Cooking Terms Page

Aboyeur:   (French) Expediter or announcer; a station in the brigade system. The aboyeur accepts orders from the dining room, relays them to the appropriate stations of the kitchen, and checks each plate before it leaves the kitchen.

Acid:   A substance having a sour or sharp flavor. Most foods are somewhat acidic. Foods generally referred to as acidic include citrus juice, vinegar, and wine. Degree of acidity is measured on the pH scale; acids have a pH of less than 7.

Acidulated Water:   The addition of lemon juice or vinegar to cold water in order to prevent discoloration of some fruits and vegetables. To every pint of water, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

A Dente:   (Italian) Of pasta; cooked but firm to the bite.

Adulterated Food:   Food items that have been contaminated to the point that it is considered unfit for human consumption.

Aerobic Bacteria:   Bacteria that require the presence of oxygen to function.

Agar:   A vegetable gelatin made from various kinds of algae or seaweed. The algae are collected, bleached and dried. Then the gelatin substance is extracted with water and made into flakes, granules, powder or strips which are brittle when dry. Primarily used as a thickening agent.

Aioli (French):   Garlic mayonnaise. (See also Allioli (Italian) or Aliolio (Spanish).)

A la:   (French) In the style of; Example - a la Russe, meaning in the Russian style.

A la Carte:   (French) 1. Bill of fare from which the diner selects individual dishes. 2. Dishes cooked to order.

A la Creme:   (French) Served with cream or a cream-based sauce.

Al Dente:   (Italian) To the tooth; to cook an item, such as pasta or vegetables, until it is tender but still firm, not soft.

A la Grecqua:   (French) Meaning in the Greek manner. Term describes vegetables cooked in a mixture of oil and vinegar, or lemon juice, with seasoning added. Serve cold or chilled.

A l'anglaise:   (French) In the English style; Example - boiled and served without a sauce.

A la mode:   (French) Literal translation in the fashion of. In American cookery it describes cake, pie, pudding or any other dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream. In French cooking it describes beef pot roast, larded with fat, braised with vegetables and simmered in a sauce.

Albumen:   The major protein in egg whites.

Alla:   (Italian) In the style of; Example - alla parmigiano, meaning in Parmesan style.

Allspice:   A single spice, rather than a combination of all spices, which has a reminiscent of a nutmeg, cloves, juniper berries, pepper, and cinnamon mixture. Allspice is made from the fruit of an evergreen tree found in the Western Hemisphere.

Almond Paste:   A mixture of ground almonds, sugar, and glucose. Often used as a pastry filling.

Allumettes:   (French) Vegetable strips, matchstick-size in length and width.

Amandine:   (French) To cook or coating with almonds.

Amaretti:   Italian almond cookies much like a macaroon.

Amaretto:   An almond flavored liqueur made from apricot pits. Originally from Italy.

Anaheim Chiles:   Mild, long green chiles named for the area near Los Angeles-USA where they were once cultivated. May be purchased canned whole or chopped and fresh.

An Bleu:   (French) Blue; fish cooked immediately after being caught will turn blue upon preparation.

Ancho Chiles:   Dried poblano chiles that range in color from dark red to nearly black. Moderately hot pepper with a smoky flavor.

An Gratin:   (French) Cooked food, covered with a sauce and sprinkled with crumbled or grated cheese, dotted with butter and browned under the grill or broiler.

Anise:   A spice which produces a licorice-like flavor. Purchased ground to a powder or in seed form. Utilized in flavoring cookies, cakes and liqueurs.

Antipasti:   (Italian) Cold or hot Italian hors d'oeuvre.

Arborio Rice:   A short grain white rice from Northern Italy. The length of the grain is often less than two times its width. Used often in risotto because it absorbs flavor as it cooks, yet remains somewhat firm.

Arrowroot:   A starch. White, powdery thickening agent ground finer than flour. It is preferable to cornstarch because it provides a clear finish, rather than a cloudy paste. Arrowroot is extracted from rhizomes and was historically used by American Indians to heal arrow wounds, hence the name.

Asiago:   An Italian cheese also known as Poor Man's Parmesan. Primarily used for grating. Much like cheddar cheese, although it is traditionally made with sheep's milk.

Aspic:   Clear jelly made from the cooked juices of meat, fish or poultry.

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