Baking soda and baking powder are in a lot of baking recipies. But why? And what is the difference between the two? Baking Soda Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). This white powder leavens foods. Through a series of chemical reactions sodium bicarbonate is broken down and releases carbon dioxide (CO2).… Continue reading Baking Soda and Baking Powder
One of my favorite assignments in college was to compile an ingredient notebook. We had to look at ingredient labels, pick out ingredients we didn't know, and find out what they were. It was amazing how much I learned from such a simple activity. In a few months I was able to identify most ingredients… Continue reading Guar Gum
Salt has been a common food ingredient throughout history. The Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Assyrians, Chinese, and many other civilizations used salt for both preserving food and improving its taste. Some locations evaporated sea water to harvest the salt within it. Other areas mined salt deposits left from ancient seas. Since salt is so useful and… Continue reading Salt
Did you know that spices have a "best if used by" date? Some of them do. In my spice collection about half of them have a "best if used by" date. For example, the ground mustard I recently purchased is best if used by 2014. What does this "best if used by"date mean for spices?… Continue reading Do spices expire?