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The American hero Zin was originally thought to be or to be related to southern Italy’s Primitivo, a variety that also produces dark, plummy wines. It has now been proved that they are more like cousins, related to Crljenak Kastelanski, a grape from Croatia. There has been a campaign to get Zin declared California’s historic […]



Zest is a verb, ‘to zest’, and also word used to describe the outermost skin layer of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes. The coloured part of the skin contains natural oils that provide aroma and flavour. Shavings of the skin are added to various dishes to intensify the required citrus flavors. The […]



This Middle Eastern and Levantine flavouring changes lives once tasted. It’s easy to understand why it is an essential part of daily life in so many countries. The word can mean a simple herb or it can mean a mixture of herbs, sesame seeds and salt. Both za’atar sold as a herb and as the […]



This relatively new citrus in the UK originated in Central China and Tibet but is more commonly associated with Japanese cuisine. Intensely aromatic, its major antecedent among several arcane citruses is the mandarin, which thus gives a sweet-sharp flavour that is both orangey and lemony but also includes a fresh hint of green that all […]



Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment. This thickens it and gives it its characteristically tangy flavour. Cow’s milk is the most common type used, but goat’s, ewe’s, sheep or buffalo’s milk are also suitable. Most yogurt sold in the UK is ‘live’, which […]



Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form of sugar or starch) into alcohol and carbon dioxide through the process of fermentation. This makes it crucial to the making of wine and beer, as well as the process of baking (which has led to the identification […]



Xylitol is an all-natural alternative to sugar. The substance derives from the fibres of plants and can be extracted from a variety of vegetation including berries, mushrooms, birch bark and corn husks. It’s also produced in our body naturally. Its flavour is as sweet as conventional sucrose sugar, but it has only two thirds the […]



Wholemeal or wholegrain flour is made using the whole of the wheat kernel. It adds flavour and nutrition to baked products, especially bread. Wholemeal or wholegrain flour is always heavier than white bread and quicker to perish. Availability Wholemeal and wholegrain flour should be stored in a cool dark cupboard and used within 3 months. […]



Small silvery fish with tender, white, firm flesh, delicately flavoured and low in fat. Whiting is related to cod but is slightly cheaper and less flavoursome. They are a good buy in their own right, however, for certain recipes, especially fish pates and mousse. Read more about responsible fishing at Seafish and Marine Stewardship Council. Availability June to February. Choose […]


White chocolate

To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao bean and contains none of the flavoursome cocoa solids that give dark and milk chocolates their admired flavour and colour. It’s believed to have been created in the 1930s and is essentially a pale, milky solid […]

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