OT: Weirdest ingredient in your kitchen?



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It varies. Vietnamese saffron is the latest, but I can't ignore the fact that I have 5 different paprikas . Don't get me started on vanillas. Even for something as common as oregano, as you know point of origin is important, so how can a serious cook function without 4 or 5 different oreganos.
 
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I was going to say saffron. I have a 1oz jar. But it's so expensive I'm hesitant to use it. I'm never sure that the dish I'm making is saffron-worthy.
 

boba

Somewhere around Barstow
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Sumac... ayup, use it for "souring" - usually venison. Saffron... ayup, can't make a decent risotto without it. (But I'm pretty sure it's Greek or Mediterranean) Juniper berries, same as sumac, goes well in salmon. Truffles? Bloody expensive ($200 for a golf ball size one). Can't think of anything else other than the weird grains (faro, barley, quinoa, etc.) I like to try out in soups and cereals.
 
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A few less common ingredients I love using:

Valencia orange peel (McCormick Gourmet™ Orange Peel, Valencia ) - Really good addition to a bbq or other sauce.

Powdered MSG - No messing around with soy sauce or fish sauce. Give it to me straight.

Or in a similar vein, hondashi.

Harrisa, gochujang, and a few other similar foreign hots.

Not exactly strange or unique, but I use shallots instead of onions 90% of the time and about 40% of the time when the recipe calls for garlic I add them in addition, so I always keep on hand.

I've also been very into fennel lately.
 
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Other than Budweiser, the American swill, a well intended spouse bought in error many months ago ...

... a quick look suggests some possibilities from one cabinet:
Dried Mushrooms x6, best tasting variety appears like a white birch bark/rattlesnake skin hybrid
Pork lung chili sauce
Sweat Beam Sauce (not sweet bean, nor Jim Beam)
Black bean chili oil
Rose bean curd
Fermented bean curd with sesame oil
Sesame Jam (paste?)
Crisp Chili Oil with Soy Protein
Sweet Osmanthus (tea olive) Flower - know it’s used as dessert
Ohgon No Aji “Mild” BBQ Sauce (ingredients: apple, peach & plum purée, soya, honey, sake, sesame oil)
Uhaghi Sushi Sauce - last 2 not so obscure
 
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I read an interesting thing about bee's. If you ask most people. they will tell you they have been stung by a bee in their life. But a low percentage of people have ever been stung by a bee. Bee's rarely sting. The mistake most people make is that they refer to a yellow jacket as a bee. A yellow jacket is not a bee. It is a wasp.
Thanks Sheldon :)
 
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Squid (actually I think it’s cuttlefish) ink. My older daughter is a very picky eater but surprisingly she loves the slightly briney taste of squid ink pasta; pasta alla seppia. I could buy the pasta from the same place I get the ink but we prefer to make the pasta very fresh ourselves.
 

Fishy

Puncher of Throats
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Nothing.

There’s nothing in our kitchen. No walls, no cabinets, no appliances.

There’s a few paint brushes in there, I think, so maybe that’s the answer.
 
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Nothing.

There’s nothing in our kitchen. No walls, no cabinets, no appliances.

There’s a few paint brushes in there, I think, so maybe that’s the answer.
I would not be the least bit surprised if Fishy lived off a gray liquid drink from the future that provided his full daily nutritional needs.
 

storrsroars

Exiled in Pittsburgh
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Pork lung chili sauce
Sweat Beam Sauce (not sweet bean, nor Jim Beam)
I've heard of pork lungs IN chili sauce (which usually has no lung in it), but never pork lung chili sauce. It's a jar with bits of pork lung in it?

A old chef friend of mine from Queens once told me that NYC made serving lung illegal sometime in the 50s or 60s. Lung used to be the standard meat in a vastedda, but that switched to spleen after lungs were verboten.

I have no clue what sweat beam is. You win.
 

Purple Stein

I like to sim things.
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...but I can't ignore the fact that I have 5 different paprikas.
I never use Paprika, but when Ames was going out of business in the early 2000s I bought a massive container from the Ames at the Pyramid Mall in Ithaca. It was so cheap I had to buy it. I moved it to 5 different apartments/houses before I finally tossed it a couple of years ago (wife made me). That was some old, sentimental, unused paprika.
 
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A few less common ingredients I love using:

Valencia orange peel (McCormick Gourmet™ Orange Peel, Valencia ) - Really good addition to a bbq or other sauce.

Powdered MSG - No messing around with soy sauce or fish sauce. Give it to me straight.

Or in a similar vein, hondashi.

Harrisa, gochujang, and a few other similar foreign hots.

Not exactly strange or unique, but I use shallots instead of onions 90% of the time and about 40% of the time when the recipe calls for garlic I add them in addition, so I always keep on hand.

I've also been very into fennel lately.
This is the first post that led me to make a purchase. I had been looking for MSG years ago and totally forgot about it.
 
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Many Spanish dishes call for it. In addition to regular paprika; there are pimeton and hot paprika. Hungarian dishes often call for paprika. As with most things, one can always substitute. Why then do I have five different vinegars?
 
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Nothing.

There’s nothing in our kitchen. No walls, no cabinets, no appliances.

There’s a few paint brushes in there, I think, so maybe that’s the answer.
Ah, you finally hired some toddlers to reno the kitchen huh?
 

Dream Jobbed 2.0

“Most definitely”
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Many Spanish dishes call for it. In addition to regular paprika; there are pimeton and hot paprika. Hungarian dishes often call for paprika. As with most things, one can always substitute. Why then do I have five different vinegars?
I definitely with smoked paprika in a lot of stuff
 

CTMike

On to Wagner College
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I would not be the least bit surprised if Fishy lived off a gray liquid drink from the future that provided his full daily nutritional needs.
Soylent Meal Replacement Drink, Original, 14 oz Bottles, 12 Pack (Packaging May Vary)
Edit: solved my own problem
 

Hans Sprungfeld

Accidental Temporary Swimmer
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It varies. Vietnamese saffron is the latest, but I can't ignore the fact that I have 5 different paprikas . Don't get me started on vanillas. Even for something as common as oregano, as you know point of origin is important, so how can a serious cook function without 4 or 5 different oreganos.
Three pages in, saffron makes an appearance, so I'll weigh in that when I started law school in January 1996, I scored a room in an NYU law dorm that had a full kitchen (almost all others didn't)

Having absolutely no comprehension of the 1L workload, I thought it would be a good idea to pack some saffron from my Long Island kitchen, you know, in case I wanted to cook in my spare time. I was wrong.
 
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I've heard of pork lungs IN chili sauce (which usually has no lung in it), but never pork lung chili sauce. It's a jar with bits of pork lung in it?
No scalito clue, but chief of decision making, purchaser of such stuff, and head chef suggests it’s actually just the sauce with dofu and used when cooking pork meat, cartilage, snout, etc - all of which I’m sure I eat more than realized.
 

Fishy

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I would not be the least bit surprised if Fishy lived off a gray liquid drink from the future that provided his full daily nutritional needs.
If such a thing existed, I would. My wife would beat me to it.
 
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I have a pint of blood in my fridge. Is that weird? I only drink it when the sun goes down.
 

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