Food Letter AA Blanc: A French term meaning “in white” and identifying foods, usually meats, that aren’t browned during cooking.

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.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Know any good ones we missed? E-mail them to [email protected]