7 Unusual Ingredients That Everyone Should Try


International farmer’s markets, retailers and local produce stands often offer a variety of unusual ingredients that may be hard to imagine enjoying. However, trying new ingredients and experimenting with food can be a fun way to jazz up weeknight meals or a weekend party.

1. Kabocha Squash

Sweeter than a pumpkin and hearty like a squash, the kabocha is excellent baked in the oven or pureed like butternut squash.


2. Tofu

You might not think that tofu would be considered an unusual ingredient; however, many people cannot imagine replacing their meat with a soy-based cube. The wonderful thing about tofu is that you can infuse nearly any flavor into the dish, it can be baked or fried and can be added to dishes as a thickening agent.


3. Romanesco

A psychedelic-looking vegetable, romanesco is a relative of cauliflower and offers a hearty serving of vitamins, fiber and carotenoids. Romanesco is excellent in stir fry or simply broiled or steamed.


4. Haggis

Yes, haggis looks and sounds like a worthy opponent, but with the right accoutrements, haggis can be quite tasty. Made from the organs of sheep, haggis has spices, onions and oats for a sausage-like hearty texture.


5. Rocky Mountain Oysters

If you can get past the part that you are about to enjoy bull testicles, rocky mountain oysters actually are prized in many areas as a delicacy. Commonly sold in international markets, this ingredient is one that promises a hearty, meaty flavor.


6. Nopales

Nopales is an ingredient often used in Mexican dishes and in salads. The pads of a cactus may not be what you would consider a delicacy; however, the fleshy meat of the cactus makes an excellent substitute for meat in vegetarian cooking.


7. Jackfruit

This menacing-looking fruit is among the worlds largest. With a weight of up to 80 pounds, jackfruit is akin to a banana in flavor, and meat in texture. The most common uses for jackfruit are in Asian dishes, raw or as a meat substitute in vegetarian cooking.

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