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Mr Flibble
Sep 19th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Does anyone else spend hours on a regular basis searching through the shelves of independant stores looking for specialist ingrediants that you want to play with? Some I find in recipe books from other countries where the ingrediants are common place, others I find in things and want to use in my own creations. There's a whole tonne of stuff that's commonly used in the food industry in the UK but is a real arse to find if you want to make things from scratch yourself.

If anyone falls into this category, I'm starting this thread to exchange knowledge. I've seen lots of things over the years and may be able to help anyone living in England. I'm currently searching for:

Food Grade Cocoa Butter: I've emailed lots of chocolate manufacturers, cocoa importers, independant shops, large restuarants and the UK chocolate society over the past year, and no one is willing to sell me less than about 50 worth.

Gluten Powder: I know I can get this on certain vegan food websites, but it's imported from the US and hideously overpriced. I know I can make gluten from bread flour, but it's a pain in the ass kneading it under water till your hands are raw. It's used by the UK bread industry and is available to bakeries, but again you need to buy large bags of the stuff before any wholesaler will sell to you. http://www.flourbin.com/ sell it and I'm tempted to make an order, but does anyone know any shops that sell it? I've been in large indepandant health stores before that have claimed to sell it but not have it in stock.

twinkle
Sep 19th, 2005, 11:35 PM
The wholefood co-op in Leicester quite often have gluten in. Also Cook's Delight in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. I would imagine a health food shop should be able to order it in for you.

I think I've seen a website selling food grade cocoa butter starting at 15ish before, but it was a long time ago and the last time I looked I couldn't find any info.

abrennan
Sep 20th, 2005, 05:09 AM
in Chinese shops you can get

fermented bean curd curd

its usually in a jar and it's little blocks of soft tofu that have been fermented and have a tangy taste, you only need a little bit of it, you can get plain or chili. The chilli one is stained red has chili oil floating in it.

Traditionally it comes ina clay jar but most places near me sell it in glass jars

I like it but I'm not supposed to eat fermented things (eczema yknow).

You can put it in stir fry or in soup or hotpot type things. I have some chinese vegetarian sausages and it is in the ingredients for that. I have had it on toast before, only a smear mind you. It has kind of a sour taste which is common in traditional chinese cooking as opposed to the western style chinese stuff most people are used to.

here's alink with a piccie it's the eighth picture down
http://www.foodsubs.com/Soyprod.html

another description
http://old.sx.gov.cn/english/shop4.htm
Antony curd:cool:

Mr Flibble
Sep 20th, 2005, 08:51 AM
cool, the first link is excellent. I've never seen fermented bean curd in the UK, but miso is becoming ever more popular (you've always been able to get one or 2 types) and there's lots of varieties available now imported by clearspring (who sell to sainsburys, health food stores etc). I can finally get tubs of bean paste from a local chinese supermarket, along with lots of other soy products like bean curd sheets, bean stick etc having been looking for about 6 years.

abrennan
Sep 20th, 2005, 12:27 PM
cool, the first link is excellent. I've never seen fermented bean curd in the UK, but miso is becoming ever more popular (you've always been able to get one or 2 types) and there's lots of varieties available now imported by clearspring (who sell to sainsburys, health food stores etc). I can finally get tubs of bean paste from a local chinese supermarket, along with lots of other soy products like bean curd sheets, bean stick etc having been looking for about 6 years.

I love the beancurd skin stick and sheets. At some places I go in the town where live they put it in hotpots with veggies, or they roll veggies in it and braise it in broth. MMMmmm


Antony bean

Mr Flibble
Sep 21st, 2005, 11:44 AM
my next request, is corn syrup in the UK. From what I understand the EU has quotas of how much can be imported, and virtually all of that which comes into the UK goes to drinks and sweet manufacturers. My ex found imported Karo in a US deli in London outrageously priced around 3 quid a bottle last year, but I've since only found glucose syrup elsewhere.

Mr Flibble
Apr 24th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Corn syrup is available in some large House of Frazer stores that have food halls, such as Birmingham. Again it's outrageously overpriced.

It's also available online outrageously priced on a site which may be of interest to other UK based cooks. They claim to have no minimum order and free shipping! http://www.msk-ingredients.com Oddly their site says that cocoa butter can be used in place of geletin, something i've never heard of before