Culinary terms which every foodie should know

Time to brush up your food glossary! Read on…

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Culinary terms which every foodie should know

Have you ever felt out of knowledge about the things you love? Happens a lot of times! Well, if you’re a fan of cooking or a die-hard foodie, here are some amazing culinary terms you should definitely know. So, the next time you and your friends are having a lil’ chat about food, you can boast some of your food vocab in front of them.

Time to brush up your food glossary! Read on…

  • A la carte: It is a French phrase which translates to “according to the menu.” It means the dishes in the menu that have to be separately ordered and are priced individually. It is also the antonym of ‘table d’hôte’ where restaurants offer a multi-course meal menu at a fixed price.
  • Blanching: A lot of you might have confused this term with boiling. But it’s far apart. Blanching is to dip into hot water and then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking, usually used for vegetables or fruits.
  • Braising: It is a dual-cooking method. First, sear the food at high heatand thenfinish it in a closedvessel at low temperature while adding in some liquid.
  • Chiffonade: This is a very popular French culinary term used torefer to chopping of vegetables and herbs in large strips. These are usually used as garnish.
  • Dredging: To coat wet, moist foods or any ingredient with dry flourbefore cooking/frying. This term might be something new to you but this is something you do quite often.
  • Emincer: A famous French term used forthin slicing of vegetables or fruits, a little similar to juliennes but shorter.
  • Flambé: The method of adding alcohol like brandy or rum to a hot pan to fashion a burst of flames. The French word literally means ‘flames.’
  • Galette: The word gale comes from the Norman dictionary which means ‘flat cake.’ Galette comes from the French cuisine which is a flat and round cake of pastry, often topped with fruits. It can also mean any food prepared and served in the shape of a flat round cake.
  • Kissing Crust: A romantic word from the culinary world which all the bakers should know. When a soft edge on a loaf of bread has touched another loaf while baking. It also remains soft due to its proximity to another.
  • Macerate: Softening or breaking down into pieces using liquid like sugar, water or alcohol. It is often used for fruits or vegetables to flavour them with the liquid.
  • Mise en place: Probably the most common French term meaning ‘everything in place’in English.It is the preparation of ingredients before cooking. Things like dicing vegetables or measuring spices, before you start cooking.
  • Mother sauces: There are 5 variations in French cuisine which are termed as mother sauces:  Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato. These are used as the base sauce to make other versions of the original one.
  • Oignon brule: This literally means ‘burnt onion,’ a term for charring onion halves. It is generally used to flavour and colour stocks and sauces.
  • Praline: A process of boiling nuts cooked in caramelised sugar until brown and crisp. It is used as a filling for chocolates and other sweet treats.

  • Quadriller: To make crisscross lines on the surface of food. It is a way of enhancing the food presentation.
  • Quatre-epices: It literally means ‘four spices.’ A finely ground mixture of pepper, nutmeg, dried gingerand cloves.
  • Scalding: To heat a liquid till it reaches its boiling point. The stage where bubbles start to appear around the edges.
  • Sweat: Gently heating vegetables in some oil by stirring to ensure any liquid emitted will evaporate by itself. It usually results in tendernessor sometimes translucence.
  • Tournée cut: This is when a vegetable is trimmed into 7-sided, oblong shapes.The procedure is to shape vegetables like carrots, potatoes, etc. in a distinct way which helpsthem cook evenly.