Glossary

Aioli

A sauce made of garlic and olive oil.

Al Forno

An Italian phrase describing food that is "at/from the oven".

Amaretto

An Italian sweet almond-flavoured liqueur. It is made from a base of apricot or almond pits, or sometimes both.

Anglaise

A light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is a mix of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavoured with vanilla.

Angus Beef

A Scottish breed of cattle much used in beef production.

Aubergine

Eggplant.

Autour

French: Around Chocolate (literal translation)

Avruga Caviar

A caviar product made from herring - Avruga is pearlescent black in colour, with taste nuances supposedly similar to Beluga.

Balsamic Vinegar

A condiment originating from Italy. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena), an inexpensive modern imitation of the traditional product, is today widely available and much better known. This is the kind commonly used for salad dressing together with oil.

Barigoule

A stewed artichoke preparation.

Beignets

A pastry made from deep-fried dough and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, is a kind of French doughnut.

Beurre

The French word for "butter."

Bhaji

A general Indian term for a simple vegetable stir fry with Indian spices and pronounced with longer "a" like bhaaji.

Bisque

A thick, creamy, highly-seasoned soup of French origin, classically of puréed crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish.

Bocconcini

Small, semi-soft, white and rindless unripened mild cheeses which originated in Naples and were once made only from the milk of water buffaloes.

Bouillon

A broth.

Bresaola

Air-dried salted beef that has been aged about 2-3 months until it becomes hard and a dark red, almost purple colour.

Broth

A liquid in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce.

Buffalo Mozzarella

A mozzarella cheese made from the milk of the domestic water buffalo rather than from cow's milk.

Caper

A common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine often used as a seasoning or garnish.

Caramelised

The oxidation of sugar, a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavor and brown color.

Caviar

A luxury delicacy, consisting of processed, salted, non-fertilized sturgeon roe.

Cavolo nero

The most robust cabbage type.

Celeriac

A kind of celery, grown as a root vegetable for its large and bulbous hypocotyl rather than for its stem and leaves.

Ceviche

A citrus-marinated seafood dish originating from the coast of Peru.

Chanterelles

A type of mushroom that generally goes well with eggs, curry, chicken, pork, fish, beef and veal, can be used as toppings on pizzas, be stewed, marinated, sauteed, or used as filling for stuffed crêpes.

Chantilly

A sweetened whipped cream, sometimes vanilla-flavoured.

Char grilled

Charcoal kettle-grilling refers to the process of grilling over a charcoal fire in a kettle, to the point that the edges are charred, or charred grill marks are visible.

Chowder

Any of a variety of soups, enriched with salt pork fatback and thickened with flour or more traditionally with crushed ship biscuit or saltine crackers, and milk.

Cornet

A British English synonym for ice cream cone.

Coulis

A form of thick sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits.

Croquette

A small fried food roll containing usually as main ingredients mashed potatoes, and/or minced meat (veal, beef, chicken, or turkey), shellfish, fish, vegetables, and soaked white bread, egg, onion, spices and herbs, wine, milk, or any of the combination thereof, sometimes with a filling, often encased in breadcrumbs.

Croutons

A small piece of sautéed or rebaked bread, often cubed and seasoned, that is used to add texture and flavor to salads, notably the Caesar salad, as an accompaniment to soups, or eaten as a snack food.

Crumbed

A dry grain-derived coating for a piece of food such as meat, vegetable, poultry, fish, shellfish, crustacean, seitan, or textured soy, etc., made from breadcrumbs or a breading mixture with seasonings.

Cured

Various food preservation and flavoring processes, especially of meat or fish, by the addition of a combination of salt, sugar, nitrates or nitrite. Many curing processes also involve smoking.

Endive

A leaf vegetable belonging to the daisy family.

Escabeche

A typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish (escabeche of chicken, rabbit or pork is common in Spain) that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself.

Feuillete

A savoury pasty is a pastry or an appetizer makes of a decoration wrapped around in some puff pastry.

Focaccia

A flat oven-baked Italian bread, which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients.

Fondue

A warm creamy dish made of cheese, eggs, wine, brandy and or other items.

Fregola

A type of pasta from Sardinia similar to Israeli couscous.

Gnocchi

The Italian name for a variety of thick, soft noodles or dumplings.

Gratin

A widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter.

Grilled

A form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.

Grissini

Pencil-sized sticks of crispy, dry bread originating in Turin and the surrounding area in Italy.

Haloumi

A traditional Cypriot cheese that is also popular in the rest of the Middle East and Greece, and is now made the world over. It is made from a mixture of goat's and sheep milk, although some halloumi can be bought that also contains cow's milk.

Jus

A cuisine term referring to sauce served with meat.

Kohlrabi

A low, stout cultivar of the cabbage that will grow almost anywhere.

Konbu

Edible kelp from the family Laminariaceae widely eaten in East Asia.

Langoustine

A slim, orange-pink lobster from Norway which grows up to 24 centimetres (9.4 in) long.

Macerated

Softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid.

Medallion

A term applied to round food rationings because of their similar shape to a médaille, and has come to be applied to particularly large medals.

Meringue

A type of dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar.

Mezzaluna

A moon shaped pasta.

Mille-feuille

A French-originating pastry. Traditionally, a Mille-feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of cream pâtissière, but sometimes whipped cream, or jam. The top is usually glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white (icing) and brown (chocolate) strips, and combed.

Miso

A traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus k?jikin, the most typical miso being made with soy.

Moule

French: Mussels

Mozzarella

A generic term for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting.

Nigiri

A form of sushi consisting of an oblong mound of sushi rice that is pressed between the palms of the hands, usually with a bit of wasabi, and a topping draped over it.

Noisette

Hazelnut.

Nori

The Japanese name for various edible seaweed species of the red alga Porphyra.

Oscietra

A caviar coming from the Osetra sturgeon with a nutty flavour and so is prized as an elite caviar.

Panache

A word of French origin that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage (appropriate description for the vegetable dish...).

Pancetta

A type of dry cured meat, similar to bacon.

Panna cotta

An Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set.

Parfait

A dessert normally made by layering cream, ice cream, or flavored gelatin dessert with other ingredients such as granola, nuts, yogurt, syrups, liqueurs, fresh fruit, or whipped topping.

Parmesan

A hard granular cheese, cooked but not pressed, named after the producing areas near Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italy.

Pastilla

An elaborate meat pie traditionally made of squab (fledgling pigeons).

Petit four

A small confection generally eaten at the end of a meal (e.g. with coffee) or served as part of dessert. The name is from the French petit four, meaning "small oven".

Pickled

Also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid).

Pistou

A cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil.

Pithivier

A round, enclosed pie usually made with puff pastry.

Poached

The process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally water, milk, stock or wine.

Prosciutto

The Italian word for ham. Almost always used for a dry-cured ham that is usually sliced thinly and served uncooked.

Puree

General terms for food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, and/or strained to the consistency of a soft paste or thick liquid.

Purée

A general term for food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, and/or strained to the consistency of a soft paste or thick liquid.

Radicchio

A leaf chicory (Cichorium intybus, Asteraceae), grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves.

Ravioli

A type of filled pasta composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough.

Remoulade

A popular often aioli- or mayonnaise-based condiment in many countries.

Risotto

A traditional Italian rice dish cooked with broth and flavored with parmesan cheese and other ingredients, which can include meat, fish, or vegetables.

Roquefort

A sheep milk blue cheese from the south of France, and together with Bleu d'Auvergne, Stilton and Gorgonzola is one of the world's best-known blue cheeses.

Saffron

A spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus contributing a luminous yellow-orange colouring to foods.

Sake

A Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice.

Sansho

The outer pod of the tiny fruit of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum, widely grown and consumed in Asia as a spice.

Sautéed

A method of cooking food that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking.

Seared

A technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc. that cooks the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) at high temperature so that a caramelized crust forms.

Shiitake

An edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world.

Shiso

A perennial herb in the mint family.

Smoked

The process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood.

Sorbet

A frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with iced fruit (typically juice or puree), chocolate, wine, and/or liqueur.

Spanakopita

A Greek savoury pastry in the burek family with a filling of chopped spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with ricotta cheese, as it is less expensive), onions or green onions, egg, and seasoning.

Stracciatella

An Italian egg-drop soup usually said to be "alla Romana" ("the way it's done at Rome"), but also popular in Marche and Emilia Romagna.

Sweetbreads

The thymus (throat sweetbread) and the pancreas (heart or stomach sweetbread), especially of the calf and lamb (although beef and pork sweetbreads are also eaten).

Tarragon

One of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and particularly suitable for chicken, lasagna, fish and egg dishes.

Tart

A pastry dish, usually sweet, with an open top not covered with pastry.

Tartare

A preparation of finely chopped raw meat or fish optionally with seasonings and sauces.

Terrine

Food prepared and served in a terrine, mainly game and venison, brawn (head cheese) and pâtés. If it has been pressed and chilled, then turned out for serving in slices, a terrine becomes a pâté.

Truffles

A fungus held in high esteem in French, Spanish, northern Italian and Croatian cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine.

Valrhona

A French chocolate manufacturer based in the small town of Tain L'Hermitage in Hermitage, a wine-growing district near Lyon.

Veloute

One of the sauces of French cuisine that were designated the four "mother sauces" by Antonin Carême in the 19th century. The sauce consists of a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been previously roasted), such as chicken, veal or fish stock, is thickened with a blond roux.

Verjus

A very acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes.

Vermouth

A fortified wine, flavored with aromatic herbs and spices ("aromatized" in the trade) such as cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile.

Vichyssoise

A thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot.

Wasabi

Known as "Japanese horseradish", its root is used as a spice and has an extremely strong flavor.