Culinary Terms ACulinary Terms A a 1

1.    A la carte: Each dish is ordered and priced individually.
2.    A la diable: The French way of saying “devilled”, or very hot or highly seasoned dish.
3.    #ALaFrancais : Dishes that are prepared in the French way.
4.    A la: French word meaning “in the style of.
5.    ABATS : Meat items such as offals (organ meat), heads, hearts, liver, kidneys, etc.
6.    #Abats : Butcher’s supplies such as heads, hearts, liver, kidney, etc.
7.    AGING: Improve the tenderness of meat
8.    AJINOMOTTO: A Chinese Salt
9.    AL DENTE: Italian term used to describe pasta that is cooked until it offers a slight resistance to the bite.
10.    #AMCHUR : Unripe Mango dried
11.    Appetizer: The first course of the meal or a drink such as sherry, cocktail etc.
12.    Aspic: A transparent savoury jelly, generally made of seasoned meat stock. It is to garnish meat or fish. or to make moulds of meat, fish or game.
13.    #ASPIC : Clear meat or poultry jelly.
14.    Au bleu : Applied to fish cooked in fish stock with wine added
15.    Au four : Baked in the oven.
16.    AU FOUR: Baked in the oven.
17.    Au gras :  Rich. applied to dishes with meat in a rich gravy.
18.    Au gratin: Any dish covered with sauce, breadcrumbs or cheese and afterwards gratinated.
19.    AU JUS: Served with natural juices or gravy.
20.    Au natural: Simply-cooked food. or food served raw. such as oysters.

Agar–Agar – A white, semi–translucent, tasteless and odourless veg geletine .

Almond – The oval shaped seeds of a tree closely related to the peach and apricot. Originally from the Middle East, the almond is one of the most widely used and longest cultivated nuts in the world. It was eaten in ancient Babylon, is mentioned in Hittite writings and in the bible, and by Minoan times had spread west as far as the island of Crete. The ancient Greeks mixed the crushed nut with honey to make marzipan and it was popular with the Romans, who called it “the Greek nut”. The prevalence of the almond in medieval cooking is thought to be connected to religious fast days when it replaced forbidden meat and milk. There are two types of almond: the sweet almond, from a pink–flowering tree, the form widely used; and the strongly flavoured bitter almond, from a white-flowering tree, a broader and shorter nut which contain prussic acid and is poisonous if consumed in more than minute amounts. In some styles of cooking the two are mixed, in proportions of about one bitter to fifty sweet almonds.

California is the world’s largest producer of almonds, followed by Italy and Spain, where the trees grow well on the poor soils of the Mediterranean hills. Almonds are eaten raw, roasted, or grilled and salted; pounded or ground, they are used in savoury stuffings and a variety of desserts, cakes, and confectionery.

Almond Paste – A mixture of finely ground almond, sugar and egg which is rolled out and used to cover rich fruit cakes with a smooth and even surface before they are iced. It also helps to preserve the cake and to stop it from discolouring the icing. It is used to make marzipan confectionery and filling for Danish pastries.

#Allumette  – In the Bakery, this refers to a variety of puff pastries made in thin strips or sticks.

Amandine – French term meaning served or prepared with almonds.

Amaretti – A crisp almond macaroon from Italy, where it was originally made with bitter almonds. The name comes from the Italian word amaro meaning bitter.

Ambrosia – A semi-soft cows milk cheese, originally from Sweden, with a slightly tart taste and a number of small irregular holes in the interior.

Ambrosia is also the name of a chilled dessert made with layers of fruit, usually sliced orange, banana, and fresh pineapple, and a mixture of desiccated (shredded) coconut and icing sugar.

Angel cake – a white-coloured cake with an airy texture resulting from the high proportion of beaten egg white in the mixture. The angel cake originated in North America, where it has been known since the late nineteenth century.

Angelica – An herb best known for its candied stalks, used to flavour and decorate cakes and desserts. It was once eaten raw, like celery, and its fresh leaves can be used in salads. In parts of Iceland of Norway the dried root is ground into a form of bread.

Angelica seeds are used in the preparation of vermouth and chartreuse. Originally from northern Europe, angelica was brought to the warmer south by Vikings in the tenth century. There, because it was found to flower on May 8-St. Michael the Archangel’s Day-it was believed to have supernatural powers and was used for protection against witches. In the seventeenth century the root was chewed or taken in a mixture called ‘angelica water’ in futile attempts to ward off the plague.

Preparations made from the root have been used to relieve colic and tooth ache and to treat deafness and bronchial disorders; a North American species was used for similar medicinal purposes by early European settlers. To Native Americans, angelica root was known as ‘hunting or fishing root’ and was rubbed onto the hands so the smell would attract fish and game.

#Anzac Biscuit – A biscuit (cookie) that originated in Australia during the years of World War-1, when eggs were scarce. Made with oats, syrup, butter and desiccated coconut, they were sent in food parcels to troops stationed in Europe.

Apple – The most widely cultivated of all fruits. The tens of thousands of apple varieties available today are believed to have descended from a tree native to the Middle East and the Balkans. Where it was first cultivated is not known, but apples were certainly familiar to the ancient Egyptians who, by the middle of the second millenium BC, had planted orchards in the Nile delta. The Apple variety (still available today, and known in the United States as the Lady Apple), was developed by Etruscans more than 2000years ago.

The apple was the first introduced crop to flourish in North America, and during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an important staple for European settlers in the northwest. Nineteenth century folk hero Johnny Appleseed, credited with spreading the fruit across North America, did so by establishing a chain of apple orchards from Pennsylvania west to Indiana, and not, as popularly depicted, by randomly scattering seed. In Australia, Tasmania has long held the title ‘Apple Isle’. Orchards planted in the southeast in the early 1840s supplied markets in India and New Zealand. The 1850s population boom caused by the gold rushes on the Australian mainland meant an increased demand for the fruit, and at one time some 500 varieties of apple were grown. Today this has diminished to fewer than ten varieties.

There are both eating and cooking varieties of apple. They are cooked in a range of sweet and savoury dishes, can be dried, and are made into apple juice and cider.

Apricot – The apricot was first cultivated in china more than 4000 years ago. It grew in Nebuchadnezzar’s hanging gardens of Babylon and was an expensive delicacy in ancient Rome. The Persians called the soft golden fruit ‘eggs of the sun’. The apricot was taken to Britain from Italy in the mid-1500s by the gardener of Henry VIII.

Fresh ripe apricots are eaten raw or cooked as a dessert, made into jams, and in savoury dishes teamed with lamb and with chicken. Dried, canned and glacé apricots are available year-round.

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