Sumac is a spice widely used in Middle East and Mediterranean cooking. The sumac bush, with its deep red berries which are dried and ground into a coarse powder, is native to the Middle […]

Evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is not to be confused with condensed milk even though in some countries it is referred to as unsweetened condensed milk. Basically, evaporated milk is unsweetened and condensed milk (when called just condensed […]

Hemp oil

Hemp oil, or more correctly, hempseed oil, is refined from varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa, but should not be confused with hash oil which is made from the Cannabis flower. Hemp oil is made […]


Kalpasi, also known as the black stone flower or sea lichen, or in the Middle East shebat al ajooz or ishna, is a species of lichen used as a spice in certain parts of India. […]

Coarse salt and coarse sea salt

Many modern recipes call for coarse salt or coarse sea salt and various brands are readily available in stores and supermarkets. A reference to “coarse salt” in a recipe means what in the USA is generally […]

Coconut jam

Coconut jam is a spread, or curd, made from a base of coconut milk, eggs, and sugar. Enormously popular in south-east Asia, especially Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, it can be found sold in jars or […]

Coconut vinegar

Although well known and popular in the Philippines, coconut vinegar is only just being discovered in the USA and the rest of the western world so there are few recipes that mention it and not […]


Molasses – known as black treacle in the United Kingdom – is a by-product of refining table sugar. The most common form is from refining sugarcane or sugar beet, but other forms of extraction exist, […]

Brown rice syrup

Brown rice syrup, also branded as rice malt syrup, is a runny sweetener like honey and is sold in jars. It is more generally found in Chinese or health food shops rather than in basic […]

Sweet potatoes

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is native to the tropical parts of North America and is also known in some parts of the world as a yam or a kumara. It is not the same as […]

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