Question: Last holiday season I tried unsuccessfully to find sorghum (not molasses) in the supermarkets. I have a favorite recipe for popcorn balls that calls for it and would like to make them for my grandchildren at Halloween and Christmas. Can you give me a source?
Answer: Sorghum, the sweet juice that resembles cane syrup, can be found in some health-food stores around the Southland. All Mrs. Gooch's stores carry the product and it is also available at some Lindberg Nutrition Services stores.
Q: I have a friend from Germany who likes a bread recipe of mine that calls for a teaspoon of baking soda. She writes she cannot find it there. Could it be called something different in Europe?
A: Perhaps she needs to look for it by the chemical name sodium bicarbonate. If not sold in food markets, it should be available from a pharmacist.
Q: The shrimp lorraine recipe which ran in the Sept. 25 Food Section calls for a can of cream of shrimp soup. I've checked all my local markets and it's not available. Can you advise me where to purchase this soup?
A: According to the local office of Campbell Soup Co., their cream of shrimp soup is available at Hughes Markets, Boys Market and Gelson's Markets. It is also distributed by Certified Grocers. In the San Diego area the soup can be found at Big Bear and Skagg's-Alpha Beta supermarkets.
Q: What is the mizithra cheese that the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Diego uses in their cheese and browned butter sauce? You can buy it there in the restaurant, but where can I find it in Los Angeles?
A: Mizithra is actually a combination of cheeses that the restaurant chain grates and blends themselves. They hold proprietary rights over the recipe, but we were told it includes a hard ricotta cheese that must be shipped in from New York because it's not available in California. Pint (8-ounce) containers of the grated cheese are available for $2.92 (including tax) at the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurants in Hollywood, Newport Beach and Fullerton, as well as San Diego.
Q: Back in August you printed a recipe for coarse-ground mustard with red wine and garlic from the book "Better Than Store-Bought" (Harper & Row: 1979). Can you tell me how long this will store? Also, can it be stored without refrigeration? I want to make it for Christmas gifts, but don't have a lot of room in my refrigerator.
A: Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie, developers of the recipe, say it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. In Helen Witty's more recent book, "Fancy Pantry" (Workman: $11.95, 1896) she claims "room-temperature storage is fine for homemade mustards, but they do lose pungency in time. Whether or not this pleases you is an individual matter; to maintain the original hotness, refrigerate".
Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About ..., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.