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a la - French for the style of, such as "a la Francaise" meaning "in the style of the French"

a la Bourgeoise - French for in "the style of the family"

a la Broche - French for cooked on a skewer over a flame

a la Carte - A list of food items each priced and served separately

a la Florentine - Literally French for "in the style of Florence". In Italian, "alla Florentine". It refers to dishes served with spinach and topped with a mornay sauce.

a la King - An American dish of diced foods, usually chicken or turkey, in a cream sauce with pimientos, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and sometimes sherry.

a la Mode - Meaning "In the fashion"

a la Provençal - French for dishes prepared with garlic and olive oil.

Ababai Fruit - Fresh off the tree, ababai has a thin skin and looks like a small papaya with a flesh that is firm and uniform in texture. It is one of the few fruits that will not dissolve when cooked. It can be sautéed with vegetables, broiled or grilled. Ababai is never eaten fresh due to its high enzyme content. After processing, the pale yellow color turns a brilliant gold.

Abaisee - 1. A French term for a puff pastry sheets that have been rolled very thin.
2. Sometimes it refers to a thin slice of sponge cake used in a dessert.

Abalone - A mollusk related to the sea snail, eaten fresh, dried and salted, or cooked in dishes similar to clam chowder. Known as "awabi" in Japanese cuisine, as "loco" in South American, as "ormer" in the English Channel, as "muttonfish" in Australia and as "paua" in New Zealand. Its iridescent shell is a source of mother-of-pearl.

Aberdeen Sausage - A long Scottish beef sausage that is wrapped in a cloth, boiled, and then coated in bread crumbs.

Accolade - En accolade means serving two like kinds of food leaning against each other. The term usually applies to poultry and game hens.

Acetic Acid - Wine or cider that fermented beyond the stage of alcohol. In a diluted form acetic acid is vinegar. Acetic acid is also used in preserving fruits to keep them from discoloring.

Achar - A strong spiced pickle relish served in Indian cuisine. It usually consists of chopped fruits and vegetables in a spicy sauce.

Acid Rinse - Discoloration of peeled fruits and vegetables are prevented from browning when exposed to air by a bath of acidulated water.

Acidulate - To give a dish or liquid a slightly acidic, tart or piquant taste by adding some lemon juice, vinegar, or unripened fruit juice.

Acidulated Water - Cold water with vinegar, lemon or lime juice added

Acerola - A small, deep-red, cherrylike fruit that grows on the acerola tree found primarily in and around the West Indies and Brazil. The fruit has a sweet flavor and one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C. It is used in desserts and preserves. It's also known as the Barbados cherry, Puerto Rican cherry and West Indies cherry.

Achar - Pickling relish used in Indian and West Indies dishes, made of palm cabbage, bamboo shoots, spices, and other fruits and vegetables.

Acorn Squash - A small to medium-sized acorn-shaped winter squash with an orange and green or orange, yellow and creamy white ridged shell with pale orange flesh, and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.

Adabado - A sour paste used to marinate fajitas (Mexican skirt steak) before grilling, made with vinegar, chiles, and herbs.

Ade - A fruit drink made by combining water with sugar, dissolving the sugar, then adding a citrus juice and ice.

Adjust Seasoning - To taste the dish before serving to determine the need for salt, herbs, or other seasonings.

Adzuki Bean - A small reddish-brown bush bean (they grow on bushes rather than vines) cultivated in China and Japan. Extremely versatile, adzukis can be eaten fresh or dried, or ground into flour and used to make cakes or other confections such as Yokan. The skin of the adzuki bean is quite thick, requiring long soaking and a cooking time of about two hours.

Adobo - 1. A Philippine national dish of braised pork, chicken, or fish. 2. Also, a seasoned Mexican sauce made with vinegar and chilies like the sauce in which Chipolte peppers usually are sold.

Aemono - A Japanese salad served with dressing, or the dressing itself.

Aerate - To sift ingredients through a fine-mesh screen to break up lumps and to add air to make them lighter.

Aftertaste - Term used to describe the impression that remains after food or beverages are swallowed. Wine is evaluated on the character and length of aftertaste.

Agar-Agar - An extract of seaweed used as a thickening agent. The Japanese use it in soups.

Agaricus Mushrooms - Plump, dome-shaped mushrooms, ranging in size from small (button mushrooms) to jumbo. These common mushrooms have a mild, earthy flavor and are available year-round in bulk and 8-ounce packages. Their color can range from white to pale brown, and their caps should be firm, tightly closed and evenly colored.

Agave - A Mexican plant with large, fleshy leaves. Fermented agave sap is used to make tequila, pulque, and mescal.

Agneau - French term for lamb.

Agnolini - Small stuffed pasta similar to ravioli.

Agnolotti - Round or crescent-shaped stuffed pasta, usually filled with meat.

Ail - French term for garlic.

Aioli - Sauce of southern France made with garlic, olive oil, egg yolks, and other seasonings. Aioli is used with potatoes, poached fish, snails, salt cod, and added to bouillabaisse. It is similar in consistency to mayonnaise.

Ajo - Spanish term for garlic.

Akee, Ackee - Tropical fruit, native to Africa, commonly eaten in Jamaica with salt cod. The cherry-size fruit, slightly oval in shape, has a flavor similar to grapes, and looks like scrambled eggs when cooked. Certain parts of the fruit are toxic when underripe so it is important to identify the stage of maturity before using this fresh fruit, but canned akee is safe. Also known as genipa, genip, ginup, honeyberry, limoncillo, Spanish lime and mamoncillo.

Aging - A term used to describe the holding of meats at a temperature of 34 to 36 degrees F. for a period of time to tenderize.

Aïoli - A strong garlic mayonnaise from the Provence region of southern France. It is a favorite addition for fish, meats and vegetables.

Al Carbon - In Italian and Mexican cooking, foods grilled over charcoal.

Al Forno - Italian term for food baked in an oven.

Al Fresco - Italian term for an outdoor meal or social event held outside.

Al Pastor - Italian term for food cooked over an open fire on a long spit.

Alambre - Spanish or Mexican shish kebab.

Al Dente - Italian meaning "to the tooth". Used to describe a food, usually pasta, that is cooked only until it gives a slight resistance when one bites into it; the food is neither soft nor overdone.

Albacore - Albacore is a high-fat tuna with light flesh and a mild flavor. Found in temperate marine waters throughout the world, it weighs between 10 and 60 pounds. It is the only tuna that can be called white, and the most expensive canned tuna.

Albumen - 1. Egg white. 2. An important type of protein found in egg whites, rare beef, milk and some vegetables. It is a vital component of human blood serum.

Alfalfa Sprouts - A popular choice for salads and sandwiches, alfalfa sprouts are best eaten raw. They also may be stir-fried or sautéed, but should only be cooked for 30 seconds or less to avoid wilting. Alfalfa sprouts are widely available in supermarkets. Look for crisp sprouts with buds attached, and avoid musty-smelling or slimy-looking sprouts. Once purchased, they should be refrigerated in the ventilated plastic container in which they are usually sold and kept for no more than two days.

All-purpose Flour - White wheat flour blended to contain a moderate amount of protein and used for a wide range of general baking and cooking.

Allspice - A member of the pimento family and native to tropical regions. It's brown berries have a flavor similar to a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pepper. Allspice is also known as Jamaican pepper.

Allumettes - The French word for "match," also refers to potatoes that have been cut into thin "matchsticks"

Almond Extract - A concentrated flavoring made from alcohol and bitter-almond oil, primarily used baking.

Almond Paste - Blanched, ground almonds combined with sugar and glycerin; used in a variety of confections including amaretti cookies; similar to marzipan but is less delicate and not as sweet. Ground kernels of peaches or apricots are often added to enhance the almonds. Almond paste is available in most supermarkets. After opening, wrap tightly and refrigerate. Heating for two or three seconds in a microwave oven can soften hardened almond paste. It should be firm but pliable before using.

Almonds - Commonly grown in the Mediterranean, California and other warm climates, almond varieties are classified as either sweet or bitter. Sweet varieties are used as edible nuts. They are highly nutritious and can be used raw, roasted or toasted.

Aluminum - Cookware made from this tough, strong, light metal holds heat well, but has a tendency to react with acids and can give foods an off-taste. For this reason never use aluminum for a recipe which calls for a non-reactive pan.

Aluminum Foil - A thin pliable sheet of aluminum which can be folded, molded and sealed. It conducts heat well and can withstand extremely high and low temperatures.

Amandine - This French term refers to dishes garnished with almonds. Often spelled Almondine.

Amaranth - A pseudo-cereal grain cultivated for more than 5,500 years by the Aztec and related cultures. Virtually unknown for the last 500 years, it is currently grown commercially in the United States by a few dozen farmers. This grain exceeds all common grains as a source of protein and, as such, is expected to experience wider availability. It may be cooked in liquid or popped. The leaves have a slightly sweet flavor and are often used like spinach. Amaranth is also called Chinese Spinach, een choy and callaloo.

Amaretti - Italian almond cookies reminiscent of the macaroon.

Amaretto - An almond-flavored liqueur, often made with kernels of apricot pits.

Ambrosia - A dessert of chilled fruits combined with coconut. Bananas and citrus fruit like oranges are common ingredients. Ambrosia may also be served as a salad.

American Cheese, Processed - any of the group of US cheeses made with emulsifiers to increase smoothness and pasteurized milk to increase storage life; 51% of the final weight must be cheese.

Amori - Hollow, rigid pasta spirals.

Anaheim Chilies - Mild, long green chilies named for the area near Los Angeles where they were once cultivated. They are available canned (whole or chopped) and fresh.

Ancho Chilies - Dried poblano chilies that come in color ranging from dark red to almost black. They are moderately hot with a smoky flavor.

Anchovy - A small fish used primarily as flavoring. It has a very salty and has a distinctive taste.

Andouille Sausage - A spicy sausage made from pork chitterlings and tripe. Andouille is traditionally used in Cajun dishes, like jambalaya and gumbo.

Angel Food Cake - A light, airy cake made without egg yolks or other fats; its structure is based on the air whipped into the egg whites; traditionally baked in a tube pan.

Angel Hair Pasta - A thin, delicate pasta. These strands are best if used with thinner, delicate sauces. Other uses: break in half and put in soup; use in salads or stir-fry meals.

Anise - An herb of the parsley family native to the eastern Mediterranean region. It has bright green leaves with a mild licorice flavor.

Anisette - A sweet French liqueur made with aniseed. It is produced as a flavor blend of aniseeds and aromatic herbs.

Annatto Extract - A dye made from the pulp surrounding the seeds of the South American annatto tree; mainly used to color cheese, particularly cheddar. See also Annatto Seed.

Anolini - A semicircular, stuffed pasta.

Antioxidants - 1. Natural or synthetic substances that prevent or delay the process of oxidation. Some food additives are antioxidants that act as preservatives by retarding deteriorization, rancidity or discoloration caused by oxidation. 2. Compounds found in various foods that reduce premature aging or degenerative disease.

Antipasto - An Italian dish of cold meats, hors d'oeuvres and vegetables, which is commonly served before the pasta.

Aperitif - An alcoholic drink taken before a meal that is supposed to sharpen the appetite. It is usually strong and very small.

Appetizer - A small serving of food or beverage served before first course of a meal.

Apple - A pome fruit with generally firm flesh, which can range in flavor from sweet to tart. They have a thin peel or skin ranging in color from yellow to green to red. Apples can be eaten raw, cooked, pureed or used for juice.

Apple Brown Betty - A dessert with layers of apples and buttered crumbs or oats and spices.

Apple Corer - A small kitchen tool with a sharp metal gouge attached to a handle; used to remove the core of an apple.

Applejack - 1. An American brandy made from apple cider that must spend a minimum of two years in wooden casks before being bottled; very potent, ranging in strength from 80 to 100 proof. 2. Apple syrup or a type of apple turnover.

Applemint - A member of the mint family, applemint sprigs have a slightly fruity flavor and can be added to fruit salads, cream or cottage cheeses, or used to garnish drinks.

Apple Slicer - A tool with a round frame sectioned off by either wire or metal blades. The tool is pressed over an apple, dividing the fruit into even sections while also removing its core.

Apricot - A small fruit with a thin, velvety, pale yellow to deep orange skin, a meaty golden cream to bright orange flesh and an almond-shaped pit.

Arborio Rice - A short-grain rice with a hard core, white color and mild flavor. It has a creamy consistency when cooked and is used for risotto.

Aroma - Odor or fragrance

Arrowhead - Ferns that look similar to asparagus and have a flavor that is a cross between asparagus and artichoke. Similar to some vegetables, arrowhead ferns collapse considerably when cooked.

Aromatic Rice - Rice with a nutty or popcorn aroma and flavor

Arrowroot - A tasteless, starchy substance used as a thickening agent.

Arroz - Spanish term for rice.

Artichoke - The large flowerhead of a plant of the thistle family. It has tough gray-green petal-shaped leaves with soft flesh underneath (which is eaten), a furry choke (that is discarded) and a tender center (called the heart which is also eaten).

Arugula - A tangy, aromatic salad green with a mustard flavor; often used in Europe, but becoming increasingly popular in North America. Arugula perks up a salad or sautéed vegetable dish, and can usually be found in specialty produce markets and supermarkets, often in small bunches with their roots still attached.

Asadero Cheese - A white semifirm Mexican cheese made from whole cow's milk. Asadero has a mild flavor and is usually found in loaves that vary from 8 ounces to 11 pounds. Asadero means "fit for roasting," indicating this cheese is very suitable for melting; also known as Chihuahua and Oaxaca.

Asado - Term used to describe Mexican dishes of broiled or roasted meat.

Ascorbic Acid - The chemical name for vitamin C. It is used as an antidarkening agent for fruits, as well as an antioxidant and preservative.

Asiago Cheese - Made from cow's milk, this semifirm Italian cheese has a rich, nutty, pungent flavor. Asiago di Taglio is aged for up to 60 days, is semifirm and used as a table cheese. When cured for six months or more asiago becomes hard and is used for grating.

Asparagus - A vegetable with an upright stalk and small, scale-like leaves along the stalk, capped by a ruffle of small leaves at the top. Tender stalks are usually youngerand have a slightly pungent, bitter flavor, an light green color and a purple-tinged tip.

Aspic - 1. A clarified jelly used to cover cold foods. 2. Also a gelatin salad.

Au Buerre - Means with butter. Used to describe dishes sautéed, cooked, or finished with butter.

Au Four - In the oven

au Gratin - A French term for a dish with a browned topping of bread or cracker crumbs and/or grated cheese. Also known as gratiné.

Au Jus - A French term for roasted poultry or meats served with their natural, unthickened juices.

Au Lait - With milk

au Rouge - Served in a red sauce

Avocado - A tropical pear shaped fruit with a large single pit. It's skin can have a smooth or rough-textured green to dark purple color. It's flesh is a light green or yellowish green with a smooth creamy texture. It has a high unsaturated fat content and is usually eaten raw served in salads or in gacamole.


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Baba - A rich rum or kirsch-soaked Polish yeast cake studded with currants or raisins. The traditional baba is baked in a tall cylindrical mold but the cake can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes; called savarin when baked in a large ring mold.

Babáco - This fruit indigenous to Ecuador, ranges from 8 to 12 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter. The skin, which is entirely edible, turns from green to golden yellow as it ripens. Babáco is best eaten raw, contains triple the amount of papain than found in papaya, and is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Babka - A Polish sweet yeast bread, traditionally made with rum and studded with almonds, raisins and orange peel.

Baby Back Ribs - A slab of ribs cut from the pork primal loin and weighing 1.75 pounds or less.

Baby Lima Beans - There are two common varieties of lima beans: the Fordhook and the baby (also called sieva). The pale green bodies of both varieties have a slight kidney-shaped curve. The Fordhook is larger and plumper than the baby lima.

Bacon - A cured / smoked cut of pork carcass that consists of fat interspersed with strands of meat, available sliced or in a slab.

Bagel - A dense, chewy, doughnut-shaped roll that is cooked in boiling water, then baked.

Baguette - A long, thin, cylindrical loaf of French bread with a crisp, brown crust and chewy interior; traditionally made from flour, salt, water and yeast.

Bain Marie - 1. A hot-water bath used to gently cook foods. Hot water is placed in a pan and the food item (such as custard), nestled in a separate container, is set in the water. This allows gentle cooking without scorching. 2. French term for a type of double boiler.

Bake Cups - Paper or foil pleated cups used to line cupcake or muffin tins.

Bake -To cook in an oven with dry heat at a specific temperature.

Baker's Cheese - Similar to cottage cheese, this soft, acidic white cheese is made from skim milk and used mainly in commercially baked goods. It is rarely available in retail stores.

Baker's Peel - A tool with a flat, smooth surface and long handle that's used to move pizzas and yeast breads to and from an oven. Peels are usually hardwood, but can be made of metal. Also known as a pizza peel or paddle.

Baking Powder - A Leavening agent containing a combination of baking soda, an acid like cream of tartar and a moisture-absorber like cornstarch. When mixed with liquid, it releases carbon dioxide gas that causes baked goods to rise.

Baking Soda, Bicarbonate of Soda - A Leavening agent that causes baked goods to rise when combined with an acid ingredient such as buttermilk or yogurt.

Baking Stones, Baking Tiles - A heavy, thick, round or rectangular ceramic or stone plate placed on the lowest oven shelf and preheated with the oven. Such stones are used to duplicate the baking qualities of the brick floors of some commercial bread and pizza ovens. Items to be baked are then placed directly on the baking stone in the oven. Also known as a pizza stone. Baking tiles are used like a baking stone, but are thick, unglazed quarry tiles 8 to 12 inches square.

Baklava - Greek pastry made in layers with thin leaves of phyllo dough, honey, sugar and chopped nuts.

Balachan - Malaysian condiment made of spices, small fish and shrimp, allowed to ferment in the hot sun, and then dried. It is quite pungent and is considered an acquired taste.

Balsamic Vinegar - An Italian vinegar made from white Trebbiano grape juice. It has a dark color and pungent sweetness from aging in barrels made of wood.

Bamboo Shoots - These are the ivory-colored shoots of the bamboo plant. Bamboo shoots have a tender-crisp texture and sweet flavor. Primarily available in cans and used in Asian cuisines.

Banana - A tropical fruit that grows in clusters and is long and curving with a yellow skin flecked with brown specs. It has a slightly sticky, creamy pulp and a distinctive sweet flavor.

Banana Squash - A large, long winter squash with creamy orange skin and orange flesh; often sold in sections.

Banneton - A small woven basket used for letting bread dough rise before baking. The basket is dusted with flour before use. The dough takes on the shape of the basket as it rises and is then carefully turned out onto a baking sheet. The baked bread retains the pattern of the basket.

Bap - A soft Scottish yeast roll traditionally eaten for breakfast with a flour-tasting finish.

Barbados Sugar - A soft, moist, fine-textured type of raw sugar. If unavailable, dark brown sugar can be substituted in equal parts.

Barbecue, Barbeque, Bar-B-Q - 1. A method of cooking meat, poultry or fish or even vegetables and fruit. Is covered and slowly cooked in a pit or on a spit, using hot coals or hardwood as a heat source. 2. A brazier fitted with a grill and sometimes a spit.

Barder, Bard - To cover meats with slices of salt pork

Barley - A small, round grain grown in most of the world. It is pearled to remove its outer husk. It has a slightly sweet, nutty, earthy flavor and chewy texture.

Barley Flour - Ground barley used for baking, however, since it lacks gluten, barley flour isn't recommended for yeast breads unless combined with a gluten-containing flour. An excellent thickener for soups and sauces

Barley, Pearl - Polished barley.

Barm Brack - An Irish bread, usually containing candied fruit peel and raisins or currants. Barm brack is typically buttered and served with tea.

Barquettes - Small, oblong pastry tarts made of short crust pastry or puff pastry and baked blind.

Basil - An herb commonly used in Italian cooking with a strong sweet flavor. Basil is used with many dishes but is most commonly paired with tomatoes.

Basmati - An aged, fragrant long grain rice. It has a creamy yellow color, distinctive sweet, nutty aroma and delicate flavor.

Bass - A term used for several varieties of fresh and saltwater spiny-finned fish. Large mouth, small mouth, sea and striped bass are some of the varieties.

Baste - To add moisture, flavor and color to foods by brushing, drizzling or spooning pan juices or other liquids over the food during cooking.

Batter - A mixture of flour, fat, and liquid that is thin enough in consistency to require a pan to encase it.

Bavette - Thin, oval shaped pasta.

Bay Leaves - A leaf from the laurel family used as an herb that imparts a lemon-nutmeg flavor and is usually removed from food after cooking.

Bean Sprouts - Mung and soybean sprouts are very popular in Asian cooking. The crisp, mild-flavored sprouts add a crunchy texture to salads, and are best eaten raw. However, they are also a nice addition to stir-fry dishes, but will lose their crunchiness if cooked longer than 30 seconds. Bean sprouts are available in most supermarkets, either pre-packaged or in bulk. Select crisp, pale sprouts with the buds attached; avoid musty-smelling, dark or slimy-looking sprouts

Beat - To mix thoroughly with a spoon, whisk or beaters until smooth and well combined.

Bearnaise Sauce - A classic white-wine sauce flavored with fresh herbs and shallots, thickened with egg yolks and usually finished with tarragon or chervil.

Beau Monde Seasoning - A commercial combination of herbs

Bechamel - Basic milk (white) sauce

Beef - The firm but tender meat of cows which has a dark red color, rich flavor, interior marbling and external fat.

Beet - A large round, garnet red edible root with an edible leafy green top

Beignets - Fritters

Bel Paese - Semisoft Italian cheese having a mild, buttery flavor. Delicious with fruity wines, it can be served as a dessert cheese, and melts beautifully for use in casseroles or on pizza.

Bell Pepper - A large fresh sweet pepper with a mild sweet flavor and available in various colors, including green, red, white, brown, purple, yellow and orange.

Benedictine - A green spread made with cucumber, cream cheese and mayonnaise.

Bench Proof - The final rising state in yeast dough production, occurring between the time the dough is panned and baked.

Benne - Term used commonly in the southern United States for sesame seeds, and to describe dishes containing sesame, e.g., benne brittle or benne wafers (sesame cookies).

Berries - Fruit with seeds embedded in the pulp. Varieties include blackberries, raspberries, dewberries, loganberries, salmonberries, youngberries and many more. Berries should be plump, tender and stored in ventilated containers when fresh.

Beta Carotene - A naturally occurring nutrient found in plants and vegetables that acts as an antioxidant. When consumed, beta carotene is converted into vitamin A.

Beurre - Butter

Beurre Noir - A sauce for fish which contains browned butter flavored with parsley, seasonings and vinegar.

Beurre Noisette - Browned butter with lemon juices and seasonings.

Bias-slice - To slice a food crosswise at a 45-degree angle.

Bibb Lettuce - A small variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, light green leaves that has a buttery flavor and texture.

Bind - To stir in ingredients such as eggs, flour, butter, or cream to thicken a sauce or hot liquid.

Biscuit - 1. An individual serving of bread made with flour, leavening and fat. 2. Describes a cracker or cookie in England.

Biscuit Cutter - A round stainless-steel device that cuts dough for biscuits or scones; may have straight or fluted edge.

Bisque - A creamy soup made with seafood or poultry.

Bite-size -To cut into pieces which can be easily chewed.

Bitters - A bitter liquid distilled from roots and herbs, often used in mixed drinks, served as an aperitif, or as a home remedy for fevers and other illness.

Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate - This is the chocolate most often called for in cake and cookie recipes (like chocolate chips).

Black Bean - A relatively large, dried bean with black skin, cream flesh and a sweet flavor; also called a turtle bean.

Blackberry - A large shiny, deep purple berry with a sweet flavor. Also known as a bramble berry.

Blackened - A cooking method popular in Cajun cuisine where seasoned foods are cooked over high heat in a very hot skillet until charred.

Black-eyed Pea - A small, beige pea with a black round eye on the curved edge and used in Southern and Chinese cuisines. Also called a cowpea.

Blanche or Blanch - To partially cook food (usually vegetables and fruits) by plunging into boiling water briefly, then into cold water bath to stop the cooking process.

Blanquette - A light soup or stew made without browning the meat first.

Blend - To mix ingredients just until thoroughly combined.

Blind Bake - To bake a pie crust without the filling.

Blintz - A Jewish pancake, stuffed and made with egg batter. The thin pancake can be rolled around a variety of fillings including soft cheeses, fruit or meat mixtures.

Blue Crab - A variety of crab found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Named for the color of its claws and dark blue-green shell, the blue crab has a rich, sweet flavor and is available in hard- and soft-shell stages.

Blue (bleu) Cheese - A strong, semisoft, blue-veined cheese made from cow's milk.

Blueberry - A native American berry that has a smooth dark blue skinand a light blue-gray flesh. Usually used for baked goods and jams and jellies.

Bluefine Tuna - The main Atlantic variety of tuna; a bluefin can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

Boil - To heat a liquid until bubbles appear on the surface (212°F for water at sea level).

Boiling Onions - Mild-flavored white onions about 1 inch in diameter. They are used in stews, cooked as a side dish and pickled. See also onions.

Bok Choy - A member of the cabbage family that has wide, white crunchy stalks with tender, dark green leaves. Commonly used in Chinese cuisine.

Bologna - A large, seasoned, cooked sausage made from pork, beef and veal. Usually served cold in sandwiches. Also known as baloney.

Bombes - Dessert ice cream

Bonbon - A sweet made of or dipped into fondant.

Boned, Boneless, Bone - A cut of meat from which the bone has been removed or to remove the bone from a cut of meat.

Bone-in - A cut of meat containing the bone.

Bonito - From the tuna family, the small bonito rarely exceeds 25 pounds. The fish is relatively high in fat and is among the most strongly flavored of the tunas.

Borage - A European herb with blue flowers, downy leaves and a subtle cucumber flavor. The flowers and leaves can be added to cold drinks or used in salads. Since the leaves have a slightly hairy texture, they should be finely chopped before adding to salads. The leaves can also be used to flavor teas and vegetables, and the flowers are good when candied.

Bordelaise Sauce - A red or white wine sauce mixed with meat glaze, marrow, lemon juice, finely minced shallots, parsley, ground pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and other fresh herbs.

Bordure - A rice ring

Börek - Turkish appetizer. Fried or baked, böreks come in many varieties. They are made from layers of thin wheat dough and may be filled with a sweet or savory mixture. Cheese is a popular filling.

Borlotti Bean - Native to Italy, this bean is like the pinto, but reversed in color with maroon highlights on a thin pink skin. Borlotti and pinto beans are interchangeable in recipes since their flavor and texture are identical. Also known as cranberry, Roman, saluggia and crab-eye beans.

Boston Baked Beans - An baked American dish of navy or pea beans, bacon or salt pork, mustard and brown sugar.

Boston Lettuce - A variety of butterhead lettuce with soft, pliable pale green leaves that have a buttery texture and flavor and are larger and lighter in color than bibb lettuce.

Boudin - A pork- and rice-based, highly seasoned sausage that is common in southern Louisiana cooking. The term is French for "white pudding."

Bouef - Beef

Bouillabaisse - Fish stew

Bouillon - Reduced meat stock

Boulettes - A type of meatball used in the Creole cooking of southern Louisiana.

Bouquet Garni - A group of herbs (usually parsley, thyme and bay leaf) that are tied together in a bundle or placed in cheese clothand tied used to flavor soups, stews and broths. It is removed before serving.

Bourguignonne, à la - Meat that is cooked red wine and served with small mushrooms and white onions.

Boursin Cheese - A French triple cream cheese with a soft texture; made from cow's milk and often flavored with herbs, garlic or pepper.

Bowl - A round vessel used for preparing and serving foods.

Boysenberry - A hybrid of blackberries and raspberries that has a purple-red color and a tart-sweet flavor.

Braise - A cooking technique where meat is browned in oil or fat and then cooked (tightly covered) very slowly in liquid. Braising tenderizes and enhances the flavor of the meat.

Bran - The tough, outer covering of several types of grain kernels. It is marketed in cereal and used as a nutrient supplement.

Brazil Nuts - The seeds of a giant tree in the Brazilian forest; the large, hard fruit of this tree contains up to 20 seeds, each in its own hard shell. Inside the shell is a creamy, rich nut that can be roasted or ground or chipped to flavor cookies and pastries. Brazil nuts do not keep well because of their high oil content.

Bread - To coat food with bread or cracker crumbs, flour, cornmeal and a liquid or egg mixture before cooking.

Breadfruit - A large, round fruit with bumpy green skin and bland-tasting, cream-colored flesh the texture of fresh bread. Breadfruit can be baked, fried or boiled in the same way as potatoes. It is available fresh in some specialty produce markets, as well as canned.

Breast - The fleshy white meat between the neck and abdomen of poultry.

Bresaola - Salt-cured, air-dried beef fillet, served thinly sliced as an antipasto.

Brewer's Yeast - The inactive yeast remaining after beer-making. It is used as a nutritional supplement for humans, providing high-quality protein, thiamin, riboflavin, iron and phosphorus. Brewer's yeast has no leavening power.

Brick Cheese - An all-American pale yellow cheese with a tangy flavor. The flavor and aroma become stronger as the cheese ages.

Brie Cheese - Made from cow's milk, this soft, creamy cheese has a delicate, slightly nutty flavor. The white rind is also edible. To select brie at its peak of ripeness, look for one that is plump and springy to the touch. It is acceptable for the rind to show some brown edges, but ripe brie should be used within a few days. When brie is past its prime, it will appear gray and have an ammonia smell.

Brider - To tie poultry or meat

Brine - A salt water solution used to preserve foods.

Brioche - Yeast-leavened sponge dough.

Brisket - A cut of beef (or mutton) taken from the breast section; sold without the bone and divided into two sections. The flat cut has minimal fat and is usually more expensive than the more flavorful point cut, which has more fat. Brisket can be boiled, braised, barbecued, stewed or used to make corned beef, which requires long, slow cooking.

Broccoli - This deep-green relative of cabbage and cauliflower is made up of tiny bunches of tightly closed green buds growing from a thick edible stalk. Peak season is from October through April, but broccoli can be found in supermarkets year-round. Choose bunches with tightly closed buds, crisp leaves and deep green, or green with purple tinges (considered the best), in color. If not being cooked right away, store unwashed broccoli in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to four days. Peel any tough stalks before cooking. Steam or boil briefly to preserve some of the crispness.

Broccoli Rabe - A member of the broccoli family which looks similar to its relative, but has thinner stalks and is harvested very young. The leaves and young flower heads can be eaten cooked as spring greens or raw in salads. The stems are also edible. The flavor is slightly bitter and becomes more so as it matures. Select young, crisp, leafy stalks (they may have some yellow flowers), and check the stalks for toughness. Avoid large, woody stalks or yellow, limp leaves. Also known as broccoli rab, raab, rape, rapini, Italian turnip and broccoletti.

Brochette - Food cooked on a skewer

Broil - To place directly under or over a heat source while cooking.

Bromated Flour - Flour with potassium bromate added as an aging agent; the label must state that the flour is "bromated." Potassium bromate is currently under examination and is expected to be outlawed in the United States. Food regulations no longer permit its use in Europe and Canada.

Broth or Stock - A flavorful liquid that is the result of cooking vegetables, meat or fish and other seasoning ingredients in water.

Brown - To cook quickly over or under high heat at the beginning or end of meal preparation, often to enhance flavor, texture and eye appeal.

Brown Rice - Whole rice grain with only the very outer husk removed. The bran coating is left on, giving the rice a tan color and nutlike flavor. Brown rice is higher in fiber and more nutritious than white rice. However, brown rice is subject to rancidity because of the bran and has a shelf life of only about six months. Brown rice also requires a longer cooking time than regular white long-grain rice.

Brown Sugar - White sugar combined with Molasses.This soft refined sugar come in dark or light.

Brownie - A bar cookie, usually made with chocolate.

Brunoise - French term for finely diced vegetables

Bruschetta - Bread that is drizzled with olive oil, saltand pep, then heated and served warm. It can be topped with olives, tomatoes, garlic paste, basil or other garnishes.

Brush - Using a pastry brush, to coat a food such as meat or bread with melted butter or glaze.

Brussels Sprouts - A vegetable of the cabbage family that grows in small cabbage-like heads or buds.

Bucatini - Thin, straight, short, hollow pasta.

Buckwheat - Despite common misconceptions, buckwheat is neither a wheat nor a grain. It is actually the triangular seeds of a plant related to rhubarb. Once the seeds are hulled and ground they are called groats. Groats (usually available in fine, medium and coarse grinds) can be cooked in a manner similar to rice.

Buffet - A meal where a large array of hot and cold foods are set out on a table and guests serve themselves.

Bulb Baster - A kitchen device used to baste various foods; consists of a tapered tube made of metal or plastic and a rubber bulb at the wider end. Basting liquid is drawn into the tube by squeezing and releasing the bulb; the liquid pours over the food when the bulb is squeezed again.

Bulgur, Burghul - Wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It has has a tender, chewy texture and is used in dishes like Tabbouleh and other Middle Eastern dishes.

Bundt Pan - A tube baking pan with fluted sides.

Buñuelo - A Mexican pastry that is fried than sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Burrito - Flour tortilla filled with cheese, salsa or chile sauce, refried beans and/or beef and rolled.

Butter - A fatty substance produced by churning cream. It contains at least 80 percent milk fat and 20 percent water and milk solids.

Butterfly - To split food such as shrimp or pork chops down the center without cutting all the way through and then spread open like a butterfly or open book.

Butter Lettuce - Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce, this salad green has a loosely formed head and a characteristically sweet flavor.

Buttermilk - 1. A thick and tangy milk made from fresh, pasteurized skim or lowfat cow's milk then cultured with bacteria; also known as "cultured buttermilk". 2. Traditionally, the liquid remaining after the cream was churned into butter.

Butternut Squash - A large, pear-shaped squash with a smooth yellow brown skin and orange flesh with a sweet flavor.

Butterscotch - 1. A flavor blend of brown sugar and butter, used for cookies, candies, sauces. 2. A hard candy with the flavor of butterscotch.


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Cabbage - Common cabbage has a tight round head of waxy, tightly wrapped light green leaves. Other varieties include white and red.

Cabrito - A dish of young cooked goat that is popular in Portugal, Spain and Mexico.

Cacciatore - An Italian stew-like dish flavored with onions, herbs, mushrooms, tomatoes and sometimes wine.

Café Brûlot - Coffee spiced with cinnamon, sugar, lemon or orange rind, and brandy; sometimes served flaming.

Caffeine - A mild organic stimulant found in foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate; acts as a stimulant on the nervous system, kidneys and heart, dilates the blood vessels and induces the release of insulin in the body.

Cajun - Cooking influenced by southern U.S. and French cuisine.

Cake - A broad range of sweet, baked pastry confections containing flour, sugar, flavorings and eggs and/or leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda.

Cake Flour, Pastry Flour - A fine-textured, wheat flour with a high starch content used for making cakes, pastry doughs and other tender baked goods.

Cala - A deep-fried, sweet rice cake resembling doughnut holes sprinkled with sugar, commonly served in New Orleans around the holiday of Revillion.

Calabash - A variety of passion fruit native to Central America and the Caribbean. Shaped similar to an apple with a thin yellow-brown skin. In Southern cooking the term applies to breaded or battered fried fish.

Calabaza - Baked pumpkin.

Calcium - A necessary mineral found in all dairy products, most dark leafy green vegetables (such as kale, turnip greens and broccoli), dried peas and beans, sardines and canned salmon with bones. Almost 100 percent of the body's supply of calcium goes into forming and maintaining bones and teeth.

Caldillo - A thick Mexican stew of meat, potatoes and chiles. Also the name used to define a light Spanish broth.

Calorie - A unit of heat used to measure food energy. Also written as kcalorie, kcal or Cal., it is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. Calories are obtained from alcohol, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Of the four, fats and alcohol have a higher caloric density than proteins and carbohydrates.

Calorie Free - A food containing less than 5 calories per serving.
Calzone - A stuffed, half-moon-shaped Italian turnover, similar to a pizza folded in half and baked or deep fried. Also the name for a Mexican sugar cookie.

Calzone - A stuffed, half-moon-shaped Italian turnover, similar to a pizza folded in half and baked or deep fried. Also the name for a Mexican sugar cookie.

Camembert Cheese - A soft, surface-ripened French cheese, similar to brie. The cheese is famous for its gray, felt-like rind, slightly bitter flavor and complex aroma. When overripe, camembert will be runny, bitter and rank. When ripe, the cheese should ooze thickly, look plump and feel soft to the touch.

Canadian Bacon - The lean, boneless rib-eye of a pork loin which has been cured and smoked.

Candele Pasta - Pipe-shaped pasta, about ½ inch to ¾ inch in diameter.

Canape - French for an appetizer prepared and served on toast or crackers.

Canard - Duck

Candy Thermometer - A large glass, mercury kitchen thermometer used for testing the temperature while making candy, jams, and jellies.

Cane Syrup - A thick, sweet syrup made from sugarcane.

Cannellini Beans - A large creamy, white kidney bean used in Italian cooking. They are sometimes referred to as Northern beans.

Cannelloni - Large pasta tubes that are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked with a sauce.

Cantaloupe - A muskmelon with a embossed crisscross gray green rind and light orange flesh with a large seed cavity and numerous seeds. It has a sweet distinctive flavor.

Canning Funnel - A wide-stemmed funnel (usually made of metal to resist heat) specifically designed to fit the necks of standard home canning jars.

Canola Oil - A bland oil made from rapeseeds; contains omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than other vegetable oils. It is often blended with other oils to make margarine, and because of its neutral taste it is suitable for salad dressings and cooking. Also known as rapeseed oil. Because it is the most widely used oil in Canada, the Canadian seed-oil industry changed the market name to canola. It is also referred to in Canada as lear oil, for "low erucic acid rapeseed" oil.

Capellini - Ther term in Italian means "fine hair" and describes very fine spaghetti.

Capers - Unopened flower buds from a Mediterranean shrub that are cured in salted white vinegar. They have a sharp salty-sour flavor and are used as a flavoring in salads and sauces.

Capicolla - Italian sausage prepared with pressed (not chopped) pork shoulder and sweet red peppers, cased, cooked and air-dried.

Capon - A young castrated rooster.

Caponata - An Italian appetizer made from eggplant, zucchini, tomato, anchovies, vinegar, olives, other vegetables, herbs and spices. It is frequently served as a side dish, relish, or as a spread with toasted bread.

Cappelletti - Italian term for little hats. Cappelletti are small, pointed-hat-shaped dumplings stuffed with ground meat, cheese or vegetables; traditionally served on Christmas day.

Cappuccino - A beverage made from equal portions of espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk, often sprinkled with sweet cocoa powder or cinnamon

Caprini - Cylindrical Italian cheese composed of a varying mixture of goat, cow, and ewe's milk and having a high fat content. Stored in olive oil and bay leaves, the cheese is served as an antipasto.

Capsaicin - The compound found in the placental ribs of a chili. Responsible for the heat of the chili causing watery eyes, a runny nose, sweating and burning. It has been found not only to stimulate pain receptors in the digestive tract, but to block some as well - allowing people to become accustomed to hotter and hotter dishes.

Capsicum - Family of peppers such as cherry, banana, bell, Tabasco, jalapeño, habañero, etc., which fall into two categories: chiles and sweet peppers. Common black and white pepper - made from berries from vines of the Piperaceae family - are not botanically related.

Carambola - A golden tropical fruit that has a star shape when cut acorss the grain. The flesh is juicy and tastes like a combination of plums, grapes, and apples. Also known as star fruit.

Caramel - 1. A substance produced by cooking sugar until it becomes a thick, dark liquid; its color ranges from golden to dark brown; used for coloring and flavoring desserts, candies; sweet and savory sauces and other foods. 2. A firm, chewy candy made with sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk or cream.

Caramelization - Browning sugar over a flame, with or without the addition of some water to aid the process. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320º F to 360º F (160º C to 182º C).

Caramelize - The process through which natural sugars in foods become browned and flavorful while cooking. This is usually done over a constant heat of low to medium-low. Caramelization can be quickened with the addition of a little sugar. Either way, be careful not to burn.

Caraway Seeds - An aromatic spice with a pungent, licorice flavor.
Carbonnade - Braised Steak

Carbohydrate - An important class of foods derived from organic nutrients. There are three classes of significance: 1. Cellulose - indigestible dietary fiber. 2. Sugars - fructose, sucrose, glucose and more complex sugars. All are readily digested and are high in calories. 3. Starches - complex compounds derived from cereal grains, legumes or vegetables. These have more nutrients than other carbohydrates and take longer to digest.

Carbonara - A pasta sauce composed of such items as bacon, olive oil, eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese and occasionally white wine, onions, garlic and herbs.

Cardamom - This spice, from the ginger family, has a sweet, ginger-like flavor. Available as seeds or ground.

Carne Adovada - Pork steak marinated in chile sauce, then roasted or pan fried. Usually served with Spanish rice and refried beans.

Carne Asada - Beef or pork cut in thin diagonal strips and cooked quickly over very hot coals, as in a brasero or Japanese hibachi.

Carob - The sweet pulp of the long, leathery pods from an evergreen tree native to the Middle East. The pulp can be eaten raw, but is usually dried, roasted and ground into a powder. The powder has a flavor similar to chocolate and is often used as a chocolate substitute to flavor baked goods and candies; available in specialty food and health food stores. Carob is also known as Saint John's bread and locust bean.

Carrageen; Carragheen - Purple seaweed used after processing as a texturing and thickening agent in jellies, ice cream and desserts; also known as Irish moss or chondrus extract.

Carre - Rack of lamb or veal

Carrelet - Flounder

Carrot - A member of the parsley family (Daucus carota); has lacy green foliage, an edible orange taproot with a milk sweet flavor and crisp texture, a tapering shape and comes in a variety of sizes.

Cartoccio - A method of baking fish in paper or parchment after seasoning it with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. A similar cooking technique in France is known as "en papillote.

Caruru - Brazilian seafood stew made with dried shrimp, okra, tomatoes, and (dende) palm nut oil.

Carving Board - A hardwood board with a depression in the center and a channel around the edge to catch juices. Also comes as a reversible board that is flat on one side for general carving and has an oval depression on the other side for carving roasted poultry.

Casareccia Pasta - S-shaped lengths of pasta that are slightly twisted.

Casein - Phosphoprotein rendered from milk, soybeans and other sources, important as the chief component of cheese (after fermentation), and contains all essential amino acids. It is used to solidify food as well as adhesives and paints.

Cashew Nuts - Sweet, buttery, kidney-shaped nuts that grow from the bottom of the tropical cashew apple. The shells are toxic and always removed before the nuts are marketed. As with most nuts, cashews have a high fat content and should be refrigerated. They are sold blanched, plain or toasted and are eaten out of hand; a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes.

Casonsei Pasta - Stuffed rings of pasta from Bergamo (a commune in the northern Italian town of Lombardy).

Casserole - This term refers to both a baking dish and the ingredients it contains. Casserole cookery is extremely convenient because the ingredients are cooked and served in the same dish. 1. A "casserole dish" usually refers to a deep, round, ovenproof container with handles and a tight-fitting lid. It can be glass, metal, ceramic or any other heatproof material. 2. A casserole's ingredients can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice and anything else that might seem appropriate. Often a topping such as cheese or bread crumbs is added for texture and flavor.

Cassis - Blackcurrant

Cassoulet - A classic stew from southwest France consisting of white beans and a variety of meats (such as lamb, pork, sausage, preserved duck or goose). The dish is usually enriched with large amounts of duck fat, covered and slowly cooked to harmonize the flavors. The top is then browned until crispy.

Cast Iron - One of the oldest materials used for cooking, cast iron provides extremely even heating that is especially useful for long cooking times. Once a cast iron pan is seasoned, a natural nonstick surface is created that can be used to cook anything from delicate items such as eggs to hearty stews.

Caster Sugar - Also called superfine sugar. It is pulverized granulated sugar. It can be purchased or prepared at home by whizzing some granulated sugar in the blender.

Catfish - A freshwater fish indigenous to Southern and Midwestern lakes and rivers, but also extensively farm raised. So named because of its long whisker-like feelers, catfish has a tough, inedible skin that must be removed before cooking. The white flesh is firm and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Traditionally coated with cornmeal and deep-fried, catfish is delicious poached, steamed, baked or grilled, and can be used in soups and stews. The saltwater variety is called hogfish.

Cauliflower - A member of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea); has a head (called a curd) of tightly packed white florets (a purple variety is also available) partially covered with large waxy, pale green leaves on a white-green stalk; some varieties have a purple or greenish tinge.

Caviar - This elegant and expensive appetizer is sieved and lightly salted fish roe (eggs). Sturgeon roe is premium and considered the "true" caviar. The three main types of caviar are beluga, osetra and sevruga.

Cayenne; Cayenne Pepper - 1. A hot pungent peppery powder blended from various ground dried hot chiles and salt, has a bright orange-red color and fine texture; also known as red pepper. 2. A dried thin, short chile usually with a bright red color, thin flesh and hot, tart acidic flavor; usually used ground.

Celeriac - Also known as celery root. A root vegetable that houses a white fleshed interior beneath its rough skin.

Celery - This vegetable grows in bunches of long stringy curved stalks or ribs surrounding a tender heart. It can be eaten raw, cooked or used as a flavoring.

Celery Salt - A seasoning blend of ground celery seeds and salt.

Celery Seeds - The seeds of the herb lovage; they are small and brown and are used in pickling and as a flavoring.

Cellophane/Glass Noodles - Also known as bean thread noodles, these are made from mung bean flour. They are usually softened by soaking in hot water for 10 -15 minutes before cooking with other ingredients.

Celtuce - An Asian salad plant resembling a head of lettuce with long, pale stalks, and having a flavor reminiscent of celery. The stalks are very crunchy and can be eaten raw or cooked like Swiss chard. The tough outer leaves can be cooked like spinach.

Cèpes - A wild mushroom with a meaty texture and woodsy flavor with caps ranging from one to 10 inches in diameter. These mushrooms are usually available dried in the United States, but are difficult to find fresh. Also known as bolete, Steinpilze or porcini.

Chafing Dish - A pan (usually metal) containing food, nestled inside a larger pan containing water. The ensemble sits directly over a heat source, which keeps the food warm; used mostly for buffets. Also known as rechaud, which is French for reheat.

Challa - A traditional Jewish yeast bread classically formed into a braid. This tender bread is usually made with butter and honey. Also known as hallah and challa.

Champignons - French word for mushrooms, generally of the button variety, used in the names of recipes and restaurant dishes.

Chantilly Cream - Lightly sweetened whipped cream, sometimes flavored with vanilla or liqueur, used as a dessert topping.

Chalupas - Meaning "little boats," is a fried corn tortilla topped with shredded chicken or beans, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa.

Champ - Irish dish made from potatoes, onions and butter. Also called bruisy, cally, goddy, and poundies.

Char - 1. To seal in the flavor and juices of a food (such as meat) by blackening its surface in a skillet, over an open flame, or under a broiler. Blackened redfish is an example of a charred food. 2. A troutlike fish in the salmon family, found in very cold water. It has pink flesh with a flavor and texture between that of trout and salmon.

Chard - Commonly called Swiss chard, this vegetable is essentially a beet grown for its leaves. The leaves are a crinkly, dark green with silvery, celery-like stalks. May be substituted for spinach in most dishes.

Charlottes - A classic French molded dessert; the mold is lined with ladyfingers, sponge cake or bread, then filled with custard, Bavarian cream or whipped cream and/or fruit. It is chilled thoroughly and unmolded before serving. Apple charlottes are baked and served warm.

Chateaubriand - Double steak cut from the center of the beef fillet

ChaudFroid - Meat or fish that has been poached or roasted, chilled and served cold, masked with a thick sauce and glazed with aspic. The whole preparation was once quite popular and used consistently on elaborate buffets. Modern tastes have moved away from this style of food, opting for cleaner, less adulterated flavors

Chawan Mushi - Savory egg custard. Eggs are gently beaten with fish stock, then poured over small bits of various ingredients (chicken, prawns, gingko nuts, lily root, fishcake) then steamed over boiling water.

Chayote - The pear-shaped fruit of a West Indian annual vine of the gourd family that is widely cultivated as a vegetable. Also called mirliton. It tastes similar to a cross between a potato and cauliflower, yet is slightly sweet.

Cheddar, American - A firm cheese made from whole cow's milk (generally pasteurized) produced principally in Wisconsin, New York and Vermont; ranges from white to orange in color and its flavor from mild to very sharp.

Cheese - Dairy products made from milk curds separated from the whey; numerous varieties are found worldwide.

Cheesecake - A rich, smooth dessert made by blending cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta with sugar, eggs and other flavorings, then baking (usually in a springform pan) The dessert is often topped with sour cream or fruit.

Cheesecloth - Cotton gauze used in the kitchen for straining liquids and wrapping foods to make them easier to remove from vessels after cooking; available in fine or coarse weaves. Sometimes known as butter muslin in Britain.

Chef - (French) A culinary expert. The chief of the kitchen.

Cherries Jubilee - Flaming dessert of cherries in syrup, vanilla ice cream and brandy, usually prepared in a chafing dish.

Cherry - A small stone fruit from a tree of the Prunus genus, grown in temperate climates worldwide; there are two principal types: sour and sweet; both types are generally available fresh, dried, canned and frozen.

Cherry Stoner; Cherry Pitter - A hand-held tool used to remove the pits from cherries. An individual cherry is held securely in the hinged unit and the pit is forced out; can also be used on olives.

Cherry Tomato - A small round tomato with a bright red or yellow skin. The yellow-skinned variety has a less acid and is less flavorful than the red-skinned variety.

Chervil - A parsleylike herb, with a slight taste of anise. It must be added late in the preparation of a dish to preserve its flavor. Also called cicily and sweet cicily.

Chestnut - The nut of the sweet chestnut tree. It is edible when cooked and has a dark brown outer shell, a bitter inner skin, a high starch content and is used in savory and sweet dishes.

Chèvre Cheese - A French cheese made from goat's milk. Chèvre is usually pure white with a tart flavor. Its texture ranges from dry and crumbly to moist and creamy. It comes in various sizes and shapes, sometimes garnished with black ash, leaves, herbs or pepper.

Chicharron - Fried, crispy pork skin, similar to crackling, found in Mexican dishes. The skin is deep-fried at two different temperatures causing it to balloon into honeycombed puffs.

Chicken - One of the principal USDA-recognized kinds of poultry; any of several varieties of common domestic fowl used for food as well as egg production; has both light and dark meat and relatively little fat.

Chicken, Broiler-fryer - A chicken slaughtered when 13 weeks old; has a soft, smooth-textured skin, relatively lean flesh, flexible breastbone and an average market weight of 3.5 lb. (1.5 kg).

Chicken, Roaster - A chicken slaughtered when 3-5 months old; has a smooth-textured skin, tender flesh, a less flexible breastbone than that of a broiler and an average market weight of 3.5-5 lb. (1.5-2 kg).

Chickpea - A somewhat spherical, irregular-shaped pea-like seed of a plant (Licer arieinum) native to the Mediterranean region; has a buff color, firm texture and nutty flavor; used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines in soups, stews and salads, it is also roasted and eaten as a snack; also know as ceci and garbanzo bean.

Chicory - The roasted ground roots of a variety of perennial herbs related to the radicchio and curly endive. Caffeine-averse Germans discovered that chicory could be processed into a coffee substitute. In New Orleans, chicory spiked coffee and/or Cafe Au Lait is very popular.

Chicos - Dried sweet corn used whole or crushed in a seasoned stew.

Chiffon - Pie filling made light and fluffy with stabilized gelatin and beaten egg whites.

Chiffonade - To slice an herb or leafy vegetable into thin ribbons. This is easy to accomplish by stacking then rolling the leaves and slicing.

Chilaquillas, Chilaquiles - Called tortilla hash or poor man's dish. Includes leftover tortillas fried until crisp and combined with chile, eggs, jack or sharp cheddar cheese, and red chile sauce.

Chile Caribe - Red chile pods blended with water to a puree and seasoned. Used in such dishes as carne adovada.

Chile Caribe - Red chile pods blended with water to a puree and seasoned. Used in such dishes as carne adovada.

Chile Con Queso - Melted cheese dip seasoned with chile and served with tostados.

Chile Powder - Pure ground dried chiles; depending on the variety used, its flavor can range from sweet and mild to pungent and extremely hot and its color from yellow-orange to red to dark brown; used as a flavoring.

Chile Rellenos - Green chiles stuffed with cheese or meat, dipped in a cornmeal batter, and deep-fat fried.

Chile, Chile Pepper, Hot Pepper - The fruit of various plants of the capsicum family; a chile can have a mild to fiery hot flavor (caused by the capsaicin in the pepper's placental ribs) with undertones of various fruits or spices. A fresh chile is usually yellow, orange, green or red, and its shape can range from thin, elongated and tapering to conical to nearly spherical; a dried chile, which is sometimes referred to by a different name than its fresh version, is usually more strongly flavored and darker colored.

Chili Oil - This spicy, bright red oil, an essential in Chinese cooking, is made from steeping vegetable oil with crushed or small dried chilies. Because of its strong, fiery flavor, it is used more as a seasoning or condiment than as a cooking oil.

Chili Paste/Sauce - A variety of thick seasoning pastes and sauces made from ground chilies, oil, salt and sometimes garlic and vinegar are used throughout Asia.

Chilled - A food that has been refrigerated, usually at temperatures of 30-40ºF(-1 - +4ºC).

Chinese Broccoli - The broad leaves, tender stalks and delicate white flowers of this vegetable are all edible. They have a mild flavor, similar to Western broccoli, but with a slightly bitter, earthy flavor. Ideal for steaming and stir-frying; often paired with oyster sauce.

Chinese Cabage - Several varieties of cabbage are grown in China, but the two most known to Americans are bok choy (also known as Chinese white cabbage) and pe-tsai (also known as Chinese celery cabbage or Napa cabbage.

Chinese Chives - Also known as garlic chives, these flat green chives are quite pungent and are used extensively in stir-fries and soups.

Chinois Strainer - A conical metal strainer used for straining stocks and sauces. A spoon or pestle is used to force the food through the extremely fine mesh. Also known as a china cap.

Chipotle - A dried, smoked jalapeño; this medium-sized chile has a dull tan to dark brown color with a wrinkled skin and a smoky, slightly sweet, relatively milk flavor with undertones of tobacco and chocolate.

Chitterlings - The boiled, fried or stuffed small intestines of pigs, popular in the southern United States.

Chives - An herb and member of the onion family (Allium schoenprasum), with long, slender, hollow, green stems and purple flowers; have a mild onion flavor and are generally used fresh, although dried, chopped chives are available; also know as Chinese chives, flowering chives and kucha.

Chocolate - Roasted, ground, refined cacao beans used as a flavoring, confection or beverage.

Chocolate, White - A confection made of cocoa butter, sugar and flavorings; does not contain cocoa solids.

Cholesterol - A fatty alcohol necessary for human metabolism. Less than 225 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters of blood is a low level, 226 milligrams to 259 milligrams is in the middle range, and a high level is 260 milligrams or greater. There is well-established belief that high levels of serum cholesterol can lead to an increased incidence of heart and vascular disease. A high intake of saturated fats will raise the serum level. Polyunsaturated fats do not increase the serum level.

Cholesterol Free - A food containing fewer than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or fewer of saturated fat.

Chop - To cut into irregular pieces. Recipes usually specify finely or coursely.

Chopping Board, Cutting Board - A flat surface made of wood or acrylic used for cutting, chopping or slicing foods.

Chorizo - A highly spiced, coarsely ground pork sausage, widely used in Spanish and Mexican cooking.

Chow - Chinese term for sautéing; also known as stir-fry.

Chow Mein Noodles - Yellow noodles made from wheat flour and possibly with egg, packed in cakes or bundles. Traditionally served with the Chinese-American dish of poultry, shrimp and/or meat, vegetables and other ingredients. Chow mein is Chinese for fried noodles.

Chow-chow - A mustard-flavored mixed vegetable and pickle relish. The term was originally used to describe a condiment in Chinese cuisine made of orange peel and ginger in heavy syrup

Chowder - A milk based soup, usually containing seafood.

Chuck - The cut of beef taken from between the neck and shoulder blades. Usually inexpensive, chuck is a popular choice for steaks and roasts where stewing and braising improve tenderness.

Chunks - Usually bite-size pieces, about 1-inch or larger.

Chupati - Flat bread from northern India, made with wheat and resembling a Mexican tortilla.

Chutney - From the Hindi chatni, it is a condiment made from fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices; its texture can range from smooth to chunky and its flavor from mild to hot.

Cilantro - The dark green lacy leaves of the cilantro plant; used as an herb, they have a sharp, tangy fresh flavor and aroma and are used fresh in Mexican, South American and Asian cuisines; also known as Chinese parsley.

Cinnamon - A spice that is the inner bark of the branches of a small evergreen tree (Cinnamonum zeylanicum) native to Sri Lanka and India; has an orange-brown color and a sweet, distinctive flavor and aroma; usually sold in rolled-up sticks (quills) or ground and is used for sweet and savory dishes and as a garnish; also known as Ceylon cinnamon.

Citron - An oval-shaped fruit similar to a lemon (citron is the French term for lemon) but much larger and less acidic. As the pulp is extremely sour, citron is grown for its thick peel, which is candied and used in baking

Citrus Juicer - An electrical or manual device with a ridged cone used to extract the juice from citrus and other fruits. The fruit is cut in half through the middle and one-half is placed on the cone. Pressure is applied and the juice is extracted.

Citrus Zester - A hand tool with a stainless-steel cutting edge having five tiny cutting holes. The zester is pulled across the surface of a citrus fruit, such as a lemon or orange, shaving thin theadlike strips of colored peel (the zest), but leaving the bitter pith.

Clarify (Clarified Butter) - Remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then straining or skimming it.

Cleaver - A heavy, versatile knife with a large rectangular blade; used for cutting through bone, chopping and trimming. The flat edge can be used to crush herbs and garlic. Also known as a butcher's or Chinese cleaver.

Clotted Cream - Rich cream made by heating unpasteurized milk until a semisolid layer of cream forms on the surface. Once cooled, the thickened cream is removed. It can be spread on bread or spooned atop fresh fruit or desserts. Also known as Devonshire cream and occasionally called Devonshire cheese.

Clove - 1. A spice that is the dried, unopened flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Eugenia aromatica); has a reddish-brown color, a nail shape and an extremely pungent, sweet, astringent flavor; available whole or powdered. 2. A segment of a bulb, such as garlic.

Coarsely Chop - To cut food into small pieces, about 3/16 inches (1/2 cm) square.

Coat - To evenly cover food with flour, crumbs, or a batter.

Cobb Salad - Classic American salad, created in 1936 by Robert Cobb at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, made with layers of various greens, chopped egg, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese and watercress.

Cobbler - A baked dish consisting of fruit covered with a sweet biscuit or piecrust dough.

Cocoa Powder - A brown, unsweetened powder produced by crushing cocoa nibs and extracting most of the fat (cocoa butter); it is used as a flavoring; also known as unsweetened cocoa.

Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is made by combining equal parts water and shredded fresh or desiccated coconut meat and simmering until foamy. The mixture is then strained , squeezing as much of the liquid as possible from the coconut meat. The coconut meat can be combined with water again for a second, diluted batch of coconut milk. Coconut milk comes canned and may sometimes be found frozen in Asian markets and some supermarkets.

Coconut, Dried - The shredded or flaked flesh of the coconut; often sweetened; also known as copra.

Cocotte - An ovenproof dish used to bake egg dishes.

Cod - A large family of saltwater fish, including Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, pollock, haddock, whiting and hake; generally, they have a milk, delicate flavor, lean, white flesh and a firm texture and are available fresh, sun-dried, salted or smoked.

Coddle - A cooking method in which foods (such as eggs) are put in separate containers and placed in a pan of simmering water for slow, gentle cooking.

Cognac - The finest of all brandies. Cognac is double-distilled immediately after fermentation. It then begins its minimum 3-year aging in Limousin oak.

Colander - Used for draining liquid from solids, the colander is a perforated, bowl-shaped container. It can be metal, plastic or ceramic.

Colby Cheese - A mild cheese made from whole milk; similar to cheddar cheese, but it has a higher moisture content (making it more perishable than other cheddars) and a softer texture.

Cold Pressing - A chemical-free process for obtaining olive oil that uses only pressure. Cold-pressing produces a higher quality olive oil that is naturally lower in acidity.

Coleslaw - A salad made from shredded cabbage and sometimes onions, sweet peppers, pickles and/or bacon bound with a mayonnaise, vinaigrette or other dressing and sometimes flavored with herbs.

Collard Greens - A leafy, dark green vegetable with paddle-like leaves that grow on tall tough stalks; the leaves have a flavor reminiscent of cabbage and kale.

Combine - To blend two or more ingredients into a single mixture.

Comino - Ground cumin seeds.

Compote - Combination of fresh or cooked fruits. May be served hot or chilled.

Compressed Yeast - Fresh yeast compressed into a tiny cake (1/6-ounce), equal to one scant tablespoon of dry yeast. Compressed yeast is moist and extremely perishable and must be refrigerated and used within a week or two.

Comté Cheese - A firm unpasteurized cheese made from cow's milk; smooth slightly fruity in flavor; also called Gruyère de comté.

Conchiglie - Pasta shaped like small conch shells.

Condensed Milk - A preserved milk in which the water content of the milk is evaporated and a lot of sugar is added. It was very popular in wartime England because of how well it preserved. These days it is used mainly in sweets and confectionery making.

Condiment - 1. Seasoning or flavoring mixture used to accompany foods. 2. The French term for chutney.

Conduction - In cooking, the method of heat transfer in which heat is transmitted to food from a pot or pan, oven walls or racks.

Confectioners' Sugar - Refined sugar ground into a fine, white, easily dissolved powder; also known as powdered sugar and 10X sugar.

Confit - To slowly cook pieces of meat in their own gently rendered fat.

Congeal - To turn liquid into solid by chilling.

Conserve - Combination of fruits, cooked with sugar. Nuts and raisins are frequently added.

Consomme - A clarified broth used as a base for sauces and soups.

Convection Cooking - Convection ovens use a small fan in the rear of the oven to circulate air all around the food to cook it quickly and more evenly. Cooking times are generally reduced by 25%. Most manufacturers suggest that you reduce the cooking temperature given in the recipe by 25 degrees and bake it for the time specified.

Converted Rice - Rice that is pressure-steamed and dried before milling to remove surface starch and help retain nutrients; has a pale beige color and the same flavor as white rice; also known as parboiled rice.

Cookie Sheet - A flat, firm sheet of metal, usually aluminum, with open sides on which cookies, biscuits and other items are baked.

Cookies - Small, sweet, flat pastries, usually classified by preparation or makeup techniques as drop, icebox, bar, cutout, pressed and wafer.

Cool - To allow a food to sit until it is no longer warm to the touch.

Cooling Rack - A flat grid of closely spaced metal wires resting on small feet; used for cooling baked goods by allowing air to circulate around the food.

Coq Au Vin - A French dish of chicken, mushrooms, onions, and bacon or salt pork cooked in red wine.

Coralli - The Italian word for coral is used to describe these tiny smooth or ribbed tubes of pasta, most often used in soups.

Cordon Bleu - A dish consisting of thin boneless chicken breasts or veal scallops separated by a thin slice of prosciutto or other ham and Emmenthal-style cheese, breaded and sautéed.

Core - To remove the inedible center of fruits such as pineapples.

Coriander - The tiny yellow-tan ridged seeds of the cilantro plant (Coriandrum sativum); used as a spice, they have a flavor reminiscent of lemon, sage and caraway, are available whole or ground and are used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian cuisines and pickling spice blends. See cilantro.

Corkscrew - A small tool used to withdraw corks from bottles. There are many varieties, but a typical corkscrew has a pointed metal spiral with a handle at the opposite end.

Corn - A tall, annual plant native to the western hemisphere producing white, yellow, blue or multicolored grains arranged on a cob; consumed as a vegetable when young and available fresh, canned or frozen, or dried and ground into cornmeal; also known as maize.

Corn Flour - Finely ground cornmeal; has a white or yellow color and is used as a breading or in combination with other flours.

Corn Oil - A pale yellow oil obtained from corn endosperms; odorless, almost flavorless, high in polyunsaturated fats with a high smoke point; a good medium for frying, also used in baking, dressings and to make margarine.

Corn Syrup - A thick, sweet syrup derived from cornstarch, composed of dextrose and glucose; available as clear (light) or brown (dark), which has caramel flavor and color added.
Corned - Meat that has been cured in a brine solution.

Corned Beef - Beef, usually a cut from the brisket or round, cured in a seasoned brine; has a grayish-pink to rosy red color and a salty flavor; also known as salt beef.

Cornichon - A very small sour, pickled gherkin cucumber traditionally used as an accompaniment to meat paté.

Cornmeal - Dried, ground corn kernels (typically of a variety known as dent); has a white, yellow or blue color, gritty texture, slightly sweet, starchy flavor and available in three grinds (fine, medium and coarse); used in baking, as a coating for fried foods or cooked as polenta.

Cornstarch - A dense, very fine powdery flour made from ground corn endosperm and used as a thickening agent.

Cottage Cheese - A moist, fresh cheese made from whole, part-skimmed or skimmed cow's milk, containing large white curds. Cottage cheese comes in three forms: small-curd, medium-curd and large-curd, which is sometimes referred to as popcorn cottage cheese.

Cotto Salami - A large air-cured salami made from pork and beef and highly seasoned with garlic, black peppercorns and other spices.

Courgette - The French word for zucchini.

Court Bouillon - A savory bouillon made from fish stock. Court bouillon is used for poaching fish and as a base for fish sauces.

Couscous - Small, spherical bits of semolina dough that are rolled, dampened and coated with a finer wheat flour; a staple of the North African diet.

Couverture - Extremely glossy semisweet chocolate used for coating and decoration. It forms a much thinner shell than ordinary confectionery coating because of its high cocoa butter content; usually only found in specialty candymaking shops.

Crab - A marine crustacean that is highly prized throughout the world; its flavor and texture are considered by some to be the equal of lobster. There are several varieties including blue crab, Dungeness, Alaska King, and rock. Soft-shell crabs are actually blue crabs that have just shed their hard shells. They should always be purchased alive.

Crab Boil - A mixture of herbs and spices, used to flavor the water for seafood.

Cracked Wheat - The whole-wheat berry broken into coarse, medium or fine angular fragments. It can be substituted for rice or other grains in most recipes. Refrigerate to extend shelf-life.

Cracklings - Crispy cooked pieces of fatty meat, such as salt pork. Sometimes added to Southern cornbread.

Cranberries - Shiny red berries that are grown in bogs on low, trailing vines. Cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and in North America where they are also cultivated - particularly in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. Berries are available in late summer and fall and have a characteristically tart flavor. Fresh cranberries have a very high vitamin C content.

Cranberry Bean - A kidney-shaped bean with a pale-red streaked skin and a nutty flavor.

Cravatte - Bow-tie-shaped pasta similar to farfalle.

Cream - 1. To beat an ingredient or ingredients with a spoon or beaters until light and fluffy or of a "creamy" consistency. Most often used in reference to butter or shortening, with or without sugar, in baking recipes. 2. A component of milk with a milkfat content of at least 18%; has a slight yellow to ivory color, is more viscous and richer tasting than milk and can be whipped to a foam; rises to the top of raw milk; as a commercial product it may be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and may be homogenized.

Cream Cheese - A fresh, soft, mild, white cheese made from cow's cream or a mixture of cow's cream and milk (some goat's milk cream cheese are available); used for baking, dips, dressings, confections and spreading on bread products; must contain 33% milkfat and not more than 55% moisture and is available, sometimes flavored, in various-sized blocks or whipped.

Cream of Tartar - A fine white powder (potassium acid tartarate) obtained from a crystalline acid deposited on the inside of wine barrels; a component of single-acting baking powder, and also added to candy and frosting mixtures for a creamier texture. Cream of tartar is also helpful when added to egg whites before beating, as it improves stability and volume

Creole - Cuisine originating in 18th-century New Orleans, in which classical European cooking was combined with New World herbs and spices and African and Native American culinary traditions. The emphasis on dairy-based ingredients and tomatoes differs from the amount of spices and pork fat used in Cajun cooking. Both cuisines, however, use the "holy trinity" base of chopped green peppers, onions and celery.

Crêpe - The French term for pancake; thin and light, crêpes are usually served with a variety of fillings. The egg and flour batter can be sweetened if a dessert crêpe is desired, and filled with a jam or fruit mixture. Crêpes can also be served as a first or main course, filled with a meat, cheese or vegetable mixture and topped with a complimentary sauce.

Cress - From the mustard family, cress is available in several varieties. Watercress, peppergrass, and broadleaf cress name but a few. Cress can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, or as garnish, and can be identified by its peppery tang.

Crimini Mushrooms - Italian term for various common store mushrooms that range in color from light tan to rich brown; the flavor is more earthy and full-bodied than that of the agaricus (common white) mushroom.

Crimp - To create a decorative edge on a piecrust. On a double piecrust, this also seals the edges together.

Crisp - To restore the crunch to foods; vegetables such as celery and carrots can be crisped with an ice water bath, and foods such as stale crackers can be heated in a medium oven.

Croaker - A member of the drum family, this dark speckled fish is found in temperate coastal waters. The croaker weighs about one pound and has lean flesh and a mild flavor.

Crookneck Cquash - A summer squash with a long slender neck and bulbous body, pale to deep yellow skin with a smooth to bumpy texture, creamy yellow flesh and mild, delicate flavor; also known as yellow squash.

Croquettes - Ground or minced cooked food, such as chicken or salmon, bound with a thick sauce, formed into patties or balls, then fried.

Croustade - Meat or chicken served in pastry shells.

Croutons - Cubed pieces of bread fried in butter.

Crudités - Hors d'oeuvres consisting of raw vegetables served with a dipping sauce.

Crumble - To break food into smaller pieces, usually by hand.

Crumpet - Small British yeast breads, baked on top of the stove. The unsweetened batter is poured into ring molds (crumpet rings) which have been arranged on a griddle, and cooked until brown on the bottom and riddled with small holes on top that are perfect reservoirs for butter and jam.

Crush - To condense a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.

Crystallize - To form sugar- or honey-based syrups into crystals. The term also describes the coating.

Crystallized Ginger - Gingerroot that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and coated with coarse sugar; used most often as a confection or added to desserts and available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Also known as candied ginger.

Cube - Cut into squares, size of which is determined by the recipe, generally between 1/2 to 2-inches.

Cucumber - The edible fleshy fruit of several varieties of a creeping plant (Cucumis sativus); most have a dark green skin and creamy white to pale green flesh; generally divided into two categories: pickling and slicing.

Cuisson - 1. The French term for cooking; used to explain culinary processes and details, especially cooking times. 2. Poaching liquid (such as stock, fumet, court bouillon or other liquid) that can be reduced and used as a base for the poached item's sauce.

Cumin - A spice that is the dried fruit (seed) of a plant in the parsley family (Cuminum cyminum), native to the Middle East and North Africa; the small crescent-shaped seeds have a powerful, earthy, nutty flavor and aroma and are available whole or ground in three colors (amber, white and black); used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines.

Cup - A unit of measure in the U.S. system equal to 8 fl. oz.

Cupcake - A small individual-sized cake baked in a mold such as a muffin pan, usually frosted and decorated.

Curd - Custard-like pie or tart filling flavored with juice and zest of citrus fruit, usually lemon, although lime and orange may also be used.

Curdle - To cause semisolid pieces of coagulated protein to develop in food, usually as a result of the addition of an acid substance, or the overheating of milk or egg-based sauces.

Cure - To preserve or add flavor with an ingredient, usually salt and/or sugar.

Currants - 1. Dried, seedless, black Zante grapes that are native to the area around Corinth in Greece; they resemble very small dark raisins and most often are used in baking. 2. Small, tart, translucent berries which grow in grapelike clusters in red, black and white varieties.

Curry Powder - An American or European blend of spices associated with Indian cuisines, the flavor and color vary depending on the exact blend; typical ingredients include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace and turmeric, with cardamom, tamarind, fennel seeds fenugreek and /or chile powder sometimes added.

Custard - A mixture of beaten egg, milk, and possibly other ingredients such as sweet or savory flavorings, which is cooked with gentle heat, often in a water bath or double boiler. As pie filling, the custard is frequently cooked and chilled before being layered into a prebaked crust.

Cut - To divide a food into smaller portions, usually with a knife or scissors.

Cut In - To work a solid fat, such as butter or shortening into dry ingredients. This is commonly done by using a pastry blender.
Cutlet - A small piece of meat cut from the leg or rib of veal or pork, or a croquette mixture made into the shape of a cutlet.

Cuttlefish - A rounder, thicker and chewier relative of the squid. This lean and nutritious seafood can be found in ethnic markets.


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Daikon - A Japanese root vegetable, that looks like a white carrot that is used in salads or and a wide variety of cooked dishes, including stir-fry.

Dal - 1. The Hindi term for dried peas, beans, and lentils; legumes. 2. Dal is also the word for the spicy dish made with lentils, tomatoes, onions and various seasonings. It is often puréed and served with curry.

Dandelion - A plant with bright green jagged leaves and a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion leaves can be used in salads or cooked in the same way as spinach.

Dash - An approximate measure roughly equal to 1/16 teaspoon.

Date - The fruit of a palm tree grown in Mediterranean regions. Usually oval in shape, a very thin skin and exceptionally sweet flesh and a chewy texture. Dates are eaten fresh or dried.

Date Sugar - Ground dehydrated dates that are used as a sweetner.

Debone - To remove the bones from meat or poultry.

Deep-Fry - To submerge foods in hot oil or fat while cooking.

Defat - To remove the fat that congeals on the top of soups, broth, chili and sauces.

Deglaze - After meat or poultry is sautéed or fried, most of the fat and the meat are removed from the skillet. Liquid is added to the browned residue and heated, while stirring continuously. This mixture is used for a base in sauces and gravies.

Degrease - To remove the fat that congeals on the top of broths, jus and sauces.

Dehydrate - To remove most of the moisture from food by drying it slowly in the oven or commercial dehydrator.

Delicata Squash - A green striped winter squash with pale yellow skin. The flesh is yellow and has a taste between a sweet potato and butternut squash. Also known as sweet potato squash.

Demerara Sugar - A coarse, dry, raw sugar from the Demerara area of Guyana. Its flavor is similar, but not identical, to that of brown sugar.

Demi-glace, Demi-glaze - A term meaning "half glaze." This rich brown sauce begins with a basic espagnole sauce and beef stock, and is slowly cooked with Madeira or sherry until it has been reduced by half. The resulting thick glaze should be able to coat the back of a spoon and can be used as the base for many other sauces.

Demitasse - Literally means "half cup" in French; usually refers to a tiny coffee cup used to serve espresso.

Depouillage - To skim the surface of a cooking liquid, such as a stock or sauce. Depouillage is more easily done by placing the pot off-center on the burner and skimming the impurities as they collect at one side of the pot.

Devein - To remove the grainy, blackish vein under the rounded top of a shrimp by slitting the shrimp and pulling it out.

Devil - To mix a food with spicy seasonings and sauces. Devilled eggs are an example.

Dextrose - A sweetener produced from cornstarch that has been treated with heat and acids or enzymes. Dextrose produces a high-temperature browning effect in baked goods.

Dice - To cut into especially small pieces, roughly 1/8 to 1/16-inch.

Dietary Fiber - The part of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds that humans cannot digest; only found in plant foods.

Dijon - A prepared mustard originally from the Dijon region of France. It has a slightly hot, spicy flavor and is yellow-gray or brown in appearance.

Dijonnaise - Dishes that are prepared with mustard or are accompanied by a sauce that contains mustard.

Dill - An herb that is has feathery leaves that taste somewhat like parsley with overtones of anise and are used fresh or dried. The small oval, brown seeds have a faintly bitter taste and are used as a spice.

Dilute - To add liquid to make less concentrated.

Dip - A thick sauce served hot or cold to accompany raw vegetables, crackers or chips as an hors d'oeuvre. The base is usually made of yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese base.

Direct Heat - The lack of a conductor between food and the heat source, such as grilling, broiling, and toasting.

Disjoint - To dismember a chicken before cooking by slicing the connective tissue and cartilage and twisting firmly until the pieces separate.

Dissolve - To merge with a liquid.

Ditali; Ditalini - Italian for thimbles; very short hollow tubes of pasta used in salads and soups. Ditalini is a smaller version of ditali with proportionally thicker pasta.

Dock - Any of several varieties of a hardy perennial herb belonging to the buckwheat family, all with some amount of acidity and sourness. The mildest variety is dock sorrel, also called spinach dock.

Docking - The act of piercing small holes or making cuts in dough or crust before baking to allow steam to escape, thus preventing the dough from rising as it bakes.

Dolcelatte Cheese - A soft, mild, blue-veined cheese that can be served as an appetizer or dessert. Also known as Gorgonzola dolce.

Dolci - Italian word for "sweets"; on a menu, the term means desserts.

Dollop - 1. A spoonful of soft and usually creamy food, such as sour cream of mayonnaise. 2. It may also mean a dash or "splash" of a liquid like a "splash of sparkling water".

Dolmades; Dolmas - Blanched grape leaves stuffed with a seasoned mixture of ground lamb and rice, braised in stock, oil and lemon juice. Other foods that can be used as casings include squash, eggplant, sweet peppers, cabbage leaves, quinces and apples.

Dot - To place random bits of food (like butter) on the surface of another food.

Double Acting Baking Powder - Releases leavening gases twice: Once when it comes in contact with moisture and again when exposed to heat from the oven.

Double Boiler - Like with a bain-marie, you cook in a double broiler without using direct heat. Two saucepans that fit together on on top of the other. The bottom pan contains boiling water is placed on the heat source and the top one contains the food to be cooked.

Dough - A mixture of oil or shortening, flour, liquid, and other ingredients that retains its shape when placed on a flat surface, although may change shape once baked like cookies and breads.

Drain - To remove liquid from, pour off, sometimes with the use of a strainer or colander.

Drawn Butter, Clarified Butter - Butter that has been melted and skimmed of milk solids.

Dredge - To coat with dry ingredients such flour, corn meal, or bread crumbs before cooking. Desserts are dredged with sugar after baking or frying.

Dress - 1. To prepare poultry for cooking. 2. To add dressing to a salad.

Dried Wood Ears - An edible mushroom that grows on the trunks of dead trees. It has a shallow oval cup and is somewhat crunchy in texture. Also known as tree ear, Jew's ear and cloud ear mushroom.

Drippings - The fat and liquid that result when meat is cooked.

Drizzle - To trickler a very fine stream of liquid like a glaze or melted butter over food.

Drum - A variety of fish so named because of the sounds that it makes during mating. The fish is usually quite lean and can weigh anywhere between 1 pound and 30 pounds.

Dry Aging - An aging process that adds flavor and tenderizes to beef through an enzyme action.

Dry Cure - A method of curing meat or fish by using a combination of salts and seasonings, usually before smoking.

Dry Milk - A product made from milk from which almost all the moisture has been removed, leaving the milk solids in a powdery form. Dry milk comes in three basic forms: whole milk, nonfat milk and buttermilk. Dry milk is less expensive and easier to store than fresh milk (though dry whole milk must be refrigerated because of its milk-fat content), and the taste is never quite the same as fresh milk.

Dry Sauté - To sauté food with very little or no fat; a nonstick pan is often used for this method.

Du Jour - French term meaning "of the day"; used to indicate a special menu item.

Duck - A variety of poultry refering to a domestic web footed bird. It's meat is dark and has a rich, deep flavor.

Dumpling - A batter or soft dough, which is formed into small mounds that are then steamed, poached, or simmered.

Dungeness Crab - A large crab found along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Alaska. Weighing from 1 pound to 4 pounds, this variety of crab has pink flesh that is succulent and sweet.

Durum Flour - High protein flour produced from durum wheat. Durum wheat is used to make semolina, which is combined with water to make pasta dough. It is also known for the high amounts of gluten it produces.

Dust - To sprinkle food lightly with spices, sugar, or flour.

Dutch Oven - A large pot or kettle, usually made of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid so steam cannot readily escape. It's used for moist-cooking methods, such as braising and stewing. Dutch ovens are said to be of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, dating back to the 1700s.

Duxelles - A reduction of finely chopped mushrooms, parsley, onions, pepper, shallots, salt and butter, used to flavor soups, stuffings and sauces.


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Edam Cheese - A famous Dutch cheese exported in balls covered with bright-red- or yellow-paraffin-coated rinds; a good all-purpose cheese with a mellow flavor. Edam is second only to Gouda as Holland's most exported cheese.

Eel - A variety of anadromous fish with a snakelike shape. Eels generally have firm, fatty flesh and are gray, olive or black in color.

Egg - The hard-shelled, ovoid reproductive body produced by a bird, consisting principally of a yolk and albumen.

Egg Noodles - The most popular type of Asian noodle, these ribbons vary in length, width and thickness; made from a dough of wheat flour, water and eggs and usually boiled. Can be found fresh in some Asian supermarkets, and are readily available dried.

Egg Threads - Lightly beaten eggs poured slowly into a hot broth or soup.

Egg Wash - A mixture of beaten eggs (yolks, whites, or whole eggs) with either milk or water, used to glaze baked goods.

Eggplant - Though usually thought of as a vegetable, the eggplant is actually a fruit related to the potato and tomato. There are many varieties of eggplant, with colors ranging from dark purple to white and sizes from 2 inches to 12 inches. An eggplant's shape can vary from oblong to round. The most common variety of fruit in the United States is large and pear-shaped, with a smooth, glossy deep-purple skin.

Elderberries - The tart fruit of the elder tree found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The small, dark purple-black berry is very sour when eaten raw, but can be quite delicious when used in jellies, pies, tarts or syrups.

Emmental Cheese - What most Americans know as Swiss cheese. Switzerland's oldest and most important cheese, Emmentaler has a distinctively nutty-sweet, mellow flavor. It was named for Switzerland's Emmental valley and is exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 pounds to 220 pounds each.

Empanada - A small, savory pie that are usually filled with meat, seafood or vegetables.

Emulsify - To bind together liquid ingredients that do not dissolve into each other (like vinegar and oil).

En Brochette - To cook small pieces of food on skewers.

En Croute - Food baked in a crust.

En Papillote - Enclosing foods (like fish) in parchment paper or foil and cooking in an oven or on a grill.

Enchilada - Corn tortillas stuffed with meat, chicken, cheese (or a combination), rolled and topped with a red or green chile sauce.

Endive - A plant with dark green, curly leaves and a slightly bitter flavor.

English Pea - Common garden pea, also called green pea.

English Walnut - A nut with a wrinkled tan shell and a double lobed interior nut meat that has a sweet flavor. It can be eaten raw or used in baking and cooking.

Enoki Mushrooms - Small white mushrooms that grow in clumps with long, thin stems and a mild, almost fruity flavor. They have a crisp, crunchy texture when fresh, but tend to become tough when heated; also known as velvet stem, snow puff and golden mushrooms.

Enriched All-purpose Flour - Because all-purpose flour does not contain wheat germ, U.S. law requires iron, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin to be added. "Enriched" appears on the label of flour with added nutrients.

Entrée - In the United States an entrée is the main dish of a meal. The original French term referred to the first course of a meal, served after the soup and before the meat.

Epazote - A pungent herb with a flavor similar to coriander. Epazote is often added to beans to reduce gas.

Escalope - Very thin slices of meat or fish containing absolutely no fat, skin, gristle or bones.

Escargot - French term for edible snails, either terrestrial, freshwater or marine.

Escarole - A broad-leafed, pale green, mild-flavored endive. Most often eaten raw in salads, escarole can be briefly cooked and used in soups; also known as Batavian endive.

étouffée - French for smothered and refers to a stewed dish cooked little liquid in a tightly closed pot. Usually served over white rice.

Etuver - To braise with very little or no liquid.

Evaporated Milk - Canned, unsweetened milk that is homogenized milk from which 60% of the water is removed. Available in whole evaporated milk - 7.9% butterfat and skim - cotains1/2% or less.

Extract (Essence) - Flavors from various foods that have been concentrated by distillation or evaporation.

Extra Lean - Poultry, meat, seafood or game containing less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving (100 grams).

Extra-virgin Olive Oil - Olive oil produced from the first cold-pressing, considered the finest and fruitiest, with only 1 percent acid. Its color can range from clear champagne to bright green.


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Fagioli - The Italian term for beans, most often white kidney beans

Fahrenheit - A temperature scale with 32º as the freezing point of water and 212º as its boiling point..

Fajitas - A Mexican-American dish consisting of strips of beef skirt or chicken breast strips marinated in lime juice, garlic, red pepper and grilled with onions and sweet peppers. The mixture is wrapped in a four tortilla and served with sour cream, and pico de gallo as garnishes.

Falafel - A Middle Eastern dish consisting of a paste made from ground dried chickpeas and herbs shaped into balls and deep-fried.

Farce - French for forcemeat or stuffing.

Farfalle - Bow tie shaped pasta. Farfallini is the smaller version.

Farina - Inner portion of coarsely ground hard wheat, also known as Cream of Wheat.

Farmer Cheese - A form of cottage cheese, pressed to remove most of the liquid. Dry farmer cheese is firm enough to slice or crumble.

Fast Rising Yeast - Smaller-grained than conventional active dry yeast; speeds rising as much as 50 percent, which may eliminate the need for a second rising. This form of yeast measures the same as active dry yeast and works best when mixed directly with the dry ingredients before adding liquid.

Fat Free, Fat-free - A food containing fewer than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

Fat Separator - A clear cup (usually made of plastic) with a long spout set very low on the cup; used to make lower-fat gravy. Pan drippings are poured into the cup and the fat rises to the top. The desirable liquid remains below and can be poured off through the spout. Also known as a gravy separator.

Fatback - Fat from the back of a pig, used to make lard or cracklings, as well as for seasoning.

Fava Bean - A meaty, strong flavored bean that is light brown in color, flat in shape and looks somewhat like a large lima bean. They are available dried or canned. They work well in side dishes, soups, or salads.

Fedelini - A very fine type of vermicelli pasta.

Feijoa, Pineapple Guava - An exotic fruit from New Zealand that tastes somewhat like a mixture of pineapple, banana and strawberry. It has a thin green skin and can be eaten raw or used in preserves and jellies.

Fennel - Both the seeds and the stalks from this plant are called fennel. 1. The plant has feathery foliage and white bulbous stalk. Fennel tastes like licorice or anise, and commonly used in Italian dishes. 2. The plant's oval, green-brown seeds have prominent ridges and short, hair-like fibers. Their taste is similar to anise seed, but sweeter and milder. It goes well with fish but Italians add it to sauces, meat balls, and sausages.

Fermented Black Beans - Small black soybeans preserved in salt; used in Chinese cuisine. Fermented black beans have a very salty and pungent flavor. Also known as Chinese black beans and salty black beans.

Fenugreek - A very hard seed grown in the Middle East and used as a spice. It adds an earthy flavor to chutneys and curries.

Feta - 1. A salty, soft Greek cheese made from ewe's milk and pickled in brine It has a white color, crumbly texture and salty, sour, tangy flavor. 2. A soft, white, flaky American feta-style cheese made from cow's milk and stored in brine.

Fettuccine - Long, relatively thick ribbons of pasta. A narrower version is called fettuccelli, while a wider one is called fettucci. Fettucine goes well with cream, cheese, meat and tomato sauces.

Fig - A pear-shaped fruit that grows well in warm regions with a thick, soft skin, sweet flavor and many tiny edible seeds. Popular varieties usually have dark purple skin and pink flesh or green skin and pinkish-white flesh.

Filé Powder - An American seasoning made of sassafras leaves and used to flavor and thicken Creole dishes, such as gumbo.

Fillet or Filet - To remove bones from a fish, so that only the flesh remains. The process depends on the type of fish. Though similar, it is different for flat fish, like a flounder, or round fish, like a trout. The best way to learn how is to purchase a cookbook with details or watch the cooking shows. If in doubt, your seafood monger will do it for you.

Filo, Phyllo - Layers of paper-thin leaves of dough used in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. Frozen phyllo dough can be found in most supermarkets and should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Also spelled "phylo," "filo," and "fillo."

Finely - Especially small, as in finely chopped, but not as small as minced.

Fines Herbes - A mixture of finely chopped herbs made up of equal parts chervil, tarragon, chives, and parsley or equal parts chervil and chives (not always limited to these combinations).

Finger-tip Test - A method used to test whether risen dough has doubled in size. Two fingers are pressed lightly and quickly ½ inch into the risen dough. If the dents stay, the dough has doubled.

Fino Olive Oil - A blend of extra-virgin and virgin olive oils. Fino means "fine" in Italian.

Fiori Di Sambuco - Small star-shaped pasta used in soups.

Fischietti - The smallest tube-shaped pasta.

Fish - Any one of a thousand species of aquatic vertebrates with fins for swimming and gills for breathing, found in saltwater and freshwater worldwide.

Fish Sauce - A strong, salty sauce made from fresh anchovies. Used primarily in Thai cooking.

Five Spice Powder - A ground Chinese seasoning that contains equal amounts of cinnamon, cloves, ground star anise, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorns.

Flageolets - A French kidney-shaped bean, generally available in the United States dried or canned; often used as an accompaniment to lamb.

Flake - To gently break up into small pieces, usually with a fork or your fingers.

Flambé - Dramatic presentation of food by sprinkling with alcohol (or other flamable substance) and igniting into flames.

Flan - 1. A round pastry tart that can have a sweet or savory filling. 2. A Spanish custard coated with caramel.

Flank Steak - A long, thin, fibrous cut of beef from an animal's lower hindquarters, usually tenderized by marinating.

Flauta - Corn tortilla wrapped around a meat or poultry filling and fried. Usually served with guacamole and sour cream.

Flavor - To add seasoning or other ingredients to a food or beverage to enhance taste.
Florentine - 1. A cookie that contain butter, cream and often coated with chocolate. 2. Also refers to dishes containing spinach and usually a cream sauce.

Florets - The small, closely bunched flowers that make up the whole head or broccoli or cauliflower.

Flounder - A large family of flatfish, flounder generally has lean, firm flesh and a delicate flavor. Available whole or in fillets, the fish can be baked, boiled, poached, steamed or sautéed. Flounder is often marketed as sole, which (with the exception of imported European Dover sole) is actually a variety of flounder.

Flour - 1. (used as a verb) To lightly sprinkle or coat with flour. 2. A powdery substance made by milling wheat, corn, rye or other grains that are available in various degrees of fineness.

Flour Dredger - A kitchen device similar to a large salt shaker with a handle for sifting a coating, such as flour, cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar, onto foods.

Flute - 1. To press a scolloped pattern into the raised edge of a pie crust. 2. To groove or slit markings in vegetables (like cucumbers) and fruits for decoration. 3. A tall, thin, stemmed champagne glass. 5. A long, thin loaf of bread.

Focaccia - An Italian flatbread made with pizza or bread dough. Herbs, cheese and other toppings may be added or it can be served plain.

Foie Gras - The term means goose liver, but is used to describe the fattened liver of both duck and geese.

Foil, Aluminum Foil - A thin pliable sheet of aluminum; easily molded, conducts heat well, can withstand temperature extremes and is impervious to odors, moisture and air; used to cover foods for cooking and storage.

Fold - To gently mix two or more ingredients together by softly lifting up and over from the sides to the center.
Fondant - A very sweet and thick sugar paste used in candy making and glazing baked goods.

Fondue - A dipping sauce such as cheese or chocolate which is usually served warm along with the items to be dipped such as bread, meat, fruit, etc.

Fontina Cheese - A high-fat (about 45 percent) Italian cheese made from cow's milk, with a mild, slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture. Fontina has a dark golden-brown rind and a pale-yellow interior that's dotted with tiny holes.

Forcemeat - Ground up meat(s) combined with seasonings and other ingredients, used for stuffing.

Formaggio - Italian word for cheese.

Frappe - (from the French frappe) A simple sugar syrup mixed with fruit or other flavorings and frozen, then processed to a slightly slushy consistency. It can be served as a drink or a dessert. In some parts of the United States, a milk shake is sometimes referred to as a frappe.

Freeze - To preserved food by placing it in temperatures below 32ºF (0ºC) so that the moisture solidifies.

Freezer Burn - A loss of moisture in foods when wrapped inappropriately before freezing. Texture and flavor of food is compromised and is confirmed by dry white or gray patches on the surface of the food.

Freezer paper - A plastic-coated Kraft paper used for wrapping foods for freezing and for general household purposes. The plastic coating provides a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing; the paper provides strength and durability as well as an easy-to-write-on surface.

French Fry - To deep-fry food, such as strips of potatoes.

Fresh - 1. A food that has been recently cooked or baked, such as a fresh bread. 3. A food left in a state as grown or harvested; not canned, dried or processed and containing no preservatives.

Fresh Frozen - Food that was frozen when it was fresh.

Fresh Masa - A dough used in the making of tamales that consists of ground, dried corn that has been soaked in limewater.

Fresine - Straight, narrow noodles similar in length to short spaghetti.

Fricassée - A stew that contains diced meat, lightly cooked in butter, and then simmered in liquid until tender.

Frisée - A member of the chicory family with delicately slender, curly leaves that are feathery in appearance and mildly bitter in taste.

Frijoles - Beans, most commonly referring to the pinto bean.

Frijoles Refritos - Refried beans. Most commonly cooked pinto beans that are mashed, sauteed in oil or fat, and mixed with cheese cheddar.

Frittata - An Italian omelet that has additional ingredients mixed in with the eggs rather than being folded inside like a French omelet. It is sometimes baked or cooked in a skillet over very slow heat then flipped or the top browned under a broiler.

Fritter - Foods coated or dipped in batter, then deep-fried.

Fritto Misto - An Italian platter filled with a variety of mixed fried foods.

Frizzle - To fry thin slices of meat or other food until the edges curl
Fromage - French for cheese.

Fromage Blanc - A simple French white cheese. This soft, fresh cream cheese has the consistency of sour cream. Fromage blanc is usually eaten with fruit and sugar as dessert, but it can also be used in cooking.

Frost - To apply sugar, frosting, glaze, or icing to fruit, cake, or other food.

Frosting - A cooked or uncooked sugar mixture used to cover and decorate cakes, cookies and other foods.

Fruit Pectin - A substance found naturally in some fruits such as apples that possess the ability to gel liquids. It is an essential ingredient in making jelly and jam. Pectin can be purchased in powder and liquid form.

Fry - To cook food in hot cooking oil until it turns a light crispy brown.

Fry Bread - Thin, unleaved fried bread made from flour, water or milk, and salt. Fry bread is traditionally from Southwest Native Americans.

Fryer - A chicken that weights 3 to 4 pounds and is 9 to 12 weeks old.

Fudge - Candy (usually chocolate) made with sugar, butter, milk or cream, corn syrup, and flavorings that has a soft, creamy, smooth texture.

Fuji Apple - A cross between the Red Delicious and Virginia Rawls Jennet apples. Rosy in color and striped with green and yellow, these incredibly sweet apples are ideal for cooking and baking, applesauce or eating out of hand.

Funnel - A conical tool with a short straight tube at the tip used to transfer liquids into a narrow-mouthed vessel. Funnels are available in various materials and some have strainers in the bottom to separate fine particles from the liquid.

Fusilier Col Buco - Long, thin spirals about the same length as short spaghetti.

Fusilli - Literally means "Twisted Spaghetti". Popularly known as cork-screw pasta which is shaped like springs or screws.


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Gaeta Olive - Mild-flavored Italian black olives; usually dry-salt cured, giving them a wrinkled appearance, then rubbed with olive oil and packed with rosemary and other herbs.

Galangal, Galingale Root - A southeast Asian rhizome with reddish skin, orange or white flesh and a peppery, gingerlike flavor; used particularly in Thai and Indonesian cuisines, often as a substitute for ginger.

Galantine - A traditional French dish made from poultry, meat or fish that is boned and stuffed with a forcemeat, and often studded with items such as pistachio nuts, olives and truffles.

Gallon - An American unit of measurement equal to 128 fl. ounces, 16 cups, 8 pints or 4 quarts.

Ganache - A term used for a very rich chocolate filling or thick glaze made with chocolate, shortening, and cream used for filling and frosting.

Garam Masala - A mixture of dry-roasted, finely ground, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, mace, black pepper and possibly other spices. Garam masala is similar to curry powder and is used widely in Indian cooking.

Garbanzo Bean - See chickpea.

Garlic - A highly aromatic and strongly flavored edible bulb composed of several sections, called cloves. Each clove is encased in a papery covering. Garlic is used in most cuisines around the world.

Garlic Powder - Dehydrated garlic that is finely ground into a powder and used as a seasoning.

Garlic Salt - A blend of salt and garlic powder garlic powder used as a seasoning.

Garnish - To present dishes with visual and flavor enhancement using additional edible elements. Common are herbs like parsley springs and fruit like thin slices of lemons

Gaspacho, Gazpacho - Cold Spanish vegetable soup made with meat broth, crushed fresh tomatoes, and diced raw vegetables like onions, cucumbers, and peppers.

Gastronomy - The art and science of fine dining, fine food and drink.

Gateaux - French for cake.

Gefilte Fish - Jewish dish made of ground fish (usually carp, pike and or whitefish) combined with eggs, matzo meal and seasonings. The mixture is shaped into balls and simmered in vegetable or fish stock.

Gelatin, Gelatine - A thickener used in molded (Jello® type) desserts and dishes that has no flavor, odor or color. It is pure protein from veal and beef bones and by -products.

Gelato - (jeh-LAH-toh) Gelato comes from gelare, the Italian word for "to freeze" and is the general term for all frozen desserts. Less general, it refers to a milk based combination with a dense, buttery consistency similar to that of American ice cream.

Gemelli - The Italian term for twins, describing two short bits of spaghetti pasta twisted together in the shape of a cord or rope.

Genovesini - Short lengths of thick tube pasta, cut diagonally on each end.

Geoduck - A huge, soft-shell Pacific clam. Weighing an average of 3 pounds, but sometimes as much as 13 pounds, geoduck is distinguished by a long neck that can reach up to 18 inches and account for about half its body weight.

Germ - The embryo of a kernel of grain, such as wheat, making up about 2.5 percent of the kernel's weight; often separated out in processed flour because its fat content makes flour more perishable. Wheat germ, which is left in whole wheat flour, has a large content of complex vitamins and trace minerals. It can also be purchased separately.

Ghee - This form of clarified butter is taken a step further by simmering it until all of the moisture evaporates and the milk solids begin to brown, giving the resulting butter a nutty, caramel flavor and aroma. Ghee has a longer life and much higher smoke point than regular clarified butter.

Giblets - The gizzard, liver, heart and neck of poultry.

Ginger, Ginger Root - This knotty tuber from a tropical plant from China is used to flavor beverages and dishes in Asian and Indian cuisinees. It has a taupe skin, ivory flesh and a peppery, sweet flavor with a hint of lemon.

Ginkgo - A nut from the center of the inedible fruit of the maidenhair tree. This nut turns bright green when cooked and has a delicately sweet flavor.

Glace - A very reduced stock used in flavouring sauces and enhancing soups and stews.

Glaze - A liquid coating that gives a shiny coating to food. It can be a savory glaze on meats or a sweet glaze on pastry and baked goods.

Gluten - Protein found in flour that gives wheat yeast dough its elasticity.

Gnocchi - Italian dumpling.

Goat Cheese - Known as Chevre, this fresh soft goat's milk cheese has a distinctive tart flavor. Chèvres can range in texture from moist and creamy to dry and semifirm.

Golden Delicious Apple - A sweet, crisp, juicy all-purpose apple with yellow skin and flesh that resists browning. This feature makes it ideal for fruit salads. It is also suitable for baking, cooking, applesauce and eating out of hand.

Gomiti - Hollow corners of pasta similar to elbows, pipe or small lumache.

Gooseberries - Large, tart berries that grow on bushes and come in many varieties including green, white, yellow and red, and with skins that are either smooth or fuzzy. Gooseberries are excellent in jams, jellies and pies.

Gorgonzola Cheese - Similar to American blue cheese, this Italian cow's milk cheese is rich and creamy with a savory, slightly strong flavor.

Gouda Cheese - A famous cheese from Holland, thiscow's milk cheese is a firm, smooth cheese that comes in aged and non aged forms. It has a creamy texture, nutty flavor and a light yellow color with very small holes.

Goulash - A Hungarian style stew containing meat, vegetables and paprika served sour cream and noodles.

Gourmet - French term meaning "connoisseur of culinary delights".

Gram (g) - Basic measure of metric weight: 28.35 grams = 1 ounce and 1000 grams = a kilogram = 2.2 U.S. pounds.

Grand Marnier - Orange flavored liqueur

Granita - (GRAH-nee-tah) Granita is a fruit based gelato that has a decidedly grainy texture because it is frozen, then scraped to form coarse ice granules. Granita is slushy.

Granola - A combination of grains, nuts and dried fruits, often mixed with honey, eaten as a cereal.

Granulated Sugar - Regular white, refined sugar for common use.

Grape Leaves - The leaves taken from grapevines have been used in Mediterranean cuisine for hundreds of years.

Grapes - Very juicy berries that grow in clusters and have a very smooth very thin skin. They come in colors from green and red to deep purple and can have seeds or be seedless. They are the fruit that is process and fermented in winemaking and dried to make raisins.

Grapefruit - An 18th-century hybrid of an orange and pomelo, this large citrus fruit has a relatively thin rind that can be yellow or rosy. Ruby grapefruits have a yellow-pink to brilliant ruby-red sweet pulp. White grapefruits have a yellow-white pulp and tart flavor. This variety is better for juicing.

Grate - To break up a piece of food into smaller pieces by abrading it against a rough, irregular surface as in a hand grater or a food processor.

Gratin - To combine foods with a liquid based sauce in a shallow dish and baked until set and browned on top.

Gravy - Juices from cooked meat that have been thickened with a roux.

Grease - To coat a cooking vessel or sheet with a thin layer of oil or shortening.

Great Northern Bean - A delicately flavored large, flat, kidney-shaped white bean. Available dried or canned.

Green Bean, String Bean, Snap Bean - A thin, crisp, green pod that contains several small seeds and is entirely edible.

Grenadine - Sweet, red, pomegranate flavored syrup made from pomegranate juice or other fruit concentrates. Grenadine usually contains alcohol.

Griddle - A flat pan, often made of cast iron or aluminum, used to cook food with little fat or oil. Griddles are available with a nonstick surface and usually have either a long handle or two hand grips.

Grill - 1. To cook on a grill. 2. Cooking equipment in which the heat source (gas, charcoal, hardwood or electric) is located beneath the rack on which the food is placed; it is generally not enclosed, although it can be covered.

Grillade - A Creole dish of pounded round steak served in a sauce of tomatoes and other vegetables, and traditionally served with grits. Grillade is also a French word meaning grilled or broiled food.

Grilling Basket - A basket used while grilling smaller items. The device holds food in place to keep it from slipping through the grill.

Grind - To process foods in a grinder or processor. Texture can be in variable degress from finely to coursely ground.

Grissini - Italian bread sticks.

Grits - Commonly refers to coarsely ground dried hominy and known as hominy grits, a dish of the (American) South. Grits are generally prepared in boiling water and served as a cereal or side dish.

Ground Beef - Beef that has been ground or finely chopped; commonly referred to as hamburger.

Gruyère Cheese - A cow's-milk cheese containing a moderate amount of fat with a rich, sweet, nutty taste.

Guacamole - Mashed avocado flavored with lemon or limejuice, and optional ingredients of chiles, finely chopped tomatoes, green onion and cilantro. This is an authentic Mexican dish served as a dip, a salad or a side dish.

Guajillo Chili Peppers - A very hot pepper that is about 4 inches long. When dried, the skin is a shiny deep-red and must be soaked for a long time because of its toughness.

Guava - A sweet, fragrant tropical fruit. Guavas are oval, about 2 inches in diameter, and color ranges from yellow to bright red. The ripe fruit is often used in jams, preserves, juices, and sauces.

Gueuze - Traditional style of Belgian beer, light, acidic, naturally fermented with a tart taste and gentle effervescence. Best after 3 years but can be cellared up to 20.

Gumbo - Gumbo is a Creole stew that contains tomatoes, okra, and other vegetables, meats or seafood. A roux of is added for thickening the gumbo, and filé powder added for flavoring just before serving.

Gyro - A Greek sandwich of finely chopped, molded and roasted meat that is sliced and served in pita bread with a cucumber yogurt dressing.

Gyromitres - A European mountain mushroom outlawed for sale due to the presence of hydragine, a substance which is toxic if prepared incorrectly.


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Habañero Pepper - An extremely hot chile pepper with short, squatted shape, usually orange in color. It has a fruity flavor and is best in the summer time.

Half and Half - A mixture of half cream and half milk (fat content is 10 - 12%).

Halibut - The largest member of the flatfish family, found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, with lean, white, firm, mild-flavored flesh.

Halvah - A Middle Eastern confection made from ground sesame seeds and honey. Sometimes dried fruit or other ingredients are added. Halvah is available in wrapped bars in most supermarkets.

Ham Hock - The lower portion of a hog's hind leg, usually used to flavor soups, greens, beans, and stews.

Hard-Ball Stage - A test used in making candy describing the rigid ball formed when a drop of boiling sugar water syrup is dropped in cold water.

Hard-Crack Stage - A test used in making cand describing brittle threads formed when a drop of boiling sugar water syrup is dropped in cold water.

Hard Tack Rolling Pin - A rolling pin used when making hard unleavened breads.

Hard Wheat - Wheat high in protein and well-suited for bread-making because it produces flour that is rich in gluten.

Haricot Verts - Tiny, slender green string beans.

Harina - All-purpose flour.

Harira - A thick and robust North African soup.

Harissa - A combination of spices containing chilli that is ground with cumin, garlic, coriander, and olive oil.

Hartshorn - Known as ammonium bicarbonate and used as a levening agent before baking powder and baking soda were readily available.

Hash - A dish containing chopped potatoes, meat, and other vegetables.

Hasty Pudding - A simple dish of cornmeal mush made with water or milk and sweetened with molasses, maple syrup or honey. Wheat flour is used in England instead of cornmeal. Hasty pudding is served hot, sometimes dotted with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon then placed under a broiler until brown, or with milk or cream; makes a quick breakfast or simple dessert. Also known as Indian pudding.

Haute Cuisine - French term for the highest quality restaurant food available. The ingredients in this cuisine are not only of the finest quality, but the food is elegant and elaborate as well.

Havarti Cheese - A mild, semisoft Danish cheese that is pale yellow and has small irregular holes. It becomes sharper as it matures.

Hazelnut Oil - An aromatic, full-flavored oil pressed from hazelnuts; has the strong, distinct flavor of the roasted nut.

Head Cheese - Despite its name, this is a sausage, not a cheese product. Head cheese is made of finely chopped meat from the head of a calf or pig. The meat is seasoned and cooked in a gelatinous broth and molded.

Headspace - Space left at the top of a container to allow for the expansion of food when frozen or processed.

Herb Bouquet - A mixture of tied herbs used for seasoning in soups, sauces, and stocks.

Herbes de Provence - A French term for a mixture of dried herbs, usually containing basil, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory, lavender, thyme, and fennel seed.

Herbs - Diverse flavorings that are made of stems, leaves, flowers and seeds of various plants. Most herbs are available both fresh and dried.

Herkimer Cheese - Smooth, cheddar-like cheese, named after the county in New York where it was first produced.

Hermit - An old-fashioned cookie that contains chopped dates, raisins, nuts, and molasses or brown sugar.

Herring - A large family of fish found around the world. Herring are silver-blue in color, have a moderately high fat content, and are fairly strong in flavor. Their average market size is about 8 ounces.

High Altitude Baking - Because of lower air pressure, baking at elevations of 3,000 or more feet above sea level requires special adjustments. The USDA has the following guidelines: at 3,000 feet decrease the amount of baking powder called for in a recipe by 1/8 teaspoon; at 5,000 feet decrease by 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon; and at 7,000 feet decrease by ¼ teaspoon. Reducing the amount of sugar by 1 to 3 tablespoons may also be helpful. Melting butter or chocolate in microwave ovens can also take a few seconds longer at higher altitudes. Region-specific guidelines may be available from your state department of agriculture.

High Fiber - A food containing 5 grams or more of fiber per serving.

Hog Jowl - The fatty cheek of a hog that is smoked and cured. Used as as a seasoning like bacon or salt pork.

Hoisin, Peking Sauce - Sweet and spicy sauce made from soybeans, garlic, chiles and a variety of spices. Hoisin is used as a condiment and flavoring in Chinese cuisines. Can be purchased in jars.

Hollandaise Sauce - A sauce made from egg yolks and butter and flavored with lemon juice or vinegar.

Homard - French term for lobster.

Hominy - Dried yellow or white corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. Served as a side dish and used in some Mexican stews.

Homogenization - A process used to break down the fat globules in milk and distribute them evenly throughout the liquid. This is done by spinning the milk at very high speeds through an ultra-fine mesh. Commercial salad dressings often are similarly processed to emulsify the mixture.

Honey - A thick, sweet liquid made by bees from flower nectar and stored in the cells of the hive for food. Used as a sweetner.

Honeydew Melon - Honeydews are bluntly oval in shape and weigh anywhere from 4 pounds to 8 pounds. Their rind is yellowish-white and a creamy color indicates ripeness. These fruits are available almost year-round.

Hopping John, Hoppin' John - A southern U.S. dish of black-eyed peas and white rice seasoned with ham hock.

Hops - A vining plant of Europe and Asia that produces conelike flowers and tender edible sprouts. The flowers are dried and are used to give the slightly bitter taste to beer.

Hors d'Oeuvre - Small, bite-size foods served as an appetizer.

Horseradish - An ancient bitter herb. Originally grown in eastern Europe, horseradish can be used in a variety of ways. The spiky leaves can be used in salads, while the white pungent root is most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment.

Hot Sauce - A seasoning sauce containing chile peppers, salt and vinegar.

Hubbard Squash - A very large winter squash with a thick, bumpy, hard shell ranging in color from dark green to bright orange.

Huckleberry - A wild, dark blue berry with hard seeds which resembles the blueberry. They can be eaten plain or baked in in pies and muffins.

Huevos Rancheros - A Mexican dish that contains fried eggs on a corn tortilla topped by a green or red chile sauce, salsa, onions and cheese.

Hull - To remove the leafy parts of fruits such as strawberries, blackberries or raspberries.

Hummus - Also spelled "humus" and "houmus." Middle Eastern dish made from mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed butter), olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Can be used as a sandwich filling, spread or dip.

Hushpuppy - A small, fried cornmeal dumpling, flavored with chopped green onion. Hushpuppies are a traditional southern U.S. accompaniment to fried catfish and slaw.

Hydrogenated Fats - Fats that have gone through hydrogenation to prolong their shelf life. Trans-fatty acids that are created by this process act like saturated fats, thus increasing the cholesterol production in the body. Hydrogenated fats can be found in some vegetable oils, margarine and snack foods.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil - Oil that has been modified from a liquid to a solid or semisolid state through hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation - The process of hardening an unsaturated fat by adding hydrogen atoms to an unsaturated fat molecule. This enables the fat to remain solid at room temperature. Margarine is a good example.

Hyssop - Various herbs belonging to the mint family.


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Ice - 1. To chill by placing a glass or serving dish in a freezer so that a coat of frost forms on its surface. 2. Frozen water. Freezing point for water is at 32ºF (0ºC).

Ice Bath - A bath of ice and water used to chill a food or beverage very quickly.

Iceberg Lettuce - The many varieties of this green leafy vegetable all differ in size and crispness. The most common types found in the supermarket are butter, iceberg and romaine. Iceberg has tight, compact heads with little flavor (except for the heart), but a very crisp texture.

Ice Cream Soda - A beverage comprised of carbonated water, flavored syrup, (or a commercial flavored carbonated beverage) and a scoop or two of ice cream.

Ice Milk - Ice milk is made like ice cream, except it contains less milk fat and milk solids. It has less calories, is lighter and less creamy than ice cream.

Ice Pick - A tool with a single long, needle-like metal shaft stemming from a weighted handle, and used to chip pieces of ice from large blocks.

Icing, Frosting - A covering and/or filling which contains large amounts of sugar used for cakes and pastries.

Icing Syringe - A cake-decorating tool. The icing syringe is composed of a tube, plunger and various tips. The tips can be quickly exchanged to form a multitude of patterns with the same icing color.

Indian Pudding - A spicy cornmeal and molasses pudding usually served with whipped cream, hard sauce, or cream.

Infuse - To submerge teas or other flavoring ingredients in a hot liquid in order to extract the flavor into the liquid.

Infusion Coffee Maker - This type of coffee maker consists of a glass pot with a mesh covered plunger that is pressed downward to trap the coffee grounds after steeping. Also known as cafetière or French press.

Instant Rice - Fully cooked and flash-frozen rice that can be rehydrated in boiling water. It is quick but lacks flavor.

Instant Yeast - A specially processed form of active dry yeast; can be mixed into a dough dry (rather than dissolved) and reduces rising time by up to 50 percent.

Iodized Salt - Table salt (sodium chloride) containing potassium iodide, a source of the essential nutrient iodine.

Iron - A mineral used by the blood for forming hemoglobin. Red meat, fish, eggs, and legumes are significant iron sources.

Irish Soda Bread - A traditional Irish quick bread that uses baking soda as its leavener. It's usually made with buttermilk and may include currants or caraway seed.

Italian Parsley - Parsley with flat leaves. Italian parsley has a stronger flavor than curly leaf parsley.

Italian Sausage - Coarse sausage usually seasoned with garlic and fennel seed or anise seed; generally sold in plump links in two varieties, hot (flavored with hot red peppers) and sweet (no added peppers).

Italian Seasoning - A blend of dried herbs used in Italian cuisine, containing basil oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, and red pepper.


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Jackfruit - A very large (up to 100 pounds) tree-borne fruit from East India. Related to the breadfruit in the mulberry family, it has thick flesh with a flavor suggestive of a pineapple and banana with edible seeds. Can be used as a starchy vegetable when green; once ripe, used as a dessert or dried.

Jaggery - Coarse brown sugar made from the sap of the palmyra palm. Also known as palm sugar. It can be found in East Indian markets.

Jalapeño Peppers - A short, dark green, tapered chile pepper with thick flesh. It is moderately hot and available fresh or canned. Dry, smoked jalapeños are known as chipolte peppers.

Jam - A thick, cooked mixture of fruit, sugar, and usually pectin.

Jambalaya - A Creole dish of ham, shrimp, crayfish and or sausage cooked with rice, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and seasonings.

Jambolan - Also known as the Java plum, this fruit is native to India and parts of southeast Asia. It is known for its pear-like shape and purple skin. The flesh can be slightly purple or white with a tart flavor.

Jardiniere (a la) - Garden vegetables used as a garnish, usually carrots, green beans, onions and turnips.

Jarlsberg Cheese - A Norwegian cow's milk cheese, similar to Swiss cheese, that is firm in texture and nutty in flavor.

Jasmine Rice - An aromatic long-grain rice from Thailand that is soft and sticky when cooked.

Jell - To congeal

Jelly - A clear, cooked mixture of fruit juice, sugar, and usually pectin.

Jelly Roll - A cake made of a layer of sponge cake spread with jelly or other filling then rolled up.

Jelly Roll Pan - A 1-inch-deep rectangular baking sheet used for making the thin sponge cakes used for jelly rolls.

Jerk - A Jamaican process where meat and poultry are marinated in herbs and spices, then cooked over a pimento (allspice) wood fire. Jerk spices are available commercially.

Jerky - Thin strips of dried meat. Jerky is traditionally made from beef and dried in the sun, but can be made from other meats and prepared in an oven; it has a salty flavor and tough, chewy consistency.

Jerusalem Artichoke - A tuber, also called sunchoke, with a very firm flesh and a flavour reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads.

Jicama - A brown-skinned root vegetable with a crunchy white flesh and mildly sweet flavor, jicama is good both raw and cooked. Also referred to as the Mexican potato.

Jigger - A liquid measure equal to 1 1/2 fluid ounces.

Johnnycake, Johnny Cake, Hoe Cake - A mixture of cornmeal, salt, and boiling water or cold milk that is shaped into a large patty shape and fried like a griddlecake.

Juice - The liquid extracted from any raw food, usually fruit.

Jujube - A datelike fruit, most often red with yellow flesh, whose taste resembles that of a prune. Originally from China, jujube is now also cultivated in California.

Julep - A sweet alcoholic drink flavored with the leaves of an aromatic plant; from the Arab "julab," for rosewater. The most famous julep is the American mint julep.

Julienne - To cut into long thin match-size strips, approximately 1/8-inch wide and 2-inches long.

Juniper Berry - Aromatic blue-black berry of an evergreen bush native to Europe and America. Juniper berries are most often found dried, as they are too bitter to eat raw, and are used to flavor meats (especially game), sauces, stews, and gin. Crushing before use helps release their flavor. This fruit is also known as a box huckleberry.

Jumble - An rich old-fashioned sugar cookie.

Junket - Sweetened milk, thickened with rennin and used as a cream substitute or dessert. Junket is usually served cold and can be accompanied by fruit.

Jus - Natural juices released by roasting meats.


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Kaffir Lime - The Kaffir lime is widely grown throughout south-east Asia. The rind and leaves are used for flavouring Thai curries. The fruit is yellow when mature but harvested while still green.

Kahlúa - A coffee-flavored liqueur form Mexico.

Kaiser Roll - A large, round yeast roll with a crisp crust, used for making sandwiches or served as a breakfast roll.

Kalamata Olives, Calamata Olives - A dark purple, fruity Greek olive.

Kale - Curly-leafed member of the cabbage family which grows in loose bunches. The strong-tasting leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and iron; frequently eaten boiled or used as garnish.

Kasseri Cheese - Greek cheese made from sheep's or goat's milk, with a sharp, salty flavor. As it matures, it develops a hard texture that is perfect for grating. This white cheese is delicious plain, grated over hot foods or used in cooking, and is the cheese used in the Greek dish saganaki. An American version of kasseri is made with cow's milk.

Karo - Commercial brand of syrup that is available in dark or light.

Kasha - Buckwheat grouts.

Kebab, Kabob, Kabab - Cubes of food (meat, poultry, seafood, fruit or vegetables) placed on a skewer then marinated before cooking. Vegetables and fruit can be alternated with the meat and then grilled.

Kedgeree - An Indian dish containing rice, lentils and onions. An English variation adds smoked fish, hard-boiled eggs and a cream curry sauce. Also known as kegeree.

Ketchup, Catsup - A thick and spicy tomato sauce used as a condiment or a cooking ingredient.

Kettle - A large metal pot, usually made of iron, with a looped handle and a lid.

Key Lime - Small, tart, yellowish limes from Florida.

Kidney Bean - A medium-sized, kidney-shaped bean with a dark red skin, cream-colored firm flesh and a bland flavor. Available fresh, dried and canned.

Kielbasa, Kielbasi, Kielbasy, Polish Sausage - A seasoned and smoked sausage usually made from pork.

Kim Chee Cucumber - A very spicy pickled cabbage mixture of Korean origin. Also known as Korean cabbage pickle.

Kippered Herring - Smoked or dried herring.

Kirsch - A clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits. Usually added to cherries jubilee or fondue sauces

Kitchen Bouquet - A trade name for a bottled sauce used for flavor and color enhancement.

Kitchen Shears - Strong, sharp scissors with multiple uses including cutting fish, poultry, meat and produce. One blade may have a serrated edge. This tool can snip herbs and crack nuts too.
Kitchen String - Linen string used for trussing poultry and securing stuffed or rolled pieces of meat before cooking. Also known as butcher's twine.

Kiwi; Kiwi Fruit; Kiwifruit - A small ovoid shaped fruit with a greenish-brown skin covered with fuzz, lime green flesh that becomes more yellow toward the center, many small, edible black seeds and a sweet-tart flavor.

Knackwurst; Knockwurst - A plump German sausage made from beef and pork and seasoned with garlic; can be boiled, broiled or grilled and is traditionally served with sauerkraut. The name resulted from the cracking sound the casing makes when first bitten into: "knack" is the German word for crack.

Knead - To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Knives - Knives come in many shapes and sizes, but all have at least one thing in common. A knife, by definition, is a sharp-edged cutting instrument with a handle.

Kohlrabi - A hybrid of cabbage and turnips; the pale green or pale purple bulbous stem is mild and sweet when young. The bulb tastes like a mild, sweet turnip. Kohlrabi is available from midspring to midfall.

Kombu - A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking.

Kosher - Food prepared according to Jewish dietary laws. . Kosher dietary laws identify three classifications of foods: meat, dairy and pareve. Pareve (parve) refers to a neutral food that can be used with either meat or dairy.

Kosher Salt - urified, refined rock salt approved for use on kosher meats. It is also used for pickling because it contains no magnesium carbonate and will not cloud brine solutions. Also known as coarse salt or pickling salt.Kugelhopf - A Central European yeast cake filled with raisins (or currants), nuts and candied fruit and baked in a special fluted tube pan.

Kugelhopf - A Central European yeast cake filled with raisins (or currants), nuts and candied fruit and baked in a special fluted tube pan.

Kuminost Cheese; Kumminost - Danish semifirm cheese made from whole or skimmed cow's milk, having either a natural or waxed rind and a pale yellow to orange interior; flavored with cumin, caraway seed and clove. Kuminost is excellent in casseroles and for snacks and sandwiches. Also known as nökkelost.

Kumquat - A fruit which looks like a tiny orange. The rind is sweet and the flesh is tart. The fruit can be eaten rind and all. Usually found pickled, candied or in preserves or marmalade.


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Ladle - 1. To move portions of a food using a ladle. 2. A utensil with a cup-like bowl and a long hooked or pierced handle used to pour sauces and liquids.

Lait - (French) Milk.

Lamb, Yearling - The meat of a sheep slaughtered when less than 1 year old.

Larding or Larder - To insert strips of fat into pieces of meat, so that the cooked meat stays moist and juicy.

Lasagna - 1. Wide, flat Italian pasta sheets with ruffled or smooth edges. 2. An Italian dish made with boiled lasagna layered with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, meats and/or vegetables and topped with a tomato or meat sauce and baked.

Lavender - This aromatic relative of the mint plant is often used to make herb tea.

Lean - The FDA approved food labeling term used to describe meat, poultry, game, fish or shellfish that contains less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per serving or per 100 grams.

Leaven - To insert gas into a dough or batter by adding an ingredient, such as yeast, baking powder or baking soda, causing it to expand, or rise, lightening the texture of the baked product.

Lebkuchen - A thick, cake-like German cookie made with honey, spices, citron and ground almonds. The dough is often cut into shapes or baked in decorative molds, then topped with a hard confectioner's sugar glaze.

Leek - Has a thick, cylindrical white stalk with a slightly bulbous root end and dark green leaves. The tender, white stalk has a flavor that is sweeter and stronger than a scallion but milder than an onion.

Legumes - Plant species that have seed pods that split along both sides when ripe. Some edible legumes are beans, lentils, peas, etc.

Lemon - A citrus fruit with a bright yellow pitted skin, juicy flesh and a very tart, sour flavor.

Lemon Grass - Light green stalks with a citrus flavor and scent used in Thai and other Asian cuisines for flavoring.

Lentils - A legume with small flat seeds used in soups and stews.

Lettuce - Any of a variety of plants of the genus Lactuca grown worldwide. Lettuce leaves are consumed fresh in salads or used as a garnish. There are three principal types of lettuces: butterhead, crisp head (iceberg) and leaf.
Liaison - A mixture of cream and egg yolks used to thicken and enrich soups and sauces.

Light - FDA term used to define food that has 33 percent fewer calories, 50 percent less fat, or 50 percent less sodium than the regularly used food.

Liguria Olive - An Italian salt-brine-cured black olive with a strong flavor; sometimes packed with stems.

Lima Beans - There are two common varieties of lima beans: the Fordhook and the baby (also called sieva). The pale green bodies of both varieties have a slight kidney-shaped curve. The Fordhook is larger and plumper than the baby lima. Limas can be used as a side dish, in soups and in the traditional dish succotash.

Limburger Cheese - An extremely strong-smelling, semihard, fermented cheese first made in Limburg, Belgium, but now more commonly produced in Germany. Limburger has a yellow to reddish-brown rind, a yellow interior and a paste-like consistency.

Lime - A small ovoid citrus fruit with a thin, pitted, green skin. Limes have juicy, pale green pulp and a very tart flavor.

Linguine - Long, narrow, moderately thick strands of pasta.

Liqueur - A sweet, aromatic alcoholic drink typically served after a meal. Liqueurs are often used as flavorings in baked desserts and dessert sauces.

Litchi, Lychee - A small fruit from China and the West Indies, with a hard shell and sweet, juicy flesh. The flesh is white with a gelatinous texture and a musky, perfumed flavour.

Loaf Pan - A deep rectangular baking pan available in various sizes; used for baking breads, cakes and meatloaf.

Lobster - Any of several varieties of saltwater crustaceans; with a long jointed body, large tail and front claws, and legs surrounded by a reddish-brown or blue-black shell which turns bright red when cooked. The firm white meat has a rich, sweet flavor.

Loganberries - Possibly a raspberry-blackberry hybrid, this berry is juicy, sweet and tart. Plump, purple-red loganberries can be used to make jams and preserves.

Lo Mein - 1. A dish consisting meat and poultry with water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, green onions, mushrooms and Chinese egg noodles. 2. Fresh Chinese egg noodles.

Loquat - A small pear-shaped fruit native to China, though also known as a Japanese medlar or Japanese plum; has yellowish-orange skin and juicy flesh.

Lovage - A large, celery-like herb with a thick stalk and a lemony, musky, celery-like flavor.

Low Calorie - A food containing 40 calories or less per serving.

Low Cholesterol - A food containing 20 milligrams or less of saturated fat and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.

Low Fat, Low-fat - A food containing 3 grams of fat or less per serving.

Low Saturated Fat - A food containing 1 gram of fat or less per serving and not more than 15 percent of its calories from saturated fatty acids.

Low Sodium - A food containing 140 milligrams or less per serving.

Lox - Very thinly sliced brine-cured, cold-smoked salmon; slightly saltier than other forms of smoked salmon.

Lugano Olive - Italian black olive, sometimes packed with olive leaves; usually very salty.

Lumache - Italian term for snails; describes large pasta shells designed for stuffing.

Lyonnaise Potatoes - A French side dish of sliced potatoes sautéed with onions.


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Macadamia Nut - An oily, marble size, white nut with a buttery rich flavor. The macadamia nut's shell is exceptionally hard. It has an extremely high fat content.

Macaroni - Pasta made from semolina and water, usually refers to tube shapes, but can also include shells, twists and ribbons.

Mace - A sweet, but pungent spice, made from the outer covering of the nutmeg, and has a very similar flavor.

Macerate - To soak fruit or other food in liquid to infuse it with the flavor of the liquid.

Mâche - A plant with small, tender, dark green leaves and a slightly nutty flavor; used in salads or cooked. It is often found growing wild in cornfields, but it is difficult to find in stores and can be quite expensive.

Mackerel - The king mackerel (also known as kingfish) is probably the best known of this family of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic Ocean. Mackerel has firm, savory flavored flesh and is available fresh, smoked or salted.

Madeira - A sweet, Portuguese desert wine often served as an apéritif or as an after dinner drink.

Madeleine - A small, scalloped, shell shape cake from a butter and egg rich batter.

Mafalda, Mafalde(pl) - Wide, flat noodle with ruffled edges, resembles a lasagna noodle, only narrower.

Maigre - French term for a dish containing no meat. It may also refer to lean or low-fat cooking.

Mahi Mahi, Dolphinfish - Though this fish is actually a type of dolphin, it should not be confused with the dolphin that is a mammal. Mahi mahi is a firm, flavorful fish, excellent grilled or broiled.

Mallet - A tool usually made of sturdy hard wood with a metal-reinforced striking surface; used to flatten thin cuts of meat or poultry and for cracking the shells of cooked crabs and lobsters.

Malt - 1. A fountain drink that is a thick blend of malted milk powder, ice cream, milk and flavoring. 2. A grain like barley that has been sprouted, kiln-dried and ground into sweet-flavored powder. The malt powder is used to brew beer, make vinegar and is used as an additive to many foods.

Maltagliate - Irregular, triangle- or diamond-shaped pasta pieces, half the size of a postage stamp, often used as an ingredient in soups.

Mandarin - 1. A cooking style from China. The word mandarin literally means "Chinese official," suggesting the style is the aristocratic epitome of Chinese cuisine. 2. A citrus fruit with loose yellow to reddish-orange rind that is very easy to peel. The flesh is orange in color and has a sweet flavor.

Mandoline - A hand-operated slicing and cutting apparatus. Mandolines are used to cut fruits and vegetables evenly.

Mango - A beautiful tropical fruit which grows in a variety of shapes and sizes; the skin may be green, rosy red, gold or all three as the fruit ripens. The juicy, smooth, golden flesh is fragrant and sweetly tart, with one large flat seed.

Manhattan Clam Chowder - Chowder made with quahog clams, tomatoes, onions, celery, and potatoes.

Manicotti - Large, tube shaped pasta that is normally stuffed with a meat, vegetable and cheese mixture and topped with a red sauce and baked.

Manzanilla Olive - Spanish green olive, lightly lye-cured then packed in salt and lactic acid; available unpitted and/or stuffed.

Maple Syrup - Maple sap that has been reduced by boiling until a thick syrup with a sweet distinctive taste is formed.

Maraschino Cherry - A pitted cherry soaked in a flavored, sugar syrup and dyed red or green. Maraschino cherries are used for drink and food garnishes.

Marble - To smoothly whirl one food into another.

Marbling - The streaks of intramuscular fat found in meat (especially beef) which add to the meat's flavor and tenderness. Marbling is a primary factor in determining a meat's quality grade.

Marengo - A chicken dish containing mushrooms, wine, tomatoes, pearl onions and garlic.

Margarine - A solid fat invented in 1869 to replace butter in cooking and baking. Originally, it was composed entirely of beef fat. Today, margarine is made with a variety of fats (usually vegetable), water, whey, yellow coloring, and nutritional additives.
Marinade, To Marinate - A liquid seasoning blend or dry spice rub for foods, used for flavor enhancement and tenderizing. Marinades are added to foods and then allowed to set for a period of time. Liquid marinades are usually acid-based with wine, vinegar, yogurt or lemon juice with added spices.

Marinade - A seasoned liquid, usually containing an acid, in which foods such as meat or vegetables are soaked (marinated) before cooking.

Marinara Sauce - Literally, "sailor-style" in Italian, this sauce can be made either red or white, but it always contains garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, and vinegar and/or wine.

Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram - A Mediterranean herb of the mint family that has short oval, pale green leaves, a sweet flavor suggestive of thyme and oregano and a strong aroma.

Marmalade - A jellied fruit preserve that contains pieces of rind (usually citrus fruit).

Marsala - An Italian, dessert wine, served as an after dinner drink or as an apéritif. Marsala is available in dry and sweet.

Marzipan - A mixture of almond paste, sugar and egg whites (of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites) used to cover dessert cakes or to mold and shape for decorations on pastries.

Masa, Masa Harina - Masa is the dough used mainly for tortillas and tamales. It is made from dried corn kernels which has been cooked in limewater, then ground while wet. Masa Harina is flour made from dried masa.

Mascarpone Cheese - An extremely rich cream cheese from Italy.

Mash - To press or crush a food into a smooth mixture.

Mask - To cover a dish with sauce or aspic after it has been cooked but prior to serving. It also refers to over-seasoning a dish to the point where all other flavors are indiscernible.

Matelote - Stew containing freshwater fish, wine and aromatics.

Matzo Meal - Ground matzo (unleavened bread made of only wheat flour and water), which is used in a variety of foods including matzo balls (dumplings) and pancakes.

Mayonnaise - A creamy, thick white sauce consisting of oil and vinegar emulsified with egg yolks. It is used as a spread or dressing. It is sold commercially and comes in reduced fat and non fat varieties.

Mead - A fermented beverage consisting of water, honey, and yeast (or hops) with flavorings.

Measuring Cups - Containers used to measure the volume of dry or liquid foods.

Meat - 1. The flesh (muscles, fat and related tissues) of animals used for food. 2. The edible part of nuts.

Medallion - A very small, round cut of pork, veal, or beef.

Melba Sauce - A sauce composed of pureed, strained fresh raspberries, red currant jelly, sugar and cornstarch. It is traditionally served with Peach Melba, but can be used as a topping for other desserts.

Melba Toast - A very thin and very dry toast that is served with soups and salads.

Melon - A member of the gourd family. There are two groups of melons: muskmelon and watermelon, of which there are many varieties.

Melt - To alter a food from a solid to a liquid by heat.

Menudo - A Mexican soup containing tripe, green chiles, hominy and spices.

Meringue - Egg whites beaten until they are stiff and creamy, then sweetened. Primarily used as the topping for cream pies, or baked as cookies.

Mesclun - French word for "mixed" that refers to a salad of assorted small salad leaves and herbs.

Mesquite - A hardwood tree grown in the Southwest US, used to impart a distinct flavor in barbecue and smoked foods.

Mezzani - Smooth tubular pasta.

Microwave Cooking - A heating method that cooks with high-frequency radio waves that cause food molecules to pulse, creating friction that heats and cooks the food.

Migas - A mixture of bread or tortilla crumbs with scrambled eggs, chiles, onions and seasonings. Occasionally, chorizo (sausage) is added to the dish.

Milk Chocolate - Popular form of eating chocolate because of its mild, mellow flavor and usually contains about 12% milk solids. Milk chocolate has a less robust flavor than sweet or semisweet chocolates.

Milk Shake - Milk, ice cream, and a syrup or other flavorings mixed in a blender until the ice cream is soft enough to be sipped through a straw.

Millet - A small, round grain boiled or grounded into flour. It does not contain gluten.

Mince - To cut into extremely fine pieces.

Mincemeat - A spicy, sweet combination of candied and fresh fruits, wine, spices, and beef fat. Primarily used filling for pies.

Minestrone - An Italian all-vegetable soup containing an assortment of vegetables and pasta or beans or rice.

Mint - An herb with a fresh, peppery flavor. Mint is available fresh, dried, and as an extract.

Mint Julep - A popular drink from the southern U.S. containing fresh mint, bourbon, and crushed ice.

Mirin - A sweet, rice wine used in cooking Japanese cuisine.

Miso - Fermented soybean paste that is an indispensable Japanese flavoring ingredientIt is used in sauces, soups, marinades, dressings, dips and main dishes.

Mix - To combine ingredients with a spoon or beaters until well integrated.

Mix Until Just Moistened - To combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, but the mixture is still slightly lumpy.

Mocha - A coffee and chocolate mixture.

Mock Duck - Fresh, organic wheat gluten that is folded and pressed creating a meat substitute to duck in Buddhist and other vegetarian dishes. Available canned in Asian markets.

Mojo - Cuban seasoning mix made of garlic, olive oil, and sour oranges It is used as a dip, marinade, or sauce for vegetables and meats.

Molasses - A thick, sweet, brownish-black liquid that is a by-product of sugar-refining; used in breads, cookies and pastries for its distinctive, slightly bitter flavor and dark color.

Molcajete Y Tejolete - The Mexican term for mortar (molcajete) and pestle (tejolete); sometimes made from volcanic rock.

Mold - To shape food, usually by pouring the liquefied food into a mold. When the liquid is cooled it will retain the shape of the mold.

Mole - A Mexican specialty, mole is a dark, reddish-brown sauce, often served with chicken or turkey. Mole is made from a variety of ingredients, including ground seeds, chile peppers, onion, garlic, and chocolate.

Monkfish - A saltwater fish of which only the tail meat is eaten.

Monosodium Glutamate - A sodium salt found in wheat, beets, and soy bean products. It is used extensively in Chinese cooking, and thought to help accentuate the flavors of certain foods. However some people have shown an allergic reaction.

Monounsaturated Fat - Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce LDLs, but have relatively no effect on HDLs, except for olive oil, which can increase the beneficial HDLs. Other sources of monounsaturated fat can be obtained from canola oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, cashews and peanuts.

Mont Blanc - A classic French dessert made with sweetened chestnut purée. The purée is passed through a ricer and formed into a fluffy mound on a platter. The dessert is then topped with whipped cream.

Monterey Jack Cheese - Deriving its name from the California city where it originated, this cheese is very versatile. Usually available unaged, it is mild and has an ivory color.

Monter au beurre - To whisk cold butter into a hot liquid to give the liquid a silky consistency and depth of flavor.

Morel - A variety of wild mushroom, the morel is cone-shaped and has a nutty, earthy flavor.

Mornay Sauce - A basic béchamel sauce to which cheese has been added. It is sometimes varied with the addition of eggs or stock.

Mortar and Pestle - A bowl and blunt tool for pounding seasonings into a paste or powder. Often made of marble. The traditional method of making basil pesto is to place all ingredients into the mortar and blend.

Mostaccioli - Literally means "Small Mustaches". This tubular pasta goes well with sauce, used in salads, baked in casseroles, or made into stir fry dishes.

Mother Sauces - A French concept that classifies all sauces into five foundation sauces called "mother" or "grand sauces." From these five sauces, all sauces can be made. They are: 1. Demiglace or brown; 2. Velouté or blond; 3. Béchamel or white; 4. Hollandaise or butter; 5. Tomato or red.

Moussaka - A layered dish of eggplant and lamb with tomatoes and onions in a white sauce.

Mousse - A sweet or savory dish, mousse is usually made with egg whites or whipped cream to give the light, airy texture. In French, the word means "froth" or "foam."

Mozzarella Cheese - Mozzarella is known as a mild cheese with an elastic texture. It is fairly soft, requires little ripening time, and has excellent melting qualities.

MSG - This natural amino acid is found in seaweed, vegetables, cereal gluten and the residue of sugar beets, and is used as a flavor enhancer.

Muenster Cheese; Munster Cheese - A semi-ripe Alsatian cheese made with whole cow's milk, flavored with caraway and cumin. It may cure up to three months before consumption.

Muesli - The German term for mixture, muesli may contain raw or toasted grains (wheat, oats, barley, etc.) nuts, bran, dried fruits, wheat germ, sugar and dried milk solids. Muesli is often eaten like cold cereal with milk, or with yogurt or fruit juice.

Muffin - A drop batter baked in individual pans and served as a quick bread.

Mull - To flavor a beverage, such as cider or wine, by heating it with spices or other flavorings.

Mung Beans - Small green beans used in both Indian and Chinese cooking. They do not require presoaking and cooked mung beans have a tender texture and slightly sweet flavor. The sprouts are also used in salads.

Muscadine Grape - A thick-skinned purple grape with a musky flavor, muscadine grapes are found in the Southeastern United States. The grapes are eaten as is, and often used to make jelly and wine.

Mushroom - Any of many species of cultivated or wild fleshy fungus, usually consisting of a stem, a cap (which may have gills) and mycelium; available fresh or dried and eaten raw, reconstituted or cooked.

Muskmelon - One of the two broad classes of melon. Muskmelons have been grown for thousands of years by many cultures. The two main skin textures are netted (such as cantaloupe), and smooth (crenshaw or honeydew).

Mussel - A bivalve mollusk with an extremely thin, oblong shell that can range from dark blue to bright green to yellowish-brown. The creamy-tan meat has a slightly sweet flavor. Mussels can be cooked in a variety of ways including steaming, frying, baking or used as an ingredient in dishes such as paella.

Mustard - A spice with a pungent flavor, available as seeds or ground, or a condiment prepared with it.

Mustard Greens - Leaves of the mustard plant, mustard greens are a very popular vegetable in the South. The leaves have a pungent mustard flavor, and may be found fresh, frozen, or canned. Mustard greens must be washed thoroughly, then may be steamed, sauteed, or simmered. They're usually cooked with seasonings and ham, pork, or bacon.


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Nachos - An hors d'oeuvre of tostados topped with jack cheese, sour cream, and jalapeno chile.

Napa Cabbage - This oval-shaped broad-leafed head has very crisp, pale green crinkled leaves and a sweet, delicate flavor. It is used extensively in stir-fried dishes and soups, and absorbs flavors beautifully.

Nasturtium - All parts of the nasturtium are eaten, except the roots. The leaves and stems are peppery, and may be added to salads or sandwiches. Whole flowers may be used as a garnish, and seeds and buds can be pickled like capers.

Natto - A Japanese flavoring and table condiment made from soybeans that have been steamed, fermented and mashed. Natto has a gummy texture and strong cheeselike flavor; often mixed with other ingredients such as soy sauce and mustard.

Navy Bean - A variety of kidney bean; small and ovoid with a white skin and flesh; a staple of the U.S. Navy since the 1880s, it is also known as the beautiful bean, Boston bean, and Yankee bean.

Nectarine - A sweet, firm relative of the peach with smooth skin. Select nectarines that have rich color (red swatches over a bright golden yellow background), a fragrant aroma and a plumpness that gives slightly to the touch.

Neufchatel Cheese - A soft unripened cheese originally from Neufchatel-en-Bray, France. It has a fat content of 44-48%. Philadelphia sells it as low-fat cream cheese in the U.S.

Newburg - A rich dish of cooked lobster, shrimp, or other shellfish in a sauce made of cream, butter, egg yolks, sherry, and seasonings. The dish is often served over toast points.

Niçoise Olive - Small French black (harvested fully ripe) olive with a high pit-to-meat ratio. Niçoise olives are brine-cured and packed in olive oil, often with herbs. They can vary in color from purple-brown to brown-black, and have a rich, nutty, smooth flavor.

Niçoise, A La - Food cooked in the manner of the chefs of the French city of Nice, generally includes a garnish of garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, black olives, capers and lemon juice.

Noisette - Very small medallions of meat.

Nonpareil - A tiny hard candy used to decorate cookies, candy, cakes, etc.

Non-Reactive Pan - A non-porous pan which does not produce a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with acidic foods. An aluminum pan is reactive, while stainless steel, glass, and enamel are not.

Non-Stick Cookware - Cookware that has been coated with teflon that allows for cooking with little or no oil or grease.

Noodles - Type of pasta made from durum flour, water and egg solids. By federal regulations, pasta made without egg solids cannot be defined as noodles.

Nopalitas - Fleshy leaves of the prickly pear, or nopal cactus. Nopales have a tart, green bean-like flavor. The thorns are shaved off before using, then they are usually simmered until tender then used in salads, scrambled eggs, and other dishes.

Nougat - A candy made from sugar and honey mixed with nuts. This mixture is then formed into slabs and sliced.

Nutmeg - The hard seed of a yellow fruit from a tree (Myristica fragrans) native to the East Indies; has an oval shape and smooth texture with a strong, sweet aroma and flavor; used ground (grated) in sweet and savory dishes.

Nut Mill - A hand-crank tool used to produce nut flour. Shelled nuts are placed in a hopper on top of the unit and the crank is rotated, pressing the nuts against a grating drum. The nuts are powdered without releasing their natural oil.


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Oat Bran - The outer casing of the oat, often used as a high-fiber nutrient supplement. Thought to fight against high cholesterol, oat bran is high in vitamin B-1 and contains a good amount of vitamins B-2 and E. It is available in health-food stores and some supermarkets.

Oatmeal - Oats that have been cleaned, toasted, hulled and cleaned again; most often cooked and served as cereal. There are several varieties of oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats (also called regular rolled oats) have been steamed and flattened by huge rollers and take about 15 minutes to cook. The quick-cooking variety of rolled oats (they cook in about five minutes) are groats that have been cut into pieces before being steamed and rolled into thinner flakes.

O'Brien Potatoes - A dish of diced potatoes, onions, and sweet peppers or pimientos, fried until browned and crisp.

Oeuf - The French word for "egg."

Okra - A vegetable brought to the U.S. South by African slaves. Okra pods are green and ridged. When cooked, okra gives off a viscous substance which may serve as a thickener in some dishes.

Olive - The small fruit of a tree native to the Mediterranean region; has a single pit, high oil content, green color before ripening and green or black color after ripening and an inedibly bitter flavor when raw; eaten on its own after washing, soaking and pickling, or pressed for oil; available in a range of sizes (from smallest to largest): medium, colossal, supercolossal and jumbo.

Olive Oil - An oil obtained by pressing tree-ripened olives; has a distinctive fruity, olive flavor and is graded according to its degree of acidity; used as a cooking medium, flavoring and ingredient.

Omega-3 Oils - A classification of fatty acids found in some plants and in all sea creatures; found to be beneficial to coronary health (purportedly lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and raising the good HDL) as well as to brain growth and development.

Omelet - Seasoned eggs that are beaten and fried. The eggs will puff up at which time, they are rolled or folded over.

Omelet Pan - A shallow pan with sloping sides, a flat bottom and long handle.

Onion - Bulb vegetables related to the lily, with a characteristic strong flavor and odor.

On the Half Shell - This phrase usually describes oysters served on the bottom shell, either raw on a bed of crushed ice or cooked on a bed of rock salt.

Open-faced - A sandwich prepared with just one piece of bread and topped with a wide variety of meats, vegetables or cheeses; the sandwich can be served hot or cold.

Orange - Any of a variety of citrus (Citrus sinensis) with juicy, orange-colored segmented flesh, a thin to moderately thick orange-colored rind and a flavor ranging from bitter to tart to sweet; depending on the variety, an orange can be eaten fresh, cooked in sweet or savory dishes, juiced or used as a flavoring or aromatic.

Orange Roughy - A mild flavored New Zealand fish with white flesh, orange roughy is also low in fat.

Oregano - An herb (Origanum vulgare) and the wild form of marjoram; has a woody stalk with clumps of tiny, dark green leaves that have a pungent, peppery flavor and are used fresh or dried, principally in Italian and Greek cuisines; also known as wild marjoram.

Organic Food - Food grown without the use of any chemicals, including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. No artificial coloring or flavoring or other additives can be used in processing foods labeled organic. Specifics vary from state to state.

Orgeat Syrup - A sweet syrup used in cocktails, orgeat syrup is made with almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange-flower water.

Orrechietti - Pasta shaped by pressing the point of a knife into a small slice of dough, resulting in a shape similar to a small ear.

Orzo - Italian for barley and used to describe rice-like pasta.

Ouzo - A clear anise-flavored liqueur from Greece.

Oven Bag - A heat-resistant nylon bag for cooking meals without basting or tending.

Oxalic Acid - Oxalic acid is found naturally in many plants, but is poisonous in excessive amounts. Spinach, rhubarb, sorrel all contain measurable amounts of oxalic acid. It actually forms insoluble compounds with calcium and iron which inhibit their absorption by the human body, thus diminishing the purported nutritional value of some vegetables, particularly spinach.

Oyster - Bivalve mollusks with a hard, rough gray shell and creamy-beige to pale-gray meat.

Oyster Mushroom - A smooth-capped mushroom with a fan shape and mild oyster-like flavor. They're found dried or fresh in many supermarkets and most oriental markets.

Oyster Sauce - A bottled all-purpose Chinese seasoning made from oysters, water, salt,cornstarch, and caramel coloring.

Oysters Rockefeller - This creation was born in New Orleans in the late 1890s, and was reportedly named for John D. Rockefeller because of how rich it is. The dish is composed of oysters on the half-shell baked with a mixture of spinach, shallots and celery then topped with bread crumbs.


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Packed - Pressed or mashed together tightly, filling the measuring utensil with as much of the ingredient as possible.

Paella - A Spanish dish consisting of rice, saffron, a variety of meat and shellfish, garlic, onions, peas, tomatoes, and other vegetables. It's named for the wide, shallow pan it's cooked in.

Palm Hearts - Hearts of young palm trees.

Palm Sugar - Known as gula jawa (Indonesian), gula Malacca (Malaysian), nahm tahn beep (Thai). Ivory to light caramel colored sugar cakes. Its flavor is extracted from coconut flower or palm. It is similar to brown sugar. In fact, if you can't find it, you can substitute maple sugar or brown sugar blended with a little maple syrup (to moisten) for palm sugar.

Pan Fry - To brown and cook foods in fat in a shallow pan, where the fat does not completely cover the food.

Panbroil - To cook a food in a skillet without added fat, removing any fat as it accumulates.

Pancetta - An Italian cured meat made from the belly (pancia) of the big (the same cut used for bacon). It is salted but lightly spiced, but not smoked.

Panforte - A dense, flat Italian cake filled with hazelnuts, almonds, honey, candied citron and citrus peel, cocoa and spices.

Pansotti - A stuffed, triangular pasta popular in the Italian region of Liguria.

Papaya - Native to North America, the papaya is a large fruit which is golden yellow when ripe. Ripe papaya has an exotic sweet-tart flavor. The fruit is sometimes called pawpaw.

Papillote, En - A food (ex. fish with a vegetable garnish) enclosed in parchment paper or greased paper wrapper and baked; the paper envelope is usually slit open tableside so that the diner can enjoy the escaping aroma.

Pappardelle - Plain pasta, usually homemade, shaped in broad ribbons with fluted edges, cut into short pieces (¾-inch wide by 12 inches long).

Paprika - A blend of dried red-skinned chiles; the flavor can range from slightly sweet and mild to pungent and moderately hot and the color can range from bright red-orange to deep blood red; used in Central European and Spanish cuisines as a spice and garnish; also known as Hungarian pepper.

Paraffin - A waxy substance used for coating items such as cheese and the tops of jars of jams and jellies to keep air out, thus preventing spoilage.

Parboil - To boil a food briefly, until partially done. A food might be parboiled before adding it to faster-cooking ingredients to insure all ingredients are evenly cooked.

Parchment Paper - A heavy moisture and grease-resistant paper used to line baking pans and wrap foods to be baked.

Parcook - To partially cook an item before storing or finishing by any number of other cooking methods.

Pare - To remove skins and peels from fruits or vegetables with a small knife or peeler.

Pareve - A Jewish term which describes food made without dairy or animal
ingredients. According to Jewish dietary laws, animal food can't be eaten at the same meal with dairy food, but pareve food may be eaten with either.

Parfait - A dessert consisting of ice cream, layered with a dessert sauce, fruit, or liquer.

Parmesan Cheese - A cow's milk cheese whose taste ranges from sweet to sharp. It is a hard cheese, most suitable for grating. Most often served with Italian food.

Parsley - An herb (Petroselium crispum) with long, slender stalks, small, curly dark green leaves and a slightly peppery, tangy fresh flavor (the flavor is stronger in the stalks, which are used in a bouquet garni); generally used fresh as a flavoring or garnish; also known as curly parsley.

Parsnip - A long, white root vegetable with feathery green leaves. Its look and taste is similar to a carrot and it can be cooked in much the same way.

Partially Set - Term for the state of a gelatin mixture that has thickened to the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

Pasilla Chili Peppers - Medium-hot chili peppers that are generally 6 inches to 8 inches long and 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter. These rich-flavored peppers are blackish-brown in color and sometimes referred to as chile negro.

Passion Fruit - This purple fruit has a smooth skin that wrinkles as it ages and highly fragrant orange pulp filled with many tiny edible seeds. The flavor is tangy but sweet. It can be chilled and eaten as is, added to fruit salads or used as a flavoring for baked goods, preserves and beverages.

Pasta - Pasta may refer to any of a wide variety of noodles from a variety of countries. Italian pasta is usually made with a dough of durum or semolina wheat flour, liquid, and sometimes egg. Pasta made with semolina flour is generally superior, since it doesn't absorb too much water and stays somewhat firm when cooked al dente.

Pasteurize - To kill bacteria by heating liquids to moderately high temperatures only briefly. French scientist Louis Pasteur discovered the solution while he was researching the cause of beer and wine spoilage.

Pastina - A small pasta, of any shape but frequently round; used in soups.

Pastry Bag - A cone-shaped bag with openings at both ends. Food is placed into the large opening then squeezed out the small opening which may be fitted with a decorator tip. It has a variety of uses, including decorating cakes and cookies, forming pastries, or piping decorative edgings. Bags may be made of cloth, plastic, or other materials.

Pastry Blender - A kitchen utensil with several u-shaped wires attached to a handle. It's used to cut solid fat (like shortening or butter) into flour and other dry ingredients in order to evenly distribute the fat particles.

Pastry Brush - A brush used to apply glaze or egg wash to breads and other baked goods either before or after baking.

Pastry Wheel - A utensil with a cutting wheel attached to a handle. It's used to mark and cut rolled-out dough, and may have a plain or decorative edge.

Pat - To take the underside of the hand and gently press a food. The purpose might be to pat dry ingredients onto the surface so they will adhere during cooking, or to pat with a towel to remove excess moisture.

Pâté - An appetizer, paté usually consists of seasoned, finely ground or strained meat, poultry, or fish. Paté is usually cooked in a crust or mold (may be called terrine) and is often served with crackers or toast.

Pate a Choux - Cream puff paste. It is a mixture of boiled water, fat, and flour, beat in whole eggs.

Patty - A thin, round piece of food, such as a hamburger patty or a peppermint patty.
Paupiettes - Thinly sliced meats wrapped around fillings.

Paysanne - French name avariety of vegetables cut in a small square, usually about 1/4". Used in soups or granish for meats and seafood.

Peach - A medium-sized stone fruit (Prunus persica) native to China; has a fuzzy, yellow-red skin, pale orange, yellow or white juicy flesh surrounding a hard stone and a sweet flavor; available as a clingstone and freestone.

Peach Melba - A dessert created in the late 1800s by the famous French chef Escoffier for Dame Nellie Melba, a popular Australian opera singer. It's made with two peach halves that have been poached in syrup and cooled. Each peach half is placed hollow side down on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then topped with Melba sauce (a raspberry sauce) and sometimes with whipped cream and sliced almonds.

Peaks - The mounds made in a mixture. For example egg white that has been whipped to stiffness. Peaks are "stiff" if they stay upright or "soft" if they curl over.

Peanut - A legume and not a nut (Arachis hypogea), it is the plant's nut-like seed that grows underground; the hard nut has a papery brown skin and is encased in a thin, netted tan pod and is used for snacking and for making peanut butter and oil; also known as a groundnut; earthnut, goober (from the African work nguba) and goober pea.

Peanut Oil - Clear oil pressed from peanuts; very useful in cooking and as a salad oil. Peanut oil has a delicate flavor and high smoke point, making it perfect for deep-frying.

Pear - A spherical to bell-shaped pome fruit (Pyrus communis), generally with a juicy, tender, crisp off-white flesh, moderately thin skin that can range in color from celadon green to golden yellow to tawny red and a flavor that can be sweet to spicy; pears can be eaten out of hand or cooked and are grown in temperate regions worldwide.

Pearl Onions - Mild-flavored onions about the size of a small marble; often cooked as a side dish or pickled as a condiment or garnish.

Peas - The edible seeds contained within the pods of various vines; the seeds are generally shelled and the pod discarded; although available fresh, peas are usually marketed canned or frozen.

Pecan - The nut of a tree of the hickory family (Carya oliviformis), native to North America; has a smooth, thin, hard, tan shell enclosing a bilobed, golden brown kernel with beige flesh and a high fat content.

Pecorino Romano - The Pecorino cheeses are made from sheep's milk in Italy. Romano is the best known. Parmesan is a good Romano substitute.

Pectin - Pectin is a natural substance used to thicken jams, jellies, and preserves. Pectin is naturally present in fruits, but most don't have enough to jell. The alternative is to cook the mixture until it's reduced to the desired consistency. Pectin will only work when combined with a specific balance of sugar and acid.

Peel - To remove the outside covering, such as the rind or skin, of a fruit or vegetable with a knife or vegetable peeler.

Penne - Italian for pen or quill and used to describe short to medium-length straight tubes (ridged or smooth) of pasta with diagonally cut ends.

Pepper - The fruit of various members of the Capsicum genus; native to the Western hemisphere, a pepper has a hollow body with placental ribs (internal white veins) to which tiny seeds are attached (seeds are also attached to the stem end of the interior); a pepper can be white, yellow, green, brown, purple or red with a flavor ranging from delicately sweet to fiery hot; the genus includes sweet peppers and hot peppers.

Peppercorn - Peppercorns are small berries from a vine plant. The black peppercorn is picked when it is almost ripe, then dried. Whole ground or cracked, black peppercorns produce our everyday black pepper. The milder white pepper is made from the dried inner kernel of the ripe berry.

Peppermint - An herb and member of the mint family (Mentha piperita); has thin stiff, pointed bright green, purple-tinged leaves and a pungent, menthol flavor; used as a flavoring and garnish.

Perciatelli - Pasta whose shape is similar to that of spaghetti, but with a hollow center; also called bucatini.

Persillade - A mixture of paste garlic, finely chopped parsley, a little olive oil, and sometimes bread crumbs.

Persimmon - A round fruit with a glossy skin that can range in color from yellow to deep orange with sweet, creamy orange flesh. All persimmons have a characteristic astringent flavor that causes the mouth to pucker when they are not ripe.

Pesto - Pesto is an Italian basil sauce. Many variations of this sauce exist including different nut based pestos, different herb based pestos, sun dried tomato pesto, and black olive pesto.

Petit Four - Small bite-size cakes, petits fours are usually square or diamond-shaped. They're typically coated with icing and decorated.

Pheasant - A game bird with dark flesh and an average weight of 1.5 to 2 lbs.

Phyllo - A Greek pastry, phyllo is made up of tissue-thin layers of dough. The dough is used for dishes such as baklava and spanikopita. It can usually be found frozen in supermarkets. Phyllo is sometimes spelled filo.

Picadillo - A Spanish dish made up of ground pork and beef, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and other foods, depending on the region. In Mexico, picadillo is used as a stuffing.

Picante - Spanish for flavored with hot peppers (chiles).

Picholine Olive - French green olive, salt-brine cured, with a subtle, slightly salty flavor; sometimes preserved with citric acid in the United States.

Pickapeppa Sauce - A sweet and sour, mild hot pepper sauce from Jamaica.

Pickle - To preserve food in a vinegar mixture or seasoned brine. Cucumbers, cauliflower, onions, baby corn, and and watermelon rind are some of the most popular foods to pickle.

Pickling Spice - A combination of spices usually including mustard seed, bay leaves, cinnamon, pepper, allspice, ginger, turmeric, and cardamom. Pickling spices are used primarily for pickling foods, but may also be used to season certain dishes.

Pico de Gallo - Literally rooster's beak, a coarse uncooked tomato salsa.

Pierogi - Polish dumplings filled with a minced mixture, such as pork, onions, cottage cheese and seasonings.

Pilaf - A side dish of rice or other grains cooked in a broth with seasonings and sometimes tossed with vegetables or meat. Also known as pilau.

Pimiento or Pimento - A large red, sweet pepper. Pimientos are usually found diced in cans and jars and are added to dishes to enhance the color and flavor.

Pinch - As much of an ingredient that can be held between the thumb and forefinger. A very small, approximate amount.

Pine Nuts - The blanched seeds from pine cones. Other names are: Indian nut, piñon, pignoli, and pignolia.

Pineapple - A tropical fruit (Ananas comosus) with a spiny, diamond-patterned, greenish-brown skin and swordlike leaves; the juicy yellow flesh surrounds a hard core and has a sweet-tart flavor.

Pinon - Pine nuts, seeds of large pine cones. Used in deserts and breads or roasted and enjoyed as nut meats.

Pint - A unit of volume measurement equal to 16 fl. oz. in the U.S. system.

Pinto Bean - A medium-sized pale pink bean with reddish-brown streaks; available dried; also known as a crabeye bean and a red Mexican bean.

Pipe - To squeeze icing or other soft food through a pastry bag to make a design or decorative edible edging.

Piquant - A term which generally means a tangy flavor.

Piquante Sauce - A sauce made with shallots, white wine vinegar, gherkins, parsley, and a variety of herbs and seasonings.

Pit - To remove the seed from a piece of fruit by cutting around the sides of the fruit and pulling the seed away from the flesh.

Pita - A round, Middle Eastern flat bread made from white or whole wheat flour. When a pita is split, the pocket may be filled to make a sandwich.

Pizzelles - Thin decoratively patterned Italian wafer cookies that are made in an iron similar to a waffle iron. They may be flat or rolled into ice cream cones.

Plantains - Also known as machos. The plantain is a green skinned, pink fleshed banana which is usually flatter and longer than a regular banana. It also contains more starch and less sugar. It is usually eaten fried, mashed, or in stews in South American, African, and West Indian cuisine.

Plastic Wrap - A thin sheet of clear polymers such as polyvinyl chloride; clings to surfaces and is used to wrap foods for storage.

Plum - A small to medium-sized ovoid or spherical stone fruit (Prunus domestica) that grows in clusters; has a smooth skin that can be yellow, green, red, purple or indigo blue, a juicy flesh, large pit and sweet flavor.

Plum Sauce - Also known as duck sauce, plum sauce is a Chinese condiment made from plums, apricots, vinegar and sugar. It has a thick, jam-like consistency and tart-sweet flavor. Plum sauce is used predominately as a dipping sauce for roasted meats and fried appetizers.

Poach - To cook food in liquid, at or just below the boiling point. For eggs, meat, or fish, the liquid is usually water or a seasoned stock; fruit is generally poached in a sugar syrup.

Poblano Chili Pepper - A dark, sometimes almost black green chili pepper with a mild flavor. Best known for its use in "Chili Rellanos".

Poêle - A method of cooking (usually in a covered pot) where foods are cooked in their own juices. Also referred to as butter roasting.

Poi - A Hawaiian dish made from cooked taro root that has been pounded to a smooth paste and mixed with water.

Polenta - A mush made from cornmeal, polenta may be eaten hot or cooled and fried. Polenta is a staple of northern Italy.

Pollo - Spanish term for chicken.

Polyunsaturated Fat - A fatty acid with two or more double bonds between carbon atoms; the good kind of fat.

Pomegranate - A red to purple fruit with thin leathery skin and hundreds of crunchy seeds encased in translucent, sweet-tart flesh. The seeds are separated from the flesh by a bitter membrane that should be discarded.

Pone - A round, flat food, such as corn pone.

Poppy Seed or Poppyseed - Tiny bluish-gray seeds of the poppy plant. Poppy seeds are often sprinkled on food, used as a filling, or added to a variety of foods, such as cakes, breads, and salad dressings.

Porcini - A large wild mushroom with a smooth cap and thick stem. Porcini mushrooms have an earthy flavor.

Pork - The flesh of hogs, usually slaughtered under the age of 1 year.

Portabella - A very large crimini; the mushroom has a dense texture and a rich, meaty flavor.

Porterhouse Steak - A cut of meat from the rear end of the short loin. The name originates from the days when it was served in public alehouses that also served a dark beer called porter. It consists of a hefty chunk of tenderloin with an even heftier chunk of sirloin tip. Some folks like to remove the tenderloin to serve separately as filet mignon.

Posole, Pozole - Hominy stew made with dried lime-treated corn and combined with pork and seasonings.

Pot Liquor, or Pot Likker - The liquid left after cooking greens, vegetables, or other food. It's traditionally served with cornbread in the South.

Pot Sticker Wrappers - Very thin sheets of dough made from flour, eggs and salt; used for small meat and vegetable filled dumplings known as pot stickers, as well as for won ton and egg rolls.

Pot Roast - A large piece of meat browned in fat quickly and then cooked in a covered pan.

Potage - French term for a thick soup intended to serve as a complete meal. It defines a soup with a thickness that is between consomme and soupe.

Potassium - A mineral used primarily to assist the transmissions of nerve impulses and to develop protein. Good potassium sources include green vegetables, kiwi, bananas and other fruits.

Potato - The starchy tuber of a succulent, nonwoody annual plant (Solanum turberosum) native to the Andes Mountains; cooked like a vegetable, made into flour, processed for chips and used for distillation mash.

Poultry - Any domesticated bird used for food; the USDA recognizes six kinds of poultry: chicken, duck, goose, guinea, pigeon and turkey.

Poultry Seasoning - A blend of herbs and spices, poultry seasoning usually contains sage, celery seed, thyme, savory, marjoram, onion, and pepper.

Pound - A basic measure of weight in the U.S. system; 16 ounces = 1 pound, 1 pound = 453.6 grams or 0.4536 kilogram .

Praline - A confection made with pecans and brown sugar.

Prawn - Term commonly used for any large shrimp, although a true prawn has a thinner body and longer legs than a shrimp, and an average market length of 3 inches or 4 inches.

Preheat - To allow the oven or pan to get to a specified temperature before adding the food to be cooked.

Preserve - To prepare foods for long storage. Some ways to preserve food are drying, refrigeration, freezing, canning, curing, pickling, and smoking.

Preserves - A thick cooked mixture of whole or cut up fruit, sugar, and usually pectin.

Pressure Cooker - A cooking pot made to cook food under pressure. The pressure cooker has a locking lid and a valve system to regulate the internal pressure. Cooking time may be reduced by as much as 50% without destroying the nutritional value of the food.

Prick - To make small holes in the surface of a food, usually using the tines of a fork. Pie crust is usually pricked.

Primavera - Italian for "spring style," this term refers to the use of fresh vegetables as a seasoning or garnish in a dish.

Prime Rib - Meats found in supermarkets labeled "prime rib" are most often actually rib roasts.

Proof - 1) To "prove" yeast is alive by dissolving it in warm water and setting it aside in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes. If it swells and becomes bubbly, it is alive. 2) Proof is an indication of the amount of alcoholic content in a liquor. In the U.S., proof is twice the percentage of alcohol. If a liquor is labeled 80 proof, it contains 40% alcohol

Proof Box - A sealed cabinet that allows control over both temperature and humidity.

Prosciutto - The Italian word for ham.

Protein - Protein can be found in both animal and vegetable sources, and provides the body with energy while performing a large number of other functions.

Provolone Cheese - Pale yellow, sharp Italian cheese originating in the southern province of Catania, made from cow's or buffalo milk. Most provolone is aged for two to three months, though some is aged six months to a year or more.

Prune - A dried red or purple plum.

Puff Pastry - A rich, multilayered French pastry made with butter, flour, eggs, and water. Puff pastry is made by placing chilled butter pats between layers of dough, then rolling the dough, folding it in thirds and letting it rest. The process is repeated several times, producing a dough with hundreds of layers of dough and butter. When baked, the moisture in the butter creates steam, which causes the dough to separate into flaky layers.

Pulse - An action used with processors and blenders. If a recipe tells you to pulse, turn the start button on and off rapidly serveral times or until the ingredients are appropriately processed.

Pulverize - To reduce to powder or dust by pounding, crushing or grinding.

Pumate - Italian for sun-dried tomatoes.

Pumpkin - A spherical winter squash with a flattened top and base, size ranging from small to very large, fluted orange shell (yellow and green varieties are also available), yellow to orange flesh with a mild sweet flavor and numerous flat, edible seeds.

Punch Down - To deflate a risen dough. With your hand, press on the dough until the gas escapes.

Purée - Food that has been mashed or sieved.

Purslane - A small plant with reddish stems and rounded leaves. Purslane can be eaten cooked or raw and has a mild flavor.

Puttanesca - A piquant pasta sauce made of tomatoes, onions, black olives, capers, anchovies, and chile flakes.


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Quahog - The Native American name for the (East Coast) hard-shelled clam. Quahog is also sometimes used to describe very large clams.

Quart - A measure of volume in the U.S. system; 32 fluid ounces equal 1 quart and 4 quarts equal one gallon.

Quenelle - A poached dumpling, usually made of meat or fish.

Quesadilla - A flour tortilla filled, folded, then cooked. The filling usually contains shredded cheese, but may also include ground meat, refried beans, etc.

Queso - The Spanish word for cheese.

Queso Fresco Cheese - A fresh Mexican cheese similar to farmer cheese or cottage cheese. This white, slightly salty cheese is available in Latin markets and many supermarkets; also called queso blanco.

Quiche - This dish is a pastry crust filled with a savory egg custard which usually includes cheese, seasonings, vegetables, and other ingredients. It's typically baked in a shallow, straight-sided, fluted baking dish.

Quick Bread - Quick bread is made with baking soda or baking powder, which is why it's called "quick."

Quince - This yellow-skinned fruit looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear. Its texture and flavor make it better cooked than raw. Its high pectin content make it ideal for use in jams, jellies, and preserves.

Quinoa - Quinoa is a protein rich grain which is also high in unsaturated fat and lower in carbohydrates than most grains. It may be used in any dish in place of rice or similar grains.


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Radicchio - A variety of chicory, radicchio leaves are red with white ribs, and are slightly bitter. The leaves are most often used in salads, but may be grilled, sautéed, or baked.

Radish - A member of the mustard family grown for its root (Raphanus sativus); generally, the crisp white flesh has a mild to peppery flavor and is usually eaten raw.

Ragoût - Ragout is derived from the French verb ragoûter, which means "to stimulate the appetite." A ragoût is seasoned stew, usually made with meat, poultry, fish, and often vegetables.

Raisin - A sweet dried grape.

Raita - A yogurt salad consisting of yogurt and a variety of chopped vegetables, fruits and flavored with garam masala, herbs and black mustard seeds. Raita originates from East India.

Ramekin - A small baking dish resembling a soufflé dish, a ramekin usually measures from 3 to 6 inches in diameter and is used for individual servings.

Ramen Noodles - Fine Japanese deep-fried wheat noodles, which are commonly available packaged with a broth mix.

Ramp - A wild onion which resembles the leek, the ramp has a strong onion-garlic flavor. It may be used as a substitute for leeks, scallions, or onions.

Rascasse - A type of scorpion fish which achieved glory in Provence for its starring role in the region's famed saffron-scented bouillabaisse.

Rasher - A strip of meat, such as bacon. Rasher may also mean a serving of 2 to 3 thin slices of meat.

Raspberry - A small ovoid or conical-shaped berry (Rubus idaeus) composed of many connecting drupelets (tiny individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core; has a sweet, slightly acidic flavor; the three principal varieties are black, golden and red.

Ratatouille - A French vegetable stew that combines a variety of vegetables and herbs simmered in olive oil; can be served hot or cold as a side dish or appetizer.

Ravioli - Italian for little wraps; used to describe small squares or rounds of pasta stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables.

Raw Sugar - Sugar that hasn't been refined enough to achieve a granulated quality. It looks like coffee crystals. This coarse sugar is harder to dissolve, making it a nice choice for sprinkling on foods.

Recipe - A set of written instructions for producing a specific food or beverage; also known as a formula (especially with regards to baked goods).

Reconstitute - To restore condensed, dehydrated or concentrated foods to their original strength with the addition of liquid, usually water.

Red Beans - Dark red beans similar to red kidney beans, but smaller; popular in chili and as refried beans. They stay firm when cooked and are excellent when accompanying rice. They are available dried in most supermarkets; also known as Mexican Red Beans.

Red Delicious Apple - A sweet, juicy, red variety of apple; perfect for a snack, but does not cook well. See also apples.

Red Snapper - A saltwater fish with red eyes, reddish-pink skin and very lean, firm, white flesh. The average market weight is 2 to 8 pounds, and fresh snapper is available whole, or cut into steaks or fillets.

Redeye Gravy - A southern gravy made by adding water and sometimes hot coffee to ham drippings. It's usually spooned over biscuits which are served with the ham.

Reduce - To boil a liquid until a portion of it has evaporated. Reducing intensifies the flavor and results in a thicker liquid.

Reduced Cholesterol - A food containing a minimum of 25% less cholesterol and 2g or less of saturated fat per serving than reference food.

Reduced Or Fewer Calories - A food containing a minimum of 25% fewer kcal per serving than a reference food.

Reduced Or Less Fat - A food containing a minimum of 25% less fat per serving than a reference food.

Reduced Or Less Saturated Fat - A food containing a minimum of 25% less saturated fat per serving than a reference food.

Reduced Or Less Sodium - A food containing a minimum of 25% less sodium than a reference food.

Reduced Sugar - A food containing at least 25 percent less sugar per serving than a reference food.

Refresh - To pour cold water over freshly cooked vegetables to prevent further cooking and to retain color.

Relish - A cooked or pickled sauce usually made with vegetables or fruits and often used as a condiment; can be smooth or chunky, sweet or savory and hot or mild.

Rémoulade - Spicy sauce for seafood consisting of mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickles, tarragon, parsley, chives and spices. It is served cold with shellfish and can sometimes include anchovies.

Render - To extract the fat from meat by cooking over low heat. Rendered fat is strained of meat particles after cooking.

Rennin - An acid-producing enzyme obtained from a calf's stomach. Rennin aids in coagulating milk and is used in cheese-making and junket; available in many supermarkets in powdered or tablet form.

Rhubard - A perennial plant with thick red stalks and large green leaves which are poisonous. The stalks have a tart flavor and are often used in pies and tarts.

Rib - A single stalk of a bunch of celery, also called a stalk.

Ribbon - The term describing the texture of egg yolks which have been beaten with sugar. When beaten sufficiently, the mixture forms a thick "ribbon" when the beater is held up over the bowl. The ribbon makes a pattern atop the batter which disappears into the batter after a few seconds.

Rice - 1. Rice (verb) To press cooked food through a utensil called a ricer. The food comes out in "strings" which vaguely resemble rice. 2. The starch seed of a semiaquatic grass (Oryza sativa), probably originating in Southeast Asia and now part of most cuisines; divided into three types based on seed size; long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain, each of which is available in different processed forms such as white rice and brown rice.

Rice Paper Wrappers - Circular sheets made from rice flour measuring approximately 8 inches in diameter, rice paper wrappers are brittle and translucent. They must be softened by dipping in hot water for a few seconds and draining. Once softened they can be used to make fresh Vietnamese-style salad rolls or deep-fried spring rolls.

Rice Stick Noodles - Made from rice flour and water, these noodles are translucent when cooked. They are usually softened by soaking in hot water for 10 -15 minutes before cooking with other ingredients. Fine rice stick noodles can also be deep fried to create a crispy garnish often used in Chinese chicken salads.

Rice Vinegar - Used in both Japanese and Chinese cooking, rice vinegar is made from fermented rice and comes in several varieties, each differing in intensity and tartness. In general they are all fairly mild compared to European and American-style vinegars. They can be used in dressings, marinades, as dipping sauces and condiments.

Rice Wine - A clear, sweet wine made from fermented rice. Rice wines are usually lower in alcohol and can be served hot or cold. Sake and Mirin are two popular Japanese rice wines. Chinese versions include Chia Fan, Hsiang Hsueh, Shan Niang and Yen Hung.

Rice-flour Noodles - Extremely thin noodles, resembling translucent white hairs, made from rice flour. They explode upon contact with hot oil, becoming a tangle of light, crunchy strands. They are a traditional ingredient in Chinese chicken salad, and can be pre-soaked and used in soups and stir-fries.

Ricotta Cheese - Ricotta is a soft, unripened Italian curd cheese. It is the by product of the whey of other cheeses. It is sweet in flavor and grainy in texture. Ricotta is used often in Italian sweets (most notably Cassata alla Sicilian) and in savory dishes as pasta stuffing.

Rigatoni - A large, grooved pasta. Rigatoni's ridges and holes are perfect with any sauce, from cream or cheese to the chunkiest meat sauces.

Rigatoni - Italian for large groove and used to describe large grooved, slightly curved pasta tubes.

Rind - The tough outer peel of a food.

Risotto - Rice sautéed in butter then cooked and stirred as stock is slowly added in portions. As each addition of stock is absorbed, another is added until the rice is creamy and tender. Vegetables, meat, seafood, herbs, cheese, wine, and other ingredients may be added.

Roast - To cook a food in an open pan in the oven, with no added liquid.

Roasted Garlic - Process: Cut the top third of the garlic head off and discard it. Drizzle the remainder with olive oil and put it in aluminum foil. Bake in a 400 degree F oven until edges of the garlic are caramelized (about 40 min.).

Roaster - A size classification for a chicken about 5 pounds in weight and from 10 to 20 weeks old.

Rocambole - Rocambole is similar to both garlic and leeks. It looks like a leek yet has a taste similar to garlic and is found predominantly in Europe.

Rock Cornish Hen - A hybrid chicken, Rock Cornish Hens are very small. The average whole hen is from 1 to 1 1/2 pounds.

Rock Salt - A crystalline form of salt that is mixed with cracked ice to freeze ice cream.

Roe - Fish eggs. Soft roe is from female fish, and hard (white) roe is from male fish.

Rolling Boil - A very fast boil that doesn't slow when stirred.

Rolling Pin - A cylindrical kitchen utensil with many uses, which include rolling pastry, crushing bread crumbs, and flattening other foods. Though the most common is hardwood, rolling pins may be made from other materials, such as ceramic, marble, metal, and plastic.

Rolling Mincer - A tool with several circular blades arranged in a row with a handle. The mincer is used by rolling the device over vegetables and herbs in a back and forth manner.

Romano Cheese - Named for the city of Rome, this hard grana cheese has a brittle texture and pale yellow-white color; mostly used for grating after aging for one year.

Roquefort Cheese - One of the oldest and best-known cheeses in the world, this French cheese made from sheep's milk is considered the prototype of blue cheeses.

Rosemary - An herb (Rosmarinus officinalis) with silver-green, needle-shaped leaves, a strong flavor reminiscent of lemon and pine and a strong, sharp camphor-like aroma; available fresh and dried.

Rosette and Rosette Iron - A fried pastry made by dipping a rosette iron into a thin (usually sweet) batter then into hot, deep fat. The fried pastries are then drained and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The rosette iron is a metal rod with a heat-proof handle. Decorative shapes--to be dipped in the batter--are attached to the end.

Rotini - ("Spirals" or "Twists") - This pasta's twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.

Rotisserie - A device which contains a spit with prongs. Food (usually meat or poultry) is impaled on the the spit, fastened securely then cooked. Most rotisseries are motorized so they automatically turn the food as it cooks.

Roulade - A thin piece of meat which is stuffed with a filling, secured with picks or string, then browned and baked.

Roux - A mixture of fat and flour which is blended and cooked slowly over low heat until the desired consistency or color is reached. Roux is used as a base for thickening sauces.

Royal Icing - An icing which hardens when dried. Royal icing is made with confectioners' sugar, egg whites, flavoring, and sometimes food coloring.

Ruote - Wheel shaped pasta. Ruote is Italian for "cartwheels."

Rutabaga - A member of the cabbage family with firm, pale-yellow flesh and a slightly sweet flavor. Also known as a Swedish turnip.

Rye Flour - Finely ground flour made from rye grain; the most important bread flour after wheat.


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Sabayon - A frothy custard of egg yolk, sugar, and wine that is made by whisking the ingredients over simmering water. Served warm as a dessert or sauce.

Saccharin - A product made from coal tar, used as a substitute for sugar. Saccharin has no food value.

Sachet Bag - Cloth bag filled with select herbs used to season soups or stocks.

Saffron - An expensive spice made from the stigmas of the crocus flour. Saffron gives food a yellow color and exotic flavor. The spice can usually be found powdered or as whole threads (stigmas).

Sage - An herb (Salvia officinalis) native to the Mediterranean region; has soft, slender, slightly furry, gray-green leaves and a pungent, slightly bitter, musty mint flavor; used for medicinal and culinary purposes; available fresh or dried, used chopped, whole or rubbed.

Sago Pearls - Made from the starch of the sago palm, they can be used as a thickener in desserts.

Sake - The traditional Japanese wine made from white rice and malt. Sake has a relatively low alcohol content of 12 percent to 16 percent and can be used in sauces and marinades.

Salamander - 1. A tool consisting of a heavy iron disk attached to a long metal shaft with a wooden handle. The disk is heated over a burner and held closely over food to quickly brown the top; also used to quickly caramelize the surface layer of sugar on dishes such as crème brûlée so the custard below remains cold. 2. A small overhead broiler unit in a professional oven that quickly browns the tops of foods.

Salami - A family of uncooked sausages which are safe to eat without heating because they have been cured.

Salmon - A succulent fish that lives most of its life in the sea but returns to freshwater to spawn. Salmon is usually available whole, cut into steaks or fillets, or canned. Fresh salmon can be poached, grilled or baked.

Salsa - 1. Spanish for sauce. 2. Traditionally, a Mexican cold sauce made from tomatoes flavored with cilantro, chiles and onions. Green salsa, usually made with tomatillos and green chile, is called "salsa verde." 3. Generally, a cold chunky mixture of fresh herbs, spices, fruits and/or vegetables used as a sauce or dip.

Salt - 1. A substance resulting from the chemical interaction of an acid and a base, usually sodium and chloride. 2. A white granular substance (sodium chloride) used to season foods.

Salt Pork - Salt-cured pork which is essentially a layer of fat. Salt pork is from the pig's belly or sides. It's used to flavor beans, greens, and other dishes.

Sambuca - An anise-flavored Italian liqueur.

Sardines - The common name for any of several small, soft-boned, saltwater fish including sprat, young pilchard and herring. The term "sardine" may be derived from Sardinia, one of the first areas to pack pilchards in oil.

Sashimi - A Japanese specialty, sashimi is raw fish sliced paper-thin, garnished with shredded vegetables and served with soy sauce, grated fresh ginger and wasabi (green horseradish). Because it's served raw, only the freshest and highest-quality fish is used.

Satay - A dish in which small pieces of meat (chicken, beef or lamb) are barbecued on a skewer and served with a spicy peanut sauce.

Saturated Fat - This type of fat comes from animal sources and is generally solid at room temperature. The intake of saturated fats should be limited since they are associated with high cholesterol levels and the cause of some forms of cancer.

Sauerbraten - A German dish using beef marinated for several days in vinegar, red wine, garlic and various herbs and spices. When the beef has been thoroughly marinated, it is dried and cooked in bacon fat and served with sour cream and a sauce made from the marinade.

Sauté - To cook quickly in a pan on top of the stove until the food is browned. Sautéeing is often done in a small, shallow pan called a sauté pan. You can sauté in oil, wine, broth or even water.

Savory - Related to the mint family, savory has a flavor and aroma similar to a cross between mint and thyme. There are two varieties, summer and winter. Winter savory has the stronger flavor.

Scald - To heat milk or cream to a temperature just below the boiling point.

Scallions - The immature green stalks of a bulb onion.

Scallop - 1) A dish cooked in a thick sauce, such as "scalloped potatoes." 2) To form a decorative edging along the raised rim of pie dough or other food. 3) A mollusk with fan-shaped shells. Bay scallops and the larger sea scallops are the types commonly found in supermarkets.

Scaloppini - An Italian cooking term referring to a thinly sliced, boneless, round cut of meat that is slightly floured (or breaded) and quickly sautéed.

Scant - As in "scant teaspoon," not quite full.

Score - To cut narrow slits partway through the outer surface of a food to tenderize it or to form a decorative pattern.

Scrapple - A dish made from scraps of cooked pork mixed with cornmeal, broth, and seasonings. The cornmeal mixture is cooked, packed into loaf pans, chilled until firm, then cut and fried.

Sea Salt - Considered by some to be the best salt for both kitchen and table use, sea salt is produced by evaporating sea water.

Sear - To brown a food quickly on all sides using high heat to seal in the juices.
Season - 1. Traditionally, to enhance a food's flavor by adding salt. 2. More commonly, to enhance a food's flavor by adding salt and/or pepper as well as herbs and other spices.

Seasoned Flour - Flour with added seasoning, which may include salt, pepper, herbs, paprika, spices, or a combination.

Seasoned Salt - a seasoning blend; its primary ingredient is salt with flavorings such as celery, garlic or onion added.

Self-Rising Flour - An all-purpose flour to which baking powder and salt have been added.

Semolina - Durum wheat which is usually more coarse than regular wheat flours. Semolina is used to make pasta, gnocchi, puddings, and a variety of confections.

Serrano - A fiery hot, but flavorful, green chili, available fresh or canned. Serrano chiles are about 1½ inches long and are slightly pointed.

Sesame Oil - An oil made from sesame seed. Light sesame oil has a nutty flavor and may be used in a variety of ways. The stronger flavored dark sesame oil is most often used as a flavoring in oriental dishes.

Sesame Seeds - Crispy little seeds with a nutty flavor. Sesame seeds may be used in savory dishes or desserts, and are often sprinkled on baked foods.

Seviche - A Latin American dish of very fresh, raw fish marinated in citrus juice (usually lime), onions, tomatoes and chiles; also spelled ceviche and cebiche.

Shallot - A bulb related to the onion and garlic. Shallots have a mild onion-like flavor.

Shallow Fry - To fry with enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the food.

Shell - To remove the shell from nuts, legumes and shellfish.

Shellfish - Any of many species of aquatic invertebrates with shells or carapaces found in saltwater and freshwater regions worldwide, most are edible; shellfish are categorized as crustaceans and mollusks.

Sherbet - is made from unsweeted fruit juice and water. It is similar to sorbet except that it can contain milk, cream, egg whites or gelatin. Sherbet is lighter than ice cream but richer than an ice or sorbet.

Sherry - a fortified, cask-aged wine, ranges in taste from dry to medium dry to sweet. It is enjoyed as an aperitif and is used as a flavoring in both savory and sweet recipes.

Sherry Vinegar - Vinegar which has the rich, subtly nutlike Flavor of the popular fortified wine.

Shiitake Mushroom - Also called Chinese, black or oriental mushroom (in its dried form). Shiitake is a strongly flavored mushroom used in both its fresh and dried form.

Shirr - A method of cooking eggs. Whole eggs, covered with cream or milk and sometimes crumbs are typically baked in ramekins or custard cups.

Shish Kebab - A Mediterranean dish of marinated meats (usually lamb or beef) and vegetables threaded on a skewer and grilled or broiled; also known as shashlik.

Shortening - A white, flavorless, solid fat formulated for baking or deep frying; any fat used in baking to tenderize the product by shortening gluten strands.

Shred - To cut, slice or tear into thin strips. Also, to pull apart very tender cooked meats.

Shredded - Food that has been processed into long, slender pieces, similar to julienne.

Shrimp, Dried - Used in a broad range of Asian dishes, this ingredient adds flavor to fried rice, soups, stir-fries and other dishes. These small dehydrated shrimp lose any strong fishy odor or flavor during cooking.

Shrub - An old-fashioned sweetened fruit drink, sometimes spiked with liquor.

Shuck - To remove the outer shells from food. Examples are clams, oysters, and corn.

Sichuan Pepper - Native to the Sichuan province of China, this mildly hot spice comes from the prickly ash tree. The berries resemble peppercorns and have a distinctive flavor.

Sieve - To strain liquid from food through the fine mesh or perforated holes of a strainer or sieve.

Sift - To shake a dry, powdered substance through a sieve or sifter to remove any lumps

Simmer - To cook gently just below the boiling point. If the food starts boiling, the heat is too high and should be reduced.

Singe - To expose food, usually meat, to direct flame.

Skewer - A thin, pointed metal or wooden rod onto which chunks of food are threaded, then broiled or grilled.

Skim - To remove the surface layer (of impurities, scum, or fat) from liquids such as stocks and jams while cooking. This is usually done with a flat slotted spoon.

Skin - To remove the skin of a food, such as poultry or fish, before or after cooking.

Skirt Steak - A lean and tough but flavorful cut of beef from the primal short plate (below the ribs); often used for fajitas, but is also delicious grilled or stuffed.

Sliver - To cut a food into thin strips or pieces.

Smoke - To expose foods to wood smoke to enhance their flavor and help preserve and/or evenly cook them.

Smorgasbord - A Swedish buffet of many dishes served as hors d oeuvres or a full meal. Similar buffets are served throughout Scandinavia, as well as the Soviet Union. Common elements of a smorgasbord are pickled herring, marinated vegetables, smoked and cured salmon and sturgeon, and a selection of canapés.

Snip - To cut quickly with scissors into fine pieces.

Soft Peaks - A term used to describe beaten egg whites or cream. When the beaters are removed, soft peaks curl over and droop rather than stand straight up.

Soft-Ball Stage - A test for sugar syrup describing the soft ball formed when a drop of boiling syrup is immersed in cold water.

Soft-Crack Stage - A test for sugar syrup describing the hard but pliable threads formed when a drop of boiling syrup is immersed in cold water.

Sopaipillas - Puffy, crisp, deep-fried bread. Accompanies many Southwestern meals.

Sorbetto - (sor-BAY-toh) Sorbetto is a fruit-based gelato that contains no dairy products. You may know it better as sorbet.

Sorghum - A cereal grass with cornlike leaves and clusters of cereal grain at the top on tall stalks. The stalks can be used to make a light type molasses called sorghum syrup or simply sorghum.

Sorrel - Sorrel is an herb that may be used in cream soups, omelets, breads, and other foods. Sorrel has a somewhat sour flavor because of the presence of oxalic acid.

Souffle - A mixture that is folded together with beaten egg whites and baked in a mold.

Soup - Liquid, usually water or milk, in which solid foods have been cooked. Soups can be served hot or cold and may be thick, chunky, smooth or thin.

Sour Cream - Pasteurized, homogenized light cream that has been treated with a lactic acid culture, giving it a tangy flavor. Regular commercial sour cream contains a minimum of 18 percent milk fat; light sour cream is made from half-and-half and contains 40 percent less milk fat than regular. Nonfat sour cream, a product thickened with stabilizers, is also available.

Souse - To cover food, particularly fish, in wine vinegar and spices and cook slowly. The food is cooled in the same liquid. This gives food a pickled flavor.

Soy Sauce - A sauce made from fermented, boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley; its color ranges from light to dark brown and its flavor is generally rich and salty (a low-sodium version is available); used extensively in Asian cuisines (especially Chinese and Japanese) as a flavoring, condiment and sometimes a cooking medium.

Soybean - The most nutritious and easily digested of all beans, the soybean is better known for its products than for the bean itself.

Spaghetti - Italian for a length of cord or string and used to describe long, thin, solid rods of pasta with a circular cross section.

Spaghetti Squash - When cooked, the flesh of this watermelon-shaped squash separates into strands similar to spaghetti; thus, its name. Spaghetti squash has a creamy-yellow color and a slightly nutty flavor.

Spatula - A versatile utensil available in a variety of shapes and sizes and generally made from metal, wood or rubber.

Spätzle, Spaetzle - A dish of tiny noodles or dumplings made with flour, eggs, water or milk, salt and sometimes nutmeg. The spaetzle dough can be firm enough to be forced through a sieve or colander with large holes. The dough is then boiled and tossed in butter before being served.

Spice Grinder - A device used to mill spices into granular or powdered form.

Spices - The seeds and skin of plants ( berries, bark, fruits, unopened flowers) used to flavor foods. Unlike herbs, spices are almost always dried.

Spider - A gadget used for adding and retrieving deep-frying foods to or from the hot oil.

Spinach - A vegetable with dark green, spear-shaped leaves that can be curled or smooth and are attached to thin stems; the leaves have a slightly bitter flavor and are eaten raw or cooked.

Spit - Sharp metal rod used to hold food for roasting over an open heat source.

Sponge - A thick yeast batter that is allowed to ferment and develop into a light, spongy consistency. It is then combined with other ingredients to form a yeast dough. The sponge will give the bread a slightly tangy flavor.

Sprig - Leaves of an herb still attached to the stem often used as a garnish.

Springform Pan - A round cake pan a little deeper than a standard cake pan.
Springform pans have a clamp on the side which releases the sides from the bottom, leaving the cake intact. It's commonly used for cheesecake.

Squab - A domesticated pigeon no more than 4 weeks old. Weighing less than a pound when slaughtered, squab has tender meat with little fat and a mild flavor; suitable for broiling, roasting or sautéing.

Squash - The edible fleshy fruit of various members of the gourd (Cucurbitaceae) family; generally divided into two categories based on peak season and skin type: summer and winter.

Stainless Steel - An alloy of steel. Stainless steel will not react with foods, nor does it rust or corrode. When used in pans, stainless steel often is combined with copper or aluminum since it does not conduct heat well.

Star Anise - A star-shaped dry seed pod with a flavor similar to fennel.

Steam - A method of cooking foods over, not in, hot liquid, usually water. The heat cooks the food while the vapors keep it moist.

Steep - To allow a food to stand in water that is just below the boiling point in order to extract flavor or color.

Stew - To cook food in liquid for a long time until tender, usually in a covered pot.

Stewing Chicken - A size classification for chicken. A stewing chicken is over 10 months old and weighs from 4 to 6 pounds.

Stilton Cheese - A hard blue cheese made from whole cow's milkStilton has a rich texture that is slightly crumbly, and a pale-yellow interior with blue-green. Stilton's flavor has a mellow cheddarlike quality with the tangy pungency of blue cheese.

Stiff Peaks - A term describing the consistency of beaten egg whites or cream. When the beaters are removed from the mixture, the points will stand up straight.

Stir - To move foods around with a spoon in a circular motion. Stirring is done to move foods when cooking. It is also used to cool foods after cooking. Most importantly, if a recipes calls for stirring to combine foods, such as a batter, before cooking, it usually means to gently mix just until well combined, as opposed to beating, which takes more strokes.

Stir-fry - To cook quickly over high heat with a small amount of oil by constantly stirring. This technique often employs a wok.

Stock - A rich extract of soluble parts of meat, fish, poultry, etc. A basis for soups or gravies.

Stockpot - A deep pot with straight sides and handles used to cook stocks.

Stollen - A German yeast bread traditionally made at Christmas time.

Stone Ground -
Grain milled between grindstones to retain more nutrients than other grinding methods.

Strain - To pass a liquid or moist mixture through a colander, sieve or cheese cloth to remove solid particles.

Strainer - A kitchen utensil with a perforated or mesh bottom used to strain liquids or semi-liquids, or to sift dry ingredients such as flour or confectioners' sugar. Strainers, also called sieves, come in a variety of sizes and shapes with various mesh sizes.

Straw Mushrooms - Small, tan mushrooms with a mild flavor.

Strawberry - A lush, red berry from a ground-creeping plant that grows wild in large areas of Asia, Europe and North and South America.

Stuff - To fill a cavity in food with another food.

Stuffing - A seasoned mixture of food used to fill the cavity of poultry, fish, vegetables or around which a strip of meat, fish or vegetable may be rolled.

Sugar - A sweet, water-soluble, crystalline carbohydrate; used as a sweetener and preservative for foods.

Sugar Free, Sugar-free - A food containing less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving.

Sugar Snap Pea - A sweet pea that is a hybrid of the English pea and snow pea; the bright green, crisp pod and the paler green, tender seeds are both edible.

Sulfites - Sulfur-containing agents (the salts of sulfurous acid) used as preservatives for some processed and packaged foods to inhibit spoilage or oxidation.

Sultanas - Golden raisins made from sultana grapes.

Summer Sausage - A style of sausage that is cured and air dried. Summer sausage may or may not be smoked.

Summer Squash - There are many varieties of this gourd including zucchini, yellow straightneck, yellow crookneck and pattypan. All summer squash are similar in taste and texture.

Superfine Sugar - Known as castor (or caster) sugar in Britain, superfine sugar is more finely granulated and dissolves almost instantly, making it perfect for making meringues and sweetening cold liquids. Granulated sugar can be substituted cup for cup for superfine.

Sushi - A Japanese dish of thin layers of raw fish wrapped around cakes of cold cooked rice. Sushi can also consist of ingredients wrapped in rice and held by a seaweed wrapper known as nori.

Sweat - To cook foods over gentle heat, usually covered or partly covered, until moisture is released.

Sweet Chocolate - Very similar in composition to semisweet chocolate, sweet chocolate simply has more sugar added and less chocolate liquor. It's sold on grocery shelves in the baking section. For people with a real sweet tooth, sweet chocolate can be substituted for semisweet in recipes without a significant change in texture.

Sweet Peppers - A term which usually describes a variety of mild peppers of the Capsicum family. Bell peppers, pimientos, and banana peppers are sweet peppers.

Sweet Potato - A variety of sweet potato with a thick, dark orange skin and an orange flesh that remains moist when cooked; sometimes erroneously called a yam.

Sweetbreads - Considered a delicacy, sweetbreads are the two thymus glands (in the throat and near the heart) of veal, young beef, lamb and pork.

Sweetened Condensed Milk - Whole milk mixed with 40 percent to 45 percent sugar. The mixture is heated until 60 percent of the water evaporates leaving a thick, sweet syrup. Also known as condensed milk.

Swiss Cheese - A hard, pale-yellow cheese originally from the Emmental valley of Switzerland, distinguished by large holes in its texture. Made from cow's milk, its flavor is described as nutty, mild and sweet.

Swiss Steak - A dish made with a thick cut of steak--usually chuck or round--which is tenderized by pounding, coated with flour and seasoning, and browned. The steak is then topped with tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables, then simmered or baked for about 2 hours.

Swordfish - A large sport fish found off the coast in temperate waters throughout the world. Swordfish can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and have moderately fatty flesh that is dense and meat-like.

Syrup - Sugar dissolved in liquid, usually water; it is often flavored with spices or citrus zest.

Szechuan Peppercorns - Not, in fact, related to black and white peppercorns, these are tiny dried berries that contain a seed. They have a pungent aroma and mildly spicy flavor and can be purchased whole or in powdered form.

Szechwan Chile Sauce - A sauce or paste made from chiles, oil, salt and garlic and used as a flavoring in Chinese Szechwan cooking; also known as chile paste or chile paste with garlic.


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Tabasco Sauce - A brand of sauce made from small, hot, red tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. Tabasco Sauce is used in a wide variety of dishes.

Tabbouleh, Taboule - A Lebanese salad made of crushed wheat, parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint and sometimes sweet pepper and lemon.

Tablespoon - A measure of volume in the U.S. system; 1 tablespoon (T.) = 3 teaspoons or 0.05 fluid ounces.

Taco - A Mexican "sandwich," tacos are filled corn tortillas. Typical fillings may include meat, poultry, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onion, guacamole, refried beans and salsa.

Tahini - A paste of ground sesame seeds and a flavor similar to peanut butter.

Tamale - Tamales are filled softened corn husks. The filling may contain a wide variety of ingredients, which are wrapped in a masa dough then placed within a softened corn husk. The husks are then tied and steamed until the filling is cooked. Only the filling (not the husk) is eaten.

Tamarind Paste - A vitamin-rich, tangy, prune like pulp from the pods of a tropical Asian tree. It is used as a seasoning in curries and chutneys or made into drinks, jams, or sorbets.

Tandoori - A method of cooking chicken or meats in Indian cuisine. The pieces of chicken are skinned, then coated in yogurt mixed with chili powder, turmeric, ginger, spices, onion and chopped garlic. After marinating overnight, the chicken is sprinkle with saffron or chili powder and cooked on a bed of embers in a special cylindrical clay oven called a tandoori.

Tangelo - A cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit with loose skin that can range in color from deep reddish-orange to orange-yellow; very sweet and easy to peel.

Tangerines - A type of mandarin with thick, rough, orange skin and sweet flesh.

Tapas - In Spain, an assortment of hors d'oeuvres or cocktail snacks.

Tapenade - A condiment from Provence, made with capers, desalted anchovies and pitted black olives. The ingredients are pounded in a mortar and season with olive oil, lemon juice, aromatics, and possibly a drop of brandy.

Tapioca - A starch from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca comes in several forms including granules, pellets (pearl tapioca), and flour. The pellets - also called pearl tapioca - are used mainly to make puddings. Instant tapioca and tapioca flour are often used to thicken dishes such as fruit fillings, glazes, soups, and stews.

Taquitos - (Rolled tacos) Same as tacos except filling is placed inside tortillas and rolled cigar-fashion, then deep-fat fried.

Taro - A perennial plant grown in tropical regions for its large starchy tuberous rhizomes, Which have twice the calorific value of potato.

Tarragon - An herb (Artemisia dracunculus) native to Siberia with narrow, pointed, dark green leaves, tiny gray flowers, a distinctive anise-like flavor with undertones of sage and a strong aroma; available fresh and dried.

Tartar Sauce - Also spelled Tartare, this is a mayonnaise-like sauce made with hard-boiled egg yolks and olive oil, to which chives, shallots, pickles, capers, and seasonings are added. Usually served chilled with fish or cold chicken.

Tasso - A lean and highly-seasoned piece of cured pork or beef, tasso is hard to find outside of Louisiana. It's used like ham or salt pork to flavor pastas, beans, and other dishes.

Tatsoi - Also known as 'spoon cabbage,' tatsoi is a leafy Asian green with a slightly spicy cabbage flavor. It can be used in salads and stir-fries.

Tea Ball, Tea Infuser - A small, perforated ball, usually made of stainless steel, that holds loose tea. Tea is placed inside through a hinged opening and the ball is put in a cup or teapot to brew when boiling water is added.

Teflon - The trademarked name for a coating used on pots and pans to prevent food from sticking. This nonstick coating can cut down (or eliminate in some cases) the need for oil in cooking, and is helpful to people on low-fat diets.

Tempe, Tempeh - A fermented soybean cake with a yeasty, nutty flavor; popular in Asian cooking and vegetarian diets. These high-protein cakes can usually be found at health food stores.

Temper - Technically, to moderate. In cooking, tempering most often refers to slightly warming beaten eggs, by rapidly stirring a little of the hot ingredients into them, before adding them to the hot mixture so that they will combine, stirring rapidly again, without solidifying. It also refers to the softening of a heavy mixture before folding in a whipped mixture, so that incorporation occurs without deflation.

Tempura - In Japanese cooking, a method of deep-frying foods coated in a light batter of rice flour. Foods cooked in a tempura batter are usually served with a type of dipping sauce such as sweet and sour, soy or teriyaki.

Teriyaki Sauce - A marinade and sauce traditionally made from soy sauce, wine, sugar, and other seasonings.

Terrine - A deep covered baking dish, a terrine is often made of earthenware.

Thai Chilies - Known as hang prik (Thai), cabe or lombok (Indonesian), cabai or cili (Malaysian), Ot (Vietnamese). Fresh explosive chilies 3 to 4 inches long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide. Their color ranges from the fresh green state to various stages of yellow to red in a ripened state. They are also sold dried and are often soaked in hot water before using.

Thermometer - A device designed to measure temperatures; can be calibrated in Fahrenheit and/or Celsius and can be a column of mercury with temperatures indicated on a glass tube or a stem-type thermometer in which temperatures are noted by an arrow on a dial or a digital readout.

Thicken - The process of making a liquid substance dense by adding a thickening agent (ex. flour, gelatin) or by cooking to evaporate some of the liquid.

Thin - To dilute a mixture by adding more liquid.

Thyme - A low-growing herb (Thymus vulgaris) with small purple flowers and tiny, gray-green leaves; the leaves have a strong, slightly lemony flavor and aroma; used fresh or dried.

Timbale - (TIHMbuhl; tihmBAHL) A highsided, drumshaped mold that can taper toward the bottom. The food baked in the mold is usually a custard based dish. It is unmolded before serving.

To Taste - Common reference to adding salt and pepper to a recipe according to personal taste. Start with a small amount, taste and adjust as necessary.

Toast - Most commonly, to brown using a dry heat source such as an oven or toaster. However, many recipes call for toasting seeds, nuts, grains or spices before mixing with other ingredients to add flavor. They may be toasted in an oven or in a skillet, with or without oil, using a low heat, stirring or tossing often, until nicely browned, being very careful not to burn.

Tofu - A cake made of bean curd, which is made from soybeans. High in protein, tofu is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

Tomatillos - Small, green, firm, tomatoes. They are covered with a paper like husk that's removed before cooking. Their acid flavor add a great flavor for sauces.

Tomato - The fleshy fruit of the Lycopersicon esculentum, a vine native to South America and a member of the nightshade family; used like a vegetable, tomatoes are available in a range of sizes, from tiny spheres (currant tomatoes) to large squat ones (beefsteak tomatoes) and colors, from green (unripe) to golden yellow to ruby red.

Top - To place one food item or mixture on top of another.

Torta - Stiffly beaten eggs leavened with baking powder and seasoned with salt and oregano, then deep fried. Served during Lent with chile.

Torte - A decorated cake with several layers. The layers of a torte are often made with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, and very little flour.

Tortellini - Italian for small twists and used to describe small, stuffed pasta shaped like a ring.

Tortillas - An unleavened Mexican bread, tortillas are flat and round. They may be made with flour or masa (corn flour).

Tortillas de Harina - Flour tortillas made from wheat flour. Ussually are 7 - 10 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. They remain mostly white after cooking on a griddle, but are flecked with brown and puffed in spots. Used for burritos and as an accompaniment to any Southwestern meal.

Tortillas De Mais - Corn tortillas made from masa pressed into a thin pancake, then quickly singed or "blistered" on a hot griddle. Used for enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, chalupas, huevos rancheros, tostadas compuestas.

Toss - To combine ingredients by gently turning over until until blended. Most commonly refers to a salad, but is used for many other preparations. The easiest and most efficient way to toss is with a good pair of tongs. Alternately, two spoons, forks or one of each may be used.

Tostadas - 1. Open-faced taco. 2. Corn tortillas cut in pieces and fried until crisp. Salted or sprinkled with chile powder. Served for dipping with salsa, guacamole, or chile con queso.

Tostadas Compuestas - Corn tortilla cups filled with chile con carne topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and grated cheese.

Trifle - A popular British dessert made with wine- or liqueur-soaked sponge cake or macaroons, then layered with fruit, jams and whipped cream.

Trim - To remove undesirable portions of a food item (ex. external fat from a cut of beef or stems from grapes) before further preparation or service.

Tripe - The edible lining of stomach (beef).

Trout - Fish belonging to the salmon family and generally found in freshwater. The best-known variety, is the rainbow trout, which originates from California. Trout are generally sold weighing less than a pound and are prized for their moderately fatty flesh and delicate flavor.

Truss - To tie or skewer meat into a neat shape before cooking.

Tsukémono - Japanese term for pickled vegetables. The Japanese pickle a variety of vegetables, using various techniques, and serve them with practically every meal, including breakfast.

Tube Pan - A deep, ring-shaped cake pan with a hollow tube in the center; used for baking cakes, particularly angel food and sponge cake.

Tuna - A member of the mackerel family, and a popular fish for canning. There are many varieties of tuna, including albacore, bluefin, yellowfin and bonito.

Tunnel - To overmix batter. The finished product is riddled with holes or tunnels.

Turmeric - A yellow spice with a warm and mellow flavor, turmeric is related to ginger. Turmeric is used in prepared mustard and curry powder, and it's a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.

Turnip - A popular root vegetable with dense flesh. Fresh turnips can be found year round and store well. Small younger varieties tend to have a sweeter taste and more delicate flavor.

Turnip Greens - A strong-flavored green, turnip greens have long been popular in the South. Turnip greens may be boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. In the South, they're often cooked with salt pork or ham hocks and are almost always served with cornbread.

Turtle Bean - A small black bean, also known as "black bean." The beans have long been popular in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Southern U.S.


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Udon Noodles - These Japanese wheat-flour noodles can be purchased either fresh or dried. They are often used in soups.

Ugli Fruit - A Jamaican fruit with loose, yellow-green skin. The fruit is thought to be a cross between the tangerine and the grapefruit with a grapefruit-orange flavor.

Unmold - To remove molded food from its container.

Unsalted Butter - Butter which contains no salt. Unsalted butter is more perishable than butter with salt.

Unsaturated Fat - A kind of fat that is in liquid form at room temperature.

Unsweetened Baking Chocolate - You don't eat unsweetened chocolate. It has no added sugar and is generally composed of 55% cocoa butter and 45% chocolate mass from the bean. It has an intense chocolate flavor that has to be tempered by sugar and other ingredients.

Upright Chicken Roaster - A vertical, cross-braced metal stand used to roast poultry; prevents poultry from cooking in its own drippings.

Upside-Down Cake - An upside-down cake is generally made by first covering the bottom of the baking pan with butter, sugar, and arranged fruit. A cake batter is then poured over the fruit. The baked cake is inverted onto a serving plate, which makes the fruit bottom the top of the cake.


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Vacherin - A crisp, sweet meringue shell used as a serving vessel for fruit and ice cream.

Vanilla - An aromatic spice with a warm flavor, vanilla is the seed pod of an orchid. It's available dried or as an extract.

Vanilla Extract - A vanilla-flavored product made by macerating chopped vanilla beans in a water-alcohol solution to extract the flavor; its strength is measured in folds.

Vanilla Sugar - A flavored sugar made by burying vanilla beans in granulated or confectioners' sugar. Vanilla sugar can be used as an ingredient or decoration for baked goods, fruit, and desserts.

Variety Meats - Also known as "offal," variety meats are usually organ meats, such as brains, heart, kidneys, liver, etc.

Veal - Meat from calves slaughtered when younger than 9 months (usually at 8-16 weeks); has a lean, light pink flesh, delicate flavor and tender, firm texture.

Vegetable Oil - A general term describing blends of different vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, rapeseed, cottonseed and/or soybean oils; these blends are generally intended to have little flavor and aroma and to be used as all-purpose oils.

Vegetable Shortening - Vegetable oil that has been chemically altered (hydrogenated) into a solid state. This process converts the mixture into a saturated fat, eliminating any benefits of a polyunsaturated fat.

Vegetarian - A person who does not consume animal flesh or, in some cases, any animal byproducts. Vegans do not eat any animal-derivative foods including butter, cheese, eggs and milk. Ovo-lacto vegetarians allow such animal-related foods, but do not eat meat. Some vegetarians will eat fish and/or poultry, but no red meat.

Velouté - (French) A sauce made with veal stock, cream, and tightened with a white roux.

Venison - Meat from any member of the deer family that broadly includes elk, moose, reindeer, caribou and antelope; typically leaner and less tender than meat from domesticated animals.

Vent - To allow the circulation or escape of a liquid or gas.

Vermicelli - Italian for little worms; used to describe very thin spaghetti; available in straight rods or twisted into a cluster.

Vichyssoise - A cold potato and leek soup thickened with cream and garnished with chives. The term is now applied to many other tuber-based soups.

Vidalia Onion - A Georgia-grown onion hybrid known for its sweet, distinctively mild flavor; has an international reputation as the "world's sweetest onion."

Vinaigrette - An oil and vinegar sauce usually used on salad greens or other vegetables. Vinaigrette may contain other seasonings, shallots, onions, mustard, etc.

Vinegar - From the French "vin aigre" (sour wine); a weak solution of acetic acid derived from a fermented liquid (such as cider, wine or beer) subjected to bacterial activity.

Vintage - A wine term which describes the year the grapes were harvested, but used only if the wine was made only from grapes grown that year. Wines made from grapes harvested in various years is called "non-vintage."

Virgin Olive Oil - A first-press oil, with an acidity level between 1 percent and 3 percent, just slightly higher than extra-virgin olive oil.

Volume - The measurement typically used to measure liquids; volume measurements are commonly expressed as liters, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, pints, gallons, fluid ounces and bushels.


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Waffle Iron - A device used to transform batter into crisp, golden waffles; available in electric or stove-top models.

Waldorf Salad - The original Waldorf salad, created at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, contained only apples, mayonnaise, and celery. It was later that walnuts became part of the dish.

Walnut Oil - The oil extracted from the walnut. It can be quite expensive and goes rancid quicker than most oils. However, it gives most foods a wonderful nutty flavor whether you cook with or drizzle it. Use it on greens, pasta, or vegetables.

Walnuts - Nuts with white flesh and a soft inner skin native to the Middle East, but commonly called English walnuts because they were first shipped from Britain, where they are considered a delicacy when eaten raw with cheese.

Warm - To heat a food using a very low temperature of approximately 105°F to 115°F.

Wasabi - Also called Japanese horseradish, a pungent green paste made from a rhizome of the watercress family.

Wash - To apply a liquid to the surface of an object to remove dirt; often a cleansing agent is added to the liquid; the process may not kill microorganisms.

Water Bath - To place a container of food in a large pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with heat. The water bath is used to cook custards, sauces, and mousses, and may be used to keep food warm.

Water Chestnut - The fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.

Watercress - A member of the mustard family that can often be found growing wild in and around streams and brooks. Watercress has small, crisp, dark-green leaves and a strong, peppery, slightly bitter flavor; available year-round and customarily sold in small bunches.

Watermelon - The fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.

Wax Bean - A yellow version of the green bean; has a slightly waxier pod.
Wax Paper or Waxed Paper - A paper with a thin coating of wax on both sides. Wax paper is moistureproof and almost transparent, often used to cover foods and line baking pans.

Wax Paper, Waxed Paper - Translucent paper coated on both sides with a thin layer of wax. Though often replaced in recent years by plastic wrap and aluminum foil, wax paper is still a good choice for lining baking pans and covering food in the microwave.

Weight - The mass of heaviness of a substance; weight measurements are commonly expressed as grams (metric) ounces and pounds (U.S. and Imperial).

Welsh Rarebit - This is a cheese sauce made with ale and seasoned with dry mustard, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce that is often served over toast.

Whey - The liquid which separates from the solids when cheese is made.

Whip - To beat an item to incorporate air, augment volume, and add substance. Also refers to a special tool for whipping, made of looped wire attached to a handle; most often a whisk can be substituted.

Whipping Cream - Consists of at least 35% milk fat content and is commercially produced by centrifugal separation. It is sometimes pasteurized but rarely homogenized. When whipped, it will double in volume and is not very likely to curdle. It is usually used to top desserts and piped over cakes.

Whisk - To mix to the specified state with a wire beater, also called a whisk. Whisking can refer to blending, beating, emulsifying, or whipping, depending on the recipe.

White Chocolate - A candy made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and flavoring; because it contains no chocolate liquor it is usually labeled white confectionary bar or coating; it can be eaten as a candy or used in confections and pastries.

White Rice - Rice stripped of its husk, bran and germ. This process also removes most of the nutritional value. However, white rice labeled "enriched" has had some of the nutrition restored.

Whitebait - Generic term for any tiny fish an inch or two in length that is of a white, shimmery, or transparent hue, rolled in flour and fried until crisp.

Whole Wheat Flour - A coarse flour containing the bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat kernel, which give the flour a high fiber, nutrition and fat content.

Wiener Schnitzel - A thin slice of tenderized veal that's dipped in egg, dredged through bread crumbs and quickly fried in butter.

Wild Rice - The grain of a reed-like aquatic plant (Zizania aquatica) unrelated to rice; grown in the United States and Canada. The grains are long, slender and black, with a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor; available in three grades: giant (a very long grain and the best quality), fancy (a medium grain and of lesser quality) and select (a short grain).

Wine Vinegar - Vinegar made from any wine (red or white). Wine vinegars have an acidity of approximately 6.5 percent.

Winter Squash - Harvested in autumn, winter squash has an orange or yellow flesh and should keep for months because of its hard, thick shell. The inedible shell is a primary distinction from summer squash. The flavor can be mild to very nutty, with varying degrees of sweetness.

Wok - A round-bottomed pan popular in Asian cooking.

Wonton wrappers - These square sheets of fresh wheat-flour and egg dough can be used to make boiled, steamed or fried wontons, ravioli and other dumplings. They can also be cut into strips and fried to use as a garnish for salads and entrées.

Worcestershire Sauce - A condiment used to season meat, gravy, sauces, and other various dishes. Worcestershire sauce is thin and dark with a piquant flavor, named for Worcester, England, where it was originally bottled. Ingredients usually include vinegar, tamarind, onions, molasses, garlic, soy sauce, lime, anchovies, and seasonings.


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Xanthan Gum - Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and emulsifier in dairy products, salad dressings, and other foods. It's made from corn sugar.

Xxx, Xxxx, 10x - An indicator on a box of confectioners' sugar denoting how many times the sugar has been ground. The higher the number of X's, the finer the grind.


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Yakitori - Japanese term meaning "grilled," it usually refers to skewered chicken pieces.

Yam - A thick vine tuber grown and eaten in South and Central America and parts of Asia and Africa. Sweet potatoes are often called yams, but are from a different plant species. True yams may be found in Latin American markets and may be used in most recipes which call for sweet potatoes.

Yeast - Yeast is a living organism which is used in brewing, winemaking, and baking. The carbon dioxide produced by yeasts is what gives champagne and beer their effervescence, and cause bread doughs to rise. Active dry yeast and compressed yeast are the forms most commonly used for leavening. One package (or 1 scant tablespoon) of active dry yeast granules is equal to one cake of compressed fresh yeast.

Yeast Starter - Yeast starters were commonly used before yeasts and other leaveners were commercially available. Typically, a mixture of water, flour, and sugar, and sometimes commercial yeast are mixed and allowed to ferment, capturing natural airborne yeasts. When the mixture has fermented, a portion is used in a recipe, and the amount taken is replenished with equal amounts of water and flour. A starter may be replenished and kept going indefinitely. Sourdough bread is one of the most popular breads using this method.

Yellow Chiles - The general term to describe these is "Güero chile" which refers to varieties such as the Santa Fe grande and Hungarian wax chiles.

Yellowfin Tuna - A variety of tuna from the Pacific Ocean reaching up to 300 pounds. The pale pink flesh (which must be called "light" when canned) has a slightly stronger flavor than albacore.

Yogurt - Yogurt is milk which has been fermented by keeping it at a temperature of 110 degrees for several hours. The final product is a creamy with a slightly tart taste. Yogurt is available plain, flavored, and frozen.

Yogurt Cheese - Yogurt that has had the whey drained from it.

Yokan - A Japanese sweet, similar to Turkish Delight, made from adzuki bean jam and agar-agar.

Yorkshire Pudding - A common accompaniment to British roast beef, Yorkshire pudding is similar to a popover or soufflé. The batter of eggs, milk and flour is baked in beef drippings until puffy.


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Zaatar - An herb mixture composed of savory, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. A prepared mixture of this herb mixture can be found at most Middle Eastern groceries. The quality of zaatar can differ greatly.

Zabaglione - An Italian dessert made from egg yolks, wine, and sugar. Zabaglione is beaten over simmering water, which cooks the egg yolks and makes a light and foamy custard.

Zest - The thin, brightly colored outer part of the rind of citrus fruits. It contains volatile oils, used as a flavoring.

Ziti - Italian for bridegrooms; used to describe large, slightly curved tubes of pasta, similar to rigatoni.

Zucchini - A moderately long cylindrical summer squash with smooth, dark green skin with a slightly bumpy surface, creamy white-green flesh and milk flavor; also known as a courgette (especially in Europe).

Zuppa - Italian word for "soup."

Zwieback - Zwieback means "twice baked" in German, and refers to cut up bread which is then cooked in the oven until thoroughly crisped and dry.

Zwyieka - A Polish sausage.

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