Food Names And Terms

If you don’t know some of the food names and terms that you come across on the Internet, this list may help you. There are many more, and we’ll be adding as we go along. You may be surprised with some of them. I always thought “antipasto” had something to do with pasta!

AMANDINE is a name given to dishes that are made or garnished with almonds. Vegetables that are commonly made this way are green beans and asparagus, and some pastries.

ANTIPASTO means “before the meal” and is usually a plate of various kinds of appetizers, including meats, vegetables and cheeses. It is traditionally the official start of a formal Italian meal.

ARUGULA, also known as rocket, is a green leafy vegetable, and also used the same ways as lettuce. It is exceptionally healthy, and is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac.

BLINTZ is a type of thin pancake similar to crepes, and has different fillings, sweet and savory. It also means to break up foods quickly, such as in a food processor.

BRAISING is a method of cooking with both moist and dry heat. The food is seared and then cooked in liquid. This is economical for cooking less expensive cuts of meat, and is convenient because it just uses one pan. Pot roast is a good example of this kind of cooking.

CAFÉ AU LAIT is a French term meaning coffee served with half milk and half coffee.

CHICKEN FRICASSEE is a popular chicken dish. It is made by cutting the chicken into serving size pieces, gently searing it, then cooking it in a sauce. This is a good method for cooking older chickens, such as a hen, as it makes them very tender.

CLAFOUTIS or CLAFOUTI (kla-foo-TEE) is a classic French dessert traditionally made with black cherries, but can be made with many different kinds of fruit.

CLARIFYING removes water from butter and other fat to make a clear liquid.

CORNICHONS (KOR-nee-shons) are very small pickled gherkins, a kind of cucumber (no more than two inches long).

CRÈME FRAÎCHE, a staple of French cuisine, is similar to sour cream and yogurt, but creamier and just slightly tangy. It can be used in many different ways, including as a substitute for mayonnaise. Sometimes hard to find in stores, but can be easily made at home.

CRUDITES are an assortment of raw vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and celery. They are served before a meal with a dip.

DEGLAZING, also called “fond” is a method of getting brown bits off the bottom of a pan after food has been fried, sauteed or roasted. Cold liquid is poured into a very hot pan, then it is stirred and the bottom of the pan is scraped to get all the browned pieces into the liquid, giving it more flavor. This is a method often used when making gravy.

DULCE DE LECHE is a rich caramel-like sauce made by heating sweetened condensed milk until it gets thick and looks like caramel. The Internet has various recipes for making it at home.

GRENADINE is a red syrup that used to be made strictly with pomegranates, but now there are many imitations. It is most popular as a coloring and sweetener for cocktails, but it also has other uses, including being added to cold non-alcoholic drinks.

MEUNIERE is a term for dredging foods with flour and then sautéing in butter. It can also be a sauce made of brown butter, chopped parsley and lemon.

PLANKED – salmon grilled on a thick hardwood plank.

POLENTA is a kind of mush made with cornmeal or farina. It can be eaten plain, and is often baked, fried or grilled. It is also gluten-free.

PROFITEROLE is a tiny cream puff. It can be either a dessert or have a savory filling, and is often served as an hors d’oeuvre.

ROULADES are typically made with a slice of meat rolled around a filling, such as cheese, vegetables, or other meats. But they can also be made into a dessert, similar to a jellyroll.

ROUX is usually a mixture of equal parts of butter and flour to thicken soups and sauces. The most common use is making a white sauce. Other kinds of fat canbe used, such as meat fats when making gravy.

SOPAPILLAS (soh-pi-PEE-yuhs) are a deep fried pastry that look like miniature pillows. They are usually served with honey or a syrup, but can also be filled with refried beans or other savory ingredients.

ZABAGLIONE (zah-bahl-YOH-nay) is a custardy Italian dessert made with beaten eggs and wine, and served with fresh fruit or berries.

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