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The Culinary Alphabet. Then letter I

The Culinary Alphabet. Then letter I

By: | October 4, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 comments

The Culinary Alphabet. Then letter I

Welcome to this month’s Culinary Alphabet tour and it is the letter I.

I am loving this series as I am discovering terms and names I didn’t know or didn’t think I knew so I hope you are too.

I for me was not as easy as some and not so many terms in the culinary alphabet beginning with the letter I although as I was writing I did think of some more it takes me a while sometimes…getting old…lol

I know Ice Cream is mine and many other peoples favorite thing so I left it out…

Let’s kick off with The Culinary Alphabet. Then letter I


Means…To extract flavor from one food to another often by heating or steeping. Teas are infusions.


The icing on many a cake…

It comes in so many variations there are so many talented bakers…

The icing is generally used to glaze pastries or cakes and tastes more sugary than frosting. Icing can be used to make beautiful flooded decorations on cakes or biscuits. Who doesn’t love a drizzle cake ??

My little grandaughters iced biscuits

Isinglass Finings.

Is what makes your beer clear…

Isinglass is a traditional finings, a substance that causes yeast to precipitate out of suspension, leaving beer clear. Isinglass is derived from the swim bladders of certain tropical and subtropical fish. When macerated and dissolved for several weeks, they form a colorless, viscous solution largely made up of the protein collagen. This material is known to brewers as isinglass finings.

Traditionally, isinglass for brewing purposes was derived from sturgeon, although modern commercial isinglass is more typically derived from tropical estuarine dwellers, such as the Nile Perch Lates niloticus from Lake Victoria, where it is considered an invasive species.

The best quality finings originates in the South China Sea and is identified as Round Saigon or Long Saigon finings. The swim bladder is sun-dried at the catch site and then packed for export to markets in China, where it is used to make fish maw soup, or to the UK to make isinglass finings.

Indian Corn.

Doesn’t that look pretty?

Is a variant of maize…Very colorful and pretty…It is mostly sold for ornamental purposes and used in displays…Can you eat it? It is also known as flint corn and some varieties are used for popping for popcorn or it can be ground into flour.


Quite simply the Italian word for salad and sounds so much more than just salad…Don’t you think?

Irish Stew.

Winter is coming in many places now although here it is the opposite High season is coming.

A traditional Irish stew has been around since about the 1800’s. Traditionally it consisted of nothing but mutton chops or neck, potatoes, onions, and water…I have fond memories of when my mother used to make it with white gravy as we called it although she did add carrots and barley … Like any traditional dishes, there are many regional differences and all think theirs is the original and all tasty.

Ink Fish ( Octopus)

Octopus an eight-limbed soft-bodied mollusc…They have three hearts and blue blood which they squirt at any predators. They are the subject in many films and myths and are also very nice to eat…

In Korea, some small species are sometimes eaten raw as a novelty food. A raw octopus is usually sliced up, seasoned quickly with salt and sesame seeds and eaten while still squirming posthumously. A common food in the Mediterranean with the ink used to color rice dishes like paella or pasta.

I like my octopus in a tomato based stew or grilled with a lemon sauce.

Immorttalittea ( Green Chai)

Was originally blended for medicinal purposes and is said to be highly anti-ageing, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant it is a carefully balanced blend of Mediterranean and North American spices and has a more muted flavour than traditional chai tea not a bit medicinal in flavour as one would think it has a floral, piney flavor with fresh green undertones…

Italian Herb blend

A very popular herb blend which is used in many dishes and also very easy to make using herbs from your store cupboard.


6 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Easy as 1 2 3….isn’t it?

Indian Vanilla Bean.

Who would think that you would get such a wonderful fragrance from a dried bean??

India the country of spices and Vanilla being one of them…introduced about 1850 it is thought to be superior to the Madagascan Vanilla … I have no opinion on this as of yet I have not used the Indian variety which is said to be sweet, creamy and extremely aromatic…and can be used in any dishes requiring vanilla.


A traditional pit oven furrowed with rocks and banana leaves used for cooking meats.

Iceberg Lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce …It used to be very popular but with the emergence of so many colorful, nutritious lettuces seems to have taken a bit of a back seat… I like it! It makes a lovely crispy base for prawn cocktails and it lasts and does not wilt as quickly as some other lettuces and in a sandwich adds that welcome crunch there is to me nothing lovelier than a prawn mayo sandwich with iceberg lettuce…Just saying!

That’s all for this month I hope you have enjoyed my choices and maybe like me discovered some you were not familiar with…

Until next time when it will be the letter J for Jelly Beans which I love…


The Culinary Alphabet. Then letter I
  1. This is so innovative and I go back learning new cuisines. How did you think of something so unique and appealing? I’m really curious to know.

  2. The infusion and Indian corn made up for the isinglass …*heave* An educational post you left us. I learned to infuse more often and never drink beer. 😂😃🤣

    • Dear Ellen…I try to mix it up a little and I do the same with wine…makes the day pass so much more pleasantly….haha x

    • Hi Ellen – Yes Carol always provides us with very interesting and new ideas and ingredients.

  3. I love this, Esme! The Irish stew and immorttalittea is new to me. I do like that the name “Immorttalittea” and find it very appropriate for it’s anti-aging properties. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Erin, You should try the Irish stew – make it often in the winter (my version of it anyway) and just love it.

    • I loved that name as well, Erin it has such a lovely feel about it…The stew my mum always made with a few additions and just the delicious white gravy as we called it …Thank you for dropping by 🙂

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