fun facts

Tamari vs. Soy Sauce- They are both made from fermented soy beans. Japanese Tamari is thicker, darker and richer than soy sauce. It is also less salty.

There are different varieties of Blue Cheese.Here are a few; Maytag (America, creamier)  Stilton is from England, Gorgonzola is from Italy (more crumbly) and made from Sheep or cow’s milk, Roquefort is French made from sheep’s milk and  Danablu is Danish and is stronger cheese. All versions can be made in the United States especially in Vermont.

Parmesan Reggiano is better quality and preferred. This is the original Parmesan from Italy. A label with Parmesan only is more than likely made in the United States and is not classic Parmesan. Pecorino Romano is another hard Italian cheese. This cheese is made from sheep’s milk while Parmesan is made from cow’s milk. If the label only has Romano printed, this means it is more than likely made in the United States and it is not the original Romano cheese.

Rice-Originating in Thailand, jasmine rice is a fragrant, long grain rice with a nutty aroma. To experience it fully, buy at an Asian Grocery store. Jasmine rice sold in regular grocery stores are not authentic. Basmati rice is another variety of long grain rice grown in India and Pakistan and known for it’s fragrance. Basmati is generally not sticky and comes in white or brown variations. Arborio rice is a large bold rice and sometimes referred to as medium grain rice. Arborio is primarily used in risotto and has a creamy, chewy texture. Long grain rice is the typical rice we would buy to make rice pilaf or just plain rice. If cooked correctly, will end up light and fluffy. This rice can also be prepared to be sticky. Brown rice is an unmilled or partly milled rice. Brown rice is a whole grain and less processed than white rice, resulting in more nutrients. It has a chewier, nuttier flavor. Converted Rice or parboiled rice has been partially boiled in the husk leaving some of the nutrients. It is not as processed as white rice and is firmer and less sticky than white rice. Wild rice, mostly grown in the United States, is dark brown and thin. This is a rice with a nutty flavor and has less starch. Wild rice takes generally 45-55 minutes to prepare.

Other Grains

  • buckwheat- Has a nutty, earthy flavor. Most commonly used in a flour form. Found in pancakes, muffins and cereals.
  • quinoa- This grain has a mild flavor and slightly crunchy texture. Available in a range of colors, quinoa also provides a complete protein and is gluten free.
  • millet- Widely used in birdseed, millet has a mild flavor. Difficult to find, although health stores stock and is gluten free.
  • barley-Used in soups, stews or enjoyed plain. A very hearty, nutritious grain and very high in fiber.
  • farro or spelt depending on the region-Similar to barley with a nutty flavor