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Trends in flavors/ingredients   Go to last post Go to last unread
#62 Posted : Saturday, October 29, 2022 4:37:28 AM(UTC)

I just ran into baobab powder, and tempeh and thought of this thread. Are those a trend? Where on earth have I been?


I don't think we have pumpkin-pie spice in France - what are the ingredients supposed to be in it (more or less, I do suppose there are several variations). Is it similar to pain d'épices spice mix (the English translation is temporarily escaping me).


I will check if we have fines herbes readily available now at least over here... lol :)

#63 Posted : Saturday, October 29, 2022 7:10:38 AM(UTC)

Pumpkin pie spice is mixed sweet spice, so similar to the mix used for pain d'épices, a base of cinnamon and nutmeg with ginger, allspice, cloves etc - blends will vary a bit.


I have heard of baobab powder but haven't encountered it. 


Here in London tempeh has been around a while but I wouldn't say it was mainstream, it is mainly confined to vegan menus in my experience 

#64 Posted : Saturday, October 29, 2022 7:39:59 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: StokeySue Go to Quoted Post
Here in London tempeh has been around a while but I wouldn't say it was mainstream, it is mainly confined to vegan menus in my experience


Yes I used to live in London (for 13 years!) but had never noticed it, probably just didn't register. Baobab powder was just casually mentioned in a smoothie recipe, and then just throw in some baobab powder (as in, of course you always have that handy ! ;))

#65 Posted : Saturday, October 29, 2022 11:31:46 AM(UTC)

I looked it up after reading this, it seems baobab powder is mainly used for health benfits rather than flavour, it is a source of fibre and minerals, so I don't think I'll bother as I'm getting enough of those I think.


There's a tempeh recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Eastern Vegetarian Cooking, published 40 years ago, I quite like it but have only made it a few times.

#66 Posted : Saturday, October 29, 2022 12:41:06 PM(UTC)

I had tempeh once in the 1970's after an article in Prevention promoted it. Didn't like it.


Some years later I was engaging in some wordplay with a coworker and I said, "Tempeh fugit." He said, "Right out the window."


The article mentioned a child asking for more tempeh. "Please, sir, I want some more."

#67 Posted : Monday, October 31, 2022 11:33:12 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: bittrette Go to Quoted Post
I had tempeh once in the 1970's after an article in Prevention promoted it. Didn't like it.


Some years later I was engaging in some wordplay with a coworker and I said, "Tempeh fugit." He said, "Right out the window."


The article mentioned a child asking for more tempeh. "Please, sir, I want some more."


Tempeh fugit-- that is amazing.  :) I too would send it out the window.  After unsuccessfully cooking with it, I was talking to a vegan friend, and she recommended sticking to tofu and said that tempeh is a lot harder to make appealing (e.g. to her three kids.) 

#68 Posted : Monday, November 7, 2022 8:56:11 PM(UTC)

To illustrate "no yogurt but Greek yogurt," I sometimes see the suggestion that as a substitute for sour cream, or mayonnaise, or buttermilk, you can use Greek yogurt. Which raises the question in my mind, can you substitute non-Greek yogurt?


As for fines herbes: As the unusual herb in herbes de Provence is lavender, so the unusual herb in fines herbes is chervil. Fresh chervil is almost (?) impossible to find, at least in the Northeast at this time of year, unless you grow your own. Dried chervil is merely hard to find. I haven't seen it in stores lately, either by itself or in dried fines herbes. But you can order both online, from companies like The Spice Hunter and Penzey's.


Either chervil is hard to grow or it's just out of fashion - perhaps it just doesn't fit today's flavor palette.

#69 Posted : Saturday, November 12, 2022 11:10:57 AM(UTC)

Chervil is not difficult to start growing but tends to go over if you turn you back on it,  I've grown it a couple of times as it's supposedly  the best sub for tarragon, to which I am allergic.  I think it's too soft to dry well I have bought dried chervil and not been impressed , freeze drying might work 


I don't think chervil has been popular in the UK in my life time, though to be found in France and Germany and elsewhere in Europe


But I think if I couldn't buy fresh herbs to make the classic mix, I'd substitute other fresh herbs rather than dried, or make something else, in something like an omlette fines herbes the presence of fresh, soft, green herbes in quantity is part of the character of the dish; I had honestly never eard of dried before!

#70 Posted : Tuesday, November 15, 2022 6:50:34 PM(UTC)

I don't know why my last post didn't show up, but here's another stab:


If chervil is so hard to grow or dry, that's not likely to change. What probably changed is the demand. With the  preference for fresh over dried, cooks may now prefer fresh something else to dried chervil.


As for omelette aux fines herbes, I like the taste of a fresh egg so much, why bury it under the taste of herbs?

#71 Posted : Wednesday, November 16, 2022 9:33:01 PM(UTC)

To bittrete's question about yogurt: As far as I know, the only difference between Greek and regular yogurt is the amount of whey. If you drain regular yogurt, it can more easily be substituted for sour cream etc., otherwise you'd risk making the dish runnier than intended.


I've grown a fair number of herbs, and chervil's definitely finickier than most.  It only really flourishes in cool temperatures, so does best where spring/early summer temps can be counted on to stay out of the 80s. It bolts (starts to form seed) anytime it gets hot. The best thing for those growing it to eat would probably be to harvest it when it's young and flourishing, then make a chervil butter that you could use for eggs, or for sandwiches or to sauce chicken.

#72 Posted : Thursday, November 17, 2022 7:47:08 AM(UTC)

With "no yogurt but Greek yogurt," I suspect there's less than meets the eye. When I see a list of dairy substitutes, and the list includes Greek yogurt rather than just yogurt, I want to know why. Someday, if there's a comment thread I can join, I intend to ask why.


The oddest thing I see in the case for Greek yogurt is the claim that Greek yogurt is tangier. IME Dannon plain yogurt is tangier - Fage Greek yogurt is bland. Are my taste buds screwed in backwards? Or as Chico Marx might say, who do you believe, me or your own taste buds?


Does this work with other things? Imagine two batches of rice pudding, both from the same recipe and made with the same ingredients and equipment - only one has twice as much sugar as the other. Will anyone think that the pudding with less sugar is sweeter?

#73 Posted : Thursday, November 17, 2022 10:32:57 PM(UTC)

In response to Bittrette:  Greek yogurt is thicker.  Fage is my favorite. YMMV.

#74 Posted : Thursday, November 17, 2022 11:16:44 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: KatieK1 Go to Quoted Post
In response to Bittrette:  Greek yogurt is thicker.  Fage is my favorite. YMMV.


2nd that. And 'regular' yogurt you stir it up, and it becomes sort of saucy and flowy while Greek yogurt acts more like sour cream and retains its thickness.

#75 Posted : Friday, November 18, 2022 1:07:44 PM(UTC)

Yes, whenever I open a new container of Dannon plain yogurt the whey has already separated out, and I have two choices: stir the whey back in, or pour it off. If I stir it back in, the yogurt will be thinner. If I pour off the whey, the yogurt keeps its shape, but what do I do with the whey? Do I discard it, or do I save it in the fridge until it spoils, or until I accumulate enough to do something with it?


With the way I use plain yogurt now it matters little, since I just mix it with fresh fruit and have it as a snack, or use the yogurt as an accompaniment.


What puzzles me most of all, though, are food writers who suggest dairy substitutes of different thicknesses - tho I'll have to get back to you on that.


And what about the difference in tanginess?

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