Popular Ingredients

Get to know unfamiliar ingredients—think ube, lactose-free cheese, irish better, grits, polenta, and more—and understand the difference between ones you may already know—half and half vs heavy cream, for one—with these guides to popular, familiar, and unexpected ingredients alike. Learn how and where to use these ingredients for tastier, more diverse meals.

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What Is Irish Butter?

Everything you need to know about the distinct qualities of Irish butter.

What Is Cornmeal, Anyway?

You're probably familiar with cornmeal as the key ingredient in cornbread. Here, we go beyond the basics to explain exactly what cornmeal is and how it differs from similarly named products.

What Is Polenta, Exactly?

Polenta is an easy-to-please Italian staple that can be transformed into sweet or savory dishes. Below, we explain what polenta is made of and how to cook it.

What Are Grits?

Grits are a laid-back Southern comfort food that date back to the colonial days. Below, we explain how people eat grits, the history of grits, and what grits are made of.
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More Popular Ingredients


Can Beet Juice Really Boost Your Physical Fitness? We Asked an RD

We dug up the latest research (and spoke to a health expert) to determine whether beet juice is worthy of the hype.