Gourmet Glossary: A
Acetic Acid: The acid in vinegar that comes from a second fermentation of beer, wine or cider.
Acidulated Water: Water to which lemon juice or wine vinegar is added, used to stop peeled vegetables from discoloring.
Agar-Agar: A seaweed based vegetarian alternative to gelatin, used as a stabilizer or thickener.
Albumen: Egg white.
Allspice: A spice, berry used as a flavoring.
Almonds: A type of nut sweet and bitter, available blanched, whole, halved, flaked, chopped or ground, used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Amaretti: Small almond macaroon biscuits. used as a base for trifles and other desserts.
Amontillado: Spanish sherry, in the Montilla style, usually darker and older than a fino.
Anchovy: An oily fish, anchovy fillets often preserved in salt. Anchovy essence is also available. both used as flavurings.
Angelica: A herb, often candied used in dessert cooking. Can also be steamed and eaten as a vegetable.
Aperitif: An alcoholic drink, taken before the meal to stimulate the appetite.
Arbroath Smokie: Smoked haddock with the backbone still in. Serve grilled, poached, in kedgeree and soup.
Arrowroot: A fine white powder used for thickening sauces, similar to cornflower. Arrowroot, gives a clear gloss. It is best mixed with a little water before adding to liquids.
Artichoke: Globe artichoke the leaves and base (heart), are eaten. Jerusalem artichoke (of the sunflower family), the tubers that are eaten.
Asafoetida: A spice used in Roman, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking in very small amounts.
Aspic: A clear jelly made from the juices of cooked fish or meat, used to garnish or mold savory dishes.
Aubergine: An elongated oval, purple in color vegetable. Also known as eggplant
Au Gratin: A dish covered with a sauce or breadcrumbs or both, then browned under a grill or in the oven.
Know any good ones we missed? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org