Olives have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years, long before the canning industry, grocery stores, and martinis came into play. But a few decades ago, your average American knew only a few varieties—some were green, some were black, some were pitted, and the best ones were pimento-stuffed...and that was that. Today, we dig a little deeper into the diverse and versatile world of olives.
'ingredient guide' on Serious Eats
As you stare at the grocery aisle of jellies, jams, and conserves, do you know what defines one jar from another? Let's get into the nitty-gritty.
For the amateur noodle shopper, parsing through a grocery's many noodle options can be mindboggling, so it helps to have a guide. Here's everything you need for your next shopping trip.
I moved around quite a bit when I was little, from upstate New York, where I remember picking wild blueberries, to Germany, where we gathered gooseberries, to the central coast of California, where blackberry vines grow in the mountains and suburban lots and our neighbors took great pride in their olallieberry jams and pies. For every spot on earth, it seems, there's a berry to be picked.
Colorful, gnarled heirloom tomatoes are typically marketed as a more flavorful upgrade to their more standardized hybrid cousins. But do you always get a better tomato for those high prices?
Tahini is one of those ingredients that is better known as a supporting player than as a shining star. Yet it's truly indispensable: not just as a supporting player, but as a sauce and condiment all its own.
First: You don't have to be a Viking to drink mead. You also shouldn't be afraid of the fact that mead is made from honey, and you don't have to relegate the drink to the dessert hour.
How coffee is processed after harvest accounts for a great deal of what you taste in the cup. Here's a peek at how it's done in different countries around the world.
It wasn't long ago that buying nut butter at the supermarket meant little more than the choice between smooth or crunchy. Oh, how times have changed. On the shelves where you used to find little more than Jif and Skippy, there is now a dauntingly vast—if utterly delicious—array of spreads. In the interest of making sense out of the wide variety of nut and seed butters out there, allow us to guide you through the different kinds you can find in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online.
High in protein, low in cost, and easy to work with, tofu has endeared itself to eaters across the globe. But with the dizzying array of tofu types out there, it's worth learning your soft silkens from your medium blocks. Here's a guide to identifying, shopping for, and preparing over a dozen different kinds of tofus.
Even if you use them almost every time you cook, onions can still be pretty bewildering. With about a dozen varieties readily available in most markets, as well as several less common types, it can be hard to know which kind of onion to choose for your marinara sauce and which to select for your pico de gallo. Never fear: let our ingredient guide come to the rescue.
Mustard is one of the oldest condiments and hasn't changed much through the years. In it's essence, mustard is combination of mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with liquid, but its the variety of seeds and type of liquid used that creates all the varieties of mustard we know today.
Do you know your Tettnanger from your Fuggle? Can you taste the difference between Citra hops and Simcoe? This guide will introduce you to essential hops from around the world.
On a molecular level, all fats are composed of triglycerides—a compound of three fatty acids bound to a molecule of glycerol.
Wait, sorry, did your eyes just glaze over? Yeah, mine too. Let's start over.
You don't have to be Bill Nye to make a meringue. But understanding sugar's role in baking and candy-making helps! From cane to beets and crystals to syrup, here's what you need to know about the world's most popular sweeteners.
When you walk into the produce section of your local Asian supermarket, you'll probably be greeted by a dazzling but daunting display of unusual greens. They're all great, and easy to cook, but it helps to be armed with some knowledge to tell your shoots from your choys.
Getting to know your fats can be a slippery business. If wading through the myriad bottles on supermarket shelves wasn't already a daunting task, then the latest word on saturated fats is enough to turn everything on its head. In this series, we'll be talking about what makes fats special, how to tell them apart, and how to pick the best one for the job.