Baldjis whole green Greek figs

Few foods evoke as much culture and history as figs.

Prominent in the bible, eponymous throughout the Greek empire and still a fixture across the landscape of contemporary Greece, the fig manages at once to represent the lushness of the Mediterranean throughout the ages and the modern charm of Greek cuisine.

The Essential Ingredient is proud to stock Baldjis …

How to create perfect pork crackling (video)

Roast pork is an Australian favourite, particularly when served with all the customary trimmings; roast vegetables, apple sauce, gravy and, of course, crackling. To most of us, a traditional Australian pork roast isn’t complete without perfectly formed, golden crackling, but getting a consistent result can often be a challenge.

Adrian Richardson, chef at La Luna and author of the book ‘Meat’, shows how to get perfect crackling results every time. This …

Understanding oils

Oil is a cook’s best friend. It carries flavour, adds moisture, stops food from sticking, gives colour and texture when cooked and much more.

Whether you’re shallow frying, deep frying, baking, marinating, barbequing, saucing or dressing a salad, oil is almost certain to appear in the recipe.

Every oil is unique, not just in flavour and nutritional value, but cooking properties. …

Truffle salt

The Essential Ingredient’s truffle salt is the queen of seasonings.

High quality sea salt is combined with ground Italian black truffle, infusing the rich, earthy truffle flavour through every grain.

A subtler flavour-carrier than truffle oil, your jar of truffle salt will never be far once you start experimenting with its intoxicating flavour.

Try it sprinkled across a thick steak, or use …

La Dalia Pimentón de la Vera: The authentic Spanish paprika

If meat is the body of your dish, then spices are the personality. Some give sweetness, a few are sour and others give your dish attitude. Paprika, the popular Spanish and Eastern European spice, brings mystery, warmth and that rich, unmistakable colour.

Pimentón, or paprika, was first produced in Spain where dried peppers were ground down, the differing combinations of fruit …

The history of risotto

There are few dishes as popular or as versatile as risotto.

At its simplest, risotto is a hearty, warming rice dish, rich with the flavours of the stock used in its making, as well as saffron, parmesan, butter and any of the hundreds of ingredients that match so perfectly with it.

Risotto is not only versatile, but easy to make, and as …

All the colours of the pepper grinder…

It’s very few savoury dishes that aren’t finished with a grind of the peppermill, whether into the pot or over the plate. Pepper is an essential part of most cuisines, and is something no chef would ever dream of being without.

The Essential Ingredient stocks a range of pepper products, including black, white, pink and green peppercorns, and green peppercorns in …