When you’re cooking a dish or making any type of food or drink, it’s essential to start with quality ingredients. If you use subpar ingredients to make something, the results that you get could end up less than stellar too. But if you have quality ingredients, you can improve the chances of your finished product coming out well. Of course, good ingredients don’t necessarily equal excellent results. You also need to know how to handle and prepare those ingredients if you want to get the best from them. However, starting with good ingredients is the first step, and there are a few things you can do to find the best quality.
Know When Food Is Fresh
Whatever you’re buying, you need to know how to tell if your ingredients are fresh. This is something that you can spend a long time learning. There are general rules for some categories of ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables or meat and fish. However, individual ingredients also have their own rules for whether they’re fresh, ripe, and of good quality. Deciding which avocados to buy will be a different process compared to choosing the best grapes. Using your senses, including sight, touch, taste, and smell to tell if something is fresh is a skill you will develop over time.
Buy Locally and Seasonally
Buying local and seasonal ingredients doesn’t always guarantee that they will be of excellent quality. However, it can help you to source fresh, quality ingredients if you find the right suppliers. Not only that, but it will also allow you to buy more sustainable ingredients that don’t need to be transported a long way to reach you. One way to get great local and seasonal ingredients is to head to your nearest farmers’ market. You can find ingredients from local suppliers that you will be able to see and assess for yourself.
Learn About Different Processes and Products
What does organic mean? What’s the difference between white flour and wholemeal flour? Knowing how different products are processed and produced can be really helpful if you’re looking for the best ingredients for whatever you want to make. When you know how sugar is made, you can understand how different types of sugar come to be and how you can tell good sugar from sugar of lesser quality. It can also help you to understand how a product can be made more ethically and how to find the most ethical products to buy.
Don’t Choose By Price Tag
Some people make the mistake of thinking that the higher the price is on something, the better it is. This might be true for some things, but it’s usually only true up to a certain point. And for some ingredients, there’s little point in paying more when you can get good quality for less. Don’t focus too much on the price tag if you’re looking for quality ingredients because it won’t necessarily tell you much.
Start with good quality ingredients and you can increase your chances of making great food and drink.
This is a collaborative post.