Yam: The round or elongated edible tuber with a number of varieties.

Yeast: A raising agent. Yeast is a fungus (saccharomyces cerevisae) which ferments sugars to produce carbon dioxide, which leavens flour mixtures.

Yogurt, Yoghurt: Dairy product made from milk curdled with bacteria. Recipes that most often call for yogurt are East Indian, Balkan, Russian, and Middle Eastern in origin. Cooks in those areas use yogurt in marinades and sauces. Because of its acidity, yogurt can be used to marinate and tenderize meats (as it often is used in India and the Middle East). Yogurt can also be used to bind ingredients loosely together, as in a sauce or salad dressing. Yogurts made in the U.S. are made of cow’s milk. Those of India and the Middle East are more likely to be of the richer goat, sheep, or yak milk.

Yorkshire Pudding: First cousin to the popover, this is a traditional English accompaniment to roast beef. The batter for Yorkshire Pudding is exactly the same as a popover batter, but it is baked in roast beef drippings and becomes a main course “pudding.” It may be cooked in one large dish or in muffin tins as small individual puddings. It takes its name from England’s northern county of Yorkshire.

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