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Food's Glossary

A to Z commonly used food's glossary and cooking terms.



Ice cream
Ice cream (originally iced cream) is a frozen dessert made from dairy products such as cream (or substituted ingredients), combined with flavourings and sweeteners. This mixture is cooled while stirring to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Although the term "ice cream" is sometimes used to mean frozen desserts and snacks in general, it is usually reserved for frozen desserts and snacks made with a high percentage of milk fat. Frozen custard, ice milk, sorbet and other similar products are often also called ice cream.

Ice Milk
Ice milk is a frozen dessert with less than 10 percent milk fat and the same sweetener content as ice cream. Ice milk is typically priced lower than ice cream and is typically sold as a generic product.

Illawarra Plums
Illawarra plums are composed of two segments; a hard, dark inedible seed about 1 cm in diameter, and a large, fleshy, purple-black, seedless, grape-like "modified stalk" about 2.5 cm in diameter, all with a waxy coating.

Indian Fennel
Ancient Indians used fennel as a condiment and culinary spice. In Greece, it was a symbol of success. In Rome, the young fennel shoots were used as food. Pliny considered it good for improved vision. Culpeper recommends it as an antidote for poison. In India, it thrives in the sunny, limey, well-drained loam. The pleasingly warm, sweet smell and the clean appearance are clear indications of how well Indian fennel retains its exclusive quality even after drying.

To extract the flavour from herbs, spices, tea or coffee either by pouring on boiling water and allowing the water to take on the flavours before drinking hot, or by bringing the mixture to the boil and allowing it to cool.

Insalata Caprese (Salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad of sliced fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil from the Italian region of Campania. It is seasoned with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Oregano can be added as well. The main ingredients are similar to Pizza Margherita. Ideally, the mozzarella is di bufala della Campania, the olive oil is extra virgin from the peninsula of Sorrento and the tomatoes and basil are grown in the full sun of the mezzogiorno. The dish reproduces the colours of the flag of Italy. In a variation, mustard can be added between the slices of tomato and mozzarella.

Irish Coffee
A coffee drink made from strong black coffee, sugar and Irish whiskey, topped with fresh whipped cream and sometimes garnished with a coffee bean. It's served in a warmed Irish coffee glass - a tall glass with a handle.

Invert Sugar
Inverted sugar syrup is sucrose-based syrup treated with the enzyme invertase, and/or an acid, which splits each sucrose molecule into one glucose and one fructose molecule, giving a more rounded sweetness and preventing crystallization. This property is valued especially by bakers, who call the products trimoline. Inversion can be partial as in products like Golden syrup or complete (100% conversion to glucose and fructose) depending on the functional properties required,

Italian Dressing
Italian dressing in United States cooking is a vinaigrette-type salad dressing consisting of an emulsion of water, oil, vinegar or lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced onions and bell peppers, and a variety of herbs and spices including garlic, oregano, fennel, and dill. It is often bought bottled, or prepared by mixing oil and vinegar with a packaged flavoring mix consising of dehydrated vegetables and herbs.

Italian Sausages
are fresh pork sausages that include those in the style of northern Italy, which are sweet and mild, and sometimes flavored with fennel seed. Southern-style sausages, such as Neapolitan varieties, are often flavored with dried chili pepper flakes and tend to be hot.




The jalapeno is a small to medium-sized chile pepper that is prized for the hot, burning sensation that it produces in the mouth when eaten. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum.

Jam is a type of fruit preserve made by boiling fruit with sugar to make an unfiltered jelly. Jam is often spread on bread and also as a culinary sweetener, for example in yogurt.

A spicy Cajun rice dish popular throughout the American south but most often attributed to the cooking of New Orleans. There are lots of variations but essentially it's made with rice, ham or sausage, chicken, prawns, chillies, tomatoes and other vegetables.

Jasmine Rice
A fragrant long grain rice from Thailand that is distinctly aromatic, soft and sticky when cooked. The length of each grain four to five times its width.

A jelly is a sweet or savoury food gel, usually made through the addition of gelatin or pectin to edible liquids. Sweet jellies include pectin-based fruit jam or gelatin desserts such as Jell-O and blancmange. Savoury jellies include aspic or plain gelatine. Vegetarians and Vegans make jellies using seaweed-based agar as opposed to animal collagen-based gelatin. In the United States, the usual distinction between "jelly" and jam is that the latter contains visible pulp, seeds, or pieces of fruit, whereas the former does not. Gelatine desserts are not ordinarily referred to as "jelly" in the US, and it is rare (though not unheard of) to use the term for savoury foods of any description.

is a cooking method defined by the use of both a fiery blend of spices (allspice, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt, garlic, scallions and onions) and a process of slow-smoking over a low fire, preferably of pimento wood.

Modern beef jerky is essentially beef that has been cut into strips with the fat trimmed off, then marinated, and dried with low heat, usually under 160?F (70?C). The result is a strip of rather salty or semi-sweet beef snack that can be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration, similar to pemmican and biltong. Traditional beef jerky, made from sliced meat, is readily available in the USA in specialty stores and websites, as are similar, less expensive products made from processed and formed meat.

is a sweet, crunchy tropical tuber that resembles a radish in texture and a water chestnut in taste, and is enjoyed raw in salads and other cold dishes. The thin brown skin is first peeled away from the crisp white flesh. Choose jicamas that are firm and heavy. Store whole in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks; once cut, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for up to 1 week.

A Mexican style sour cream. It has equal or less fat content than the American sour cream. Some labels describe it as salted buttermilk, but its thicker; some call it a thin sour cream. The taste of jocoque ranges from mildly tangy to refreshingly sharp.

John Dory
A white-fleshed sea fish found in European waters, John Dory (also known as St Peter's fish), is an odd-looking creature with an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. The white boneless flesh from the fillets is firm and flavoursome and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, sautéing and poaching. It’s popular with chefs because it goes well with a wide variety of ingredients and flavourings. The bones from its head make an excellent stock. If you like sole and turbot then you’ll like John Dory.

Jonagold Apple
A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, New York native Jonagold offers a unique honey-tart flavor, and crispy, juicy nearly yellow flesh. It debuted in 1968, a product of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. With a yellow-green base skin color and a red-orange blush, it is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking. Jonagold is typically available October through July.

Vegetables or citrus zest shredded or cut into thin matchsticks or very fine shreds. They're often cooked in butter in a covered pan until quite soft and then used as a garnish, especially for soups and consommés. Raw vegetables to be served as an hors d'oeuvre can also be cut into julienne.

Juniper Berries
The darkish berries of the juniper tree provide one of the main flavourings for gin. These spicy, aromatic berries are also used, fresh or dried, crushed or whole, to flavour casseroles, marinades and stuffings. They are a good complement to pork - especially pork pâtés - as well as rabbit, beef and duck. They can also be used in sweet dishes such as fruitcake.

This French word is roughly the equivalent of 'juice', but it has more specific meanings in cookery, referring either to the juices that occur during the cooking process (in particular when roasting meat) or the juice squeezed from raw vegetables or fruit.



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