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"Siren Ingredients"

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:20pm

The inspiration from the wonderful world of food blogs continues... While reading Clotilde's recent Chocolate and Zucchini post, I fell in love with her term "siren ingredient." You know, those ingredients that call to you whenever you see them in the store or spot them in the composition of a recipe - the ingredients that you find yourself including and preparing in as many ways possible. I have been under the influence of this phenomena for ages, but I was never fully conscious of the process until Clotilde enlightened me with her vivid term.

My "siren ingredients" make me smile when I read about them and use them in the kitchen, and seem to make my recipes especially soul-fulfilling. I'm sure they have everything to do with the unique food culture in which we each grew up - into the happy 'foodies' we are today!

Here are mine... What are yours?
  • Cornmeal (I'm a southerner! Cornbread, Cornbread, Cornbread! Mmmm!)

  • Okra (see above... :-)

  • Eggplant (every time I see one I picture the heaps of perfect purple globes piled high in crates in the Machne Yehuda market in Jerusalem...)

  • Chickpeas (I suppose I'm a bit of a "hybrid" - a southerner with middle eastern roots... I think it makes for a rather good food combo! :-)

  • Black Eyed Peas (the southern version of chickpeas, I suppose? :-)

  • Cinnamon (especially in savory recipes, where it's less expected...)

  • Leeks (I'm not sure why, they still seem magical to me)

  • Cauliflower (go ahead and laugh, but I think of cauliflower as broccoli's gentle, shy sister!)

  • and finally, good 'ole Peanut Butter (have you ever tried peanut butter on baked sweet potatoes? Soooo unexpectedly good...)
and speaking of wonderful things, Muffin the Car now has company in the food-inspired-name department - Cookie the Bike!
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