An A-Z of food words, defined


Al dente: An Italian phrase meaning "to the tooth," used to describe food that is cooked only until it barely offers resistance when bitten into.

Braise: A cooking method, on top of a stove or in the oven, in which food is browned in fat, and then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid, at low heat for a long time.

Caramelize: To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup.

Dice: To cut food into tiny cubes (1/8 to 1/4 inch).

Egg Wash: Egg yolk or egg white mixed with a small amount of water or milk. It's brushed over baked goods before baking to give them gloss and color.

Fillet: A flat piece of boneless meat, poultry, or fish. Also, to cut the bones from a piece of meat, poultry, or fish.

Glaze: To coat foods with glossy mixtures such as jellies or sauces.

Herb: any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring food and for medicine.

Icing: a mixture of sugar with liquid or butter, typically flavored and colored, and used as a coating for cakes or cookies

Julienne: To cut into small, thin strips.

Knead: To blend dough together with hands or in a mixer to form a pliable mound.

Live: some foods contain the living bacteria that are used to make it.

Marinate: To soak meat or other foods in a flavored liquid.

Nutritional deficiencies: the result of your body not getting enough of the nutrients it needs.

Organic: food or drink that is produced using no or only a small number of artificial chemicals.

Puree: To mash a food to a thick, smooth consistency.

Quiche: a food with a pastry crust filled with a mix of primarily eggs and cheese, and often meats and vegetables as well. It is cooked in an oven.

Reduce: To thicken a liquid and concentrate its flavor by boiling.

Simmer: To cook food gently in liquid at a temperature low enough that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface (around 185 degrees).

Truss: To tie whole poultry with string or skewers so it will hold its shape during cooking.

Unrefined: products that have not been changed from their natural state.

Vegan: someone who chooses not to eat anything derived from animals or fish, including eggs, milk products, honey, gelatin, etc.

Whisk: A utensil with looped wires used for whipping ingredients like batters, sauces, eggs, and cream in order to add air into the batter.

Xanthan gum: An additive to foods used as a thickener and stabilizer

Yuzu: A very acidic orange citrus fruit with fragrant and flavorful juice.

Zest: The colored outer portion of the peel.

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