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10 Differentiations Between Similar Ingredients Every Cook Should Know

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2. Red Wine Vinegar vs. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is usually aged longer than red wine vinegar, which gives it a sweeter taste. If you want more of a tang to a dressing, go for the red wine vinegar! Balsamic is also a great addition to tomato sauce if you want to add a rich flavor.

5. Pinto Beans vs. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans taste heartier than pinto beans and are often used in chili. Pinto beans do have more fiber, though. Both are great when they are cooked slowly and are a satisfying meat substitute.

6. Steel-Cut Oatmeal vs. Rolled-Oat Oatmeal

Steel-cut oatmeal is chewier than rolled-oat oatmeal. Rolled oats are more processed. They are usually steamed, rolled, steamed again, and then toasted before packaged. Steel-cut oatmeal is also digested more slowly.

9. Tomato Purée vs. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is tomatoes that have been cooked, strained, and reduced to a rich, sweet paste. Use a dollop for sauces or soups. Tomato purée consists of briefly cooked tomatoes that have been strained to produce a thick, tangy liquid. Try it when you want to add a pure tomato flavor without the texture.

10. Pancetta vs. Bacon

Bacon and pancetta are both cured pork belly, but unlike pancetta, bacon is usually smoked after it's been cured. So if you want a smoky flavor, better grab that bacon!

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