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Culinary terms with A.

abalone - An edible mollusk found mainly in cold coastline waters of every continent, with the exception of the Caribbean and the Atlantic coast of North and South America - abulón, oreja de mar, awabi, ear shell, sea ear, muttonfish, ormer, Venus´ ear.

absinthe - A strong, herb flavored liquor, with a distinctive anise flavor, distilled from wormwood. It is nearly 70% alcohol and it should be diluted with water before drinking. It has been banned in many countries - absintha, absenta.

acetic acid is produced when bacteria interacts with alcohol in beverages like cider or wine transforming them into vinegar.

acidulated water is just water with a little vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice - all these add acid to the water- used to prevent the discoloration of cut fruits and vegetables that would darken otherwise. A mixture of 5 to 6 parts water to 1 part acid will stop darkening in slices of apples, artichokes.

achee is a tropical fruit with a bright red color. It breaks open once ripe, displaying three large black seeds and a smooth, buttery, pallid interior. This fruit should only be consumed once ripe, as some parts of the unripe achee are toxic.

acorn - name- Nut of the oak tree. It is edible and may be eaten raw, roasted, or baked. A substitute for coffee can be prepared from acorns when chopped to the size of coffee beans, roasted, ground, and mixed with a little butter.

acorn squash - name - A winter squash with an oval shape, dark green skin with ribs. The flesh is orange with a sweet flavor.

additive - name - A substance added to food during its processing to enhance its flavor, appearance, or shelf life.

adequate intake - Estimated amount of a nutrient that healthy people should aim for each day set when there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine a recommended daily amount (RDA)

adobo - Sauce or broth used to condiment certain foods in Spanish cuisine, particularly a sauce made with vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, paprika, and oregano used as marinade. In Mexico, ground chili is often added to adobo sauce.

aegir sauce - Hollandaise sauce flavored with powdered mustard.

agar - A setting agent made from seaweed which can be substituted for gelatin and it is suitable for vegetarians. It is a common jellying agent in Asian cuisine.

aging - The holding of meats over a period of time long enough to make them tender. To allow a wine to become mature.

ahi - Hawaiian name for yellowfin tuna. A tuna that can be about 300 pounds in weight. Ahi is relatively mild with pale pink flesh. However, the dark flesh, the blood line, must be removed because it is very bitter.

aioli or alioli - Crushed garlic and olive oil with salt or an emulsion of egg and olive oil with lemon juice, garlic, and salt, very much a mayonnaise with garlic.

ají - Peruvian chili pepper (capsicum baccatum)

a la anglaise - French for "in the English style" which is food either boiled or poached, or coated and fried.

a la Argenteuil - A dish containing asparagus (Argenteuil, a French town that is world renowned for its asparagus)

a la belle meuniere - first scrub the fish and then pan-fry in butter adding some lemon juice to the end, garnish with chopped parsley. This is especially good with lemon sole or thin white fish filets.

a la broche - Meat, fish, or vegetables broiled in a skewer.

a la carte - Cooked to order. In a restaurant, order from a menu on which each item is offered separately, priced separately. This is opposite to a set menu.

a la king - Food, usually chicken, cooked in a cream sauce that may also have mushrooms and peppers -sherry is another optional ingredient

a la mode - French for "in the manner of," meaning the style in which a dish is prepared. A pie accompanied of vanilla ice cream is said to be a la mode.

albumen - The white of an egg, which consists mainly of the protein albumin.Albumin is also found in animal blood, milk, plants and seeds.

alcohol - Alcohol is the product of the fermentation of starches and sugars. It is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid, and not very nutritive. Alcohol, however, gives character to beer, wine, and distilled liquors such as whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin. Alcohol is a source of energy, with 7 calories per gram, but it does not have other nutrients. Alcohol can act as a mild tranquilizer but depresses the central nervous system and it is toxic in large amounts.

al dente - Food, usually pasta or rice, cooked just until they resist slightly when chewed, from the Italian for "to the tooth,"

ale - An alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops, a type of beer.

Alfredo sauce - A pasta sauce consisting of butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. That was in its origins, modern versions add other ingredients.

allemande - A sauce made by adding lemon juice, egg yolks and heavy cream to a Veloute sauce made from chicken or veal stock. German style.

aliment - Food as nourishment, the nourishment or sustenance that food provides to maintain life and promote growth.

alimentation - The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth, nourishment, sustenance.

allspice - The dried, unripe berry of a small tree. It is available ground or in seed form, and widely used in cooking - Jamaica Pepper.

allumette - Potatoes cut into match stick size and fried, from the French for match.

allumettes - Thin puff pastry strips with a savory filling.

almond - The kernel of the fruit of the almond tree. Thre are two types Sweet almonds are delicious and healthy. Bitter almonds contain traces of a poisonous substance when raw.

almond extract - Flavoring produced by combining bitter almond oil with ethyl alcohol. 
almond oil - Oil obtained by pressing sweet almonds. 
almond paste - Paste made from blanched almonds, ground, sugar and a liquid, usually glycerin, used in confectionery. Similar to marzipan, but it is less sweet and with slightly coarser texture.

amandine - Garnished with almonds. Brown butter with sliced almonds and lemon juice, used as a sauce.

amandine sauce - A sauce made of brown butter, sliced almonds and lemon juice.

amaretti - Italian cookies made with bitter-almond paste or apricot-kernel paste.

amaretto - A liqueur with the flavor of almonds, originating from Saronno, Italy, now distilled in many other places. Usually made with apricot kernels.

amasake, amazake - Japanese fermented drink, sometimes more like a thick pudding, made from cooked rice and koji..

ambrosia - Food of the gods in Greek mythology - A dessert made with of chilled fruit mixed with coconut - A drink made by mixing brandy with cointreau, or raspberrry syrup, and crushed ice and then strained and topped with cold Champagne - A Brazilian rich egg custard flavored with cinnamon and cloves served as dessert, cold.

amino acids - Building blocks that make up proteins in tissues and muscle, also some hormones and enzymes. There are nine essential amino acids. The body needs to get these essential amino acids from food while it can make the remaining eleven.

anasazi bean - A type of bean discovered on an archaeological dig in Southwest USA. First known as New Mexico cave beans and then renamed anasazis. Anasazi beans are colored with speckles of red and white. They have a sweet which makes them a good addition to chili, salads and salsas. Prepare and store as other common beans: soaking overnight, bring to a boil and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours; store dried beans in an airtight container for up to 12 months.

anchovy - A small fish. The true anchovy comes from the Mediterranean and southern European coastlines. Often filleted, salt-cured, and canned in oil. Often used to flavor foods such as salads or pizza.

anise - A small, annual plant that is a member of the parsley family. The leaves and seed have a distinctive, sweet licorice flavor. The anise seed perfumes and flavors a variety of confections, savory dishes and drinks. Anise seed is used in Southeast Asia.

antioxidants - Antioxidants neutralize free radicals protencting key cell components form their damaging effects. Free radicals are natural byproducts of cell metabolism, formed when oxygen is used by the body. They travel through cells interacting with other molecules and disrupting their function. Such cell is believed to contribute to aging and some health problems.

appetizer - A bit-sized piece or small portion of food used to stimulate the appetite.

apple butter - A thick, dark brown preserve made by cooking apples, sugar, cider, and spices together over low heat for a long time. Used as a spread for bread.

antipasto - Italian appetizer of cured meats, cheeses and grilled or pickled vegetables usually served cold.

aperitif - A type of alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate appetite.

aphrodisiac - From Aphrodite, the goddess of love, in reference to food and drink, aphrodisiac are those which can supousedly increase attraction.

appetizer - A small piece of food eaten before a meal to stimulate appetite and stimulate the production of digestive juices.

arborio rice - Short grain Italian rice used for risottos.

aromatic - Having a pleasant fragrance. Usually applied to herbs, spices or vegetables, such as onions or garlic, able to give a distinctive flavor or aroma. Also, often used with wine.

aromatic herbs - Plants that impart a lively fragrance and flavor to food and drink.

artichoke - The bud of a large plant from the thistle family with tough, petal-shaped leaves.

artichoke heart - The tender core of the artichoke, particularly globe artichokes.

arugula - A slightly bitter salad green with a peppery mustard flavor.

aspic - A savory, usualy clear, jelly made of clarified stock and gelatin. The broth can be meat, fish, or vegetable stock. Aspic is used with cold meats or molded dishes. Tomato aspic is opaque because is made with tomato juice or tomato sauce.

aubergine - French word for eggplant, also used in British English.

au bleu - The method of poaching a freshly killed and cleaned fish, especially trout, in court bouillon.

au four - Baked in an oven.

au gratin - Food baked in a hot oven or under the broiler, often in a sauce topped with bread crumbs or cheese which gives the food a glazed or crusty surface.

au jus - Meat served with its natural juices, sometimes enriched with stock, butter or a mirepoix.

au lait - With milk.

aurore - A sauce with tomato puree or tomato concasé added to it.

azuki bean - A type of bean widely used in Japanese cuisine, also known as aduki or adzuki beans. They are small and red with a sweet flavor and soft texture. Azuki beans can accompany savory steamed rice dishes, or they can be boiled, mashed and sweetened to make red bean paste, which is used in all sorts of desserts, from puddings and pastries to shaved ice. Red beans are said to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits when scattered about the house at New Year. Prepare and store as other common beans: soaking dried beans overnight, bring to a boil and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours; store dried beans in an airtight container for up to 12 months.