21 Ingredients To Boost Your Cooking

If I’m going to take the time to cook from scratch, I’d like to use the best ingredients I can get. Which means sometimes I do a bunch of research, and a lot of what I find never makes it into something I post. I realized as I was looking through some of my links that I’ve got a bunch of stuff here that people might like to see.


Casey at Chocolate Note has a roundup of four high-end dark chocolates. No, not just dark … DARK. One of them is 99% cocao, the other three are 100%. For comparison, many chocolates marketed as “dark bittersweet” are no more than 60% cocao.

The 100% chocolate bar is of course in a category all its own, making for a complete and pure chocolate experience, which can invoke the forest floor, the amazon basin, the cacao plantation, and the cacao tree itself. Except for cacao nibs or raw cacao beans, it offers the most intense chocolate experience.

“Intense chocolate experience.” I like that phrase.


Over at The Organic Vanilla Bean Company you can order whole vanilla beans in bulk. If you’ve ever wondered why vanilla can be so expensive, check out the description of how they grow it.

Every day, our farmers check each plant for signs of an open blooming orchid. This blossom will last for only one day and will die by nightfall. Once the flower falls the bean will stop growing. The farmers have just a short half-day window when pollination must occur. The farmer hand pollinates the orchid blossom.

Then they have to wait another nine months before they can harvest. Amazing.

Green onions

Cynthia at Tastes Like Home did her own roundup of green onion articles. Including:

  • more about slicing green onions
  • reducing the oniony flavour when adding green onions to a salad
  • a fast delicious meal in which green onions are one of the key ingredients
  • a green vegetarian dish that’s sure to please, eaten with some rice, pickle and dhal
  • and her own Carribean style paratha roti, or green onion pancakes

She also shows some amazing garnishes you can do with green onions.

Global Flavor Blasts

Chris at The Breakaway Cook introduces us to some “flavor-packed, intense ingredients that add a tremendous amount of flavor to whatever you’re cooking.”

  • Carrot Juice
  • Crusts
  • Ginger and Galangal
  • Habaneros
  • Matcha
  • Miso
  • Pomegranate Molasses
  • Umeboshi
  • Yuzu

Flavored Salt

Chris at The Breakaway Cook again. This time with flavored salt. These aren’t just salts refined through different process, or ground to different sizes. These are actually flavored with additional ingredients.

  • Matcha Salt
  • Tangerine Salt
  • Lavender Salt
  • Smoked Paprika Salt
  • Kaffir Lime Salt

Beef Bouillon

I keep getting recipes that call for beef bouillon cubes. Have you looked at the ingredients in those things? Oh. My. God. That ain’t food. The alternative is to make your own. Which you can, but it’s a bit of work.

How about you. Have you had a chance to use any of these in your cooking?