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Just for fun:The "weirdest" ingredient.

What was the most weird thing you ever used as an ingredient - for lack of a better option or cause the recipe called for it?

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Answer »
kbckitchen added almost 2 years ago

Well it wasn't really weird but once for cooking club we did a bleu cheese challenge so all dishes had to include it. It was overload!

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 2 years ago

I'm having a tough time with this one because I don't think of food as wierd. More thought required....

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

Love Gorgonzolla but blue cheese tastes weird enough for me,kbc!And to put some litgh on how did I think of this question:my great grandmother used to make a pumpikin candy that required leaving the pumpikin in a soak of lime and watter.The next day,she had to wash it for qiute a while and soak it again in fresh water to remove it.All that to create a crunchy candy crust and still maintain a soft interior.Weird enough for you,pierino?

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

Hey,pierino...I've been meaning to ask you:how was the work on New Years?I got hurt around that time when I gave you the tips for the brasillian menus and was wondering if my message was usefull to you.

jmburns added almost 2 years ago

About 20 yrs ago I wanted to make authentic black beans and it called for "epazote". Absolutely unable to locate. Last week in the supermarket they had it in the fresh herb section. Now to find the recipe again. LOL.

Buddhacat
SKK added almost 2 years ago

What is normal to me, based on where I live, like goeey ducks, is very unusual in other parts of the world. I have two unusual ingredients that I tried cooking. One is alligator and two is possum. They were both in Louisiana. Alligator I will do again, possum never. I am language deprived, I only speak English. Don't know how these ingredients translate in Portuguese. Love your questions, Mensaque.

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 2 years ago

Actually SKK, they do have Cayman in Brasil---related to gator. Brasil was among the states that did have influence on the Creole cuisine of that great Melting Pot, New Orleans. Out in the bayous of Lousiana they also cook nutria. Think of them as an aquatic opussum except that they are not a marsupial. They were introduced from somewhere else, I forget where.

Buddhacat
SKK added almost 2 years ago

Thanks, Pierno, interesting note about Cayman in Brasil. I lived in Louisiana, Patterson to be exact and in those days nutria was trapped for its fur. I was never tempted to eat it. Nutria was introduced from South America. Now I live in Seattle overlooking the Ballard Locks and the Ship Canal and nutria are right out there eating their aquatic plants and mussels. Another interesting note is down the road at my fish monger I can purchase frozen alligator raised in Hagerman, ID which is outside of Twin Falls. <a href="http://www.mtexpress.com/2001/01-03-07/01-03-07alligator.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mtexpress.com/2001/01-03-07/01-03-07alligator.htm</a>

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

Alligator would be our "jacaré"...like a crocodille,common in the Amazon.My mother ate it once and said it was delicious...like a very wite and firm fish fillet.And possum...would translate into "gambá".Similar to a big rat,sprays like a skunk only without the cuteness.Thanks for all the love,SKK.XOXO.

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

My mom makes a mean okra!

Dscn2212

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Can't think of anything exceptionally weird yet, either. But how are you doing since your surgery? Are you able to go downstairs now? Good to hear from you.

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

I'm much better,thanks,B.I did not have surgery...just wore a cast for 2 months and stayed off my foot for another month.Now I'm using a cane for climbing stairs and trying not to strain it too much.Missed you too.

Face
allans added almost 2 years ago

I wanted to cook authentic Thai and I had to make ingredients for ingredients for the finished dish. Weird for me was using "Shrimp Paste". The recipe called for the quantity (something like 1/4 cup) to be wrapped in foil, then the foil pack had to be heated in a skillet. If the smell of the shrimp paste wasn't bad enough - once it got warm neighbors thought I was cooking dirty diapers! The house reeked for most of a week. The recipe, however, was delicious.

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

I had an similar experience with some chicken kidneys once.House smelling like a public lavatory for two days...

Sarah_chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Homemade tempeh was a new one for me - soybeans with about a 1/4" fuzzy grey-black mould growing on top. Also a revelation when twice-cooked in a delicious Indonesian-style curry sauce.

And I made some pretty decent kangaroo stews when living in Australia (not an ingredient I consider weird, but many do).

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Panfusine added almost 2 years ago

I use it everyday & have been eating it all my life, but I still feel Asafetida is the weirdest ingredient around... especially the big lumpy types that need to be pinched off into bits or puffed up in the microwave & microplaned into dishes.
Its sticky resin from the roots of the wild fennel plant. & stinks to high heaven in its raw state, but boy, transforms so magically when toasted in oil..

Buddhacat
SKK added almost 2 years ago

Panfusine, Asafetida - must it come from wild fennel? Would gardened fennel have it the sticky resin you are talking about?

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

In good old portuguese,asa fétida means stinky wing!

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Panfusine added almost 2 years ago

SKK.. I don't think its the same as the wild fennel that grows in the US, according toWikipedia, the entire plant emanates that characteristic asafetida stink.. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida</a>

shoresdiver added almost 2 years ago

Years ago, when I was trying to save money by making my own, rather than buying it at a restaurant, I attempted hot and sour soup. Tree ear fungus was an exceptionally strange ingredient (at least to me), but the soup came out OK.... Buying the laundry list of ingredients ended up costing more than just buying it out, though.

Waffle3
ChefOno added almost 2 years ago


I can't compete here. All I can come up with is green coffee beans. Not that I think they're strange, but guests find them and the roasting process quite curious.

Buddhacat
SKK added almost 2 years ago

Mensaque, once again you have started a very interesting conversation. To second boulangere's question, how are you doing?

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

I'm like House now...witty with a cane.Just for a while.

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threefresheggs added almost 2 years ago

Yeast. Yeast is definitely weird weird stuff. Also, do you know where cream of tartar comes from? Seriously. I am endlessly amazed that collectively we figured out all this crazy alchemy we call cooking.

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bugbitten added almost 2 years ago

I'd say epazote. I may never understand it, but I keep using it for black beans.

Ophelia added almost 2 years ago

Dried Jellyfish. but I already knew that I liked Jellyfish salad, so it didn't seem that strange.
I've cooked Geoduck stomach, it turns out that the best part of the beast, cut thin and quickly fried with a little garlic; up until I was in my early teens we had just ground up the foot and made fritters.

Honestly I think those little silver dragees that people put on cakes are pretty weird, especially since it says on the container that they aren't edible (I think that's only true in the US though). We use to put those and borage flowers on all our birthday cakes.

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

We have silver espheres for decoration in Brazil but I think they're made out of cassava starch but I agree.The tiny ones I even like cause they give it a crunch,but the bigger ones make food seem full of nails.

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 2 years ago

And now I keep looking at those durians in the Korean supermarket...

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Panfusine added almost 2 years ago

LOL.. I don't believe F52 has a recipe calling for Durians though...

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

What are durians(asked the brazillian girl)?

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

When I mentioned the lime on the misspelled pumpkin candy before...It wasn't until hours later that I realized how crazy I sounded!It sounded like I was talking about lime juice,but what I meant was the white powder used to paint walls.Is lime the right word for it or am I way off?

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 2 years ago

Durians (supposedly) smell like dead people walking. Except that the flesh is extremely sweet. So, I guess get in touch with your inner zombie. I know where to buy them but they still kind of scare me, and I'm not usually scared by food.

Cade added almost 2 years ago

Salt of hartshorn (Ammonium Carbonate). When researching old Scandi cookie recipes, this came up from time to time - made of reindeer antler powder - used before baking soda. Needless to say, I did not get any. King Arthur Flour's website sells it, however.

Chris_in_oslo

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added almost 2 years ago

I have some hartshorn and use it occasionally. It does make a crispy cookies, and after baking, there is no lingering ammonia smell.

Lorigoldsby
lorigoldsby added almost 2 years ago

When I read your question, I was reminded of one of my husband's favorite episodes of "The Family Guy" where Stewie over pronounces the H in Whip...aka "miracle whip" and then he says "whierd" instead of weird!

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mensaque added almost 2 years ago

Gotta love Stewie!!!One of my favorite characters ever!

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petitbleu added almost 2 years ago

Yup, good old durian. I like the flavor, and I agree that I has a funny smell, but it doesn't smell all that bad to me. I guess that's what working on a goat farm for years does to your sense of nasal propriety. Also, dried scallops I used for a homemade xo sauce. Stinky but delicious.

Chris_in_oslo

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added almost 2 years ago

The Singapore airport has an M&Ms store with ~3-foot-tall M&M characters (plain and peanut) holding slices of durian and looking pretty dubious.

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