- Almond paste is a mixture of blanched ground almonds, sugar and glycerin or other liquid.
- Almond paste is used in a variety of confections and is less sweet and slightly coarser than marzipan.
- Bitter-almond paste is used to flavor the famous amaretti cookies.
- Balsamic glaze is made by mixing balsamic vinegar with brown sugar over heat.
- Balsamic is aged in special barrels made of different wood – each type of wood imparts a different taste and even the order in which the vinegar is moved from barrel to barrel impacts the final flavor.
- The mirror test – you can tell that a balsamic vinegar is of a high quality if you can see your face in it.
- A good balsamic can be used not just as a condiment, but as a medicine to aid digestion, for colds and other health purposes.
- Typically nori is made of an edible species of red seaweed.
- Nori is made by washing the seaweed in clean water, cutting it into small pieces via a machine, mixing the pieces with water and pouring the mixture onto mats to create sheets, which are passed through a drier, after which the sheets may be toasted, a process comparable to that of paper-making.
- Nori is traditionally used as a wrapping around rice to make sushi, but may be used to flavor other rice dishes as well as soup and noodles.
- Rice is the oldest known food that is still widely consumed today. Archaeologists can date its consumption back to 5000 BC.
- Rice is eaten by nearly half of the world’s population.
- Nishiki Rice is the standard rice used for making sushi.
- Arborio is a short grain Italian rice, named after a town in northwest Italy.
- White Arborio is the most popular rice for risotto.
- The name saffron comes from the Arabic word,” zafaran ” which means yellow and it is the official color of Buddhist robes in India.
- The best quality saffron has a deep red color, a honey like aroma with a delicate taste but musky and earthy.
- Spain, India, and Iran are primary producers of commercial saffron.
- Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.
- Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
- It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
- Archaeologists found intact lentils in Pharaoh tombs in Egypt.
- Lentils come in various shapes and colors – most widely known are brown, yellow, red and black.
- Currently, Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of lentils.
- The world’s first manufacturing plant for the production of couscous was established in Algeria in 1907.
- Couscous is not generally eaten on its own, but together with a variety of vegetables, meat, herbs and spices.
- Symbolizing luck, blessings and abundance according to North African tradition, couscous is prepared to celebrate a house warming or a holiday.
- Greece is the world’s third largest producer of olive oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives with no chemicals used to extract the oil.
- The fresher the olive oil, the better the taste. After a year or so, oil is best used for cooking and fresh oil used for salad dressings and other cold uses.
- Because oil flows from the olives naturally when they are crushed, the vitamins and natural ingredients are not destroyed with chemicals and preservatives.
- Greek people consume an average of 26 liters of olive oil each every year.