Glossary of Food
Flavoring derived by dissolving the essential oil of almonds in an
alcohol base. Use only products labeled "pure" or "natural" almond
Dishes made or garnished with almonds.
Italian liqueur combining essences of apricot and almond.
Tiny saltwater fish, related to sardines; most often found as canned
filets that have been salted and preserved in oil. Imported anchovy
filets packed in olive oil are the most commonly available; those packed
in salt, available canned in some Italian delicatessens, are considered
Smooth paste made from preserved filets of the tiny saltwater fish,
combined with oil and packed in squeeze tubes and jars.
Apple brandy made from hard cider. See Calvados.
Italian term describing an assortment of appetizers.
A drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
There are thousands of kinds of apples, and they differ in color,
flavor, shape, size and texture. Different varieties are used for
different purposes. The most common varieties of apples are Delicious,
Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, and Rome Beauty.
- a dark red apple with red stripes, is large and has flat ends. It
tastes mildly acid to sweet and is tender and juicy. It is eaten fresh
and used for cooking.
has a solid dark red color or is dark red with darker stripes. It is
medium-to-large and has an oval shape with five knobs on the bottom.
This sweet-tasting apple is firm, crisp, and juicy and is usually
is a dark red apple. It has crisp, juicy, slightly tart flesh and is
Gala - is
a yellowish-orange to red apple. Its yellow to cream-colored flesh is
crisp and sweet.
Delicious - has a golden-yellow skin and an oval shape. Its juicy,
firm flesh has a sweet flavor. It ranges from medium-to-large and is a
good all-purpose apple.
- is a bright green apple. It ranges from medium to large and has an
almost round shape. Its firm flesh tastes tart and is eaten fresh and
used for cooking.
- is bright red, touched with yellow and green. This apple varies from
small to medium and has a tart flavor and juicy, firm flesh. Its shape
is round to oval, and is eaten fresh and baked in pies.
- a bright red apple, is medium sized and round or oval. It tastes
mildly acid to sweet. It has tender flesh and is usually eaten fresh.
- is red with yellow or green markings. It is large and has a round to
oval shape. The crisp, firm flesh has a mildly acid flavor. This apple
is used for cooking, baking, and processing.
is dull red with darker stripes. This apples varies from medium to
large and has a roundish shape. Its firm flesh has a mildly acid
flavor and is eaten fresh and used for processing.
is bright dark red and roundish. It ranges from small to medium and
has a mildly acid flavor. Its flesh is firm and juicy and is eaten
fresh and used for processing.
- is green or yellow with red stripes. This medium to large apple is
round to oval and has a slightly lopsided appearance. Its firm flesh
tastes mildly acid to sweet. It is used mainly for processing.
Dry brandy, similar to cognac, distilled in--and made from wine produced
in--the Armagnac region of southwestern France. Other good-quality dry
wine-based brandies may be substituted.
A starch obtained from the rhizome of a West Indian plan. Sold as a
dried and milled white powder. Does not mask or alter natural flavors.
Produces sauces and pastes of remarkable clarity. Use as a thickening
agent in place of flour or cornstarch for fruit sauces, pie fillings,
puddings, salad dressings, dessert sauces, vegetable sauces, and meat
glazes. Do not use to make gravy. Arrowroot reaches maximum thickening
at lower temperatures than other thickeners, thus it is ideal for use
with heat sensitive foods.
Also known as globe artichoke. The large flower bud of a type of
thistle, grown primarily in the Mediterranean and in California. The
tightly-packed cluster of tough-pointed, prickly leaves, conceals
tender, gray-green flesh at the vegetable's center--the heart.
A globe artichoke
is easily prepared for cooking. While trimming, dip the artichoke
repeatedly in a mixture of water and lemon juice to prevent discoloring.
Green leaf vegetable, Mediterranean in origin, with slender,
multiple-lobed leaves that have a peppery, slightly bitter flavor. Often
used raw in salads, also known as rocket.
Jellied meat, fish or poultry stock or vegetable liquid often used for
molding meat, fish, poultry or vegetables.
Topped with crumbs and/or cheese and browned in the oven or under the
A French term meaning served with unthickened natural juices that
develop during roasting.
A French term meaning served with milk.
A fruit that grows in tropical and subtropical climates. The fruit may
be round, oval or pear-shaped. Its skin color ranges from green to dark
purple, depending on the variety. Avocados have a yellow-green pulp and
contain one large seen. They are highly nutritious and rich in vitamins,
minerals and oil. Eat fresh in dips, salads and desserts. Base
ingredient for guacamole.
BABY BACK RIBS:
Especially juicy and tender, small pork ribs cut from the top of a young
animal's center loin section.
Commercial baking product combining three ingredients: baking soda, the
source of the carbon dioxide that causes quick batters and doughs to
rise; an acid such as cream of tartar, which when the powder is combined
with a liquid, causes the baking soda to release its gas; and a starch
such as corn starch or flour, to keep the powder from absorbing
The active component of baking powder and the source of the carbon
dioxide that leavens many baked goods. Also known as sodium bicarbonate
or bicarbonate of soda.
Sweet, tart and spicy sauce used to baste foods or as a condiment for
grilled foods. Although recipes vary widely, common elements include
tomato, sugar or molasses, vinegar, and a hot spice such as a chili or
Refreshing, slightly bitter spear-shaped leaves, white to pale
yellow-green or sometimes red, tightly packed in cylindrical heads, 4-6
inches; also known as chicory or witloof.
A thick cream soup.
Plain or toasted bread or crackers topped with a savory mixture,
served as an appetizer or with cocktails.
A highly seasoned relish of fruits, herbs and spices.
Dry spirit distilled from wine and, strictly speaking, produced in the
Cognac region of France. Other good-quality dry wine-based brandies may
Granular flour, ground from the dried kernels of yellow or white corn,
with a sweet, robust flavor. Sometimes known by the Italian term
pollenta. Available in fine or coarser grinds.
Fine, powdery flour ground from the endosperm of corn--the white heart
of the kernel--and used as a neutral-flavored thickening agent in some
desserts. Also known as corn flour.
Light- or dark-colored neutral tasting syrup extracted from corn.
Beef brisket, or sometimes other cuts, cured for about a month in a
brine with large crystals (corns) of salt, sugar, spices, and other
seasonings and preservatives to produce a meat that when slowly simmered
in water, develops a moist, tender mixture, mildly spiced flavor, and
bright purplish-red color.
Small French-style sour pickled cucumbers no more than two inches or so
The terms light and heavy describe cream's butterfat content and related
richness. Light cream has a butterfat level varying from 18-30 percent.
It is sometimes called coffee cream or table cream. Heavy whipping
cream, sometimes simply labeled heavy cream, has a butterfat content of
at least 36 percent.
Commercial dairy product made from pasteurized sweet cream, used as an
enrichment in a wide range of savory and sweet recipes. Its extra
acidity can boost the leavening action of baking soda in quick breads.
Acidic powder used as an additive to meringue to stabilize egg whites
and for heat tolerance. Used as leavening agent most commonly with
baking soda to make baking powder and an ingredient in syrups to prevent
A thin, delicate pancake.
An assortment of raw vegetables, i.e., carrots, broccoli, mushrooms,
served as an hors d'oeuvre often accompanied by a dip.
The juices, fats, and browned bits that collect in the pan after meat or
poultry has been roasted. Unless burned or very greasy, the drippings
are valuable for a little sauce and for gravy.
A vegetable-fruit, also known as aubergine with tender, mildly earthy,
sweet flesh. The shiny skins of eggplants vary in color from purple to
red and from yellow to white, and their shapes range from small and oval
to long and slender to large and pear-shaped.
See Belgian endive.
The main course.
Crumbly textured Greek-style cheese made from goat's or sheep's milk.
Notable for its salty, slightly sharp flavor.
Tissue-thin sheets of flour-and-water pastry used throughout the Middle
East as crisp wrappers for savory or sweet fillings. Defrost thoroughly
before use. Keep unused sheets covered with lightly damp towel to
prevent them from drying out.
Large, thin, fairly lean, boneless cut of beef.
The most common form of commercial flour. This bleached and blended
variety is widely available. Also called plain flour.
Creamy, mild-tasting Italian cheese made from sheep's milk.
Unflavored commercial gelatin gives delicate body to mousses and
desserts. Sold in envelopes holding about one tablespoon each of which
is sufficient to gel about two cups.
Italian variety of creamy, blue-veined cheese. Other creamy blue cheeses
may be substituted.
A popular commercial brand of orange-flavored liqueur distinguished by
its pure cognac base.
From the French word for "crust." Term used to describe any oven-baked
dish--usually cooked in a shallow oval gratin dish--on which a golden
brown crust of bread crumbs, cheese or creamy sauce is formed.
Pomegranate-flavored syrup used as flavoring and sauce.
Variety of Swiss cheese with a firm, smooth texture, small holes and a
strong, tangy flavor.
Savory foods used as appetizers.
Pungent-hot-tasting root, a member of the mustard family. Sold fresh and
whole or already grated and bottled as a prepared sauce. Now available
in dehydrated form.
Kohlrabi has a delicate turnip-like flavor and can be cooked in the same
ways as turnips.
To insert strips of fat in gashes made in meat; or to place slices of
fat on top of uncooked lean meat or fish for flavor or to prevent
Sweet, moderately flavored member of the onion family, long and
cylindrical in shape with a pale white root and dark green leaves.
LENTILS: Small, disk-shaped dried legumes, prized for their rich, earthy
flavor when cooked.
Sweet-amber dessert wine originated on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
Dry or sweet amber Italian wine from the area of Marsala in Sicily.
Sweetened almond paste made into confections.
Mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. Also the cooked soft
mixture on desserts or the cooked "hard" mixture as a dessert shell.
A wild mushroom shaped like a folded parasol with a distinct nutty
flavor. Morels are most easily obtained dried.
A cold dessert made with whipped cream or beaten egg whites.
Rindless white, mild-tasting Italian variety of cheese, traditionally
made from water buffalo's milk and sold fresh. Commercially produced and
packaged, cow's milk mozzarella is now much more common, although it has
NEW YORK STEAK:
Beefsteak cut from sirloin; prized for its tenderness and flavor.
Extra-virgin olive oil, extracted from olives on the first pressing
without use of heat or chemicals, is preferred for salads. Many brands,
varying in color and strength of flavor, are now available. Store in an
airtight container away from heat and light.
Pale-gold oil with a subtle hint of the peanut's richness. Used in
cooking, especially for poultry and for salad dressings.
Oil pressed from sesame seeds, which imparts to it their nut-like
flavor. Used primarily as a seasoning.
Pale, relatively flavorless oil used in dressings and for cooking.
A dessert made of layers of fruit, syrup, ice cream and whipped cream or
beaten egg whites.
Hard, thick crusted Italian cheese with a sharp, salty full flavor
resulting from at least two years of aging.
Subtlety sweet and aromatic and smooth to grainy in texture. A favorite
fruit for eating or cooking year round.
Anjou pears -
Rich in flavor with a hint of spice and a smooth texture; among
the largest and plumpest of pears, they have short necks and thin
pears - Medium sized and shaped roughly like bells with creamy
yellow skin, sometimes tinged in red; fine-textured, juicy and mild
tasting, they are equally good for cooking or eating.
- Sweet and juicy, large, round and short-necked, with greenish yellow
skins tinged with red.
pears - Favored for eating or cooking, are among the most
luxurious of all, large with red-tinged skins and juicy smooth sweet
Small, decoratively iced cake.
A very thick mush usually made from cornmeal or farina, used in main
dishes and as accompaniment.
Tiny cream puff, filled with sweet or savory mixtures, served as dessert
or hors d'oeuvre.
Italian-style cured and spiced ham, served sliced paper thin.
Savory one-crust egg-and-cream main dish pie.
A leaf vegetable related to Belgian endive. The most common variety has
a spherical head, reddish purple leaves with creamy white ribs, and a
mildly bitter flavor. Served raw in salads, or cooked, usually by
Popular variety of lettuce with elongated, pale-green leaves
characterized by their crisp texture and slightly pungent flavor.
Italian variety of cheese traditionally made from sheep's milk, now made
from goat and cow's milk as well. Sold either fresh or aged. Similar but
more tangy than Parmesan.
A mixture of melted fat and flour.
Small, thin pieces of meat.
Tiny, ball-shaped silver-colored candies.
Flavorful liquid derived from slowly simmering chicken, meat, fish or
vegetables in water, along with herbs and aromatic vegetables. Used as
the primary cooking liquid or moistening and flavoring agent in many
Tender, flavorful cut of beef from the center of the short loin
containing a short t-shaped bone.
The finely ground flakes of the tropical manioc plant's dried, starchy
root. Used as a thickener in pies, tarts and puddings.
Japanese style of grilling in which food is seasoned and basted with a
marinade usually based on sweet rice wine and soy sauce to form a rich,
1) Species of fungus that grows below the ground; used as a garnish. 2)
A very rich chocolate candy.
An acid liquid used for flavoring and preserving. Among the types are
cider vinegar (made from apple juice); distilled white vinegar (usually
made from grain alcohol); herb vinegar (flavored with herbs); and red or
white wine vinegars, which also may be flavored with garlic.
Delicate dessert made of beaten eggs and wine.