One of the most frustrating experiences when trying to learn new recipes is coming across an oddball ingredient that is only available in specialty grocers or perhaps not even there. The stuff just isn’t available. Rather than abandoning the recipe, substitutions can be done. This doesn’t work well if the mystery ingredient has never been experienced, so practiced guidance is needed.
The Food Substitution Bible
Fortunately, a book is available called the Food Substitution Bible. A search in any major online bookstore will bring it up. While some recipes include suggestions for substitutions, sometimes the substitutions themselves are mysterious items not commonly found in the regular grocery store. Time to head to the Bible!
So along comes this ingredient, explorateur. Sounds interesting, probably French, but what the heck is it? Turns out that explorateur is rich cheese sold in cylinders made of cheese rind. All right, so what other kinds of available cheese will work? According to the Bible, brie or Camembert cheese will do fine. Those are usually available at the supermarket in the gourmet section. Other cheeses will work too and are listed. It’s just that hardly anyone has ever heard of them.
No, You’re Kidding
Panko isn’t some hot new Japanese trading toy, but it is Japanese. It’s basically coarse bread crumbs. Papaw is actually from North America, but try to find it in the fresh fruit section. A fruit that tastes something like bananas and pears combined, several kinds of bananas can be used instead. Try the red ones.
When it comes to exploring new recipes, half the work is gathering together all the ingredients. Frustration comes in when one or more ingredient simply can’t be found, and no amount of imagination can fill in the gap if the ingredient has never been experienced. Going to the Food Substitution Bible will save the day.