...Botanically speaking the tomato is a fruit, but in the culinary world it is used almost strictly as a vegetable. Tomatoes are a nightshade plant that grow on tall, thick sturdy stalks. There are many varieties of tomato, but the most common type is round and red. It has a thin skin that covers its extremely juicy and soft flesh. The center contains seeds wrapped in a gelatinous film. The tomato is sour with a hint of sweetness. It can be sliced into rounds and wedges or diced into small chunks and is eaten raw or cooked.
...Water is a substance and chemical compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is clear, fluid, flavorless and odorless. Water is a necessity in nearly every aspect of life, including cooking, baking and hydrating the human body. Water can be served as a cold beverage, or at any temperature comfortable to the mouth and skin.
...Green onions, also called scallions are used in cooking and have a milder flavor than a round onion, though they pack a punch of their own with a mild zestiness and onion flavor that is bright and a bit green. Green onions are thin stalks with white dense bottoms two thin hollow green stalks, sprouting from the base. Scallions have a crunch to them and a hint of juice. They perk up any dish with their bright flavor.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...Soybean oil is used in many countries around the world and has become extremely popular in the US for its inexpensive price and neutral flavor. Soy oil is considered a vegetable oil and is extracted from soybeans. The color of this thin oil is a translucent golden yellow. Soy oil is used frequently in restaurants for sauteing, grilling and deep frying. It is also used in salad dressings and baked goods.
...Cilantro is a leafy herb with a thin green stalk and small, partially fringed green leaves that look similar to a three leaf clover. It has a distinct smell that is similar to a lime and a flavor to match that. In addition, it smells and tastes the same and has a strong flavor with a hint of greens. Due to a genetic trait, some people find that cilantro tastes like soap. This herb is used in many cuisines, particularly from Asia and Central and South America.
...Tomato paste is a made by cooking tomatoes down, straining them and then continuing to let them cook until they have been reduced to a thick, dark red paste. This paste is tart and sweet with very little moisture due to the reduction of juices which creates an intensified and rich tomato flavor. Tomato paste is used in sauces and many Italian dishes.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.
...The arbol chili is a small, bright red chili pepper between five and seven centimeters, with a skinny pod, tapered ends and green stem. On the heat scale it's between 15,000 and 30,000 scoville units, which indicates a fiery hotness. This little pepper has a smoky and green flavor that lends itself well to sauces, meats and a variety of savory dishes.
...Sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar is extracted from the juice of both plants and refined into the granulated substance known as sugar. Sucrose, the sweet substance of sugar is a combination of glucose and fructose. White sugar is composed of tiny white, dry granules. The flavor is sweet and neutral. Brown sugar is brown and has more moisture, with a richer flavor that hints at molasses. Sugar is used in both sweet and savory foods.
...Onion powder is made from the bulb vegetable, onion. Onions are round with a thin, papery skin covering their many layers of juicy and crunchy flesh. This flesh, which is white, yellow or red is made by taking dehydrated onion pieces and then grinding them into an extremely fine powder. The powder is a pale golden/tan color. Onion powder has a flavor that is milder than fresh onions, but highly flavorful in a richer and more concentrated way. It tastes both sweet and mellow, with a spicy edge. Onion powder is used as a seasoning for savory dishes.
...Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves that have been ground into a super fine powder. This powder is a pale yellow/golden color and is used to flavor foods. It works well in a pinch and can be used in many of the same ways that fresh garlic is used. The flavor is milder than raw or cooked garlic and is spicy, pungent and nutty. Garlic granules are another form of dehydrated garlic, but rather than powder it is coarser and has the same function. It is often used on top of fresh pizza, as a light dusting.
...Jalapeños are a popular hot pepper with a medium-width body that is short and tapered. These peppers have a shiny thin skin and are often picked while green, and not fully mature. When jalapeños mature they turn red, as do many hot peppers. The thin green flesh of the jalapeño is crispy, with a hint of juice and very hot. Jalapeños also have a mild green flavor and contain extremely spicy seeds in their centers. The uses vary widely and jalapeños can be found in hot sauce, salsa, guacamole, cornbread and more. They are almost always used fresh or pickled.
...Vinegar is made from alcohol. It can be made from wine, fermented apple, grains and other sources. Healthy bacteria is used to ferment this product. The final result is a thin liquid used to season foods. All vinegar is sour. White vinegar has a sharp sour flavor and is clear. Red wine vinegar is a clear red color and tastes a bit more rounded. Balsamic vinegar is dark red or brown and tastes rich, fruity and sour. There are many other kinds of vinegar, each with its own unique flavor profile. Some types of vinegar are suited to specific flavors and cuisines. It is used in sauces and in dishes both sweet and savory.
...The peppercorn plant grows in tropical climate and produces tiny black fruit. The fruit is dried and become hard. At this point it is ground into a textured powder comprised of black and grey dots. It has a flavor that is spicy, pungent and sharp. Pepper is an extremely popular spice, especially in Western cuisines and lends a gentle heat to dishes. There are different varieties of black pepper and the flavor changes subtly because of this.
...Additives are added to food items in small quantities to improve the flavor, change the texture, enhance appearance, or preserve the item. Additives are both natural and artificial. Natural additives have been used for a long time, while many artificial ones were discovered in the 19th century. There are numerous artificial additives including soy lecithin, guar gum, ascorbic acid and sodium nitrite.