Gourmet Glossary: V

Gourmet Glossary: V

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Vanilla Pod: The fragrant dried pods of the vanilla orchid, used as a flavoring.

Veal Oscar: Classic Swedish dish. Traditional preparation for Veal Oscar has veal medallions topped with crabmeat and asparagus and a little béarnaise sauce.

Vegemite: One of several yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color. It’s thick like peanut butter and very salty.

Vegetable Oil: All-purpose blend of oils made from plant sources such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Most vegetable oils are made from soybeans and are high in polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat but low in saturated fat.

Vegetable Shortening: The vegetarian alternative to lard.

Veloute Sauce: Also called sauce blanche grasse or fat white sauce, rich white sauce. One of the five “mother sauces.” It is a stock-based white sauce that can be made from chicken, veal, or fish stock thickened with white roux. See Mother Sauces for more information.

Vin Blanc Sauce: Fish veloute with shallots, butter, and fines herbs.

Verjus: A sour grape juice used in cooking.

Vermouth: All vermouths, both white and red, are made from white wine that is flavored with aromatic herbal extracts and spices. Dry vermouth is white and contains less sugar than red vermouth. It can be served as an aperitif. White vermouth can be substituted for dry white wine in cooking.

Vinaigrette: A cold sauce made from a mixture of vinegar, oil, pepper, salt and flavorings used to dress green salads.

Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural product. It’s fermented fruit juice that’s become acidic. Vinegar is one of the oldest fermented food products known to man. The word “vinegar” is derived from the French word “vin” (meaning wine) and “aigre” (means “sour”), indicating that it first occurred naturally from the spoilage of wine.

Vodka: A clear spirit distilled from grain.

Vol-au-vent: A puff pastry case with a lid, often filled with a savory filling after baking.

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