GLOSSARY OF FOOD TERMS

ALMOND EXTRACT:
Flavoring derived by dissolving the essential oil of almonds in an alcohol base. Use only products labeled "pure" or "natural" almond extract (essence).

AMANDINE:
Dishes made or garnished with almonds.

AMARETTO:
Italian liqueur combining essences of apricot and almond.

ANCHOVIES:
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 the finest.

ANCHOVY PASTE:
Smooth paste made from preserved filets of the tiny saltwater fish, combined with oil and packed in squeeze tubes and jars.

APPLE JACK:
Apple brandy made from hard cider. See Calvados.

ANTIPASTO:
Italian term describing an assortment of appetizers.

APERITIF:
A drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

APPLES:
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.

Varieties of Apples

Cortland - 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.

Delicious- 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 eaten fresh.

Empire - is a dark red apple. It has crisp, juicy, slightly tart flesh and is eaten fresh.

Gala - is a yellowish-orange to red apple. Its yellow to cream-colored flesh is crisp and sweet.

Golden 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.

Granny Smith - 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.

Jonathan - 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.

McIntosh - 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.

Rome Beauty - 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.

Stayman - 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.

Winesap - 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.

York Imperia - 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.

ARMAGNAC:
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.

ARROWROOT:
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.

ARTICHOKE:
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.

ARUGULA:
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.

ASPIC:
Jellied meat, fish or poultry stock or vegetable liquid often used for molding meat, fish, poultry or vegetables.

AU GRATIN:
Topped with crumbs and/or cheese and browned in the oven or under the broiler.

AU JUS:
A French term meaning served with unthickened natural juices that develop during roasting.

AU LAIT:
A French term meaning served with milk.

AVOCADO:
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.

BAKING POWDER:
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 moisture.

BAKING SODA:
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.

BARBECUE SAUCE:
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 mustard.

BELGIAN ENDIVE:
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.

BISQUE
: A thick cream soup.

CANAPE
: Plain or toasted bread or crackers topped with a savory mixture, served as an appetizer or with cocktails.

CHUTNEY:
A highly seasoned relish of fruits, herbs and spices.

COGNAC:
Dry spirit distilled from wine and, strictly speaking, produced in the Cognac region of France. Other good-quality dry wine-based brandies may be substituted.

CORN MEAL:
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.

CORN STARCH:
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.

CORN SYRUP:
Light- or dark-colored neutral tasting syrup extracted from corn.

CORNED BEEF:
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.

CORNICHONS:
Small French-style sour pickled cucumbers no more than two inches or so in length.

CREAM:
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.

CREAM, SOUR:
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.

CREAM OF TARTAR:
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 crystallization.

CREPE:
A thin, delicate pancake.

CRUDITES:
An assortment of raw vegetables, i.e., carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, served as an hors d'oeuvre often accompanied by a dip.

DRIPPINGS:
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.

EGGPLANT:
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.

ENDIVE:
See Belgian endive.

ENTREE:
The main course.

FETA CHEESE:
Crumbly textured Greek-style cheese made from goat's or sheep's milk. Notable for its salty, slightly sharp flavor.

FILO:
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.

FLANK STEAK:
Large, thin, fairly lean, boneless cut of beef.

FLOUR, ALL-PURPOSE:
The most common form of commercial flour. This bleached and blended variety is widely available. Also called plain flour.

FONTINA:
Creamy, mild-tasting Italian cheese made from sheep's milk.

GELATIN:
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.

GORGONZOLA CHEESE:
Italian variety of creamy, blue-veined cheese. Other creamy blue cheeses may be substituted.

GRAND MARNIER:
A popular commercial brand of orange-flavored liqueur distinguished by its pure cognac base.

GRATIN:
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.

GRENADINE:
Pomegranate-flavored syrup used as flavoring and sauce.

GRUYERE CHEESE:
Variety of Swiss cheese with a firm, smooth texture, small holes and a strong, tangy flavor.

HORS D'OEUVRES:
Savory foods used as appetizers.

HORSERADISH:
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:
Kohlrabi has a delicate turnip-like flavor and can be cooked in the same ways as turnips.

LARD:
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 dryness.

LEEK:
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.

MADEIRA:
Sweet-amber dessert wine originated on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

MARSALA:
Dry or sweet amber Italian wine from the area of Marsala in Sicily.

MARZIPAN:
Sweetened almond paste made into confections.

MERINGUE:
Mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. Also the cooked soft mixture on desserts or the cooked "hard" mixture as a dessert shell.

MOREL:
A wild mushroom shaped like a folded parasol with a distinct nutty flavor. Morels are most easily obtained dried.

MOUSSE:
A cold dessert made with whipped cream or beaten egg whites.

MOZZARELLA CHEESE:
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 less flavor.

NEW YORK STEAK:
Beefsteak cut from sirloin; prized for its tenderness and flavor.

OIL, OLIVE:
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.

OIL, PEANUT:
Pale-gold oil with a subtle hint of the peanut's richness. Used in cooking, especially for poultry and for salad dressings.

OIL, SESAME:
Oil pressed from sesame seeds, which imparts to it their nut-like flavor. Used primarily as a seasoning.

OIL, SUNFLOWER SEED:
Pale, relatively flavorless oil used in dressings and for cooking.

PARFAIT:
A dessert made of layers of fruit, syrup, ice cream and whipped cream or beaten egg whites.

PARMESAN CHEESE:
Hard, thick crusted Italian cheese with a sharp, salty full flavor resulting from at least two years of aging.

PEARS:
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 yellow-green skins.

Bartlett 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.

Comas pears - Sweet and juicy, large, round and short-necked, with greenish yellow skins tinged with red.

Royal Riveria pears - Favored for eating or cooking, are among the most luxurious of all, large with red-tinged skins and juicy smooth sweet flesh.

PETIT FOUR:
Small, decoratively iced cake.

POLENTA:
A very thick mush usually made from cornmeal or farina, used in main dishes and as accompaniment.

POTAGE:
Soup.

PROFITEROLE:
Tiny cream puff, filled with sweet or savory mixtures, served as dessert or hors d'oeuvre.

PROSCIUTO:
Italian-style cured and spiced ham, served sliced paper thin.

QUICHE:
Savory one-crust egg-and-cream main dish pie.

RADICCHIO:
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 grilling.

ROMAINE LETTUCE:
Popular variety of lettuce with elongated, pale-green leaves characterized by their crisp texture and slightly pungent flavor.

ROMANO CHEESE:
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.

ROUX:
A mixture of melted fat and flour.

SCALLOPINI:
Small, thin pieces of meat.

SILVER DRAGEES:
Tiny, ball-shaped silver-colored candies.

STOCK:
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 recipes.

T-BONE STEAK:
Tender, flavorful cut of beef from the center of the short loin containing a short t-shaped bone.

TAPIOCA, INSTANT:
The finely ground flakes of the tropical manioc plant's dried, starchy root. Used as a thickener in pies, tarts and puddings.

TERIYAKI:
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, shining glaze.

TRUFFLE:
1) Species of fungus that grows below the ground; used as a garnish. 2) A very rich chocolate candy.

VINEGAR:
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.

ZABAGLIONE:
Delicate dessert made of beaten eggs and wine.


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