Cream of tartar is a product of wine fermentation that has many applications in baking. It is useful both for leavening and as a source of acidity. Cream of tartar is also easy to find and relatively affordable, so you should try to keep it on hand if you bake meringue pies and make simple syrups regularly. Cream of tartar has an indefinite shelf life as long as you store it away from heat. If you find yourself out of it unexpectedly, try some of these cream of tartar substitutes.
Salt has been a popular condiment for most of human history, and for much of that time it has not been nearly as inexpensive and as easy to find as it is now.
Ancient Egyptians used salt as a part of their religious offerings and the Ancient Greeks used it as currency. In Ancient Greece, slaves could be purchased for salt. The practice gave rise to the expression “not worth his salt.” It held the same value as gold in Ancient Rome. In the Roman Republic’s early years, it was responsible for the city’s growth with roads being constructed to ease its transportation. Similarly, it has been an important commodity in China for more than 2,000 years; it was one of the factors in the growth of China’s ancient empires.
Like chili peppers, vanilla comes from South and Central America, as well as from the Caribbean. It is one of the thousands of orchid species.
Historians believe that the first people to cultivate it were the early dwellers on the east coast of Mexico called the Totonacs. The Totonacs were conquered by the Aztecs, who got their vanilla before being conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century.
The Aztecs flavored their chocolate with vanilla and so did the Spaniards once they grew accustomed to the taste. As a result, Europeans considered vanilla to be nothing more than a flavoring for chocolate for decades. Only in the 17th century did the use of vanilla without chocolate become popular. In England, Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed sweetmeats flavored with vanilla. By the 18th century, the French were making ice cream flavored with vanilla.
Also known as tartaric acid, cream of tartar has been around since 800 AD when it was discovered by a Persian alchemist. It is a by-product of wine-making and forms initially as a product called argol on the inside of casks. The argol can be refined into the product that we know as cream of tartar.
The modern process of making cream of tartar came from a Swedish chemist named CW Scheele in 1769. In 1832, French physicist Jean Baptiste Biot would find discover various physical properties of cream of tartar such as the fact that it can rotate polarized light. It would be further investigated by Louis Pasteur in 1847, who investigated the shapes of its crystals. He observed that it had asymmetrical crystals.
Chai is the Indian word for tea. The chai that most westerners know is actually masala chai, which means spiced tea. The spices used in this tea are what is known as chai spices. Masala chai has been used for thousands of years. Depending on which of masala chai’s origin stories you believe, masala chai was created 9,000 years ago or 5,000 years ago. The location is also disputed as some say that it was first made in India, others say Thailand.
The earliest masala chai was made with the chai spices only and there were no tea leaves included. It was created as an ayurvedic remedy for a range of minor health issues.
Sage is a versatile and highly aromatic herb. It is one of the hardier herbs and that hardiness allows you to preserve it in a multitude of ways – all which have various benefits to keeping sage’s flavor at the ready for months to come. Let’s review how to store sage for the freshest possible flavor.
Garlic is a popular seasoning in every major food culture and most of the minor ones as well. This relative of the onion offers a pungent, savory flavor that works well in everything from stews to pickles. Garlic powder and granulated garlic are two forms of this spice that offer …
Honey powder goes by many names including granulated honey and dried honey. They all refer to honey that has been dehydrated to the point that it becomes a solid. High fructose honey tends to crystallize naturally and so it is likely that the use of honey powder has been around as long as humans have been consuming honey.