With the ever expanding culture, chefs and home cooks are finding new ways to incorporate the most basic of ingredients. Some are even becoming chemists and creating new concoctions of their own. Circles explored some very unique ingredient oddities that are sure to inspire the palate.


Stop and Smell the Lavender Used in cakes, pastries and ice cream, flowers add a unique and distinctive taste that will surprise the consumer. Flowers create a bright and vibrant look to the most boring designs. Common edible flowers are pansies, lavender, and hibiscus.

ChlliFeeling Hot, Hot, Hot…. in Chocolate?! Chili Peppers are a common ingredient to add to Spanish and Indian cuisine, but the new trend is to add the spicy pepper to chocolates, candy and other sweets. The sensation creates a battle of flavors and feelings that most foodies cannot get enough of.

Tofu1Its Soy Good Tofu is made from soybeans, water, and a curding agent. Mainly used in Asian and Mediterranean cooking, tofu is now becoming a universal ingredient and even a meat substitute and desserts.

Sushi Toothpaste Anyone??? Carrageenan (Cara-gee-nan) is a common additive used in ice creams, soy milk, and toothpastes. What is shocking is that this common ingredient is made of a substance extracted from seaweed. That’s right; you’re eating sushi even when you don’t expect it.

MSG…Makes Stir-Fry Great MSG (monosodium glutamate) is actu-ally a really cool ingredient, also known as “umami,” is the fifth essential flavor detectable by the human palate (the others are salty, sweet, sour and bitter). In fact, glutamate doesn’t have a taste on its own, and is best known for bringing out the flavors of other things (like sesame chicken… mmm!)

Gold-MedalsGold Rush In addition to its more common uses, gold is used as a food additive usually for decorative purposes in the form of gold leaf. Gold is inert to body chemis-try so it passes through the body unal-tered and has no nutritional value.


Dandelions can be used to make wine.

There are over 200,000 manufactures of tofu today.

Las Vegas ice cream shop Serendipity has a $1,000.00 sundae!




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