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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

Ingredient: C

Green cabbage

Cabbage

Typically served boiled as corned beef’s longtime companion or raw in coleslaw, this cruciferous vegetable can be a healthful addition to many dishes.
Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe

The juicy cantaloupe, or muskmelon, does more than just round out a fruit salad. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, this summer fruit complements savory ingredients and herbs as well.
Capers

Capers

Capers are unopened flower buds from the prickly capparis spinosa shrub that grows like a weed in Mediterranean regions. Preserved with salt or vinegar, capers add a piquant zing to a variety of dishes—from salads and sandwiches to meat and fish. 
Caramel dripping from a spoon

Caramel

Real caramel contains just one ingredient: sugar. Produced by heating the sweet crystals until they liquefy, caramel has a golden brown color and a richly roasted, buttery flavor. At room temperature, it hardens and becomes brittle.
Carrots

Carrots

Loaded with beta-carotene (a great source of vitamin A), carrots are colorful, flavorful, and versatile, working in either sweet or savory dishes, cooked or raw.
Cauliflower

Cauliflower

A little sweet, a little nutty, this cabbage relative comes in green or purple but most commonly in snowy white.
Celery

Celery

Mild yet distinctive in taste (it has notes of pine and citrus), celery has long been an essential ingredient in classical French cooking.
Chard

Chard

A member of the beet family with stellar nutritional credentials, chard (a.k.a. Swiss chard) is a Mediterranean favorite with deep red or green leaves and an earthy, slightly bitter taste.
Quickes Traditional Mature Cheddar cheese

Cheddar

This popular high-fat hard cheese takes its name from the village of Cheddar, in Somerset, England.
Cherries

Cherries

From deep red Bings to pink-kissed golden Royal Anns, cherries are a summertime favorite—and a good source of antioxidants.
Chicken

Chicken

What’s for dinner? Probably chicken. It’s economical, versatile, and low in fat and high in protein—all good reasons why it winds up on the dinner table more often than any other meat.
Chile peppers

Chile Peppers

Known for their fiery heat, chili peppers (also called chilies or hot peppers) are rich in vitamins A and C. The more than 200 varieties range from ¼ inch to 12 inches in length. 
Chives

Chives

These hollow shoots are a mild, sweet member of the onion family. They’re combined with tarragon, parsley, and chervil to make fines herbes, a mainstay of classical French cuisine.
Chocolate bar

Chocolate

The Aztec king Montezuma believed chocolate to be an aphrodisiac (perhaps explaining its popularity on Valentine’s Day). With its antioxidants, a bit of dark chocolate may even be literally good for your heart.
Cilantro

Cilantro

An herb especially popular in Mexican and Southeast Asian cuisines, cilantro comes from the stems and feathery leaves of the coriander plant and is known for its cooling, some say soapy, flavor.
Cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon

Cinnamon

This warm, aromatic botanical has a light brown to reddish color and a bittersweet flavor. It’s derived from the dried bark of tropical evergreens.
Clams

Clams

Sweet and briny flavored, clams come in many varieties, both hard-shell and soft-shell.
Cloves

Cloves

Cloves are the dried flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree. This sweet, pungent spice is a staple in holiday baking, especially gingersnaps. When ground, a tiny sprinkle can bring a dish to life.
Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

This blend of coconut and water adds rich, creamy sweetness to curries and other Asian, Brazilian, and Caribbean dishes. The downside? It’s high in saturated fat.
Cod

Cod

A lean, sweet, white-fleshed cod can be safely eaten at least once a week (by adults and children) without risking unsafe exposure to contaminants.
Sweet corn

Corn

Sweet, fresh-picked corn—yellow, white, or butter-and-sugar (a combination of both)—is one of the joys of summer. A little butter, a shake of salt, and life is good.
Couscous

Couscous

This pasta (small grains of semolina coated in wheat flour) is a staple of North African cuisine and has become a go-to ingredient for busy cooks.
Cranberries

Cranberries

High in vitamin C, these hard, tart berries are grown in bogs in colder regions of North America and Europe. They’re almost always eaten cooked, as in the classic Thanksgiving relish.
Cucumber

Cucumbers

Cool and moist because of their high water content, cucumbers add a crisp, refreshing crunch to salads.
Cumin

Cumin

Kin to carrots and parsley, cumin is the dried fruit of the Cuminum cyminum plant. A major ingredient in chili and curry powders, cumin is also a favored spice in Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean, Northern African, Indian, and Mexican food due to its mellow, nutty taste.
Currants

Currants

Not to be confused with dried currants (which are tiny raisins made from Zante grapes), these dainty berries deliver a big, tart taste. Black currants, called cassis in French, are used to make crème de cassis liqueur.

what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

   
  • Arugula
  • Sweet corn
  • Fiddlehead Ferns
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
  • Peaches
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries
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