Food Glossary

A

Acidulated water

Water made slightly acidic by the adding an acid substance, such as lemon juice or vinegar. This prevents peeled fruits from discoloring and keeps cauliflower white when cooked in it.

Agar-agar

A vegetarian jelly made by boiling different varieties of seaweed together.

Allspice

Aromatic spice that looks like a large, smooth peppercorn (about the size of a pea), allspice is the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree. It's also called Jamaican pepper or pimento

Antipasto

Italian for "before the pasta," these hors d'oeuvres include cheeses, smoked meats, salamis, olives, seafood, marinated vegetables and breads with olive oil and salt.

Albumen

White of an egg.

Al dente

Italian for "to the tooth," describing the taste test for texture that pasta and risotto rice should be served. It is tender but with some firmness remaining when bitten.

Amaretti

Italian for "little bitter things," are small almond biscuits.

Arborio rice

Classic risotto rice from Piedmont.

Arrowroot

A starch extract of the root of Maranta used for thickening sauces, juices and syrups. It turns to jelly when heated.

Aspic

Transparent jelly that protects fish and other food from drying out. It is also used to set savory foods in a mold.

Aubergine

Mediterranean vegetable used in ratatouille, moussaka and imam bayildi, in Indian vegetable-based dishes, and are the basis of baba ganoush.

B

Baba ganoush

A smooth, smoky spread or dip using aubergine that has been roasted, peeled, puréed and mixed with lemon juice, garlic, tahini (sesame paste) and salt.

Bagna cauda

From the Italian bagno caudo (warm bath), a dip made from olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies served warm with raw vegetables.

Balsamic vinegar

A dark-brown vinegar produced in the Modena region of Italy and made from reduced grape juice that's aged in wooden casks.

Basting

Spooning, brushing, or squirting with a bulb baster stock or fat over meat to prevent it from drying out during roasting.

Baklava

A sweet and nutty pastry made with filo pastry, brushed with butter and layered with sugar, honey and ground nuts with a sweet syrup soak into the layers of pastry.

Basmati rice

Long-grain light, fluffy white rice from India for Indian curries and pilaf dishes.

Baton

A vegetable cut into a long, thin rectangle shape and steamed or sautéed, or served raw.

Batterie de cuisine

Essential equipment for the preparation of food in the kitchen.

Bay leaves

Aromatic leaf from the bay laurel tree that doesn't lose its flavor when dried.

Bearnaise sauce

Classic French sauce made with a reduction of vinegar, white wine, tarragon, black peppercorns, shallots and finished with egg yolks and butter. Serve with meat or fish.

Béchamel sauce

Named for its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Béchamel, This white sauce is used for many dishes, such as macaroni cheese and lasagne and is the basis for many other sauces. It is made by infusing milk with carrot, onion, celery, black peppercorns, mace and bay leaf.

Beurre manié

French for "kneaded butter," a paste of flour and softened butter, used to thicken sauces and stews.

Biscotti

Twice baked, hard Italian biscuits made with hazelnut and aniseed but are now flavored with a wide variety of nuts, lemon or orange rind. They're hard and crunchy because they're twice-cooked ('bis' is Italian for twice and 'cotti' for cooked) making them ideal for dipping in dessert wine or coffee. Recipes for biscotti date back as far as the 13th century in Italy.

Bouillabaisse

A fish stew made of a variety of fish, flavored with saffron and tomatoes. It's traditionally associated with the Provence region of France, particularly Marseilles.

Brochette

French for skewer, and refers to cubes of meat, fish and vegetables threaded onto a skewer and grilled or barbecued.

Bruschetta

Italian bread and most often ciabatta, sliced, then grilled or toasted and rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Toppings are then added often including tomatoes.

C

Canape

French for sofa or settee. Thus canapes were originally little platforms of pastry or buttered, fried or toasted bread as a base for bite sized toppings. Today it refers to bite sized appetizers with or without a platform base.

Cannelli Beans

A small, white, kidney-shaped bean.

Capers

Pickled flower buds of a caper bush. They have a tangy, flavor that is good with fish. They are also used to garnish meat and in tapenade. Caperberries are well developed capers that are larger and sweeter than a caper.

Caviar

Salted, matured eggs or roe of the female sturgeon. Beluga, Oscietra, and Sevruga, are produced from different species of sturgeon. Beluga is the most expensive of the three. And Sevruga is the least expensive.

Ceviche

South American dish of raw, white fish, marinated in lemon or lime juice until it becomes opaque like cooked fish. It is served with sweet limes, raw onion rings, tomatoes and boiled sweet corn.

Chantilly Cream

Sweetened, vanilla whipped cream. Chantilly is a medieval French market town famous for its whipped cream.

Chevre

French for goat. Refers to all French cheeses made from pasteurized goats' milk.

Chicpea

Small legume original to Egypt and used in hummus. They are also known as garbanzos.

Chicory

A vegetable leaf of a white bulb of tightly packed elongated cones of overlapping white leaves with pale yellow leaf tips.

Chiffonade

Strips of vegetables cut so thin that they look like delicate ribbons.

Chipote

A mild, dried chili with a smoky flavor.

Chorizo

A spicy Spanish sausage from Spain or Portugal made of pork and flavored with pimenton (smoked paprika). If is available as an air-dried sausage, which can be sliced like salami and smaller fresh sausages for frying and grilling. It is also available smoked or un-smoked, mild or spicy and flavored with garlic or wine.

Chowder

A thick, chunky seafood soup, which likely originated in Canada, and is derived from the French word chaudiere, the three-legged iron cauldron used for fishermen's stews made from fresh the fresh catch of the day.

Chutney
Derived from Hindi chatni or strong spices. It is a relish made from fruit or vegetables with vinegar, sugar, herbs and spices. Ciabatta

Italian for slipper, which describes the shape of this oval, flat yeast bread with a floury crust. It is often used to make bruschetta by flavoring it with olive oil.

Cilantro

Fresh coriander leaves.

Clarified Butter

Butter with the water, milk solids and salt removed. Pure butterfat can be cooked at a higher temperature than non-clarified butter. To make, gently heat small pieces of butter to a boiling point and allow to separate and strain off the melted butter. It can then be put in a jar, covered and refrigerated for approximately two months. Ghee is a clarified butter used in Indian cooking.

Coriander

Both this herb's fresh leaves have a citrus flavor and can be added to dishes just before serving.

Coriander Seeds

The dried berries of the coriander herb and can be bought whole or powdered.

Coulis

Smooth, thick fruit or vegetable sauce typically made by puréeing or sieving fruit.

Couscous

A small grainy pasta made by sprinkling durum or hard wheat semolina grains with cold salted water and rolling and coating them in fine wheat flour.

Cream of Tartar

A by-product of winemaking from refined tartaric acid that forms on the inside of wine barrels.

Creme Anglaise

French for British custard sauce made with egg yolks, sugar and milk or cream and flavored with vanilla.

Creme Brulee

A rich custard covered with a hard caramel glaze. A blow torch or a hot preheated oven grill are used to is used to create the golden-brown crust. By making the custard and chilling it, then sprinkling with sugar just before putting under the grill prevents the sugar from sinking into the custard, resulting in a poor glaze.

Creme Fraiche

French soured cream that is very rich and thick. It is made from pasteurized cows' milk and a lactic bacteria culture. It is used in soups and sauces, over puddings and in some sweet dishes.

Crepe

A thin French pancake with sweet or savory fillings or toppings.

Crostini

Italian for little crusts, appetizers of thin slices of baguettes toasted and topped with pate and additional toppings

Crudites

Raw vegetables that are thinly sliced and served as a starter with a dip

D

Deglaze

The addition of wine, stock or another liquid to a hot pan where food has been roasted or sauteed. The tasty bits sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan are loosened and stirred into the juices prior to reducing the liquid and serving it as a sauce or gravy with the food that was roasted or sauteed.

E

Egg Wash

Beaten raw egg that can be mixed with water and salt and is used for glazing pastry or bread to make it shine when baked.

Emulsify

To make a stable suspension of fat and another liquid by combining fats with a liquid for a smooth, even blend by using an emulsifier (such as egg yolk) that binds the ingredients together. Hollandaise is an emulsified sauce.

F

Fava Beans

Broad beans that are sweet and creamy.

Fennel

An aromatic plant that both the vegetable and the herb are pale green, with stems similar to celery, and have green, feathery foliage.

Filo Pastry

Thin and translucent sheets of pastry strengthened by using several layers together. The layers are brushed with melted butter or oil to help them brown. It can be fired or baked and can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients. Spring rolls and tarts are common uses.

Flan

An open pie with a pastry topped with sweet or savory filling in a custard of eggs and cream. Spinach flan or leek and bacon flan are examples. Also known as the crème caramel dessert in Spain

Fleur de sel

Moist salt from France.

Florentine

A French or Italian dish with a base of spinach. Florentine is also a biscuit made with nuts, honey and dried fruit that are cooked and spread on one side with melted chocolate after cooling.

Fociccia

A flat, round or square, Italian olive oil bread with a cake-like texture. It is often flavored with herbs and olives or tapenade.

Foie gras

French for fat liver and refers to the rich pate made from the liver of ducks and geese that have been force-fed and fattened until their livers become enlarged. Southwestern France is the major foie gras producing area. It is an expensive, French delicacy with a rich flavor and silky texture. Foie gras is served in thin slices as an appetizer spread on toasted brioche. Small slices can also be fried and served as a topping for meat or fish dishes. Most recently, many people and chefs have become concerned about and turned against the practice of force-feeding geese and ducks.

Fondue

Swiss dish of melted cheese and wine served at the table in a large fondue pot over a burner. Each person spears bite-size pieces of bread with a long-handled fork and dips it into the melted cheese. Gruyère and emmental flavored with kirsch or white wine keeps the cheese below boiling point. Stirring occasionally keeps the cheese and wine from separating. Fondue bourguignon are cubes of beef dipped in hot oil at the table until cooked, and dipped various sauces. Raw marinated shrimp also makes a great fondue. Chocolate fondue is served with fresh fruit and biscuits for dipping. Fondue can be dinner or part of a buffet. It is also classic snow ski fare.

Fontina

Semi-soft, deep golden, Italian cows milk cheese with a reddish brown rind. The texture is firm and a bit springy. It has a delicate flavor, making it a popular dessert cheese. And when matured it can be grated.

Fricassee

A creamy dish of chicken and vegetables served with rice. The chicken is cooked gently in butter, before adding a creamy white sauce. It can be garnished with glazed onions and mushrooms. Fricassee is often applied to anything cooked in a creamy white sauce.

Frittata

An Italian omelet usually made quite thick with a variety of fillings. Rather than folding the ingredients inside like a French omelet, the ingredients are mixed with the eggs. It is cut into wedges and eaten hot or cold.

Fritter

A fritter is any piece of raw or cooked meat, fish, fruit or vegetable coated in batter and deep-fried until crisp, golden and done. A touch of oil to the batter adds crispness. For a sweet batter sugar can be added coated in icing before serving.

Fritto misto

This fried mixture includes varieties of meats and vegetables. Fruits may also be added.

Fritto misto di mare

Deep fried fish and seafood.

Fromage frais

Fresh, low fat curd cheese made from pasteurized cows milk with little fat.

Fusilli

Tricolored spiral shaped pasta of plain, whole wheat or flavored pastas, such as spinach or tomato. Fusilli tricolor includes a white, plain egg pasta, green spinach pasta, and red tomato pasta. Its shape is twisty, making pasta sauces adherre to it. The Fusilli Bucatti is similar but with rounder, tighter spirals.

G

Garlic

From the leek and onion family. Varieties differ in size, potency and color. The bulb has 12 to 16 cloves.

Gazpacho

Originally a peasant bread soup from Spain of olive oil, garlic, vinegar and vegetables, eaten hot and in summer cold. Today's Gazpacho is similar to cold tomato soup of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, Spanish onions, olive oil, garlic and vinegar, served chilled.

Gelatine

Comes from the bones of animals and is used to set jellies and puddings. Gelatine comes in powder form or in leaves and is tasteless. Agar-agar is the vegetarian alternative.

Ghee

Clarified butter is slowly melted, separating the milk solids. After all the moisture evaporates, the milk solids brown, creating a nutty, caramel flavor.

Gluten

A mixture of two proteins found in cereal grains that absorbs liquid, giving dough elasticity and strength. The kneading process develops and distributes the gluten in flour. The yeast makes the dough ferment, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that trap the gluten, causing the dough to rise.

Gnocchi

Small Italian dumplings from potato, buckwheat flour and egg. They are oval shaped with ridges on one side. Romans make them from from semolina.

Gorgonzola

Italian blue cheese made from pasteurized cows milk, matures from mild, strong to sharp flavor.

Gram Flour

A yellow, powdery flour from ground chickpeas with an earthy flavor, used for savory dishes. Popular in Indian cuisines.

Granita

Italian sorbet of sweetened syrup, can be flavored with coffee or liqueur. It is stirred during freezing creating a coarse texture. It is served between courses or as dessert.

Gratin

A dish topped with cheese or breadcrumbs. Au gratin and gratinee are other names for this dish. They are cooked in shallow, ovenproof dishes so that each serving is crisp.

Gravadlax or Gravlax

Method of curing salmon. Fresh raw salmon is rubbed with a mixture of sugar, salt, pepper and fresh dill and refrigerated to about 37 to 39 degrees for three or four days until it turns opaque.

Guacamole

Mashed avocado mixed with lemon or limejuice with chili powder, red pepper, tomato, onion and coriander leaf.

Gumbo

A thick, spicy stew originally from Louisiana made with okra, chicken, fish, pork, turkey or seafood.

H

Habanero Chiles

Red and very hot chilie pepper.

Hazelnut

Hard-shelled nut also known as a filbert that is high in dietary fiber. Hazelnuts come from Turkey, Spain and Italy, and Great Britain. Cobnuts are a type of hazelnut.

Heavy cream

Heavy cream is the American term for double cream. Double cream is very rich and contains butterfat and a fat content of 48 percent. It is versatile enough for boiling, whips and freezing. If over whipped it will separate.

Herbes de Provence

A mixture of herbs from the south of France. The mixture contains basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, bay, sage, rosemary and summer savory. This Mediterranean mixture adds flavor to meat, poultry, game, vegetables, tomato-based, and grilled dishes.

Hoisin sauce

Thick, reddish-brown sweet and spicy sauce, soya beans, vinegar, sugar, garlic, chilli peppers and various spices, and used in Chinese cooking and as a table condiment.

Hollandaise Sauce

This sauce is an emulsion of egg yolks, vinegar reduction and hot melted butter and is the basic sauce from which other sauces, such as béarnaise and mousseline are made. It is the sauce served with eggs Benedict.

Horn of plenty

Dark brown woodland mushroom shaped like a long horn that is also known as black trumpet and trompette de la mort. They grow in the wild making them very difficult to find and expensive when available.

Horseradish

Perennial plant of the mustard family that originated in Europe and is cultivated for its root. The root is pungent and aromatic with a hot, peppery flavor. It is peeled, grated and mixed with cream and other ingredients to create creamed horseradish, which is traditionally served with beef.

Hummus

Middle Eastern chickpea purée made of cooked and crushed chickpeas. The dish also includes tahini, which are pounded sesame seeds, oil, garlic and lemon juice. It is served as a dip with hot pita bread. Egyptian hummus is often flavored with cumin.

I

Infuse

Extracting flavor from herbs, spices, tea or coffee by pouring on boiling water over or by bringing the mixture to the boil. Either way the water gains the desired flavors.

Irish coffee

Coffee drink of black coffee, sugar and Irish whiskey, topped with fresh whipped cream. It is traditionally served in a warmed Irish coffee glass with a handle.

J

Jambalaya

Spicy Cajun rice dish popular in New Orleans and made of rice, ham or sausage, chicken, prawns, chilies, and tomatoes.

Julienne

Vegetables or citrus zest that is finely shredded. They can be cooked in butter and used as a garnish.

Juniper berries

Dark, spicy berries of the juniper tree and a main flavor in gin. They also add flavor to many dishes.

Jus

French equivalent of juice (roughly speaking). It is the juices that occur during the cooking process for example, when roasting meat or juice squeezed from raw vegetables or fruit.

K

Kirsch

German for cherry, a clear liqueur distilled from cherries. It is used in sponge cakes, for macerating and in cherries Jubilee.

Kumquat

Small citrus fruit originally from China, also known as Chinese oranges.

L

Lemongrass

A pale green stalk that adds lemon flavor to Thai and South-east Asian cuisines.

Lychee

Fruit originally from China that is white, juicy inside.

Lyonnaise

Various dishes that are often sautéed and include chopped onions cooked in butter until golden finished finished with vinegar and sprinkled with chopped parsley. Lyonnaise sauce is a classic French sauce made with onions and white wine, then strained and served with meat or poultry.

M

Manchego

Spanish cheese made from ewes' milk with a yellow rind and creamy inside. It offers a nutty, tangy, buttery flavor.

Marengo

Chicken or veal made with cognac or white wine, tomatoes, eggs, crayfish, garlic, olive oil and bread, first created by Napoleon's chef Dunand.

Mascarpone

Thick, creamy, and soft Italian cheese. It can be stirred into sauces to thicken and flavor them. It is also served with fresh fruit and as a topping for desserts. Mascarpone is an essential ingredient in the Italian coffee trifle tiramisu.

Meunière

Method of cooking fish: coated in seasoned flour, fried in butter and served with melted butter, lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs.

Mesclun

Mixture of salad greens, from Provençal word for mixture of young field greens.

Mincemeat

Spicy preserve steeped in rum or brandy. Used as the filling for individual mince pies, and can be used as the filling for tarts, pastries, and pastas.

Minestrone

From the Italian minestra, it is a thick Italian soup containing a mixture of vegetables, beans and pasta or rice.

Mirepoix

A mixture of diced vegetables, typically onion, leek, carrot and celery sautéed in butter. It is the base of many sauces, soups and stews.

Miso

A fermented paste made from soy beans and rice, barley or rye, used in Japanese cooking.

Mornay sauce

Béchamel sauce with egg yolks and grated gruyère cheese. It is a coated onto dishes before glazing or browning Piquancy

Moussaka

Aubergine casserole made of minced lamb, slices of aubergine, potatoes and onions, covered with a creamy white sauce and oven-baked until golden. There are many variations, including vegetarian moussaka.

N

Nougat

Nougat a confection made from boiled honey and/or sugar syrup mixed with beaten egg white, almonds and sometimes pistachios and preserved fruit.

O

Olive

Small oval fruit of olive trees in Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece. They are harvested and preserved in oil. Early olives are green. Mature olives are black. And varieties in between were harvested not early but also not allowed to mature. The more mature the olive the more intense the flavor. Kalamata olives are rich purple, olives from southern Greece. Spanish green olives have a milder flavor and are often stuffed.

Olive Oil

The best olive oils are extra virgin, which come from the first pressing and are pure, pale greenish-yellow. These are used in salads, marinades and pasta dishes. After this oil is pressed, the next pressing produces a darker oil, which is labeled olive oil. It s high in monounsaturates and good for health. Keep away from light.

P
Paella

Spanish dish of rice and saffron with tomatoes, chicken and seafood. From the Valencia region of Spain and comes from the shallow pan (paella or paellera) from which it is both cooked and served. Calasparra rice is a Spanish short-grain rice used in this dish over an open fire.

Pak choi

Leafy green Chinese vegetable of the cabbage family with long green leaf stalks and soft green leaves. The leaves and stems are best stir-fried or steamed.

Pancetta

Italian bacon from belly of pork. It is seasoned, rolled, and dry cured, also sold in flat slabs.

Panettone

Yeast fruit cake from Italy, traditionally served at Christmas and Easter.

Papaya

Or "paw paw" is a large, fragrant fruit with green skin, sweet, orange flesh, and round black seeds.

Parmesan

Cheese from around Parma in northwest Italy. The official stamp pf Parmigiano Reggiano marks a guarantee of origin. It is fragrant, hard, grainy texture and light yellow in color. Buy fresh parmesan where possible; the taste is far superior to pre-packed cheese - and avoid ready-grated cheese at all costs.

Parsley

Multi-purpose herb used as a garnish, flavoring, and as a vegetable. Main varieties include curly leaf and flatleaf, which has a stronger flavor used in Mediterranean cooking.

Pasta

Made from a dough of durum-wheat semolina, water and eggs (for fresh pasta), which is kneaded and cut into a wide variety of shapes.

Pâté

Rich paste of liver, pork, game or other meats, cooked in a terrine or wrapped in pastry and cooked. Fish can also be used as the base of a pâté, combined with soft cheese, mayonnaise or soured cream. It is used in beef Wellington. The filet steaks are spread with duxelles and enclosed in pastry.

Pectin

Natural gelling agent found in ripe fruit, and an ingredient in making jams and jellies. Pectin can be bought as a liquid extract or in powdered form.

Penne

Pasta tubes with ridges and cut on a diagonal. Served with thick creamy or tomato-based sauces and baked pastas.

Pesto

Italian, dark green sauce for pasta made from pine nuts blended with fresh basil, parmesan or pecorino cheese, garlic and olive oil.

Petit fours

Small French fancy cake.

Pita bread

Oval-shaped Middle Eastern flatbread, which can be opened and stuffed with a variety of fillings or cut into wedges and used for dipping into hummus.

Polenta

A golden-yellow Italian cornmeal made from ground maize.

Praline

Brittle sweet made of almonds and caramelized sugar.

Prawn

Also known as shrimp in the United States, a type of shellfish.

Prickly Pear

Fruit of a cactus, also called a Barbary pear, cactus pear, Indian pear or Indian fig. It contains yellow or red flesh with a sweet mild flavor similar to watermelon.

Profiterole

Small bun made with choux pastry, filled with crème pâtissière and dipped in melted chocolate.

Prosciutto

Means ham in Italian, typically referring to ham that is been seasoned, cured and air-dried. Prosciutto cotto is cooked and Prosciutto crudo is salt cured.

Purée

As a verb puree means the making a smooth sauce or paste from various ingredients. As a noun puree means the end result of pureeing.

Q

Quiche

Flan or tart with a savory custard filling with fish, meat or vegetables. Originally from the Lorraine, which quiche Lorraine of bacon, onion and cheese originated.

Quince

Belongs to the same family as apples and pears and is shaped like a large pear.

R

Radicchio

Member of the chicory family, also known as red chicory, with red leaves and white veins and a bitter taste.

Ragout

A French stew of meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.

Ratatouille

Provençal vegetable stew of aubergines, courgettes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic, olive oil and herbs. It is served hot or cold, and as a main course or served as side to meat dishes.

Reduce

Evaporate by boiling a flavored liquid, such as a sauce or syrup, to concentrate the flavor or to thicken it.

Ricotta

Soft Italian curd cheese made from whey, which is drained and then lightly cooked. It is used as a stuffing for ravioli.

Roquefort

French cheese of unpasteurized ewes' milk matured in ancient caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. After ripening for three months it is a semi-soft crumbly white cheese with blue-green veins.

Rosemary

Bittersweet green leaves from this evergreen shrub. Use sparingly given its robust flavor and aromatics.

Rosewater

Flavored water made by steeping rose petals in water.

Rösti

Swiss for crisp and golden, this is a potato cake made of layers of sliced or grated potatoes, fried until crisp and golden.

Rouille

Provençal sauce served with fish stews, such as bouillabaisse, made from a garlic and olive oil emulsion pounded with chilies and breadcrumbs.

Roux

A mixture of equal quantities of melted butter and flour cooked in a pan and used as the base for thickening sauces.

Rump

Tender cut of beef from the lower back of the cow, sold as roasting joints and steaks.

S

Saffron

The most expensive spice in the world from the stigmas of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativa), which must be picked by hand.

Sage

Very strong aromatic herb that is slightly bitter. A key ingredient in cornbread dressing. Use sparingly.

Salami

Italian for cut-and-keep sausages made of raw meat (including pork, beef or veal), spices and herbs. It can be salted, smoked or air-dried.

Salt

Crystals of sodium chloride (NaCl). It is used to season and preservative. Sea salt comes from the sea. Rock salt is mined from underground and must be refined before being used as cooking and table salt.

Saltimbocca

Slices of veal or poultry and fresh sage dish that is topped with a slice of prosciutto, then sautéed in butter and olive oil and braised in white wine.

Samosa

Triangular shaped (deep fried or baked) Indian stuffed pastry. Savory versions are stuffed with spiced vegetables, meats, or sweet fillings.

Sardine

Baby pilchards.

Sashimi

Japanese dish of fresh, raw fish and shellfish beautifully presented and served with dipping sauces, vegetables and wasabi. Unlike sushi, there is no rice in this dish.

Sassafras

Leaves are file and a key ingredient in an authentic gumbo. The root is used in sassafras tea. The root's bark is used to flavor root beer.

Satay

Skewers of small pieces of marinated meat or fish that are grilled or barbecued. Serve with spicy peanut sauce.

Savory

Summer savory herbs and winter savory (the stronger of the two) herbs are related to the mint family, highly aromatic and can be used to season a variety of meat, poultry, egg dishes, soups, sauces, and stuffings.

Scallop

Shellfish with white, firm flesh and a delicate flavor with two fan-shaped shells. The orange coral (or roe) is also edible.

Scone

Small, round teacake to which sugar, fruit and spices are often added. Serve sweet scones with clotted cream and jam.

Semolina

Coarse pale-yellow flour ground from durum wheat used to make pasta, pizza, bread and gnocchi. It can also be added to biscuit dough. Semolina is also the name of a British milk pudding.

Shortbread

Sweet Scottish biscuit, pale in color, crumbly and made with generous amount of butter.

Shortcrust pastry

Crumbly pastry used for pies and tarts.

Sirloin

Prime cut of beef from the back, sold as roasting joints, either on or off the bone, and as sirloin steaks.

Smoothie

Non-alcoholic cold drink of juices and pulp of fruit or vegetables mixed into a smooth drink using a blender. Other ingredients can be added to thicken the mixture or to add flavor.

Smorgasbord

Hot and cold dishes served as hors d'oeuvres or as a full buffet meal.

Soba noodles

Long, thin grayish brown Japanese noodles of buckwheat (which is gluten-free).

Sorbet

Semi-frozen water ice, made with fruit, sugar syrup or a liqueur. It is traditionally served as a palate cleanser between courses or a light, refreshing dessert.

Soy Sauce

Made of soya beans fermented with salt, water and crushed barley or wheat, soy sauce. It can be added during cooking or used as a table condiment. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier than dark soy. It adds flavor without adding color. Dark soy is richer and adds color to noodle dishes and is used as a dipping sauce. Tamari is a dark soy sauce that's made without wheat. Indonesian ketjap (kecap) is the darkest and richest and is made from black soya beans.

Spelt

Ancient wheat from southern Europe with a mellow nutty flavor. It is higher protein than traditional wheat and can be tolerated by some people who cannot tolerate wheat.

Squash

Harvested as immature fruits they are called summer squash or mature fruits are winter squash. Summer squashes include vegetable marrows (zucchini), pattypan and yellow crookneck. Winter squashes include butternut, Hubbard, buttercup, ambercup, acorn, spaghetti squash/vegetable spaghetti and pumpkin. Winter squash can be cured and stored in a cool place.

Squid

Mollusk also known as calamari.

Star anise

Fruit of a shrub star anise that is shaped like an eight-pointed star and contains shiny seeds. It is one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder.

Starfruit

Also known as carambola, a ridged yellow exotic fruit with waxy skin, and tart flavor. Cut into five-pointed stars by slicing width-ways.

Stock

Flavored base liquid for making sauce, stew or braised dishes. It is made from simmering beef, chicken or fish with vegetables, aromatic ingredients and water. Vegetable stock is made with vegetables.

Strudel

Austrian dessert made of thin layers of strudel pastry wrapped around a filling of fresh fruit. The pastry can also be used to make savory strudels.

Sweet potato

Root vegetable of the morning glory family resembling a potato. It has a pinkish skin and orange flesh. They are sweeter and fluffier than a potato. They can be cooked like potatoes by baking, mashing, roasting, and used in soups, and casseroles. They also are the key ingredient in the Southern favorite, sweet potato pie.

T

Tabbouleh

Light salad of bulgar wheat and finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes and onion with lemon juice, oil and seasoning.

Tagine

Both a dish of food and the earthenware cookware for cooking tagine. As food, tagines are meat and vegetable stews in Moroccan cuisine. As cookware they are made of earthenware with conical-shaped lids.

Tagliatelle

Long, thin ribbons of pasta curled nests or straight. It can be either plain or green with spinach. Use with thick creamy sauces.

Tamarillo

Small, red, tropical fruit also known as a tree tomato.

Tandoori

Tall, cylindrical clay oven used for cooking Naan breads, meats and kebabs, are traditionally cooked in a tandoor. The term als refers to these dishes cooked in this oven.

Tangerine

Small orange citrus fruits, also known as mandarins, including Satsumas.

Tapenade

A thick paste made of black olives, capers, anchovies, mustard, basil and parsley for spreading on bread, in canapés or bruschetta, stirred pasta dishes or sauces, or used as a marinade meat.

Taramasalata

Thick, creamy Greek dip made from olive oil, fish roe, breadcrumbs and seasonings.

Tarragon

Aromatic herb used in French cooking. It has long, soft green leaves and aniseed flavor.

Tartare

Tartare sauce is made of mayonnaise, gherkins and capers Steak tartare is made with minced beef served raw with egg yolk and seasoning.

Tarte tatin

French apple tart made of fruit cooked under pastry, and served upside down with the fruit on top. It was famous by the Tatin sisters who ran a hotel-restaurant in France in the early 1900s.

Teriyaki

Japanese dish consisting of beef, chicken or fish that has been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger and seasonings. It can be baked, grilled, or fried.

Terrine

Terrine is a dish of primarily game and venison, brawn and pâtés and the ovenproof glazed terracotta earthenware in which they are cooked. Vegetable terrines are dishes made of a variety of vegetables in layers and set with gelatin. Vegetable terrines can be made of summer or fall root vegetables. Vegetable terrines make a nice presentation at a holiday meal. As cookware terrine is typically made oval or oblong with a lid. Terrine can also be made of enameled cast iron.

Thyme

Aromatic, intensely pungent herb.

Timbale

Both the layered dish of rice and vegetables or aubergine and vegetables and tomato sauce.

Tiramisu

Meaning "Pick Me Up" in Italian and an Italian dessert made of Italian sponge biscuits or macaroons soaked in coffee, brandy or liqueur, with mascarpone cheese and chocolate.

Tisane

Infusion of fresh or dried herbs from medicinal plants and served hot.

Tofu

White protein source in oriental cooking, made from cooked soy beans.

Tortilla

A Spanish omelette made with eggs, potatoes, olive oil, salt. Other ingredients may be added. In Mexico, tortilla is a soft flatbread made from corn or wheat flour, or tortilla chips.

Tripe

Stomach of a cow, pig, sheep or ox.

Truffle

Very expensive fungus found wild, growing around the roots of oak, chestnut, hazel and beech trees. Black Truffle are found in Périgord France. White truffles are found in the Piedmont Italy. They are sniffed out by pigs or trained dogs. Black truffles are peeled and served raw or slightly cooked. White truffles are wiped clean and never cooked. Truffle also refers to a chocolate confection shaped like a black truffle.

Truffle Oil

Combination of olive oil and truffle extract. It is drizzled over dishes or used in dressings and sauces.

U

Ugli fruit

Hybrid of a grapefruit and a mandarin (tangerine). It has a green and yellow skin and peels easily with flavors similar to grapefruit but sweeter.

Unleavened bread

Bread made without leavening, such as yeast or baking powder to rise. Unleavened chapattis and tortillas are important to the Jewish ritual during Passover, forbidding the consumption of leavened bread.

V

Vegetable Terrine

See Terrine

Vermicelli

Fine, thin, long strands of pasta, similar to spaghetti.

Vichyssoise

Soup made of potatoes, leeks and cream, blended until smooth, garnished with chopped chives and served chilled.

Vinaigrette

French dressing, and French for "little vinegar." It is made of three parts olive oil, one part wine, red or balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and other ingredients.

W

Wasabi

Green colored condiment also known as Japanese horseradish. It is from the root of a perennial herb that grows in Japan and eastern Siberia. It is served as a traditional accompaniment to sushi and sashimi, and is used to make dressings and sauces.

Welsh Rarebit, Welsh Rabbit

British dish of toasted bread covered with a mixture of Cheshire or cheddar cheese melted in pale ale with English mustard, pepper and sometimes a dash of Worcestershire sauce. It is grilled and served very hot.

Whipping cream

Lighter version of double cream with a fat content of over 35 per cent. This is the minimum fat content that allows cream to stay firm after being beaten.

White sauce

Basic sauce of butter and flour mixed with milk and cooked over gentle heat until it is smooth and slightly thick. Béchamel is an important white sauce with milk that is flavored with onion and seasoning and can include nutmeg.

Worcestershire sauce

Classic English bottled sauce that originated from an Indian recipe. It is thin, spicy, and dark-brown. This fermented sauce is made from anchovies, shallots, garlic, soy sauce, tamarind, salt and vinegar. It is barrel aged. It has a spicy flavor that is good for cooking and as a condiment.

Y

Yam

Have brown, hard skins and flesh that varies in color from white to yellow to purple. Smaller ones can be cooked in skins. Larger ones must be peeled. Cook in similar methods as potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Yeast

Microscopic living fungus. It multiplies rapidly and is an essential ingredient for making bread and brewing. It causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide when mixed with warm water, sugar and flour. Three types of yeast used in bread making are fresh yeast, dried yeast, and powdered yeast. Fresh yeast is moist, cream colored and is available in blocks. Dried yeast are small granules. And powdered yeast is dried yeast.

Yogurt

Made from fermented milk.

Z

Zest

Outer rind of citrus fruits. It can be grated or peeled with a peeler.

Zucchini

Italian and American for courgette.