Whether you’re looking at a menu at some authentic restaurant, or opening a cookbook to try a new recipe that you’ve been dreaming about, culinary terms can be intimidating. Here is a list of worldly cooking methods, ingredients and some other common culinary terms that will help you solve your next culinary mystery.
A LA CARTE:
Items on a menu that are priced and ordered separately.
Italian for “to the bite”. This term is used to describe the proper texture of cooked pasta. Should be firm with just a small amount of bite, but not crunchy in the middle.
A spread or dip made mostly of roasted eggplant. Usually has olive oil and other herbs and spices.
A bundle of herbs usually tied together and added to a dish during cooking to impart flavor. Its is always removed before serving.
Sugar that has been flamed and burned with a torch to the point of caramelization.
Fresh soft Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.
A jalapeno pepper that has been smoked. YUMM!
CONFIT: Pronounced “con-fee”. A French cooking method where foods are cooked slowly while submerged in oil or fat.
French condiment similar to the American sour cream, but thicker and more fattening.
Food that is wrapped in pastry dough then baked.
Middle Eastern food made from ground chickpeas. It is formed into balls or patties and then deep fried.
A baked custard made with eggs, cream, and vanilla. May contain gelatin. Usually served as a dessert.
A tomato based vegetable soup, served cold.
Uncooked sauce or condiment made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
Pronounced “Roo”. Combination of fat(usually butter) and flour cooked together and added to sauces and soups as a thickener.
Extremely expensive spice made from the stigmas of a crocus flower. Each crocus produces only 3 stigmas which are hand picked and dried. It takes 14,000 of these stigmas to produce 1 ounce of saffron.
one of the five basic tastes, the other 4 being (sweet, salty, bitter, and sour). Often defined as “savory with a long lasting mouthwatering sensation”.
Cook. Eat. Repeat.