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Food Q & A

September 14, 1999

OK. Where were we?

Last week we answered - or thought we answered - a reader's question about where to find peach extract, an ingredient in the peach cookie recipe that won the best-of-show prize for Shannon and Elizabeth Bittner at Washington County Ag Expo.

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We called around and learned that Martin's Farm Market, 13613 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown, sells what we called peach extract. It is what Martin's Farm Market called peach extract, as well as what Elizabeth Bittner called peach extract.

But, oh my gosh, that inquiring reader called again and told us that what we referred to was NOT peach extract, but "artificial peach flavoring."



A call to extension educator Lynn F. Little made us feel a little better.

For the "common folk," the terms extract and flavoring are synonymous, she says.

"Flavoring extracts are produced by dissolving the aromatic essential oils, or essences, in alcohol," according to Little's "The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery." The book explains with an example: Genuine vanilla extract and artificial extract are "chemically identical."

Perhaps the very discerning taster could tell the difference - if the baker has found genuine peach extract, that is.

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer

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