top of page

Culinary Terms

1. ABATS- meat items such as offal’s, heads, liver, kidney etc.

2. AIGULETTES- thin strips of the fish, breast of poultry, cut lengthwise.

3. AGING- to improve the tenderness of meat which is held at a cold temperature,

4. A LA- according to the style or a standard in vogue, such as a la francaise or according to the French way.

5. A LA BOURGEOISE- family style-plain.

6. A LA BROCHE- cooked and roasted on a skewer. Meat or seafood served on a skewer.

7. A LA CARTE- food prepared to order; each dish priced separately.

8. ANGLAISE- to cook anglaise means to cook plainly in water. It also means the preparation of a dish dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and fried.

9. APPETISER- it is the first course, and it stimulates the appetite. Fruit juices, sherry, cocktails or titbits could be served.

10. AROMATES- vegetable like carrots, turnips, onions, leeks, herbs and spices that impart aroma to the dish they are put in.

11. ASPIC- clear meat or poultry jelly. It is a gelatine in a thin syrupy stage used to decorate dishes in the larder.

12. ARROSER- to baste as in roasting.

13. ASSORTI- an assortment.

14. AU BLEU- in French, it means underdone, i.e the meat is not cooked properly, another meaning is preparing and cooking of a live trout in cooking liquor.

15. AU FOUR- Baked in the oven.

16. AU GRATIN- Food covered with a sauce sprinkled with cheese breadcrumbs, dotted with butter and baked or gratinated in a salamander.

17. AU JUS- served with natural juices or gravy.

18. AU NATURAL- served in a simple unadorned style.

19. BABA- A yeast raised cake. A famous variety is flavoured and soaked in rum before serving. Fruit, whipped cream is added. Baba au rum is cooked in rum.

20. BAIN-MARIE- a hot water bath in which utensils containing various culinary preparations are immersed to warm or for the purpose of poaching and reheating.

21. BAKING- usually the food is put in the oven and cooked by dry heat.

22. BARBECUE- A party in which usually meat (sometimes a whole carcass of animal fixed in a rod) is basted and in front of the people. It is usually held in the open. Meat roasted in open fire is known as barbecued meat.

23. BARDING- pieces of pork fat placed over the lean meat, fish or the breast of a bird to prevent drying.

24. BARQUETTE- a boat shaped pastry tartlet with a filling.

25. BASTE- to moisten food product with drippings or fat while cooking. The other term for it is spooning of fat.

26. BARON- a double sirloin and rump of beef; also, the saddle and two legs of lamb.

27. BAT- To flatten slices of raw meat with cutlet bat, dipping it in water to prevent meat from sticking to the bat.

28. BATTER- mixture of flour and liquid of a consistency that can be stirred. Batter could be plain or with eggs. For the beignets and fritters, food items are dipped in the batter and fried.

29. BEATING- regular lifting motion to bring mixture to smooth texture.

30. BECHAMEL- A basic sauce, white in colour, prepared with flour, butter and milk.

31. BEURRE FONDUE- melted butter.

32. BEURRE NOISETTE- butter heated to a nut-brown colour.

33. BEURRE NOIR- Butter heated to a very dark brown colour.

34. BEURRE MANIE- equal quantities of flour and butter put in sauces, etc, for thickening.

35. BEIGNETS- Fritters, savoury or sweet, e.g. banana beignet. Bind to cohere, unite or hold together. To the croquette mixture, egg is added to bind.

36. BISQUE- a thick sauce or soup from shellfish or game.

37. BLANC- white

38. BLANCHING- to submerge in boiling water for short time. It is done in many ways; tomatoes are dipped in boiling water to blanch, i.e. to remove the skin. cauliflower is dipped in boiling water to white the colour. French fried potatoes are put in hot fat to let a skin from and to partially cook them.

39. BLANQUETTE- a white stew of veal which has been stiffened in butter and then cooked in white sauce.

40. BLEND- thorough mixing of two or more ingredients.

41. BOMBE- a frozen dessert. A combination of two or more frozen mixtures (ice-cream, sherbets or mousse) packed in a round or melon shaped mould and frozen.

42. BOUILLON- soup made of stock which is not as strong as consommé but stronger than broth.

43. BOUCHEE- very small meat patty or pastry shell filled with meat, poultry or lobster.

44. BOUILLABAISE- the French provencale “stew” made of numerous types of fish; combined with savoury spices and oil, served with toasted French garlic bread.

45. BORTSCH- an unpassed soup with an accent on beetroot and is duck flavoured. Native of Poland or Russia. The accompaniments are sour cream, duck bouchee and beetroot juice.

46. BOUQUET GARNI- A bouquet of fresh herbs such as parsley, bay leaf, thyme tied together in a cheese cloth bag, to flavour soups, stews and removed before dish is served.

47. BRIOCHE- A feathery light yeast cake. A favourite breakfast bun in France.

48. BROIL- The ancient term for grilling.

49. BRUNOISE- cut into fine dices.

50. BUFFET- display of ready to eat foods. often self-service from a table of assorted foods.

51. CAFE- coffee

52. CANDYING- cooked fruit in heavy syrup until transparent. then drained and dried.

53. CANAPE- small pieces of fried or toasted bread topped with a wide variety of colourful appetisers. Eaten with fingers. Small fancy opens faced item.

54. CARTE DE JOUR- menu for the day.

55. CANNELONI- Italian farinaceous dish. It is a pasta preparation stuffed with savoury minced meat and rolled into cigar shapes.

56. CAPON- a young male bird which has been castered to improve flavour and to fatten.

57. CARMELIZE- To heat sugar until it turns dark brown. Used for coating moulds and flavouring dishes.

58. CASSOULET- A hot hors d’oeuvre shaped like a small drum.

59. CASSEROLE- An earthenware or pyrex fireproof dish with a lid.

60. CAVIAR- Salted roe or eggs of fish, usually sturgeon, served as a sandwich spread or in plates as appetisers.

61. CEPES- species of mushrooms.

62. CHAMPIGNONS- mushrooms

63. CHANTILLY CREAM- whipped cream.

64. CHAPELURE- crumbs made from dried bread.

65. CHATEAUBRIAND- A steak cut from the head of the beef usually broiled. The steak has been named after the viscount of chateaubriand.

66. CLARIFICATION- to make clear, e.g. fat, stock or jelly, chaudfroid velouté or demi- glaze with aspic or gelatine used for masking cold dishes.

67. CHIFFONADE- shreds of lettuce or sorrel.

68. CHINOISE- A conical shaped wire mesh strainer.

69. CISEL- To cut a vegetable after the manner of a chaff cutting machine.

70. COAGULATION- Proteins solidifying after the application of heat e.g. fried egg.

71. COAT- Cover with sauce.

72. CLOCHESOUS- under bell, usually glass.

73. CLOUTE- studded, e.g. clove, bay leaf in an onion.

74. COCOTTE- porcelain or earthenware fireproof dish.

75. CODDLING- Cooking below boiling point, e.g. coddled eggs.

76. COMPOTE- A dish of stewed stewed fruit retaining in their natural shape.

77. COOK OUT- process of cooking the flour in the roux, sauce or soup.

78. CONCASSE- coarsely chopped, e.g. blanched tomatoes or parsley, etc.

79. CONDIMENTS- Seasonings.

80. CORRECTING- Adjusting the seasoning, consistency and colour of a dish.

81. CONSOMME- Clear soup made from minced meat, aromatic vegetables, herbs and stocks, etc. It is clarified with egg white.

82. CORDON- To have a thin line of sauce.

83. COULIS- An essence made from shellfish, also used as a sauce.

84. COURT BOUILLON- A lightly flavoured cooking liquor in which fish is cooked.

85. CONTRE FILLET- Sirloin of beef, deboned.

86. COTE-A rib or chop

87. CORDON- A thread or thin line of sauce.

88. CRACKLING- The rind of roast pork. Crepe pancake.

89. CROUTE- Rounds made out of bread or brioche dough used as hors d’oeuvres or as a garnish.

90. CROQUETTES- Thick white sauce or mashed potato base, plus minced meat, fish or vegetables shaped as pipes dipped in beaten eggs, breadcrumbs and deep fried.

91. CROUTONS- Small dices of fancy shapes or fried or toasted bread used as a garnish for soups or as underliner for all kind of canapés.

92. CUISINE- Art of cooking, preparation in the kitchen. Cult cooked.

93. DARIOLE- A deep round sloping sided mould like a flowerpot.

94. DARNE- A section of fish cut across the bone of a large whole round fish.

95. DEGLACE- To swill a pan in which food has been cooked with wine/stock to use the sediment and essences.

96. DEMI- Half

97. DEMIGLAZE- Brown sauce made by reducing equal quantities of brown stock and brown sauce(espagnole). Diable devilled.

98. DRAIN- Place food cooked in a strainer or colander.

99. DURUM WHEAT- Hard wheat with gluten content used for making pasta and semolina.

100. DREDGING- Coating with dry ingredients, e.g. sugar or flour.

101.DEPOUILLER- To skim.

102.DOCKING- Making holes in pastry goods to allow steam to pass.

103. DUXELLE- Minced vegetables stuffing or forcemeat consisting of mushrooms, parsley and shallots.

104. DRIPPINGS- The fat and juice which drops from roasting meats, animal fat is also called dripping.

105. DUST- Sprinkling fine sugar or flour.

106. EGG WASH- Brush food item with egg yolk.

107.EMINCE- Cut fine or shredded fine.

108.EMULSION- A mixture-oil and yolk incorporated, does not separate on standing, e.g. mayonnaise, hollandaise.

109.ENCASSEROLE- Food served in the same dish in which it was cooked.

110. ENTREE- A main dish of meat or poultry for an informal meal.

111. ENTREMET- Refers to the sweet course, cold or hot.

112. EPIGRAMME- Boned breast of lamb.

113.ESCALOPES- To cut thin slices sideways.

114. ESTOUFFADE- Brown stock.

115. ESPAGNOLE- Basic brown sauce.

116. ETAMINE- Tammy or double thickness of cheese cloth for straining soups and sauces.

117. FLEURON- Small crescent shape, puff pastry, used as garnish for poached fish, meat, etc.

118.FARCE- Stuffing, and farci means stuffed.

119. FARINACEOUS- It is a word derived from the Latin word “farina’’ meaning flour, a wide range of dishes mostly made from flour, e.g. spaghetti, macaroni, etc.

120. FILLETS- Boneless flesh under the loin of beat, veal or pork.

121.FLAKE- To break into natural segment(fish).

122. FLORENTINE- With spinach.

123.FLUTE- A long crisp roll of bread, thin slices cut on a slant and used for garnishing soups.

124.FOIS GRAS- Flatted goose liver.

125.FOOL- A cold sweet dish made with sieved fruit and whipped to a light mixture served with cream.

126. FORCEMEAT- Mixture of minced or chopped meat and seasoning used for stuffing.

127. FRAPPE- Partially frozen drinks or desserts.

128.FRICADELLES- Meat balls or round cakes made with either raw or cooked meat.

129. FRICANDEAU- is a slice of veal taken from the topside of veal and cut with the grain 11/2’’ thickness.

130.FRICASSEE- Small pieces of chicken, veal or rabbit cooked in white sauce, with the addition of mushrooms, onions, etc. The other name for it is white stew.

131. FRITTERS- Small pieces of vegetables, fruit, cheese, etc, dipped in batter and deep fried.

132. FRITURE- A pan that contains deep fat.

133. FRIZZLING- Cooking in small amount of fat until crisp.

134. FUMET- A kind of essence extracted from the bones and skin of fish.

135. GALANTINE- Deboned chicken or fish or meat is minced and stuffed. The forcemeat is seasoned mixed with eggs and cream(optional). Placed in a mould with jelly and served cold. Served at cold buffets or as cold meats for meals.

136. GARNISH- To embellish, to decorate, “farniture” in French means to garnish.

137.GELATINE- A soluble protein got from cow’s hoofs. Sold in powder form or in sheets. Used for jellies and for preparing aspics.

138.GHERKINS- Small cucumbers (a few day old) usually pickled.

139.GIBLETS- Liver, heart and trimmings from poultry.

140. GLAZE- A semi-transparent or glossy coating. Also, to colour, gives elasticity to a dough.

141.GLUTEN- Vegetables protein found in cereal especially flour.

142. GNOCCHI- Italian-light dumplings usually made from farina (cream of wheat)

143.GOULASH- A Hungarian beef stew with onions, tomatoes and paprika.

144. GOURMET- Connoisseur of food and drinks known as in epicure.

145. GRENADINE- Slices of veal, a little thicker than escalopes.

146.GRATINATE- To colour under a salamander or in the oven.

147.GRIDDLE- To cook on a solid surface or plate.

148. HASH- It is usually a rechauffe dish. A dish of meat diced or minced and seasoned.

149.HORS D’OEUVRES- Small relishes or appetisers. Served as first course of meal.

150. INDIEHNE- An oriental dish. Indian style dish.

151. INFUSION- Liquid obtained from steeping a food. E.g. coffee and tea.

152.INCISE- To make small cuts across the back of fish prior to cooking.

153. ISINGLASS- Fish gelatine (used for clarification).

154. JARDINIERE- Vegetables cut into batons.

155. JULIENNES- Refers to vegetables and meat cut into fine strips (match size) for soups and salads.

156. JUNKET- It is a light, easily digestible dish, good for invalids and children. It is a set milk product because of the addition of rennet. It can be flavoured.

157.KEDGEREE- It is an anglo-indian dish of fish, rice, eggs and curried dish.

158.KOSHER- Meat sold within 48 hrs after holding, in accordance with prescribed Hebrew religious laws or style of jewish cooking with restrictions.

159.KROMESKEYS- Similar to croquettes but it is dipped in a yeast batter and deep fried.

160.LANGOUSTE- Crayfish.

161.LANGOUSTINE- Spiny lobster.

162. LIASION- Cream and eggs, blood, flour is used as thickening agents for soups and sauces.

163. LARDING- Strips of pork fat inserted into meat with the aid of a larding needle. This keeps the meat moist.

164. MACEDOINE- mixture of fruit and vegetables cut in even pieces; fruit salad.

165. MAITRE D’HOTEL- Sauce of softened butter, parsley, lemon juice butter chilled and served with fish, steak, etc.

166. MARASHCHINO- Italian cherry cordial. Also, a type of cherries.

167.MARINADE- A spiced mixture of vinegar, oil, spices or wine.

168.MARMITE- Stock-pot, or earthenware pot in which soup is served.

169. MACERATE- To soak (in flavoured syrup, wine or liquor) often applied to fruits.

170. MANDOLIN- A hand held machine used for slicing vegetables, potatoes.

171. MASKING- To cover completely (usually with a sauce).

172. MATELOTES- Fish stew with wine, onions and seasonings.

173. MATIGNON- Minced aromatic vegetables, ham (optional) thyme, bay leaf, used in dishes to impart good flavour.

174. MEDIALLION- Round flat shaped piece of fish or meat.

175. MENU- List of fare.

176.MIGNONETTE PEPPER- Coarsely ground pepper.

177. MIREPOIX- Carrots, onions, celery, pork (salted optional) cut into fine dices, with thyme, bay leaf improves the flavour of the dish.

178. MISE-EN-PLACE- Basic preparation in the kitchen before serving.

179. MONO SODIUM- A flavouring added to meat products to increase glutamate flavour. Known as Chinese salt.

180.MORTIFIER- To hand meat so as to tenderize it.

181. MOUSSE- Applied to a very light dessert generally prepared with whipped cream. Egg whites, gelatine and sugar, etc. Chilled and frozen. Also referred to meat dishes with egg, cream, gelatine and seasoning served for cold buffets.

182. NAPPER- To coat or mask with sauce.

183. NAVARIN- mutton stew with carrots and turnips.

184. NOODLES- Narrow strips of dried dough, used in soups, as garnishes and also used for Chinese dishes.

185. PANADA- Thick white sauce.

186. PARBOIL- To partially cook.

187.PARMESAN- Italian cooking cheese. Hard sharp cheese, used as garnishes for soups and used for sauce etc.

188. PAUPIETTE- stuffed rolled thin slices of meat, etc. Braised.

189. PAYSANNE- Cut into uniform shapes, whether it is round, or triangles, etc.

190. PIMENTOS- Red sweet Spanish pepper pod.

191. PIQUANT- Highly seasoned, tangy.

192. PLAT DU JOUR- Special dish of the day.

193. POISSON- Fish in French.

194. POTAGE- Soup usually thickened.

195. PUREE- pulp or paste of vegetables or fruit, also a thick soup.

196. QUENELLES- Very light dumplings, which are made out of fish, chicken, or meat, poached and used as a garnish.

197.RAGOUT- Thick savoury stew.

198.RAMEKINS- Food baked in shallow baking china dishes, individuals small baking dishes.

199. RASPINGS- Fine breadcrumbs.

200. RECHAUFFE- A re-heated dish.

201. REDUCE- To concentrate a liquid by boiling, usually without a lid.

202.REISH- A highly seasoned food item used as an accompaniment.

203. ROYAL- Used as a garnish for soups, cubes of savoury custard. Also, the name of a kind of icing.

204. SABOYON- A griller with heat from above open front so that the dishes could be placed on shelf for gratinating.

205. SALAMI- Sausage of pork, beef, highly seasoned

206. SEARING- Browning surface by intense heat, usually meat. To form a protective coating of coagulated proteins to retain the juices of the meat.

207.SCORE- To cut slits in the fat piece of pork before roasting.

208.SKEWER- A metal or wooden pin to hold meat or poultry pieces while cooking, e.g. seekh kabab, shami kababs.

209. SOUSE- Herrings, etc. Pickled in vinegar and spices.

210.SOUFFLE-Light puffed baked custard.

211. SPIT- Pointed metal rod to hold meat or poultry for roasting.

212.SUPREME- A Fillet of a deboned fish or breast of a chicken. It is the tender portion of the bird.

213. TABLE D’ HOTE- Fixed price meal. A meal of definite number of courses.

214. TERRINE- Forcemeat stuffing moulded cooked and serve cold.

215.TIMBALE- A cup shaped mould usually made from meat,fish or vegetables added to a custard mixture and finally decorated.

216. TRIPE- The white fatty inner lining of the stomach, chiefly ox which has large amount of connective tissue which gelatinizes on boiling and so it is easily digestible.

217. TRONCON- A slice of flat fish with the bone.

218. VOL AU VENT- Puff pastry case.

219. WOK- A concave pan used for stir frying.

220.WHIPPING- Rapid beating to increase the volume of mixing air.

221. ZEST- The rind of orange or lemon grated and used for flavouring.

222. ZUPPA- Italian soup.



Recent Posts




bottom of page