Flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub that are
pickled and used as a condiment.
Cane syrup: Thick, very sweet syrup made from
sugar cane. Used in Creole and Caribbean cooking. An
English brand, Lyle's Golden Syrup, is available in
Cannellini bean (kan-eh-LEE-nee): Large,
white Italian kidney bean. Available dried and
Canola oil: The market name for rapeseed oil.
Mild flavored and lower in saturated fat than any
Cardamom (KAR-duh-muhm): A relative of ginger
native to India, this aromatic spice is used widely
in Scandinavian and Indian cooking. It comes ground
or in a pod containing small black seeds. The pods
can be easily crushed with a mortar and pestle to
release the spicy-sweet seeds.
Celeriac (seh-LER-ay-ak): Knobby brown root
of a celery variety cultivated specifically for its
root. Also called celery root.
Chard: Hearty green with crinkly leaves and
silvery stems, also called Swiss chard. Good source
of vitamins A and C and iron.
Chayote (chi-OH-tay): Pale green gourd-like
fruit used as a vegetable in Southwestern cooking.
White, bland flesh can be prepared in any way
suitable for summer squash, such as stuffing and
baking or raw in salads. Called mirliton in the
South and christophene in France.
Chutney: Sweet, spicy jam-like condiment
served with Indian curries. Made with fruit, often
mango, and vinegar, sugar and spices.
Cheese: Dairy cheeses, especially hard,
ripened varieties such as cheddar and Parmesan,
usually contain a meat byproduct called rennet, an
enzyme extracted from calf stomachs used to
coagulate milk. Pig pepsin is another coagulating
agent. Fresh, un-ripened dairy cheeses, such as
cream cheese and goat cheese, usually contain
vegetable rennet, a microbial enzyme produced from a
mold culture. This is sometimes listed on labels as
Cheese spreads sometimes contain gelatin, another
meat byproduct. Some dairy cheeses available in
natural foods stores are labeled rennetless or
rennet-free. These are made with chymosin, a
genetically altered bacteria that reproduces the
"blueprint" of a cow rennin gene. Chymosin is
usually listed on cheese labels as "enzymes."
Another label to look for is kosher. Many Kosher
cheeses are rennet-free because Jewish dietary Law
forbids the mixing of dairy and meat byproducts,
except under certain strict conditions. Check with
the manufacturer if it is not clear on the package.
Soy and nut cheeses, while free of meat byproducts,
usually contain a milk protein called calcium
caseinate, sodium caseinate or casein. Call the
manufacturer to determine if a dairy cheese contains
meat byproducts or if a nut or soy cheese contains
Chipotle chili (chih-POHT-lay): Dried, smoked
jalapeno chili with sweet, smoky flavor. Available
dried, pickled and canned in sauce.
Chinese cabbage: Large oval head with tender,
thin, crinkled leaves that shade from white at the
bottom to light green at the tips. It is mild in
flavor and crisp in texture. Also called Napa
Chinese five-spice powder: Pungent mixture of
five ground spices, usually equal parts, cinnamon,
cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan
peppercorns. Available in Asian markets and
Chickpeas: Also called garbanzo beans, these
light-brown beans have a nutty flavor. They are
available dried or canned.
Chili oil: Orange-red, chili-infused oil
found in small bottles in Asian markets. A drop or
two adds a spicy kick to dishes.
Coriander seed (KOH-ree-an-der): Dried, ripe
fruit of coriander plant, a relative of parsley.
Coriander leaves are also known as cilantro or
Chinese parsley. The seeds and leaves are not
similar in flavor.
Corn husks: Dried, papery husks tied around
tamales for steaming. Husks must be softened in hot
water for 30 minutes before using. Available in
Couscous: A pellet made from semolina flour,
which is made from steamed, dried and crushed durum
wheat. Common in North African dishes.
Crimini mushroom (kray-MEE-nee): Tan to rich
brown variety related to white mushrooms but with an
earthier flavor. Also called brown or Italian brown
Currants: Seedless, dried Zante grapes that
resemble small, dark raisins.
Curry: A catchall term meaning a number of
hot spicy dishes from India. Curry powder is a blend
of dry herbs and spices used in curry dishes. Thai
curry paste is a blend of fresh and dry herbs and