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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Latest Queries

  • Ingredients Queries - Cornstarch, EVO, Suet

    Is cornstarch the same as cornflour? Thanks!  

    Hi! What is EVO? I want to make the Persian Lamb Stew but not familiar with the term. Bellwilde.

    I live in Greece and both suet and white vegetable fat are unavailable. Although I have used olive oil in pastry it does not seem to have the same texture as a mix of butter and white fat. Can you suggest a substitute please?

    From the nigella team:

    Cornstarch is the very fine white flour made from maize. In the US it is knowna as cornstarch and in the UK it is known as cornflour but they are the same ingredient. It is most commonly used for thickening sauces, usually it is mixed with a little cold liquid then added to a hot liquid to thicken it. It should not be confused with cornmeal or polenta which is yellow cloured and coarser.

    EVO or EVOO is a shorthand used for extra virgin olive oil. 

    Suet is the white fat that sits around the kidneys and usually commercial suet is from sheep or cattle. It contains very little water and has a slightly higer melting point than most other fats (about 45c/99F). Lard (fat from pigs) is probably the closest substitute and then white vegetable fat. Failing these we would suggest substituting butter. Suet is usually sold shredded so it is best to coarsely grate the alternative fats before using. Freeze the blocks of fat for about and hour before grating them as this will make them easier to handle. We would suggest popping the grated fat back into the freezer before using, so that it firms up again as it will soften as you grate it.

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