A Blanc – French for “in white”. Usually used to describe cream sauces, or meats that are prepared without browning them. Acetic acid – Formed when airborne bacteria interacts with fermented products (beer, wine, etc.). It is what makes vinegar sour to the taste. Acidulate – To make food or liquids slightly acidic by adding vinegar or lemon juice to it. Aerate – The term means the same as "to sift". Dry ingredients passed through a sifter or fine mesh strainer to break up clumped pieces. It also incorporates air into ingredients making them lighter. Affriander – A French term for a stylish and appetizing presentation of a dish. Affrioler – A French term for enticing ones guests to the table with hors d’oeuvres or small samplings. Ageing - (meat) The change that takes place when freshly slaughtered meat is allowed to rest and reach the state at which it is suitable for consumption. (see also, dry aging) (cheese) to store in a temperature controlled environment to develop flavor and texture. (wine) either bottle or barrel aged, reds benefit more from aging than whites. A La – A French term meaning “in the style/manner of”. A La Carte – A menu term referring to items priced individually. (see also, prix fixe) Al Dente – An Italian term literally meaning "to the tooth". Describing the degree of doneness for pastas and other foods where there is a firm center. Not overdone or too soft. Al Forno – An Italian term used to describe baked or roasted foods. Alkali – Baking soda is one of the more common alkali used in cooking. Alkalis neutralize acids. Amuse-bouche - A French term meaning “Amuse the mouth”. Also known as, amuse-gueule, amusee, petite amuse, and lagniappe. These are small samplings of food served before a meal to whet the appetite and stimulate the palate. Antipasto – An Italian term referring to an assortment of hot or cold appetizers (smoked meats, fish, cheeses, olives, etc.) it literally translates to "before the pasta" and denotes a relatively light dish served before courses that are more substantial. Aperitif - A French term for a light alcoholic beverage served before a meal, usually sherry or champagne, to stimulate the appetite. A Point – Pronounced “pwah”, a French term used to describe food cooked just to the point of perfect doneness. Appellation – The designated growing areas of wineries governed by local or federal rules and regulations. Although these rules vary from country to country, the basic principals of producing quality wines remains the same. Aromatic – Any herb, spice, or plant that gives foods and drinks a distinct flavor or aroma. Assation – A French term for cooking foods in their own natural juices without adding extra liquids. A.Q. – Meaning, “As quoted”. Listed on menus denoting items that are generally seasonal or whose market price tends to fluctuate. Au Bleu - A French term for the method of preparing fish the instant after it is killed, especially for trout, the fish is plunged into a boiling court bouillon, which turns the skin a metallic blue color. Au Gratin – A French term for a dish topped with a layer of either cheese or bread crumbs mixed with butter. It is then broiled or baked until brown. Au Jus – A French term for meats served in their natural juices. Au Poivre – A French term meaning “with pepper”, typically describing meats either prepared by coating in coarse ground peppercorns before cooking or accompanied by a peppercorn sauce. B
Back of the House – A phrase used in the restaurant industry to refer to the kitchen, dishwashing, and preparation areas as well as its employees. Bain-Marie - A kitchen utensil used to keep prepared food at a constant temperature, ready for service. Basically, it is two spherical metal containers, one larger than the other. Water is placed in the larger of the two; the food intended to be kept warm in the smaller. The smaller fits over the larger pan and both are placed into a water bath, at a set and constant temperature. It can also be...
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