olives to collect Olive Oil for use as fuel, in cooking and in beauty treatments. Depending on the type, Olives are composed of between 15 and 30%...
Raw fresh fish was caught and filleted. It was then salted and wrapped in Rice and kept in storage for months, even up to a year. The Rice would become sour and ferment and help preserve the fish by breaking down the Protein into its Amino Acid building blocks. Later, when needed,...
The Macadamia, which looks similar to a Filbert Nut, originated in the rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales in eastern Australia. The aborigines enjoyed the Macadamia Nut long before the arrival of Westerners who only “discovered” Macadamias in 1828 when Alan...
Yogurt (or at least fermented Milk) may pre-date man. There is evidence in the genome of L. delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus that this Yogurt making bacteria may have originated as a plant dweller, that is, a bacteria living on the surface of plant leaves. Natural animal milk may have come...
This Smart Kitchen Resource Page is dedicated to just listing out some of the Sweet Peppers that are commonly found at retail. In the list of Sweet Peppers, you will find Peppers with 0 heat and those with mild heat. The hot peppers are listed in the List of Hot Peppers. If you want to know...
Meat was a rare treat for the average Medieval diner and often only available to the nobility. As such, very little Chopping or Mincing of that delicacy was done. Sausage Making, a major method of preserving and extending meat’s shelf life at the time, did not even require grinding...
Most chefs cooking today, including those at SmartKitchen.com, prefer Stainless Steel Knives. Stainless steel is usually high carbon steel with the addition of chromium. The resultant benefits of stainless steel are that it does not discolor or oxidize foods and it holds an edge longer,...
Genetic studies show that the Tomatoes’ forbearer was a herbaceous green plant with small green fruit that was a native of early Peru. One of its cultivars, a Tomato plant with a small, yellow fruit (think of a yellow Cherry Tomato), was transported, in pre-history, to Mexico, where...
Truffles (“Tartufo” in Italian), are the fruiting portion of any number of ectomycorrhizal fungi, meaning fungi (mushrooms). Truffles have no root system but exist symbiotically with trees, (typically oaks, but also chestnut, elms, willows, hazel, poplar, and beech) where their...
A Quick Summary of Some of the More Familiar of the 67 Types of Butter.
Varieties Some types of Creams are: Cream: Cream is the fat of whole milk that slowly rises to the top of the standing fresh milk. Historically, it was skimmed off to be used for richer purposes, like butter. The longer it stands, the richer it gets. Cream comes in a number of preparations...
Varieties Barley: Grown for malting and feeding livestock on land too cold or poor for wheat. Buckwheat: A Pseudo-Cereal used in Eurasia. Major Western uses include Pancakes & Groats from the minimally processed grain itself. Corn: see Maize below. Fonio: Several Varieties of...
Varieties Milk comes from a number of animal sources. Below are the types of milk, provided by different animals. Cow Milk- Milk produced by a female cow. It has approximately 3.5% milk fat, 8.5% milk solids and is 88% water and used by humans as a beverage, for making dairy products and for...
For ease of use and clarity, the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) codified all of the cuts to be found on a Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Geese, etc.) into a simple list. The NAMP list of cuts, applies equally to any of the domesticated poultry types. Learn more about...
There are a Multitude of Small Tomato Varieties.
Vanilla, offers a unique sweet flavor for baking and cooking! Until the 1800s, Vanilla was only grown on the fringes of the Mexican tropical forests. It was jealously guarded by the Mexicans, since it was a great source of foreign income. In modern times most of the production of Vanilla is...
A Smaller Building Block of the Butcher's Trade.
Culinary Uses Don't just assume that any beef with the word "roast" in its name will make a good roast beef. Some of those “roasts” are intended for pot roast and are not good for a Dry Heat Method like Roasting. Many of them need longer slower cooking with a Moist...
According to history, Wheat is one of the 1st grains ever cultivated! Not to mention, Wheat is the most widely used food product, flour, in the world. Making Wheat, Very Important! Availability Wheat is available all year long. Production Roughly half of the U.S. Wheat crop is...
In the past it was no simple feat to determine where your meat was born. But since October 2008 (fully implemented in March 2009) mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) on ground meat or muscle cuts of meat (beef, lamb, veal, pork & chicken) at retail grocers has been required....
Time-Weight Ratio Charts for cooking are helpful, useful and productive. What they aren’t, however, are detailed and accurate measures of actual cooking times to achieve real world Levels of Doneness. The charts may look like instructions, and they are often published by very...