Five Things Not to Be Afraid Of in the Kitchen

Ghosts, goblins, and witches …. There are lots of things to be afraid of during the last week in October. But these five foods shouldn’t be on your list.

We’re here to dispel any fears you may have about these lesser known ingredients ….


A type of clarified butter that doesn’t require refrigeration (big bonus!), ghee is commonly used in Indian cuisine and has recently gained popularity in other types of cooking. It’s made by heating butter until the water and milk solid portions separate. The remaining oil, or “ghee,” has a higher concentration of fat and more flavor than butter.  It’s commonly used in place of other cooking oils, and can be tossed with steamed veggies, slathered on baked goods, or wherever butter is used. We carry a Vanilla Maple Chai and a Garlic Scape ghee (along with “regular”).

Ground Sumac

If you like za’atar, then you’ll probably like ground sumac; it’s one of the key ingredients. Ground sumac is a spice commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. You’ll find it in meat marinades and sprinkled atop salads, veggies, hummus and other dips. Its lemony flavor makes ground sumac super versatile. You can add it to just about anything, from seafood to flat breads. Or if you want to make your own za-atar, just add equal parts sumac, dried thyme, and sesame seeds; shake; and enjoy!

Bonito Flakes

Also known as Katsuobushi, bonito flakes are a staple in the Japanese diet. They’re made from dried, fermented, and sliced bonito–a popular fish in Japan. The shavings add a strong, salty taste to foods and are commonly used to season soups, broths, Asian sauces, and noodle dishes. Here’s a simple recipe for Rice with Soy-Glazed Bonito Flakes and Sesame Seeds.


Primarily grown in Japan, China, and Korea, this citrus fruit (about the size of a tangerine) is too sour to be eaten alone. But it’s delicious in dressings, sauces, and marinades. We carry a yuzu spice blend that tastes great sprinkled on eggs, salads, and meats. Or try our YuZu Mayonnaise and Yuzu Marmalade!


A staple in North African and Moroccan foods, this chili paste is not to be underestimated! Made with a blend of hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spice, a little goes a long way. You can use it to spice up almost any recipe, from soup to burgers to veggies. If you like a splash or two of sriracha on your favorite dishes, try a little harissa, instead. Emphasis on “a little.”

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