Cooking Glossary

A Dictionary of Culinary Terms

Americano

An Americano is a single or double shot of espresso with hot water added to it. The hot water dilutes the strength of the espresso to create a  similar, but different, flavour as traditional drip/brewed coffee. An Americano is also known as a long black.

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Arroser

Arroser is a French verb meaning “to baste”. It is a finishing technique involving the spooning of melted butter or fat over a piece of protein in the last 1–2 minutes of cooking. Often times, an herb is added to the butter/fat (e.g. thyme) in order to incorporate aromatics into the food.

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Beurre Noisette (Brown Butter)

The process of making brown butter In French, the term ‘beurre noisette’ loosely translates to ‘brown butter’ (literally, it’s hazelnut butter). It is unsalted butter that has been gently heated until the milk solids separate from the butterfat, and the milk solids reach a hazelnut colour. This browning enriches the butter with a nutty flavour.

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Cappuccino

A cappuccino is a single shot of espresso with textured milk. The ratio is 1⁄3 espresso, 1⁄3 steamed milk, and 1⁄3 foamed milk. The milk should be steamed and textured to a temperature of 155–160°F. Optional garnishes include chocolate and cinnamon.  

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Caramelize

Caramelization is the browning of sugar to affect its flavour and appearance. Caramelization isn’t limited to granulated sugar. You can caramelize foods that have naturally high concentrations of carbohydrates (sugar), such as carrots and onions. Below is a table of different carbohydrates and their initial caramelization temperature. Foods typically contain different types of carbohydrates and

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Deglazing

Deglazing is a cooking method that involves adding liquid (e.g. wine or stock) to a hot pan to remove browned food residue (fond) from the bottom of a pan. This food residue is then incorporated into the mixture to create sauces and gravies.

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Espresso

Espresso is a drink of Italian origin, and it is created by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.  It is more intense and aromatic than drip coffee. It is also known as a short black.

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Flavor

What’s the difference between flavor and taste? Flavor is a combination of taste and other senses (primarily, but not limited to, smell/aroma) that’s responsible for the pleasure we get out of eating. Taste is divided into five categories: saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and umami. When it comes to aromas, five categories aren’t enough, as aromas

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Fond

Fond is the brown bits that stick to the bottom of your pan when you are cooking. You can easily create a pan sauce by adding liquid (e.g. wine or stock) to your pan at the end of cooking, scraping up the fond, and reducing it into a sauce–a technique known as deglazing.

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Induction Cooking

Induction cooking technology differs from traditional cooking methods because it uses the direct induction heating of the cooking pan instead of radiation, convection, or thermal conduction. Induction accomplishes this through a magnetic field that directly heats up the pot and not the cooktop itself. Since the cooktop doesn’t heat up, it is much safer than

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Knead

Kneading is a step in bread and pasta making where dough ingredients (flour and water) are mixed in order to strengthen the end product.  Kneading stretches the gluten contained in the flour, resulting in elasticity that allows CO2 from the leavening agent to give the dough lift.

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Latté

A latté is a single shot of espresso with textured milk. The ratio is 1⁄6 espresso, 4⁄6 steamed milk, 1⁄6 foamed milk.

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Macchiato

An espresso drink that can be served either short or long. Of all the drinks made from milk and espresso, the macchiato has the highest ratio of espresso to milk.  The drink consists of mostly espresso, with just a dash of milk, usually foamed, to add sweetness.

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Mince

Mincing is a knife technique where ingredients are cut into fine uniform pieces. Mincing can be accomplished with a chef’s knife and is a finer cut than dicing or chopping.

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Mirepoix

A mixture of diced vegetables (usually two parts onions,  one part carrots, and one part celery). This mixture is sautéed over medium-low heat in order to sweeten the vegetables, and it provides a flavour base for many dishes.

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Poach

Poaching is a cooking method where you cover your food in moderately hot liquid (160–180 °F). Poaching liquids include water, milk, wine, and broth. technique that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock or wine or in a tray. Examples of commonly poached food include chicken, fish, and eggs.

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Ristretto

A ristretto is an extremely short  espresso. When pulling the shot, the same amount of coffee beans are used as a normal shot; however, they are ground more finely. Due to the finer grind, less water makes it’s way through the coffee grounds. The result is a more concentrated shot of espresso with a more

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Sauté

Sautéing is a cooking method where one quickly cooks food in a small amount of oil or fat in a pan over medium to high heat. The oil or fat choosen should have a high enough smoke point to avoid burning (peanut oil is an excellent choice, while non-clarified butter would be a poor choice).

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Sous Vide

Sous vide is French for “under vacuum”.  It is a method of cooking that involves sealing food in a plastic bag and submerging the sealed food in a temperature controlled water bath. This method allows food to be evenly cooked to precise temperature targets. In order to get started, you will need an immersion circulator

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Umami

Umami is one of the five basic tastes (along with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It’s often described as being “savoury” or “mouth-watering”. The taste is activated by glutamate taste receptors in the mouth.

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Zest

Zest is the outer colorful peel of a citrus fruit. It can be removed with a Microplane grater, pairing knife, or vegetable peeler, and it is often added to food to add flavor. The white portion under the zest is known as the pith, and it is typically bitter tasting.

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