(bal-SAH-mihk): A red-brown Italian vinegar that
has a sweet-sour flavor. Made from white Trebbiano
grapes and aged in wooden barrels. White balsamic
vinegar is made from Italian white wine vinegar and
the boiled down musts (crushed pulp and skins) of
Barley flakes: Resembles and can be cooked
like oatmeal. Available in natural foods stores.
Barley flour: Flour made from a hearty grain
dating back to the Stone Age. Available in specialty
and health-food stores.
Basmati rice (bahs-MAH-tee): A long-grained
brown or white rice that is aged to enhance its
perfumy aroma and nutlike flavor. Particularly good
with Indian or Asian dishes.
Bean thread noodles: Also called cellophane
noodles, these translucent threads are made from the
starch of green mung beans. Sold dried, they must be
soaked briefly in hot water before using. They can
also be deep-fried.
"Beef" stock: Powdered vegetarian flavoring
mixed with water to make stock. Available in natural
food stores or by mail order.
Belgian endive (EN-dyv; AHN-deev): A
whitish-green, cigar-shaped head of bitter greens
closely related to chicory.
Black bean sauce: A pungently flavored
bottled Chinese condiment made from fermented black
beans, rice wine and garlic. Sometimes also flavored
Black-eyed peas: Small, tan Asian legume with
a black circular "eye," introduced to America via
the African slave trade. Available fresh or dried.
Also called cowpea as it was originally grown as
Black mustard seeds: Often used in Indian
cookery. Brown mustard seeds can be substituted.
Available in specialty markets.
Blood orange: A small specialty orange with a
sweet-tart taste and orange flesh streaked with
Bouquet garni: A bunch of herbs tied together
or placed in a cheesecloth to flavor soups, stews
and broths. The classic trio is parsley, thyme and
bay leaf. Tie the bouquet garni string to the pot
handle for easy removal of the herbs.
Brown rice syrup: Thick syrup made from
cracked brown rice and barley. Also called rice
malt. Used as a sugar substitute in sweets and
Bulgur: Cracked wheat that has been hulled
Burdock root: Slender root vegetable with
brown skin and white flesh. Sweet, earthy flavor and