We put the spotlight on some of today’s most popular ingredients, as well as some that are less well known. Take a closer look and find out about seasonality, flavour profile, pairing suggestions and recipe ideas.

Ingredient focus

25 features

Ingredient focus – Jerusalem artichoke
Ingredient focus: Jerusalem artichoke
Ingredient focus: Jerusalem artichoke
by Sally Abé
29 January 2020
A tasty (and healthier) alternative to potato, Sally Abé tells us why and how we should all be eating Jerusalem artichokes over the winter months.
The ultimate guide to tahini
Ingredient focus: tahini
Ingredient focus: tahini
by Pete Dreyer
21 January 2020
As a result of our national hummus addiction, tahini is fast becoming an essential pantry staple in the UK – but what else can we do with it? Join us for a deep dive on tahini’s myriad uses as well as how to identify the good stuff.
Dashi
Flavours of Japan: dashi
Flavours of Japan: dashi
by Rosana McPhee
12 August 2019
Dashi is featuring increasingly on menus with the rise in popularity of Japanese cuisine. Rosana McPhee gives us the rundown on this classic stock, which is truly unique in flavour and impact.
Flavours of Japan - seaweed
Flavours of Japan: seaweed
Flavours of Japan: seaweed
by Kate Doran
11 August 2019
Delve into the wonderful world of seaweed with Kate Doran's guide. An ingredient that has long been put to fantastic use in Japanese cooking, seaweed is becoming increasingly popular in Western dishes, thanks to its delicious umami flavour and health-giving properties.
Flavours of Japan – Mirin
Flavours of Japan: mirin
Flavours of Japan: mirin
by Nisha Thomas
10 August 2019
Nisha Thomas explores the history and flavour profile of mirin, suggesting innovative new ways of using this Japanese cooking wine in creative dishes.
Flavours of Japan – matcha
Flavours of Japan: matcha
Flavours of Japan: matcha
by Elly McCausland
08 August 2019
Elly McCausland guides us through the history and uses of matcha – the powdered Japanese green tea that is making its mark in kitchens around the world.
Ingredient focus – wasabi
Flavours of Japan: wasabi
Flavours of Japan: wasabi
by Sally Abé
07 August 2019
Sally Abé sheds some light on the fiery bright green root beloved in Japanese cooking and looks into how it pairs with other flavours.
Ingredient focus – tofu
Flavours of Japan: tofu
Flavours of Japan: tofu
by Nancy Anne Harbord
05 August 2019
This guide to the different kinds of tofu available takes a look at some of the more unfamiliar types and explains how to showcase their unique features.
Ingredient focus – yuzu
Flavours of Japan: yuzu
Flavours of Japan: yuzu
by Rachel Walker
03 August 2019
Rachel Walker extols the virtues of yuzu – the tart, tangy Japanese citrus fruit that is more commonly being found on UK shores.
Ingredient focus – sake
Flavours of Japan: sake
Flavours of Japan: sake
by Victoria Glass
02 August 2019
Victoria delves into the world of sake, the rice wine (that's actually brewed like beer) drunk throughout Japan. As with wine, there are lots of varieties and uses, both for drinking and cooking, as well as a rich history within Japanese culture.
Ingredient focus - miso
Flavours of Japan: miso
Flavours of Japan: miso
by Shu Han Lee
01 August 2019
Shu Han Lee unravels the wonderful world of miso, that most ubiquitous of Japanese ingredients, and talks us through the flavours of the four main types: white, barley (yellow), red and hatchi.
Preserved lemons: how and when to use them
Ingredient focus: preserved lemon
Ingredient focus: preserved lemon
by Pete Dreyer
13 November 2018
How many of us have a half-finished jar of preserved lemons lurking in the back of our fridge? Pete Dreyer explores the different ways these incredible preserved fruits can add flavour to all manner of dishes.
A guide to soy sauce
Ingredient focus: soy sauce
Ingredient focus: soy sauce
by Clare Finney
05 November 2018
Soy sauce is not the all-purpose seasoning many of us treat it as – there are specific varieties best used in different ways for particular dishes. Clare Finney takes a look at the origins of this integral Chinese ingredient and the various ways it’s used today.
Harissa: how and when to use it
Ingredient focus: harissa
Ingredient focus: harissa
by Pete Dreyer
10 October 2018
Harissa has become a bit of a store cupboard staple over the last few years, but what is it that makes this fiery, flavourful paste so special? Pete Dreyer takes a deep dive into this much-loved ingredient and looks at a few fantastic recipes that put it centre stage.
Ingredient focus – raspberry
Ingredient focus: raspberry
Ingredient focus: raspberry
by Sally Abé
22 July 2016
Sally Abé turns her attention to that quintessential British summertime fruit the raspberry, and uncovers an interesting story as to how they got their name.
Ingredient focus: strawberry
Ingredient focus: strawberry
Ingredient focus: strawberry
by Sally Abé
16 June 2016
With Wimbledon looming and the elusive British summertime peeking over the horizon, Sally Abé takes an in-depth look at this most beloved of fruits.
Ingredient focus – white asparagus
Ingredient focus: white asparagus
Ingredient focus: white asparagus
by Sally Abé
13 April 2016
Sally Abé turns her attention to one of her favourite vegetables of all time – the carefully grown white asparagus.
Ingredient focus – wild garlic
Ingredient focus: wild garlic
Ingredient focus: wild garlic
by Sally Abé
09 March 2016
The star attraction in the British foraging calendar, wild garlic is appearing earlier than normal this year thanks to the mild winter. Sally Abé takes a closer look at the fragrant flower.
Ingredient focus – bergamot
Ingredient focus: bergamot
Ingredient focus: bergamot
by Sally Abé
19 January 2016
A lesser known member of the citrus family, you may recognise the aroma from floral Earl Grey tea leaves. Sally Abé tells us everything you need to know about bergamot.
Ingredient focus – cheddar
Ingredient focus: cheddar
Ingredient focus: cheddar
by Sally Abé
25 November 2015
The country’s most popular cheese is also one of the oldest. Whether it’s melted on toast, used in baking or just served on the cheeseboard, we can’t get enough of cheddar’s strong, savoury flavour and creamy, crumbly texture.
Ingredient focus – quince
Ingredient focus: quince
Ingredient focus: quince
by Sally Abé
23 October 2015
Is it an ugly apple or an odd-shaped pear? No it's a quince, part of the same family with a more floral flavour, look out for this aromatic fruit at farmers' markets for a winter treat.
Ingredient focus - oysters
Ingredient focus: oysters
Ingredient focus: oysters
by Sally Abé
21 September 2015
September hails the start of the native oyster season in the UK, a luxurious delicacy that many either love of hate. Sally Abé takes a look at the flavours and matches that will ensure every oyster is delicious.
Ingredient focus - cobnuts
Ingredient focus: cobnuts
Ingredient focus: cobnuts
by Sally Abé
09 September 2015
Once a British favourite, cobnuts all but disappeared from the landscape in the twentieth century but now they are making a comeback thanks to a new wave of chefs championing British ingredients.
Ingredient focus - grouse
Ingredient focus: grouse
Ingredient focus: grouse
by Sally Abé
12 August 2015
Grouse will not be found in the supermarkets so pop along to your local butcher to request this special treat that is now in season. A tasty, unusual and wild alternative to roast chicken not to be missed in the coming months.
Ingredient focus - mango
Ingredient focus: mango
Ingredient focus: mango
by Sally Abé
17 July 2015
It's the height of the mango season right now and last year’s UK ban on mango imports has now been lifted. We take a look at the flavour profile, food matches and how best to buy this tropical treat.