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Culinary Glossary Terms for Beginners

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There are currently 151 names in this directory
à la
In the style

à la carte
Dishes prepared to order and priced individually

à la française
In the french style

à la minute
cooked to order

Abatisde de volatile
poultry offal, giblets, etc

Abats
Offal:heads, hearts, liver, kidneys, etc.

Accompaniments
items offered separately with a dish of food

Agar-agar
A vegetable gelling agent obtained from seaweed, used as a substitute for gelatine

Aile
A wing (of poultry or game birds)

Amino acid
Organic acids found in proteins

Antibiotic
A drug use to destroy  disease producing germs with in human or animal bodies

Antiseptic
A substance that prevents the growth of bacteria and moulds, specifically on or in the human body

Bactericide
A substance that destroys bacteria

Bacterium(plural: bacteria)
Single-celled micro-organism: some are harmful and cause food poisoning; others are useful, such as those used in cheese making

Bain-marie
A container of water to keep foods hot without burning them

Barding
Covering the breasts of birds with thin slices of bacon

Barquette
A boat-shaped pastry case

Basting
Spooning melted fat over food during cooking to keep it moist

Bat out
To flatten slices of raw meat with a cutlet bat

Bean curd
Also known as tofu; a curdled, soft cheese-like preparation made from soybean milk; a good source of protein

Beansprouts
Young shoots of dried beans, e.g. mung beans, alfalfa or soybeans

Beurre manié
Equal quantities of flour and butter used for thinking sauces

Blanc
A cooking liquor of water, lemon juice, flour and salt; also used to describe the white of chicken (breast and wings)

Brunoise
small dice

Buttermilk
liquid remaining from the churning of butter

Calcium
A mineral required for building bones and teeth, obtained from cheese and milk

Calorie
A unit of heat or energy, known as a kilocalorie

Canapé
Traditionally, a cushion of bread on which are served various foods, hot or cold; also used to describe small, attractive, well-flavored dishes offered before a meal or at a drinks reception

Carbohydrate
A nutrient; there are three types of carbohydrate- sugar and teach, which provide the body with energy, and cellulose, which provides roughage

Carrier
A person who harbours and may transmit pathogenic organisms without showing signs of illness

Carte du jour
Menu of the day

Coagulation
The solidification of protein; it is irreversible; examples occur when frying an egg or cooking meat

Cocotte
Porcelain or earthenware fireproof dish

Consommé
A simple, clear soup

Contamination
The occurrence of any objectionable matter in food

Cook out
The process of cooking flour in a roux, soup or sauce

Cream
To beat ingredients (usually sugar and a fat) until smooth and fluffy.

Croquettes
Cooked foods moulded into a cylinder shape, coated in flour and egg, crumbled and deep-fried

Cross-contamination
The transfer of micro organisms from contaminated to uncontaminated hands, utensils or equipment

Croutons
Cubes of fried or toasted bread served with soup; also triangular pieces served with spinach, and heart-shaped pieces with certain dishes

Cube
Like chopping, it is to cut food into small cubes, usually about 1/2 inch.

Cuisse de poulet
Chicken leg

Danger zone of bacterial growth
The temperature range within which pathogenic bacteria are able to multiply; from 6° to 63°C

Dariole
A small mould, as used for créme caramel

Dash
1/8 teaspoon.

Déglacer
To swill out a pan in which food has been roasted or fried, with wine, stock or water, in order to use the sediment for the accompanying sauce or gravy

Demi-glace
A brown stock reduced to a light consistency

Désosser
To bone out meal

Detergent
A substance that dissolves grease

Dice
To cut into small pieces, usually 1/4 to 1/8 chunks

Dilute
To mix a powder (e,g. cornflour) with liquid to seep out

Disinfectant
A substance that reduces the risk of infection

Doily
A fancy dish paper

Dollop
A spoonful of a semi-solid food, like whipped cream or masted potatoes, placed on top of another food

Drain
To place food in a colander, allowing liquid to seep out

Dress
To coat foods with a sauce, such as salad

Drizzle
To pour liquid back and forth over a dish in a fine stream, usually melted butter, oil, syrup, or melted chocolate

Dust
To coat lightly with a powdery ingredients, such as confectioners’ sugar or cocoa

Duxelle
Finely chopped mushrooms cooked with chopped shallots

Eggwash
Beaten egg with a little milk or water

Emulsion
A mixture of liquid (e.g vinegar) and oil, which does not separate when left to stand (mayyonaise, hollandise)

Enzymes
A chemical substances produced from living cells

Escalope
A thin Alice such as escalope of veal

Farce
Stuffing

Fecule
Fine potato flour

Feuilletage
Puff pastry

Fines herbs
Chopped fresh herbs (e.e. parsley, tarragon, chervil)

Flake
To break something into natural segments (e.g. fish)

Flan
An open tart

Fleurons
Small, crescent-shaped pieces of puff pastry

Flute
A 20 cm diameter French bread used for soup garnishes

Food Handling
Any operation in the storage, preparation, production, processing, packing, transportation, distribution and sale of food

Food-borne
Carried on food

Garnish
Served as part of the main item; trimmings and decoration the food

Ghee
The name of clarified butter; ghee is pure butter fat

Glace
Ice or ice cream from which all milk solids have been removed

Glaze
overlay or cover (food, fabric, etc.) with a smooth, shiny coating or finish

Gluten
This is formed from the protein in flour when mixed with water

Gram masala
A combination of different spices

Gratin
A thin coating of grated cheese and or breadcrumbs on certain dishes, which is then browned under the grill or in an oven

Haché
Finely chopped or minced

Hors d'oveuvre
Appetising first course dishes, hot or cold

Humidity
The amount of moisture in the air

Infestations
Insects breeding on the premises

Insecticides
A chemical used to kill insects

Invoice
A bill listing items delivered, with the costs of items

Jardinière
Cut into finger shaped

Julienne
Cut into fine strips

Jus- lié
Thicked gravy

Larding
Inserting strips of fat bacon into meat

Liasion
A thickening or binding

Macédoine
Cut into0.5 cm dice

Marinade
A richly spiced pickling liquid used to give flavor and assist in tenderising meats

Menu
A list of the dishes and its price

MIcro-organisms
Very small living plants or animals(bacteria,yeasts,moulds)

Mignonette
Coarsely ground pepper

Mirepoix
Roughly cutter vegetables(onion,leeks, celery and carrots)

Mise-en-place
Basic preparation before serving

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
A substance added to food products to increase flavour

Moulds
Microcospic plants(fungi) that may appear as woolly patches on food

Mousse
A dish of light consistency, hot or cold

Natives
A menu terms for English oyster

Navarin
Brown stew of lamb

Noisette(nut
A cut from a bone-out loin of lamb

Nutrients
The components of food required for health; protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, salts, water

Optimum
Best, most favourable

Palatable
Pleasent to taste

Pané
Flavoured, dipped in egg and crumbled

Panettone
A very light, traditional Italian Christmas cake

Parsley butter
Butter containing lemon juice and chopped parsley

Pass
To put through a sieve or strainer

Pathogen
A disease-producing organism

Paupiette
A stuffed and rolled strip of fish or meat

Paysanne
Cut in even, thin, triangular, round or square pieces

Pesticide
A chemical used to kill pests

Pests
Unwanted creatures that may enter food premises, e.g. cockroaches, flies, silverfish

Petits Fours
Very small pastries, biscuits, sweets, sweetmeats

pH value
A scale indicating the acidity or alkalinity in food

Phosphorus
A mineral element found in fish; required for building bones and teeth

Roux
Equal quantity of fat and flour which is cooked

Sabayon
Egg yolks and a little water or wine, cooked until creamy

Salamander
A type of grill, heated from above

Salmonella
A food-poisoning bacterium found in meat and poultry

Sanitizer
A chemical agents used for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment

Sauté
Cook quickly in a sauté pan or frying pan

Seal
To place meat in a hot oven or pan to colour the surface and retain the juices

Seared
Cooked quickly on both sides in a little hot fat or oil

Seasoned Flour
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper

Shredded
Cut in fine strips(e.g. lettuce, onion)

Silicone Paper
Non-stick paper(e.g. siliconised pepper)

Sodium
A mineral element in the form of salt (sodium chloride); found in cheese, bacon, fish, meat

Starch
A carbohydrate found in cereals, certain vegetables and farinaceous foods

Stock Rotation
The sequence of issuing goods, so that the first into the store are the first to be issued

Strain
To separate the liquid from the solids by passing through a strainer

Sweat
To cook in a fat under a lid without colour

Table d'hôte
A meal at a fixed price; a set menu

Tahini
A string-flavoured sesame seed paste

Tartlet
A small, round pastry case

Terrine
An earthenware dish used for cooking and serving pâté; also used as a name for certain products

Thiamine
Vitamin B1; it assists the nervous system; found in yeast, bacon, wholemeal bread

Tofu
Low-fat curd made from soybeans

Tranche
A slice

Trichinosis
A disease caused by hair-like worms in the muscles of meat(e.g.pork)

Vegan
A person who does not eat fish, meat, poultry, game, dairy products, honey and eggs, and who does not use any animal products

Vegetarian
A person who does not eat meat, poultry or game

Velouté
A basic mother sauce

Viruses
Microscopic pathogens that multiply in the living cells of their host

Vitamin
Chemical substances that assist the regulation of body processes

Wok
A round-bottomed pan used extensively in Chinese cooking

Yeast extract
A mixture of brewer's yeast and salt, high in flavour and protein

Yoghurt
An easily digested fermented milk product