Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – X,Y,Z for Xawaash Spice, Yams and Zabaglione.

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Welcome once again to Carols Cooking Column and today in the last post in my culinary trawl we have the letters X, Y and Z.

Xawaash Spice Mix.

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials.

For example, there are the essential accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qawra (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.
In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.

Xanthan Gum.

This is a common food additive used by food manufacturers as a thickening agent and stabilizer to stop ingredients from separating. Asynthetic thickener I have often seen it in recipes lately but not something I have used…Have you?

Xeres Vinegar.

Commonly known as Sherry vinegar…whisked into a vinaigrette, used in a marinade or adda splash to your homemade soup.


Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear. The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.


A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fiber, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too. The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes. New studies are underway.

Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grows in the Western United States.


Quite simply are the popular bao buns which is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling.

Xxx or xxxx confectioners sugar.

Finely ground it comes in different grades as above…during industrial manufacturing it is used when a quick dissolving sugar is required. Home cooks use it to make frosting and other cake decorations. The greater number of X’s the finer the particles of sugar are.


These are an edible tuber…cultivated in many temperate and tropical regions around the world? They are native to Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The skins vary in colour from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the vegetable is composed of a much softer substance known as the “meat”. This “meat” ranges in colour from white or yellow to purple or pink in mature yams.

Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Yard long beans.


A bean which is used here in Thailand and a staple in my kitchen for stir fries. More often found as a green bean on occassions they can be red which I like very much I love my purples.


It is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas.


The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago. There are some 1,500 different species that are currently recognized. Most of us know that yeast is used in baking, winemaking, and brewing.

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with molds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish.

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

Yellow split peas.

A type of field pea grown for drying…the Indian name is Chana Dal…Yellow and green split peas are interchangeable …like lentils split peas to not have to be soaked before cooking like beans.

Yerba Buena.

Yerba Buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.

Yorkshire Pudding.

Roast beef is traditionally eaten with Yorkshire Puddings…Traditionally eaten before the meal with gravy they served to fill the tummy so less meat was required. A British culinary dish the Yorkshire is often served with other meats as a Sunday Roast…Cooked with sausages it is known as Toad in the Hole …

Made with eggs, flour and milk/water any leftovers were then eaten with jam another way to fill a grumbling tummy.

Yu Choy.

One of my favourite vegetables Yu Choy has little yellow flowers the leaves, stems and flowers are all edible and are crunchy, tender with a sweet, green taste similar to baby spinach.


A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.


An Italian dessert or sometimes served as a beverage this light custard is whipped to incorporate a large amount of air…made with egg yolks, sugar and a sweet wine or a nice cognac.

Like the choice of alcohol the name also varies …zabaione in the North and zabaglione in the South of Italy.


Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing.


Is a variety of black skinned wine grape…the wine produced is a bold fruit forward red wine loved for its fruit flavour and smoky exotic spice notes…


Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…


I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classed as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size, I know it as the Marrow…

Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns.


A type of crisp, sweetened twice baked rusk popular in Europe and Scandinavian countries. There are two types one resembles melba toasts and the second type is made by pinching round pieces of dough, placing ne piece on top of the other and pressed together by pushing a finger down through both pieces then baked and served as warm soft rolls

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through the Culinary alphabet…Happy Eating

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor


My thanks to Carol for creating this wonderful series and we hope that you have enjoyed. As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.