Ingredient of the Month

The Ingredient of the Month presentation offers downloadable tools featuring a different nutritional ingredient each month for chefs to incorporate into their menus and use in community events. The presentation provides an in-depth look at the ingredient, a delicious recipe, and a content-based quiz. Recipes range from simple recipes that kids can make to more detailed recipes for chefs. Download these tools, share with colleagues, and start creating your IOTM recipe collection.

New Ingredient of the Month

Chocolate

February 2024 - Chocolate

From ancient civilizations’ ceremonial use to Europe’s evolution of the sweet treat, the cultivation of the cacao tree and the ensuing final product produced from the harvested cocoa beans, chocolate and its continuous transformation by chocolatiers has captured the hearts of chocolate lovers worldwide. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Potatoes

January 2024 - Potatoes

Embarking on a journey spanning over 7,000 years, the humble potato has transformed itself into a pivotal role of cuisines throughout the globe. From initial skepticism to the transformative influence of a US President, explore the story of this versatile tuber that has since become a culinary essential loved by chefs and home cooks alike. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Rosemary

December 2023 - Rosemary

Rosemary boasts a rich history, dating back to ancient civilizations who revered it for its medicinal and sacred properties. Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, rosemary has adapted across a significant portion of Europe and is a common resident of gardens in temperate climates. Throughout history, rosemary’s aromatic allure has woven it into rituals, folklore, and cuisines, making it a symbol of significance to this day for both gardeners and chefs. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Olives

November 2023 - Olives

Olive trees and their fruit, known as olives, have immense history and cultural significance, particularly within Mediterranean regions. With their origins thought to be intertwined with the Mediterranean basin, particularly within the “Fertile Crescent,” which encompasses contemporary Greece, Turkey, and Syria, olives and their derivatives today command a worldwide market and makeup diverse culinary traditions across the globe. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Pumpkins

October 2023 - Pumpkin

The pumpkin, known scientifically as Cucurbita pepo, stands as a widely cherished and versatile fruit within the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Revered across the globe, it captivates with its culinary, decorative, and nutritional prowess. From the iconic Thanksgiving pie to the aromatic pumpkin spice lattes and the whimsical Halloween jack-o’-lanterns, the pumpkin reigns as an enduring emblem of American tradition. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Rice in spoons

September 2023 - Rice

Rice stands as an exceptionally versatile and economical ingredient, lending itself to a diverse array of both savory and sweet culinary creations. Its enduring and captivating journey traces back thousands of years, weaving through numerous cultures. Presently, rice holds a vital role as a staple food, with approximately half of the global population relying heavily on this essential crop. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Almonds

August 2023 - Almonds

Ever wonder why the pit and seed inside of a peach resembles an almond? It’s because they’re related! Culinarily referred to as a nut, almonds are botanically classified as a drupe along with apricots, peaches, and cherries. Now the most exported crop in California with 1.3 million tons produced in 2021–2022, almonds are one of the most versatile nuts used in the kitchen. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Corn cobs

July 2023 - Corn

As one of the world’s most important crops, corn has been farmed for thousands of years. Originally not existing in the wild, corn was first domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Through centuries of crossbreeding its earliest ancestor, known as teosinte, native civilizations in present-day Mexico transformed the crop into the sweet, tender corn we use today. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Lobsters

June 2023 - Lobsters

Once considered a “poor man’s food” and despised by many, the popularity of lobster has since exploded with the average yearly harvest topping over 100 million pounds. Whether the tender, sweet meat is served as a standalone dish or used in soups, pastas and spreads, lobster is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Blocks of Gouda cheese

May 2023 - Gouda

Originally named for the town it was traded in and not where it was discovered or produced, Gouda is a semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor, creamy texture and pale ivory color. Available in both young and mature forms, Gouda has been a Netherlands staple since the 12th century and has since become a timeless classic enjoyed around the world. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Turmeric rhizome and bowl of turmeric

April 2023 - Turmeric

Thriving in the hot and wet climate of the tropics, turmeric is not a root but a rhizome that has a deep orange-yellow color and yields a slightly bitter, peppery flavor when used in the kitchen. Since its discovery, turmeric has had deep ties not only to the kitchen but also in medicine and religion. Thousands of years later, chefs are still utilizing its flavor and coloring properties in a wide variety of both savory and sweet preparations. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

Jicama

March 2023 - Jicama

Scientifically known as Pachyrhizus erosus, meaning “thick root” derived from Greek, jicama has been cultivated in Mexico and Central America for centuries. Popularized in the U.S. after drought decreased potato production, jicama is now a popular dietary staple in many parts of the world. Like its potato relative, jicama is a tuber with light-brown skin and white flesh that adds a sweet, nutty flavor and can be used in a variety of raw and cooked preparations. Download the PowerPoint presentation and complete the quiz by logging on to the ACF Online Learning Center to earn one hour of continuing-education credits toward ACF certification.

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