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Culinary dictionary

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All words: 65

Cabbage - 
The word cabbage is a derivation of the French word caboche, a colloquial term for "head." The cabbage family - of which Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale are all members - is wide and varied. Cabbage itself comes in many forms - the shapes can be flat, conical or round, the heads compact or loose, and the leaves curly or plain. In the United States, the most widely used cabbage comes in compact heads of waxy, tightly wrapped leaves that range in color from almost white to green to red. Savoy cabbage and Chinese cabbage are considered culinarily superior but are less readily available. Choose a cabbage with fresh, crisp-looking leaves that are firmly packed; the head should be heavy for its size. Cabbage may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for about a week. It can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw, as in slaw. Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, contains a good amount of vitamin C and some vitamin A.

Cabernet Franc - 
[KA-behr-nay FRAHN, , FRAN , GK] Although similar in structure and flavor to Cabernet Sauvignon, this red wine grape is not quite as full-bodied, and has fewer tannins and less acid. It is, however, more aromatic and herbaceous. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc grows in cooler climates and ripens early. Therefore, it can be particularly important if weather conditions create a less-than-perfect Cabernet Sauvignon crop. Under such circumstances, the addition of Cabernet Franc might salvage the vintage.

Cabernet Sauvignon - 
[ka-behr-NAY soh-vihn-YOHN, soh-vee-NYAWN ] The most successful and popular of the top-quality red-wine grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon is the basis for most of California`s superb red wines and the primary grape of most of the top vineyards in Bordeaux`s Medoc and Graves districts. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is most often blended with one or more of the following grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. In California, wines are more often made with 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, although some blending is now taking place. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce full-bodied, fruity wines that are rich, complex and intensely flavorful. There are a multitude of well-made Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made throughout the world.

Cabinet pudding - 
This classic English dessert is made with layers of bread, cake or ladyfingers (which may be soaked with liqueur), dried fruit and custard. The pudding is baked, unmolded and usually served with creme anglaise. Another version of cabinet pudding uses gelatin and whipped cream; rather than being baked, it's simply chilled until set.

Cacao - 
[kah-KAY-oh, kah-KAH-oh] The tropical, evergreen cacao tree is cultivated for its seeds (also called beans), from which cocoa butter, chocolate and cocoa powder are produced.

Cacciatore - 
[kah-chuh-TOR-ee] Italian for "hunter", this American-Italian term refers to food prepared "hunter-style", with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, various herbs and sometimes wine. Chicken cacciatore is the most popular dish prepared in this style.

Caerphilly cheese - 
[kar-FIHL-ee] This mild yet tangy cow`s-milk cheese has a moist, semifirm texture and is generally sold in cylinders or blocks. It`s best eaten fresh (the English prefer it only a few weeks old) and is delicious with dark breads and ale. Though now produced in England, Caerphilly gets its name from the village in Wales where it was first made; it was the traditional lunch of Welsh miners.

Caesar salad - 
[SEE-zer] A salad consisting of greens (classically, romaine lettuce) tossed with a garlic vinaigrette dressing (made with worcestershire sauce and lemon juice), grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, a coddled egg and sometimes anchovies. It is said to have been created in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.

Cafe - 
[ka-FAY] 1. The French word for "coffee". 2. A small, unpretentious restaurant.

Cafe au lait - 
[ka-fay oh-LAY] French for "coffee with milk". It usually consists of equal portions of scalded milk and coffee.

Cafe brulot - 
ka-fay broo-LOH] A traditional New Orleans flaming brew consisting of coffee blended with spices, orange and lemon peel and brandy. Cafe brulot is generally made in a flameproof bowl and ladled into cups. In French, brulot means "burnt brandy".

Cafe filtre - 
[ka-fay FEEL-tr , ay] French term meaning "filtered coffee" and referring to coffee made by pouring very hot water through a filter holding ground coffee. It`s traditionally served black, in demitasse cups.

Cafe latte - 
[ka-fay LAH-tay] Espresso combined with a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk, usually served in a tall glass mug.

Cafe macchiato - 
[ka-fay mah-kee-YAH-toh] An espresso with a dollop of steamed-milk foam, served in an espresso cup.

Cafe mocha - 
[ka-fay MOH-kah] Espresso combined with chocolate syrup and a liberal amount of foamy steamed milk. A cafe mocha is usually served in a tall glass mug.

Caffeine - 
[ka-FEEN] An organic compound found in foods such as chocolate, coffee, cola nuts and tea. Scientific studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the nervous system, kidneys and heart, causes the release of insulin in the body and dilates the blood vessels.

Cake - 
A sweet, baked confection usually containing flour, sugar, flavoring ingredients and eggs or other leavener such as baking powder or baking soda.

Cala - 
[kah-LAH] The word "cala" comes from an African word for "rice," and refers to a deep-fried pastry made with rice, yeast, sugar and spices. Calas resemble small, round doughnuts without a hole and are usually sprinkled with confectioners` sugar.

Caldo - 
[KAHL-doh] 1. Italian for "warm" or "hot." 2. The Spanish and Portuguese word meaning "broth" or "soup."

Calvados - 
[KAL-vah-dohs] A dry apple brandy made in Calvados, in the Normandy region of northern France. It`s often used for cooking, particularly in chicken, pork and veal dishes.

Calzone - 
[kal-ZOH-nay, kahl-SOH-neh] Originating in Naples, calzone is a stuffed pizza that resembles a large turnover. It is usually made as an individual serving. The fillings can be various meats, vegetables or cheese; mozzarella is the cheese used most frequently. Calzones can be deep-fried or brushed with olive oil and baked.

Cambric tea - 
[KAYM-brihk] An American term used to describe a hot drink of milk, water, sugar and, if desired, a dash of tea. It was a favorite of children and the elderly in the late 19th and early 20th century. The name is taken from a fabric called cambric, which is white and thin ... just like the "tea."

Campari - 
[kahm-PAH-ree] A popular bitter Italian aperirif, which is often mixed with soda. It`s also consumed without a mixer and used in some COCKTAILS. Regular Campari has an astringent, bittersweet flavor; sweet Campari is also available.

Canadian whisky - 
Dropping the "e" from whiskey is traditionally British and is used in the spelling of Canadian whisky. Made only in Canada, this distilled blend of rye, corn, wheat and barley is smoother and lighter than its cousins, rye and bourbon.

Canape - 
[KAN-uh-pay, KAN-uh-pee] Small, decorative pieces of bread (toasted or untoasted) that are topped with a savory garnish such as anchovy, cheese or some type of spread. Crackers or pastry may also be used as a base. Canapes may be simple or elaborate, hot or cold. They`re usually served as an appetizer with cocktails. The word "canape" is French for "couch."

Canard - 
[kah-NARD, kah-NAR] The French word for "duck."

Candied apple; candy apple - 
An apple that`s coated with a cinnamon-flavored red sugar syrup. This candy coating can either be crackly-hard or soft and gooey. A candied-apple clone is the caramel apple, which has a thick, soft caramel-flavored coating. Both versions are served on sticks for portable eating.

Candy - 
n. Any of a number of various confections - soft and hard - composed mainly of sugar with the addition of flavoring ingredients and fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, nougat, fruits and so on. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candies. v. To sugar-coat various fruits, flowers and plants such as cherries, pineapple, citrus rinds, angelica, ginger, chestnuts, violets, miniature rose petals and mint leaves.

Cane syrup - 
Made from sugar cane, this thick, extremely sweet syrup is used in Caribbean and Creole cookery and is available in shops specializing in those cuisines.

Cannelloni - 
[kan-eh-LOH-nee] Large pasta tubes (or squares of pasta that have been rolled into tubes) that are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked with a sauce.

Cannoli - 
[kan-OH-lee] An Italian dessert consisting of tubular or horn-shaped pastry shells that have been deep-fried, then filled with a sweetened filling of whipped ricotta (and often whipped cream) mixed with bits of chocolate, candied citron and sometimes nuts.

Cantal - 
[kahn-TAHL] A semifirm cow`s milk cheese from the department of Cantal in south-central France. Cantal has a smooth texture and a mellow, nutty flavor similiar to that of cheddar cheese.

Capelli d`angelo - 
[ka-PELL-ee DAN-zheh-low] Italian for "angel hair" (which this pasta is also called), this term describes a long, delicate, extremely thin noodle. Because they are so fine, capelli d`angelo must be served either in a very light sauce or in a simple broth.

Caponata - 
[kap-oh-NAH-tah] A Sicilian dish that is generally served as a salad, side dish or relish. Caponata is composed of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, pine nuts, capers and vinegar, all cooked together in olive oil. It`s most often served at room temperature.

Cappelletti - 
[kap-peh-LEHT-tee] Small, stuffed squares of pasta, similar to ravioli. The stuffing is usually ground meat, but can also be made from cheese or vegetables. The name is taken from the plural of the Italian word cappelletto, which means "little hat."

Cappuccino - 
[kap-poo-CHEE-noh] An Italian coffee made by topping espresso with the creamy foam from steamed milk. Some of the steamed milk is also added to the mix. The foam`s surface may be dusted with sweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon.

Carafe - 
[kuh-RAF] A decorative beverage container, usually narrow-necked and fitted with a stopper. Carafes are generally made of glass and used for cold beverages.

Caramel - 
[KEHR-ah-mehl, KAR-ah-mehl] A mixture produced when sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown (from 320? to 350?F on a candy thermometer). Water can be added to thin the mixture. Caramel is used to flavor soups, stocks and sauces - sweet and savory. It`s also used in desserts.

Caraway seed - 
[KEHR-uh-way] These aromatic seeds come from an herb in the parsley family. They have a nutty, delicate anise flavor and are widely used in German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. Caraway seeds flavor many foods including cheese, breads, cakes, stews, meats, vegetables.

Carbonnade - 
[kar-boh-NAHD] A French term for meat cooked over hot coals or directly over flames.

Carbonnade a la flamande - 
[kar-boh-NAHD ah-lah flah-MAHND] Beer, bacon, onions and brown sugar flavor this thick Belgian beef stew from Flanders. Also referred to as carbonnade of beef.

Carnitas - 
[kahr-NEE-tahz] Mexican for "little meats," this dish is simply small bits or shreds of well browned pork. It`s made from an inexpensive cut of pork that's simmered in a small amount of water until tender, then finished by cooking the pieces in pork fat until nicely browned all over.

Carp - 
The principal ingredient in the Jewish dish gefilte fish, carp is a freshwater fish native to Asia but found throughout the world. It ranges in size from 2 to 7 pounds and favors muddy waters, which often give a mossy flavor to the lean, white flesh. This musky nuance is least evident from November to April. Carp is best baked, fried or poached.

Carpaccio - 
[kahr-PAH-chee-oh] Italian in origin, carpaccio consists of thin shavings of raw beef fillet, which may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or served with a mayonnaise or mustard sauce. The dish is often topped with capers and sometimes onions. It`s generally served as an appetizer.

Carrot - 
This member of the parsley family has lacy green foliage and long, slender, edible orange roots. Carrots have been renowned for over 2,000 years for their health-giving properties and high vitamin A content. They`re available year-round, making them a highly popular vegetable. If buying carrots with their greenery, make sure the leaves are moist and bright green; the carrots should be firm and smooth.

Casein - 
[KAY-seen, KAY-see-ihn] The prinicipal protein in milk, which coagulates with the addition of rennin and is the foundation for cheese. Casein is also used in the production of nonfood items such as adhesives, paints and plastics.

Cashew nut - 
A kidney-shaped nut that grows out from the bottom of the cashew apple. The shell is highly toxic so great care is taken in shelling and cleaning the nut. Cashew nuts have a sweet, buttery flavor and contain about 48 percent fat. Because of their high fat content, they should be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator to retard rancidity.

Cassareep - 
[KAS-sah-reep] Used primarily in West Indian cookery, cassareep is a bittersweet condiment made by cooking the juice of bitter cassava with brown sugar and spices until it reduces to a syrup. Bottled cassareep can be found in Caribbean markets.

Casserole - 
This term refers to both a baking dish and the ingredients it contains. A "casserole dish" usually refers to a deep, round, ovenproof container with handles and a tight-fitting lid. It can be glass, metal, ceramic or any other heatproof material. A casserole`s ingredients can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice and anything else that might seem appropriate. Often a topping such as cheese or bread crumbs is added for texture and flavor.

Catawba grape - 
[kuh-TAW-buh] Grown on the East Coast, this purplish-red grape is medium-size and oval in shape. It has seeds and an intense, sweet flavor. The Catawba grape is available from September to November but is mainly used commercially (for jams, jellies and white wines), and is rarely found in the market.

Cats` tongues - 
Also known as langues-de-chat (French for "cats` tongues"), these long, thin cookies resemble their namesakes in shape. They are light, dry and slightly sweet. Cats` tongues may be flavored with citrus zest, chocolate or flavoring extracts. Two are sometimes sandwiched together with jam or another sweet filling; they may also be frosted.

Caudiere; caudree - 
[koh-DYEHR, koh-DRAY] A French seafood stew or soup based on mussels and onions.

Cauliflower - 
The name of this elegant member of the cabbage family comes from the Latin caulis ("stalk") and floris ("flower"). Cauliflower comes in three basic colors: white, green and purple. All cauliflower is composed of bunches of tiny florets on clusters of stalks. Some white varieties have a purple or greenish tinge. Choose a firm cauliflower with compact florets; the leaves should be crisp and green with no sign of yellowing. The size of the head doesn`t affect the quality. Refrigerate raw cauliflower, tightly wrapped, for 3 to 5 days.

Caviar - 
[KA-vee-ahr, KAH-vee-ahr] This elegant and expensive appetizer is simply sieved and lightly salted fish roe (eggs). Sturgeon roe is premium and considered the "true" caviar. The three main types of caviar are beluga, osetra and sevruga. The best (and costliest) is from the beluga sturgeon. Caviar production is a major industry for both countries. Beluga caviar is prized for its soft, extremely large (pea-size) eggs. It can range in color from pale silver-gray to black. Next in quality is the medium-sized, gray to brownish gray osetra, and the smaller, gray sevruga caviar.

Celery - 
Before the sixteenth century, celery was used exclusively as a medicinal herb. Now it`s become one of the most popular vegetables of the Western world. Celery grows in bunches that consist of leaved ribs surrounding the tender, choice heart.

Celery salt - 
A seasoning that is a blend of ground celery seed and salt.

Cereal - 
[SEER-ee-uhl] Breakfast cereals are processed foods (usually ready-to-eat) made from cereal grains. W. H. Kellogg and C. W. Post were the first to begin mass-producing these foods, which have become a morning meal staple in the United States.

Cereal grains - 
Cereal includes any plant from the grass family that yields an edible grain (seed). The most popular grains are barley, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale, wheat and wild rice. Because cereals are inexpensive, are a readily available source of protein and have more carbohydrates than any other food, they`re a staple throughout the world.

Cervelat - 
[SER-vuh-lat] A style of sausage that combines chopped pork and/or beef with various mixtures of herbs, spices and other flavorings like garlic or mustard. Cervelats are uncooked but perfectly safe to eat without cooking because they have been preserved by curing, drying and smoking.

Ceylon tea - 
One of the world`s most popular teas, Ceylon is a black pekoe tea whose leaves have been fermented before drying. A two-temperature drying process seals in essential oils that give this tea its special flavor. This superior tea originated in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but is now grown in other countries such as India and China.

Challah; hallah; challa - 
[KHAH-lah, HAH-lah] Served on the Sabbath, holidays, other ceremonial occasions and for everyday consumption, challah is a traditional Jewish yeast bread. It`s rich with eggs and has a light, airy texture. Though it can be formed into many shapes, braided challah is the most classic form.

Chalupa - 
[chah-LOO-pah] Spanish for "boat" or "launch," a chalupa is a corn tortilla dough formed into a small boat shape and fried until crisp. It`s then usually filled with shredded beef, pork or chicken, vegetables, cheese or a combination of these, and served as an appetizer.

Champ - 
A traditional Irish dish made by combining mashed potatoes and green onions with plenty of butter.

Champagne - 
This most celebrated sparkling wine always seems to signal "special occasion." Though bubbling wines under various appellations abound throughout the world, true champagne comes only from the Champagne region in northeast France. Good champagne is expensive not only because it`s made with premium grapes, but because it`s made by the methode champenoise. This traditional method requires a second fermentation in the bottle as well as some 100 manual operations (some of which are mechanized today). Champagnes can range in color from pale gold to apricot blush. Their flavors can range from toasty to yeasty and from dry (no sugar added) to sweet.

Champignon - 
[sham-pee-NYOHN ] The French word for an edible "mushroom," generally the button variety. The term aux champignons refers to dishes garnished with mushrooms or served with a mushroom sauce.

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