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What are figs?

Fresh Figs

For a long time, figs were a very mysterious fruit to me – and I’m sure they were to many others who did not see them regularly. Although many people in my area had fig trees, I rarely saw anyone harvesting or eating the fruit when I was growing up, so the …

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Whole vs freshly ground nutmeg

Whole nutmeg in jarWhen I write a recipe that includes nutmeg, I try to specify that it should be freshly ground nutmeg. I notice that more and more recipes are written this way, where years ago most just said simply “nutmeg.” This is because nutmeg has a delicate, spicy flavor that starts to dissipate shortly after being …

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How to choose fruit for grilling

Grilled fruits, pineapple and peaches

Cooking outside when the weather is nice is very appealing, and it’s nice to be able to make dessert while you’re outside – and without heating up the house to bake – so one of the best summertime desserts out there is grilled fruit. Grilling can make fruit sweeter, as it caramelizes …

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What are blood oranges?

Blood Oranges

Blood oranges are a very unique-looking fruit. When you cut into an orange, you expect it to be, well, orange. Blood oranges are red inside, and can range from having a handful of red streaks inside to being so dark that they appear to be purple.

Blood oranges have been …

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What are Meyer lemons?

Meyer lemon slices

Meyer lemons get more popular every year, and what was a relatively unknown fruit just a few years ago can now be found on restaurant menus, in mainstream supermarkets and food/home magazines. Meyer lemons aren’t lemons; they’re actually a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a lemon. The cross was originally developed …

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How to toast coconut

Toasting coconut, in progress

Shredded coconut is an ingredient that is packed with possibilities, both in terms of texture and flavor. Raw shredded coconut, whether you prefer sweetened or unsweetened, has a sweet coconut taste and a chewy texture. Toasted coconut still has the same basic flavor, but it also has a caramelized nuttiness and a …

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