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Are dry sherry and cooking sherry the same thing?
By char from Clarksburg, WV
Cooking sherry (and red or white cooking wine) have salt/sodium added to them as a preservative and will last for a few months. Once a regular bottle of sherry or wine is opened it's shelf life is very, very, very short even if refrigerated.
Epicureans (the snobby type) use only regular sherry/wine for cooking. But to save money (and not very much difference in the flavor of your dish) and not be too unhealthy you can simply reduce or eliminate the salt from your recipe ingredients when using a cooking sherry/wine. You'll end up having a bottle that will last for three or four months for future recipes that way.
Of course, if you plan to drink the regular sherry or regular wine right away that's a good thing ;-)
No I don't think it's the same. You can even compare the difference between cooking wine and table wine. The cooking wine contains a lot of sodium.
As a few others have already noted here, cooking sherry is high on the sodium. You'll get better results in buying drinking-grade sherry, and even many of the lower-cost brands are ounce for ounce often cheaper and better-tasting than the salty "made for cooking" wines.