cabbage - There are over 70 varieties of cabbage. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower,
kohlrabi, collards, kale, turnips, and many more are all a member of the
cabbage family. These plants are all known botanically as members of the
species Brassica oleracea, and they native to the Mediterranean region of Europe
History: According to horticultural
historians, barbarians were eating the juicy, slightly bulbous leaves of
wild cabbage in Asia long before the dawn of recorded history. The Greeks
revered the cabbage for its many medicinal properties. Cato, an ancient
Roman statesman, circa 200 BCE, advised people to eat plenty of raw cabbage
seasoned with vinegar before a banquet at which one plans to "drink deep."
Even the ancient Egyptians advised starting the meal with raw cabbage,
including cabbage seeds, to keep one sober. It is an historical fact that
the laborers who built the Great Wall in China were fed sauerkraut to
prevent scurvy and other debilitating diseases that come from eating only
rice.Europeans were devouring
stewed cabbage during the cold winter months because it was one of the few
staples available when the ground produced little else.
cabernet sauvignon (cab-air-nay
so-veen-yawn) - One of the finest of red wines. It is associated with the
Bordeaux region in France but the grapes are now grown worldwide.
This cheese is
said to date back to the 14th century, and believed by some
to have originally been made from mare's milk. Today,
is made from cow's milk, though its cryptic name literally
means "horse cheese" - the Sicilian word "cacio" sharing the
same root as casein while "cavallo" means horse.
(There's a theory that the cheese owes its name to the
manner in which two bulbs were attached by a string and
suspended from a beam "a cavallo" as though astride a
horse.) It takes at least eight months to age Caciocavallo
cheese properly, achieving a sharper flavor in about two
years. Caciocavallo is a good complement to stronger wines,
and widely used for grating over pasta. It is a favorite of
Sicilian chefs for use with pasta. It's usually shaped as a
large wheel. "Caciovacchino" was a similar product made in
Caesar Salad (SEE-zer) - The
salad consists of greens (classically romaine lettuce) with a garlic
vinaigrette dressing. The Caesar salad was once voted by the International
Society of Epicures in Paris as the "greatest recipe to originate from the
Americas in fifty years."
For a detailed history of the Caesar Salad, check out
Salads and Salad Dressings.
cafe noir - French for black
coffee (coffee without cream or milk).
caffe (kah-FEH) - It is the
Italian term for "coffee." In Italy, the term caffe usually refers to a
small cup of espresso coffee.
Cajun cuisine (KAY-juhn
kwee-ZEEN) - Cajun food is essentially the poor cousin to Creole. Today it
tends to be spicier and more robust than Creole, utilizing regionally
available resources and less of the foods gained through trade. Some popular
Cajun dishes include pork based sausages such as andouille and boudin;
various jambalayas and gumbos; coush-coush (a creamed corn dish) and
etouffee. The true art of Louisiana seasonings is in the unique blend of
herbs and spices that serve to enhance the flavor of vegetables, seafood,
meats, poultry and wild game, along with a "Cajun" cook that knows how to
blend these spices.
Learn about the history and recipes of
cake - Cakes are made from
various combinations of refined flour, some form of shortening, sweetening,
eggs, milk, leavening agent, and flavoring. There are literally thousands of
cakes recipes (some are bread-like and some rich and elaborate) and many are
centuries old. Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure. Baking
utensils and directions have been so perfected and simplified that even the
amateur cook may easily become and expert baker. There are five basic types
of cake, depending on the substance used for leavening.
For a detailed
History of Cakes.
cake flour - Cake flour is very
finely ground soft wheat used to make tender, fine-textured cakes. It is
bleached with chlorine gas, which, besides whitening the flour, also makes
it slightly acidic. This acidity makes cakes set faster and have a finer
calamari (kah-lah-MAH-ree) -
Calamari are squid. This cephalopod has a long body with swimming fins at
the rear, two tentacles, and eight arms. Calamari takes their name from the
Latin word "calamus," which refers to the inky liquid excreted by the squid
and used in pastas and sauces.
Calas - Calas are fried balls of
rice and dough that are eaten covered with powdered sugar, not unlike
History: It is said that long ago, on
cold mornings in New Orleans, women would walk the streets of the French
Quarter selling these warm fried cakes for breakfast. "Calas! Calas, Tout
Chaud!" as the Creole women used to shout when they sold them in the
French Quarter of New Orleans.
California Roll – A California
roll is a slender mat-rolled sushi roll containing crab, avocado, and
cucumber. Today, in California and Hawaii, sushi reigns supreme, and the
most popular sushi today are the California Rolls. Most people in Japan have
never heard of the California Roll.
During the 1970s in the early stage of the sushi boom in California, most
people did not like the thought of raw fish and nori, so a smart unknown
California chef created the now famous California Roll. Most people in Japan
have never heard of the California Roll.
Learn how to make
California Rolls - American-Style
(kahl-ZOH-nay) - An Italian word meaning "a trouser leg." It is a pizza
crust rolled out and topped with all the ingredients of a normal pizza
except tomato, then folded over to a half-moon or crescent-shaped turnover.
The tomato sauce is sprinkled on top and it then goes into the oven. It is
lightly drizzled with olive oil upon its emergence.
Camembert cheese (KAM-uhm-behr)
– (French) Soft and ripened (tastes much like Brie cheese), but more pointed
in flavor and richer in texture. It is made from 100% cow's milk. The most
widely marketed of all French cheeses. It is used for dessert and snacks.
History: Marie Fontaine at Camembert
in Orne, France first made Camembert cheese in 1791. It is said that
Napoleon was served this cheese (which was as yet unnamed) and he thereupon
named it Camembert.
Canadian bacon - It is a lean,
boneless pork loin roast that is smoked. Called back bacon in Canada,
Canadian bacon is pre-cooked and can be fried, baked, or added to casseroles
canapé (KAN-uh-pay) - A French
term that consists of bite-size bits of savory food spread on edible bases
(toasted or untoasted bread) and garnished or decorated. They are served as
snacks (appetizers) at cocktail and buffet parties.
candlenut - Candlenut is the
name of a tropical nut used in Malaysian cuisine. It derives its peculiar
name from the fact that the oil of the nut is also used to make candles.
Candlenuts are available only roasted, whole, or in pieces, because raw they
are highly toxic. The function of the candlenut in satays or curries is to
flavor and thicken.
candy bar -
History: At the 1893 Columbian
Exposition, a World's Fair held in Chicago, chocolate-making machinery made
in Dresden, Germany, was displayed.
Milton S. Hershey, who had made his fortune in caramels, saw the potential
for chocolate and installed chocolate machinery in his factory in Lancaster,
and produced his first chocolate bars in 1894. Other Americans began mixing
in other ingredients to make up new candy bars throughout the end of the
1890's and the early 1900's.
It was World War I that really brought
attention to the candy bar. The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps commissioned
various American chocolate manufacturers to provide 20 to 40 pound blocks of
chocolate to be shipped to quartermaster bases. The blocks were chopped up
into smaller pieces and distributed to doughboys in Europe. Eventually the
task of making smaller pieces was turned back to the manufacturers. As a
result, from that time on and through the 1920s, candy bar manufacturers
became established throughout the United States, and as many as 40,000
different candy bars appeared on the scene. The Twenties became the decade
that among other things was the high point of the candy bar industry.
The original candy bar industry had its start
on the eastern seaboard in such cities as Philadelphia, Boston, and New
York. The industry soon spread to the Midwest, because shipping and raw
materials such as sugar, corn syrup, and milk were easily available. Chicago
became the seat of the candy bar industry and is even today an important
candy cane -
History: The symbol of the shepherds’
crook is an ancient one, representing the humble shepherds who were the
first to worship the newborn Christ. Its counterpart is our candy cane (so
old as a symbol that we have nearly forgotten its humble origin). In 1670,
the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral handed out sugar sticks among his
young singers to keep them quiet during the long Living Creche ceremony. In
honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into shepherds’ crooks. In
1847, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio,
decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes.
It wasn’t until the turn of the century that
the red and white stripes and peppermint flavors became the norm. The body
of the cane is white, representing the life that is pure. The broad red
stripe is symbolic of the Lord’s sacrifice for man. In the 1920s, Bob
McCormack began making candy canes as special Christmas treats for his
children, friends and local shopkeepers in Albany, Georgia. It was a
laborious process – pulling, twisting, cutting and bending the candy by
hand. It could only be done on a local scale. In the 1950s, Bob’s
brother-in-law, Gregory Keller, a Catholic priest, invented a machine to
automate candy cane production. Packaging innovations by the younger
McCormack made it possible to transport the delicate canes on a scale that
transformed Bobs Candies, Inc. into the largest producer of candy canes in
Although modern technology has made candy
canes accessible and plentiful, they’ve not lost their purity and simplicity
as a traditional holiday food and symbol of the humble roots of
candy thermometer - A large
glass mercury thermometer that measures temperatures from about 40 degrees
F. to 400 degrees F. A frame or clip allows it to stand or hang in a pan
Learn more about
Thermometer & Candy Temperatures.
(kan-eh-LEE-nee) - A large white Italian kidney bean that's great in soups
cannoli/cannola (cah-KNOW-lee) –
(cannola = singular, cannoli = multiple) They are sometimes called
"Turkish hats." The cannoli is perhaps the best-known Sicilian pastry and is
part of Sicily's ancient tradition of pastry and dessert making. It is made
by stuffing cylinders of fried dough (wafer shells) with a mixture of
ricotta or custard, candied fruit, chocolate, and other ingredients.
Originally, the pastry was flavored with wine, and in Sicily this is still
done. They are traditionally prepared for festivities at Carnival time
(though nowadays they are to be found all year round).
History: Sicilian cooking is a living
the island has been home to Greeks,
Romans, Normans, Bourbons, and Arabs over the centuries. Each wave of
military conquerors has helped shaped the Sicilian table. According to legend, it is said that
cannoli have been invented in the 9th century by the women of a
harem in the city of Caltanissetta, Sicily, which got its name from the
Arab, Kalt el Nissa, meaning “city or castle of women.” It later
became known as a carnival dessert, the "scepter of the Carnival King," but
it is now consumed throughout the year. During carnival time, people gave
cannoli to all their friends
canola oil - Canola's history
goes back to the rapeseed plant, but canola and rapeseed are not the same.
Because canola and rapeseed have different chemical compositions, the names
cannot be used interchangeably. Canola is an oilseed crop, which is grown
primarily in regions of Western Canada, with some acreage being planted in
Ontario and the Pacific Northwest, north central, and southeast United
History: Historically, rapeseed was
grown for its oil, which was used for lubricants and not for human
consumption. Canola was derived from rapeseed in the early 1970's and has a
different chemical composition. Canola was originally a trademark that was
registered in 1978 in Canada, but is now considered a generic term.
cantaloupe (KAN-tuh-lohp) - A
variety of muskmelon. . It is found in many shapes and sizes. Because of
trade usage, cantaloupe has become the name commonly applied to muskmelons
grown in the U.S.
History: It is named after the castle
of Cantaloupe in the province of Ancona, Italy.
capellini (ka-pel-LEE-nee) - In
Italian, capellini means, "thin hair." This is one of the very thin
varieties of flat spaghetti. Also called angel hair pasta.
capers (KAY-per) - Capers are
the unopened green flower buds of the Capparis Spinosa, a wild and
cultivated bush grown mainly in the Mediterranean countries, notably
southern France, Italy, and Algeria. They are now also grown in California.
They range in size from that of a tiny peppercorn (the petite variety from
southern France and considered the finest) to some as large as the tip of
your little finger (from Italy). They generally come in brine but can also
be found salted and sold in bulk. Either way, rinse before using to flush
away as much salt as possible. Learn
non-pareil capers - These are the French words, which literally mean
"without equal." In relation to capers, they refer to the small pickled
capers, which originate from Provence, France. Because they are considered
"the best" this variety is named "non-pareil."
capon (KAY-pahn) - A 6 to 8
pound castrated male chicken (an unsexed rooster). More richly flavored than
regular chicken and with a denser texture.
History: It was under a Roman
prohibition that the capon was created. The law prohibited eating any fowl
except a hen, and this bird was not to be fattened. A surgeon, looking for a
way around this law, transformed a rooster into a capon by the now old and
well-known surgical trick. Neither hen nor rooster, the capon was a huge
success. It was perfectly safe to eat him because he was "within the law."
caponate (kah-poh-NAH-tah) - A
Sicilian vegetable dish made of various ingredients, but usually includes
cooked eggplant, celery, capers, anchovies, chile peppers, olives, tomatoes,
vinegar, and onions.
History: Sailors' taverns in Sicily
were called "caupone," where the dish was usually made and served with sea
biscuits. The dish seems to have gotten its name from this word suggesting
the kind of robust food served at a tavern or inn.
cappuccino - Coffee made by
topping espresso with the creamy foam from steamed milk. A small amount of
the steamed milk is also added to the cup. The foam's surface is sometimes
dusted with sweetened cocoa powder, nutmeg or cinnamon.
Caprese (kah-PREH-seh) - In the
style of Capri. such a sauce is usually made from lightly cooked tomatoes,
basil, olive oil, and mozzarella, to use on pastas, meats, fish, or salads.
out this very easy-to-make Caprese salad:
Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Plate
capsicum (KAP-sih-kuhm) - All
peppers are members of the genus Capsicum, and the family Solanaceae, which
include tomatoes and eggplant. The name Capsicum comes from the Greek word
"kapto" which means, "to bite." There are 26 species of peppers categorized
at present; however there is much discussion and argument involved. Most of
these are only found in the wild. Also known as Bell Pepper.
caramel (KAR-uh-mul or
KAR-uh-mel) - Also called "burnt sugar." A flavoring made by melting white
sugar in a heavy skillet until it colors. It must be stirred constantly over
a very low heat to prevent burning.
KAR-uh-mel-lze or KAHR-mul-lze) -
(1) To heat sugar until it liquefies and
becomes a clear caramel syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown.
Heating of meats or vegetables until the natural sugars in them break down
and turn light brown (such as caramelizing onions). Sugar will begin to
caramelize at 320 degrees F. Generally it occurs between 320 and 360 degrees
caramelized sugar - To heat
sugar to its melting point, at which time it liquefies into a clear caramel
syrup. The new flavor it attains
works nicely in desserts.
caraway seed - They are the
fruit of the "carum carvi" a biennial plant, which grows in northern and
central Europe and Asia, and have been cultivated in England and America for
its seeds. They are available whole; if desired, grind or pound before
using. Caraway seeds can become bitter during long cooking. When preparing
soups and stews, add the crushed or whole seeds only 15 minutes before you
take the pot off the stove.
History: Caraway seeds have been used
as a spice for about 5,000 years; there is evidence of its culinary use in
the Stone Age.
carbonara – Carbonara in Italian
means "charcoal" or "coal," and "alla carbonara" means "in the manner of the
coal miners." In Italy, the names of dishes generally tell us where or with
whom they originated: dishes called Bolognese come from Bologna, alla Romana
from Rome, Neapolitan from Naples; anything marinara is prepared in the
manner of sailors, puttanesca is favored by hookers, and carbonara comes to
us from the charcoal makers or wood cutters. A classic Roman dish is
Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Most of the ingredients for Spaghetti alla
Carbonara could easily be carried by charcoal makers traveling to the
forests of the Abruzzi to get wood, and the rest could be bought or "found"
along the way.
The town now called Aquilonia, was originally named Carbonara
during the Samnite and Roman period. Carbonara most likely derived its name
from the principal activity of coal mining in the nearby woods. Carbonara
was destroyed by the barbarians and rebuilt on its ruins by the Longobard in
the 6th century.
(1) There are several ideas that one
hears from time to time. It is thought that a coal miner's wife first cooked
pasta this way that probably cooked over a coal or charcoal cooking fire,
and it was popular among coal miners' families before it spread to the
(2) Another story suggests that the abundant black pepper in Pasta
alla Carbonara symbolized the charcoal that inevitably fell from the artisan
onto the plate. The other, that the pepper simply camouflaged the flecks of
charcoal on the plate.
(3) Carbonara Americana was invented as a way to use bacon and eggs
bought on the black market from American service personnel during the Second
World War. After World War II when the GIs tasted the original Spaghetti
alla Carbonara, they “Americanized” it in the mess halls by tossing in peas,
mushrooms, and using American bacon that the Army shipped over.
carbohydrates - Carbohydrates
are a group of organic compounds that contain carbon in combination with the
same proportion of hydrogen and oxygen (as in water). All starches and
sugars are carbohydrates. The body receives a large amount of heat and
energy from carbohydrate foods. The body changes all carbohydrates into
simple sugar and the surplus is stored in the body as fat (and in the liver
as glycogen). A large excess of sugar is normally elimated by the kidneys.
The usual "sweet tooth" of people is the result of body hunger for
carbohydrates. Children require more carbohydrates than adults because they
must satisfy the needs of growing bodies.
cardoon (karh-DOON) - The
cardoon is a vegetable that is very popular in France, Italy, and Spain. It
resembles a large bunch of wide flat celery and is silvery-gray in color.
Once the tough outer ribs are removed, cardoon can be boiled, braised, or
baked. Cardoon tastes like a cross between an artichoke, celery, and salsify
and its season is from midwinter to early spring.
carmelize - To melt either sugar or
sugary foods by cooking slowly over low heat until the contents become
carob (KEHR-uhb) - The long,
leathery pods from the tropical carob tree contain a sweet, edible pulp
(which can be eaten fresh) and a few hard, inedible seeds. After drying, the
pulp is roasted and ground into a powder. It is used to flavor baked goods
and candies. Both fresh and dried carob pods, as well as carob powder, may
be found in health food and specialty food stores. Because carob is sweet
and taste vaguely of chocolate, it is often used as a chocolate substitute.
Carpaccio (karh-PAH-chee-oh) -
Carpaccio is a classic Italian dish of paper-thin slices of raw beef, served
with salt, pepper, and olive oil. The term also means very thin slices of
meat, fish, and/or vegetables.
History: Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of
Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, invented Carpaccio in 1950s. The dish was
named for the 15th century painter Vittore Carpaccio (1450-1526) who was
noted for his use of red and black, with some shades of brown in his
There are two theories on why Cipriani
invented this dish. They are: (1) Cipriani had to come up with a brand new
dish for a large banquet to be held in his restaurant in honor of Carpaccio
and inauguration of the exhibition of the artist's work; (2) A Venetian
countess, who was a regular at Harry's Bar, was forced to go on a very
strict diet by her doctor and ordered to forgo all cooked meat. Giuseppe
Cipriani made for her a dish of thinly sliced raw beef filet. Because the
red of the meat reminded Cipriani of the color often used by the Venetian
painter, Carpaccio, he named the dish in his honor.
carrot - Carrots are a member of
the parsley family and are the roots of the plant. Other root crops are
celeriac, parsnip, beets, potatoes, and turnips. Carrots are always in
season and can be found with their curly green tops, pre-trimmed for easy
use, cut into sticks for use as snacks, or in packages of miniature
varieties perfect for school lunches.
History: Carrots were in common use
during the times of ancient Rome and Greece. They are native to Afghanistan,
and early varieties were black, red, and purple and not the familiar orange.
It was in Belgium that the carrots was refined and bred to the orange rood
in the 1500s. In 1776, Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations refers to
them as a crop that changed "cultivation from the spade to the plough."
Carry-Over Cooking or Residual Heat -
Have you ever noticed that the internal temperature of
foods (such as meats, fish, vegetables, pasta, and eggs) continues to rise
after removing it from your stove, grill, or oven? This is called
Your meats, fish, vegetables, pasta, and even eggs will continue to
cook after being removed from the heat source.
Understanding how this
works and using it carefully can greatly improve the quality of your foods
Carry-over cooking is caused by residual heat transferring from the hotter
exterior of the meat to the cooler center. As a general rule, the larger and
thicker the cut of meat, and the higher the cooking temperature, the more
residual heat will be in the meat, and the more the internal temperature
will rise during resting due to carry-over cooking. This means the meat must
be removed from the heat at an internal temperature lower than your desired
final internal temperature, allowing the residual heat to finish the
When cooking meats and
fish, use a thermometer to check your meat’s temperature, and remove it from
the heat when it’s 5 to 10 degrees away from where you want it to be when
you eat it. When cooking vegetables and eggs, remove from heat source just
before you think it is about done.
- The cashew is native to American and no is also grown in India and East
Africa. The nut hangs below the branch much like an apple.
Cassata (kas-ata) – There are
two theories on where cassata derives it name from; (1) A term in Arabic,
“quas at,” meaning the round bowl in which this sweet was originally made.
(2) Other sources say that the word derives from the Latin word caseus
(cheese) which would clearly refer to the ricotta cheese, one of the main
ingredients needed for making cassata. Cassata is a spectacular Sicilian
dessert of ricotta, candied fruit, pistachios, sugar, chocolate, liqueur
soaked sponge cake and green pistachio icing.
Cassata was perfected by a group of nuns in the convents in Palermo, where
such great quantities were made at Easter time that in 1575, the diocesan
was compelled to prohibit production for fear that the nuns might neglect
their religious duties during Holy Week.
A miniature versions of cassata, perfectly domed and frosted white with a
cherry on top, is said to recall St Agata, the patron saint of Catania, who
was martyred by being rolled in hot coals and having her breasts cut off.
Catanians, with their intense emotional inner life and love of melodramatic
gesture, are proud of their little cakes. The rationale is that if you eat
the body of Christ in communion, why not the breasts of a saint.
casserole (kasa-rol) - The word
casserole is derived from the Old French word casse and the Latin word
cattia meaning a "frying pan or saucepan." As often happens in history, the
name of the cooking utensil was used for the dish name.
(1) A casserole is an ovenproof or flameproof dish or pan that has a tight
lid. It is used to cook meat and vegetables slowly. (2) A casserole is also
a stew or ragout consisting of meat and vegetables, which are put in a
casserole dish at the same time and cooked by stewing.
(kas-soo-LAY) - A cassoulet
(which was first made in Languedoc in the southwest of France) is a
casserole, which consists of different kinds of meat (usually five different
kinds), one of which should be pork and another a bird (such as goose, duck,
or chicken). The dish also includes white haricot beans, sausage, and
garlic. It is covered while cooking and cooked very slowly.
- The word derives from the Turkish word "guvec" which means a "cooking
pot." It is a casserole of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans,
squash, onions, cauliflower, peppers, etc.), which is simmered in a
- This is a classic Spanish casserole that has varied meats and vegetables.
cassolette (kaso-let) - (1)
Cassolette means a small dish for food sufficient for one person (a
one-portion dish), which is usually made from earthenware. (2) It can also
mean a very small case made from fried bread, pastry, egg, and breadcrumbs
that are filled with a savory mixture (these are served as snacks or
catfish - A mostly freshwater
fish with long, cat-like whiskers (like feelers) around the mouth. Most
catfish are farmed. The U.S. leads all other nations in the consumption of
catfish. It is particularly popular in the southern and central states.
Catfish have skin that is similar to that of an eel, which is thick,
slippery, and strong. All catfish should be skinned before cooking. The most
common and easiest method to skin a catfish is to nail the head of the dead
fish to a board, hold on to its tail, and pull the skin off with pliers.
There are 2,000 species of catfish, whose
name (probably due to the "whiskers") first appeared in print in 1612. North
America has 28 species of catfish, over a dozen of which are eaten. The most
popular edible catfish are the "channel catfish", the "white catfish", and
"blue catfish". Of all the catfish grown in the United States, eighty
percent comes from Mississippi, where more than 102,000 acres are devoted to
Learn more about
caviar/caviare (KA-vee-ahr) -
Caviar is from the Persian word "khav-yar" meaning "cake of strength,"
because it was thought that caviar had restorative powers and the power to
give one long life. Caviar is from the salted roe (eggs) of several species
of sturgeon (it was originally prepared in China from carp eggs). The carp
is really a goldfish and is the only fish besides the sturgeon that has gray
colored eggs. Up until 1966, any fish roe that could be colored black was
called caviar. Then the Food and Drug Administration defined the product,
limiting it to sturgeon eggs. It takes up to twenty years for the female
sturgeon fish to mature before it produces eggs (called berries).
Serving caviar begins with buying. The most
important think to look for is that each berry is whole, uncrushed, and well
coated with its own glistening fat. The best caviar is generally eaten as
is, au natural, on a piece of freshly made thin toast, with or without
butter (though the caviar itself should be fat enough not to require
butter). It can also be sprinkled lightly with some finely chopped
hard-cooked egg, and onions or chives.
(buh-LOO-guhl) -The Russian name for a sturgeon found in the Black and
Caspian Seas (they can grow up to 2,000 pounds). It is the largest of the
sturgeon family and is considered the finest caviar. The eggs are light to
dark gray in color.
- The lumpfish is found mainly in Scandinavian waters, but also in
Chesapeake Bay and off the coasts of Greenland and Iceland. It is widely
used as a garnish for soups and canapés instead of "real" caviar. Available
in small jars, the red or black roe can be found at most supermarkets for a
very reasonable price. It is usually pasteurized and vacuum packed.
(MAHL-oh-sahl) -The Russian for "little salt" or "lightly salted." Only eggs
in prime condition are prepared and labeled t his way (caviar prepared
"malosol" are considered fresh).
- This is spelled many ways, including "ossetra", "oestrova", and " osietr".
This is the second largest species of sturgeon and is the Russian name for
the Caspian Sea sturgeon roe that is dark brown to golden in color with
large granules and a delicate skin.
- The eggs of the Atlantic Salmon. They are large and bright red and they
are excellent for garnishing dishes.
- The smallest eggs of a sturgeon with a fine dark gray (almost black)
color. It is considered of lower quality than the Beluga and Osetra caviar.
Tobiko - The
Japanese name for a flying fish roe. They have very small red eggs with a
The American caviar industry got started when Henry Schacht, a German
immigrant, opened a business catching sturgeon on the Delaware River. He
treated his caviar with German salt and exported a great deal of it to
Europe. At around the same time, sturgeon was fished from the Columbia River
on the west coast, also supplying caviar. American caviar was so plentiful
that it was given away at bars for the same reason modern bars give away
peanuts - to make patrons thirsty.
The sturgeon is a prehistoric dish; fossil
remains dating from that time have been found on the Baltic coast and
elsewhere. Around 2400 B.C., the ancient Egyptian and Phoenician coastal
dwellers knew how to salt and pickle fish and eggs, to last them in times of
war, famine, or on long sea voyages. There are some bas-reliefs at the
Necropolis near the Sakkara Pyramid that show fisherman catching all kinds
of fish, gutting them and removing the eggs.
In the Middle Ages. shoals of sturgeon were
to be found in the Thames, Seine, Po, and Ebro rivers and the upper
stretches of the Danube. At this time, sovereigns of many countries
(including Russia, China, Denmark, France, and England) had claimed the
rights to sturgeon. Fisherman had to offer the catch to the sovereign.
In Russia and Hungary, the sections of rivers
considered suitable for fishing the great sturgeon (the Beluga as we know
it) were the subject of special royal grants. Under the czar's benevolence,
the Cossacks of the Dnieper, the Don, and the Ural were allowed to fish for
one two-week period twice a year (in the spring and fall). Apart from he
Cossacks and their families, the banks of the rivers were crowded with rich
dealers from Moscow, Leningrad, and parts of Europe. The fresh fish were
sold to the highest bidder, who then had the fish killed, prepared the
caviar on the spot, and then packed it in barrels filled with ice to be
transported. The Cossacks continued to have the right to sturgeon fishing
until the Russian Revolution in 1917.
To learn more about
Caviar, check out Linda Stradley's web page on
cayenne pepper (kiy-ann) - The
cayenne is one of the most widely used peppers in the world. The cayenne is
about 3 to 5 times hotter than the jalapeno, and when ripe, has it's own
distinct, slightly fruity flavor. Heat range is 6-7.
ceci bean (CHEH-chee) - See
celeriac (seh-LER-ay-ak) - Also
known as celery knob, celery root, celeri-rave, and
turnip-rooted celery. Though known by many names, celeriac or celery
root is easily identified where specialty vegetables or root crops (such as
turnips and parsnips) are found. A member of the celery family, celery root
is a brown-to-beige-colored, rough, gnarled looking vegetable. It hints of
celery with an earthy pungency (its aroma is a sure indicator of its
membership in the celery family). It is in season from late fall through
early spring. Look for as smooth a surface as you can find to aid in
peeling. A one-pound weight is preferred. It should be firm with no
indication of a soft or spongy center.
celery – Celery is ordinarily marketed as the whole stalk, which contains the outer
branches and leaves. Sometimes the outer branches are removed and the hearts
are sold in bunches.
The ancient Chinese credited celery with medicinal qualities and used it as
a blood purifier. The Romans like to use it to decorate coffins at funerals.
The Romans also felt that wearing crowns of celery helped to ward of
headaches after a lot of drinking and partying.
celery root - See celeriac.
celery salt - Celery salt is a
mixture of fine white salt and ground celery seeds.
celery seed - Celery seeds are
the fruit of a plant related to the parsley family and are not to be
confused with the plant we recognize and serve as a vegetable. They are now
grown extensively in France, Holland, India, and the United States. Celery
seeds are tiny and brown in color. They taste strongly of the vegetable and
are aromatic and slightly bitter. They are sometimes used where celery
itself would not be appropriate.
cellophane or glass noodles -
Also known as bean thread noodles, these are made from mung bean flour. They
are usually softened by soaking in hot water for 10 -15 minutes before
cooking with other ingredients.
ceviche, seviche, cebiche
- Often spelled serviche or cebiche, depending on which part of South
America it comes from, is seafood prepared in a centuries old method of
cooking by contact with the acidic juice of citrus juice instead of heat. It
can be eaten as a first course or main dish, depending on what is served
with it. The preparation and consumption of ceviche is practically a
religion in parts of Mexico, Central, and South America, and it seems as
though there are as many varieties of ceviche as people who eat it. Latin
American flavors first found a place on Florida menus with South Florida's
"New World Cuisine" in the late 1980's. This cuisine comes from the diverse
cooking styles and tropical ingredients of the Caribbean, Latin America,
Central, and South America.
For a detailed history, check out
Ceviche, Seviche, Cebiche.
hablis (shah-blee) - A white
wine that is made from chardonnay grapes.
chafing dish - The chafing dish
is a metal pan, with a water basin, which is heated by an alcohol lamp and
used for cooking at the table.
Chai tea (chi tee) - Chai is the
word used for tea in many parts of the world. It is a fragrant milk tea that
is growing more popular in the U.S. The tea originated in India, where those
in the cooler regions add spices to their tea (not only for flavoring but to
induce heat in the body). It is a centuries-old beverage, which has played
an important role in many cultures. It's generally made up of rich black
tea, milk, a combination of various spices, and a sweetener. The spices used
vary from region to region. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger,
cloves, and pepper. It can be served following a meal or anytime. Though
some Americans serve Chai tea chilled or even iced, Bengal custom is to
serve Chai tea hot.
Check out Linda's recipe for
Chai Tea - Masala Chai - Spiced Milk Tea.
chakalaka - A very hot and spicy
South African cooked vegetable relish/sauce/salad (in some ways it is like a
Mexican salsa) that usually includes tomatoes, garlic, chile peppers, grated
carrots, and grated cabbage with beans or diced cauliflower. Preparing
chakalaka is very much an individual thing, and depends on what you have
available. A traditional dish with the black community that is now popular
in the urban areas as well as a side dish at barbeques.
(kuh-LAY-zee) - Ropey strands of egg white which anchor the yolk
in place in the center of the thick white. They are neither
imperfections nor beginning embryos. The more prominent the chalazae,
the fresher the egg. Chalazae do not interfere with the cooking or
beating of the white and need not be removed, although some cooks like
to strain them from stirred custard.
champagne (sham-pain) -
Champagne is a sparkling wine. Only wines produced in Champagne, France can
legally be called champagne. Otherwise it is called sparkling wine. It is
considered the most glamorous of all wines (the name has become synonymous
with expensive living).
History: Champagne was once called
devil wine (vin diable). Not because of what it did to people, but for what
it did to its casks. The wine would "blow out the barrels" in the
monasteries when warm weather got fermentation well under way.
champignon (sham-pee-NYOHN) -
French word for an edible mushroom.
History: In Greece, around 400 B.C.
Hippocrates makes mention of the delicacy of mushrooms that were consumed by
the wealthy. The mushroom was thought to possess divine and magical powers.
The first written reference to eating mushrooms is the death of a mother and
her three children from mushroom poisoning in about 450 B.C. In ancient
Rome, the easiest way to get rid of an enemy was to invite him to a
disguised mushroom meal using the deadly mushroom from the Borgia family.
(shan-tuh-REHL) - These trumpet-shaped mushrooms flourish in the wilderness
areas of the Pacific Northwest and a few places on the east coast. The
European and Asian varieties are usually about the size of a thumb. But on
the west coast, Chanterelles can be larger than a foot wide and heavier than
two pounds. They smell a bit like apricots, have a mild, nutty flavor, and a
chapon (shad-PONH) - A small
piece from end of French loaf, a slice, or a cube of bread that has been
rubbed over with a clove of garlic, first dipped in salt. Placed in bottom
of salad bowl before arranging salad. A chapon is often used in vegetable
salads and gives an agreeable additional flavor.
chardonnay (shar-doe-nay) - Is
considered the world's most popular dry white wine. Chardonnay has become
almost synonymous in the mass market with a generic "glass of white wine."
(SHAR-lot) - Charlotte is a corruption of the Old English word "charlyt"
meaning a "dish of custard." (1) One meaning of a charlotte is a round mold
used to make a charlotte dessert. (2) The other meaning is the molded
dessert that is composed of a filling surrounded by ladyfingers or bread.
Apple Charlotte - It is a golden-crusted dessert made by baking a thick
apple compote in a mold lined with buttered bread.
History: Named after Queen Charlotte
(1744-1818) of England. Wife of George III. It is said that she was an
enthusiastic supporter of apple growers.
Check out Linda's History of Charlotte Russe.
Charlotte Russe - A cake is which the mold is lined with sponge fingers
and custard replaces the apples. It is served cold with cream.
History: It is said to have been invented by the French chef
Marie Antoine Careme (1784-1833), who named it in honor of his
Russian employer Czar Alexander.
Charlotte Malakoff - It has a lining of ladyfingers and a center filling
of a soufflé mixture of cream, butter, sugar, a liqueur, chopped almonds,
and whipped cream. It is decorated with strawberries.
cold charlottes - They are made in a ladyfinger-lined mold and filled
with a Bavarian cream. For frozen charlottes, a frozen soufflé or mousse
replaces the Bavarian cream.
Chasseur Sauce - Chasseur is
French for hunter. It is a hunter-style brown sauce consisting of mushrooms,
shallots, and white wine (sometimes tomatoes and parsley). It is most often
served with game and other meats.
History: For a detailed history of Chasseur Sauce, check
out Linda Stradley's History of Sauces.
chaud-froid - A French word that
mean "hot-cold." A sauce that is prepared hot but served cold as part of a
buffet dispaly. It is usually used as a decorative coating for meats,
poultry, and/or seafood. Classically made from béchamel, cream, or aspic.
chat/chaat/chatt - The word
literally means, "to lick" in Hindu. Chaat belongs to the traditional Hindu
cuisine. In India, chaat refers to both a spice blend and a cold, spicy
salad-like appetizer or snack that uses the spice blend. It can be made with
chopped vegetables or fruits, or both. Indian Chaat is usually vegetarian.
Chat is considered a "street-corner food" in
India. Today there isn't a town in India where one would not find some form
of Chaat. It is tasty, pungent and really spicy, traditionally eaten from
roadside stalls in banana leaves or even newspaper. Different regions of
India have their different chats. A supplier of chaat is called a
(sha-toh-bree-AHN) - It is a recipe, not a cut of meat. The choice (center
section or eye) of the beef tenderloin is generally broiled or grilled and
served with a sauce. There is generally sufficient meat for two people and
traditionally the fillet is cut at the table.
It was invented by the chef Montmireil for his employer Francois
Rene Visconte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), French author and statesman. (He
was said to be an excellent eater but just a fair author). He gave the name
to the thickest band best cut from the heavy end of a beef tenderloin. Most
state that it was originally served with Béarnaise sauce, but some say the
sauce was made with reduced white wine, shallots, demi-glace, butter and
lemon juice. It is agreed that the steak was served with chateau potatoes
(small olive shaped pieces of potato sautéed until browned).
chaurice (shor-REEC) - This is a
Creole pork sausage that is a local favorite in Louisiana. The term is
similar to the Spanish "chorizo."
History: It is an old local favorite
dating back to the 19th Century, but isn't as easy to find as it once was.
It would seem to have come to Louisiana with the Spanish, where it was
adapted to local custom and ingredients.
chayote (chi-OH-tay) – The
chayote is a pear-shaped member of the gourd family. Also called vegetable
pear, mirliton (southern United States), choko (Australia and New Zealand)
Several varieties of chayote exist, but the commonly available one has thick
apple-green skin and generally weighs 1/2 to 1 pound. Its crisp flesh is
mild in flavor, falling somewhere between cucumber and summer squash.
It is prominent in the cuisine of Mexico, and
today is a mainstay in the cuisines of all of South and Central America, as
well as the West Indies, Africa, India, Indonesia, Australia, and New
Zealand. In the United States, it's grown in the Southwest, in Louisiana and
in Florida. Though the chayote can be prepared many ways, it is always
cooked, never eaten raw (even if used in salad). Its thick skin is edible,
but many cooks prefer to remove it (it can be chewy unless used in a long
cooking preparation). The large seed is also edible (many of the vegetable's
proponents insisting that the seed is the best part).
History: The chayote is native to
Mexico where it was cultivated centuries ago by the Aztecs and the Mayas.
cheddar cheese - Cheddar, the
most widely imitated cheese in the world. Mature English Farmhouse Cheddar
is aged over nine months. Cheddar cheese stands by itself at the end of the
meal, as a companion to well-aged Burgundy. It is also marvelous shredded
over salads, melted over omelets, served with fruit pies and cobblers, or
nibbled with crusty rye bread and a hearty beer.
History: It was first made in
southwestern England near the Village of Cheddar in Somerset County.
cheese - Cheese is a food made
from the curds of milk pressed together to form a solid. Through the
centuries, cheese has been made from the milk of any milk-producing animal,
from the ass to the zebra. Today it is most commonly made from milk of cows,
goats, or sheep, with a small fraction from water buffaloes. The differences
in cheeses come from the way the curds are drained, cut, flavored, pressed,
the bacteria involved, the type and length of curing in caves, cellars, or
under refrigeration, and a host of other subtle to severe variations.
Generally cheese is grouped into four categories:
- These include the fresh, unripened cheeses such as cottage, cream, farmer,
or pot cheese that need only a starter, perhaps buttermilk, and a few hours
before they're ready to eat. More complex soft cheeses include quickly
ripened brie and camembert, as well as those made with added cream, known as
double-cremes and triple-cremes; all have thin, white edible rinds with
creamy to runny interiors and are ready to eat within a few days or weeks.
semi-soft cheese - With this group are cheeses ripened three ways:
bacteria- or yeast-ripened mildly flavored cheeses such as Italian fontina
and Danish havarti. Also included are blue-veined cheeses such as
gorgonzola, Roquefort, and English Stilton that are ripened by the presence
of "penicillium" molds.
- Originally termed "farmhouse cheese" but now mostly made in factories,
these cheeses are formed into wheels or blocks, usually with a wax coating
to seal out molds and external bacteria. This category includes cheddar,
edam, gouda, Swiss cheese, jarlsberg, etc. These are generally aged a few
weeks to more than a year.
-These are the carefully aged cheeses with grainy textures that are
primarily intended for grating. These include Asia go, parmesan, and Romano.
The aging process takes form one year to over seven years.
History: Archaeologists have
discovered that as far back as 6000 BC cheese had been made from cow's and
goat's milk and stored in tall jars. Egyptian tomb murals of 2000 BC show
butter and cheese being made, and other murals which show milk being stored
in skin bags suspended from poles demonstrate a knowledge of dairy husbandry
at that time.
It is likely that nomadic tribes of Central
Asia found animal skin bags a useful way to carry milk on animal backs when
on the move. Fermentation of the milk sugars would cause the milk to curdle
and the swaying motion would break up the curd to provide a refreshing whey
drink. The curds would then be removed, drained and lightly salted to
provide a tasty and nourishing high protein food, i.e. a welcome supplement
to meat protein. The earliest type was a form of sour milk, which came into
being when it was discovered that domesticated animals could be milked.
According to legend, cheese was discovered 4,000 years ago when an Arabian
merchant journeyed across the desert carrying a supply of milk in a pouch
made of a sheep's stomach. The rennet in the lining of the pouch, combined
with the heat of the sun, caused the milk to separate into curd and whey.
That night he drank the whey and ate the cheese, and thus, so the story
goes, cheese was born.
The ancient Sumerians knew cheese four
thousand years before the birth of Christ. The ancient Greeks credited
Aristaeus, a son of Apollo and Cyrene, with its discovery; it is mentioned
in the Old Testament. In the Roman era cheese really came into its own.
Cheese making was done with skill and knowledge and reached a high standard.
By this time the ripening process had been developed and it was known that
various treatments and conditions under storage resulted in different
flavors and characteristics. Cheese making, thus, gradually evolved from two
main streams. The first was the liquid fermented milks such as yogurt,
koumiss and kefir. The second through allowing the milk to acidify to form
curds and whey. Whey could then be drained either through perforated
earthenware bowls or through woven reed baskets or similar material.
The art of cheese making traveled from Asia
to Europe and flourished. When the Pilgrims voyaged to America (in 1620),
they made sure the Mayflower was stocked with cheese. In 1801, an
enterprising cheese maker delivered a mammoth 1,235-pound wheel of cheese to
Thomas Jefferson. Intrigued citizens dubbed it the "big cheese," coining the
phrase, which has since come to describe someone of importance. Cheese
making quickly grew in the New World, but remained a local farm industry
until 1851. In that year, the Jesse Williams in Oneida County, New York
built the first United States cheese factory. As the U.S. population
increased, so did the appetite for cheese. The industry moved westward,
centering on the rich farmlands of Wisconsin, where the American cheese
industry really took off. Most Wisconsin farmers believed their survival was
tied to cheese. They opened their first cheese factory, Limburger, in 1868.
cheese curds – Cheese curds, a
uniquely Wisconsin delicacy, are formed as a by-product of the cheese making
process. They are little “nubs” of cheese, which if very fresh, squeak when
you bite down on them. Unlike aged cheese, curds lose their desirable
qualities if refrigerated or if not eaten within a few days. The squeak
disappears and they turn dry and salty. Every restaurant or bar in Wisconsin
seems to serve them, as they are listed on most appetizer sections of
restaurant menus in the state.
Learn more about
cheesecake - Now days there are
hundreds of different cheesecake recipes. The ingredients are what make one
cheesecake different from another. The most essential ingredient in any
cheesecake is cheese (the most commonly used are cream cheese, Neufchatel,
cottage cheese, and ricotta.)
History: For a detailed history of Cheesecakes, check out
Linda Stradley's History of Cakes.
Executive Chef: The term literally
means "the chief" in French. Every kitchen has a
chef or executive chef who is responsible for
the operations of the entire kitchen. (A
commonly misused term in English, not every cook
is a chef.)
Sous-Chef: This position
means "the under chief" in French. This is
person is second in command and takes
responsibility for the kitchen operations if the
chef is absent.
Chef de Partie: Also known as a "station chef" or "line cook", is
in charge of a particular area of production. In large kitchens, each
station chef might have several cooks and/or assistants. In most kitchens
however, the station chef is the only worker in that department. Line cooks
are often divided into a hierarchy of their own, starting with "First Cook",
then "Second Cook", and so on as needed. The Chef de Partie is
in charge of any of the following kitchen
Sauce chef or saucier: The person responsible
for sautéed items and many different sauces. Traditionally, it is the
third person in command. This is usually the highest position of all the
Boulanger: The bread cook
Confiseur: The candy cook
Fish cook or poissonier: The fish cook--all fish and
shellfish items and their sauces
Friturier: The deep fry cook
Grillardin: The grill cook
Pantry chef or Garde Managr: The person
who prepares cold savory items Boucher
Pastry chef or patissier: Is responsible for
cold foods, including salads and dressings, pâtés, cold hors
d'oeuvres, and buffet items.
Potager: The soup and often stock cook
Roast cook or rotisseur: Prepares roasted
and braised meats and their gravies, and broils meats and other
items to order. A large kitchen may have a separate broiler cook or
grillardin (gree-ar-dan) to handle the broiled items. The broiler
cook may also prepare deep-fried meats and fish.
The Butcher Commis: The
common cook under one of the Chef de Partie.
This level of cook comprises the bulk of the kitchen staff
Tournant (or chef de tournant):
The Relief cook. This term describes the cook in the
kitchen who provides help to all the different cooks rather than
having a specific job.
Vegetable cook or entremetier: Prepares
vegetables, soups, starches, and eggs. Large kitchens may divide
these duties among the vegetable cook, the fry cook, and the soup
chenin blanc (shay-naN blaN) - A
widely produced white wine. It is often used as a blending wine in generic
blends and jug wine.
cherimoya (chehr-uh-MOY-ah) -
The heart-shaped cherimoya is sometimes referred to as a custard apple,
which describes its appearance and texture. The taste, however, is uniquely
its own. Cherimoya combines the flavors of pineapple, mango, banana, and
papaya into a slightly fermented flavor of the tropics. They are available
November through April with the largest supply in February and March. Ripe
cherimoyas are dull brownish-green in color and give to pressure when gently
squeezed. Eat within a day or two. If fruit is pale green and firm, store at
room temperature until slightly soft and then refrigerate, carefully wrapped
individually in paper towels, for up to 4 days. Peel fruit with a sharp
knife and cut into cubes, discarding the dark black seeds. Add to fruit
salads or puree and incorporate into a mousse, custard, or pie filling.
Cherries Jubilee – It is a
dessert that consists of cherries flamed tableside with sugar and Kirsch
(cherry brandy) spooned over vanilla ice cream.
Cherries Jubilee was created by Chef Auguste Escoffier
in honor of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebration. There seems to be some
conflict as if it was her 1887 Golden Jubilee or her 1897 Diamond Jubilee.
Then, as now, the British public delighted in every detail of the Royal
Family's life and everyone know that cherries were the queen's favorite
fruit. The whole nation celebrated at her Golden Jubilee in 1887. The
original dish did not call for ice cream at all. Sweet cherries poached in
simple syrup that was slightly thickened, were poured into fireproof dishes,
and then warmed brandy was added and set on flame at the moment of serving.
cherry - There are now 250
different kinds, which vary in color, size, and taste. There are two main
groups of cherries, sweet and sour.
- It is the larger of the two types and they are firm, heart-shaped sweet
cherries. The most popular varieties range from the dark red to the black
Bing, to the golden red-blushed Royal Ann. Some varieties are Bing cherry,
Rainier cherry, Lambert cherry, and Van cherry.
sour cherries or tart cherries -
To learn more about
Sour, Tart, or "Pie" Cherries.
History: Sweet cherries date back to
the Stone Age in Asia Minor They were dispersed throughout prehistoric
Europe and brought to America by ship with early settlers in 1629. Cherries
are named after the Turkish town of Cerasus (now called Giresun). Cherry
stones found in the ancient lake dwellings in Switzerland attest to the
prehistoric growth of this fruit. The early Romans cultivated several
varieties of cherries. Modern day cherry production in the Northwest began
in 1847, when Henderson Lewelling transported nursery stock by ox cart from
Iowa to Western Oregon and established orchards. The Bing variety was
developed on the Lewelling farm in 1875 from seeds and was named for one of
his Chinese workmen. The Lambert started as a cross on the same farm. The
Rainier originated from the crossing of the Bing cherry and the Van cherry
by Dr. Harold W. Fogle at the Washington State University Research Station
in Prosser, Washington.
cherry pepper - Also called
cherry bombs. They are very thick fleshed and about the size and shape of a
small red ripe tomato. They also pack a considerable punch. Heat range is
chervil (CHER-vuhl) - Chervil is
a mild-flavored herb and a member of the parsley family. It has dark green
curly leaves that have parsley-like flavor with overtones of anise. Chervil
is generally used fresh rather than dried, although it is available in dried
form. Though most chervil is cultivated for its leaves alone, the root is
edible and was, in fact, enjoyed by early Greeks and Romans. It is one of
the main classic ingredients in Fines Herbes (along with chives, parsley and
tarragon), a finely chopped herb mixture that should be added to cooked
foods shortly before serving because their delicate flavor can be diminished
Chess Pie – Chess pies are a
Southern specialty that has a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter, and a
small amount of flour. Some recipes include cornmeal and others are made
with vinegar. Flavorings, such as vanilla, lemon juice, or chocolate are
also added to vary the basic recipe.
History: Check out
History of Pies for a detailed history of
chestnut - Known as castagne in
Italy. There are many varieties of chestnuts and the trees are common
throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. Chestnuts can be roasted,
boiled, pureed, preserved, and candied. Choose unblemished shells that show
no sign of drying.
chestnut flour - Chestnut flour
is used primarily in Italian and Hungarian cake and pastry making. The
chestnut flour used in Italian cakes and pancakes is made from pulverized
raw chestnuts, whereas in Hungary it is made from dried chestnuts.
chevre cheese (SHEHV-ruh) -
Chevre is the French word for goat and for the fresh goat's milk cheese.
Goat cheeses are not usually aged, so they are fresh and creamy looking with
a fairly mild, salty flavor. They are French in origin. This cheese can be
molded into any shape. They come plain or coated with herbs and pepper. Used
for relishes, appetizers, sauces, and compliments any cheese board.
chewing gum - When Antonio Lopez
de Santa Anna, the Mexican leader of the Alamo attack, was in exile on
Staten Island, N.Y, in 1869, he brought with him a large lump of chicle, the
elastic sap of the sapodilla tree, which Mayan Indians had been chewing for
centuries. He hoped that Thomas Adams, an inventor, could refine the chicle
for a rubber substitute. Adams experimented with the stuff, but it remained
lifeless. By chance, he saw a little girl buying paraffin a "pretty poor
gum" at a drug store. Adams asked the druggist if he would be willing to try
a new kind of gum. He said yes. Adams rushed home, soaked and kneaded the
chicle into small grayish balls. The druggist sold all of them the next day.
With $55, Adams went into business making Adams New York Gum #1 and set the
world to chewing and snapping!
chianti (ki-AHN-tee) - A classic
dry red wine of Tuscany. Often called "pizza wine" as it is often served in
Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza –
Chicago deep-dish pizza is different from the regular thin crust pizza as it
has a thicker crust with more ingredients topping it. It is almost like a
casserole on bread crust.
The origin of this style of pizza is credited to Ike Sewell, who in 1943
created the dish at his bar and grill named Pizzeria Uno. The pizza was so
popular that he had to open more pizza restaurants to handle the crowds.
Deep-dish pizza may be one of Chicago’s most important contributions to 20th
century culture. There are more than 2,000 pizzerias serving this much
beloved deep-dish pizza there.
For history of the following Chicken Dishes,
Check out Linda Stradley's
History of Poultry Dishes.
Chicken A' La King - This is a rich
chicken dish that uses lots of cream with pimentos and sherry. It is served
either on hot buttered toast, pastry shells, or in a nest of noodles.
Chicken Booyah – A super “stick to
your ribs” soup-stew made with chicken. While chicken soup is universal and
variations of this dish can be found in many cultures world wide,
northeastern Wisconsin is the only place in the world where Chicken Booyah
is found. It is a favorite at the many festivals, church picnics, bazaars,
and any other large gathering in the northeast part of Wisconsin.
Restaurants have their own special recipe. Booyah is lovingly called
“Belgian Penicillin.” It is believed that the word “Booyah” comes from the
Chicken Cacciatora – Cacciatore means
“hunter’s style.” See cacciatore. This dish developed in central Italy and
has many variations. It is considered a country-style dish in which
chicken pieces are simmered together with tomatoes and mushrooms. The dish
originated in the Renaissance period (1450-1600)
when the only people who could afford to enjoy poultry and the sport
of hunting were the well to do, This dish developed in central Italy and has
- A chicken casserole dish with broccoli and mornay or hollandaise sauce.
Chicken-Fried Steak – It is also known
as Country-Fried Steak
and affectionately called “CFS” by Texans. There is no chicken in
Chicken-Fried Steak. It is tenderized round steak (a cheap and tough piece
of beef) made like fried chicken with a milk gravy made from the drippings
left in the pan. Although not official, the dish is considered the state
dish of Texas. According to a Texas Restaurant Associate, it is estimated
that 800,000 orders of Chicken-Fried Steak are served in Texas every day,
not counting any prepared at home.
Every city, town, and village in Texas takes
prides in their CFS. Some, admittedly, are better than others. Texans have a
unique way of rating restaurants that serve CFS. The restaurants are rated
by the number of pickup trucks that is parked out in front. Never stop at a
one pickup place, as the steak will have been frozen and factory breaded. A
two and three pickup restaurant is not much better. A four and five pickup
place is a must stop restaurants, as the CFS will be fresh and tender with
good sopping gravy.
Chicken Kiev (kee-EHV)
– Also called Tsiplenokovo Po-Kievski.
A boned and flattened chicken breast that is
then rolled around a chilled piece of herbed butter. It is then breaded and
fried. This poultry dish is also called "Chicken Supreme."
Chicken Marengo – Originally made with
crayfish and chicken. Today, the crayfish is usually left out. Chicken Marengo today is chicken cut into pieces, browned in oil,
and then cooked slowly with peeled tomatoes, crushed garlic, parsley, white
wine and cognac, seasoned with crushed pepper and served with fried eggs on
the side (with or without crayfish, also on the side) and toast or croutons,
doubling as Dunand's army bread.
Chicken Rochambeau - This Louisiana
Creole dish is half a chicken (breast, leg, thigh), which is boned and not
skinned. It’s grilled, then served as a layered dish -first a slice of baked
ham, then the brown Rochambeau sauce (chicken stock and brown sugar), then
the chicken is covered with a Béarnaise sauce. Antoine’s restaurant in New
Orleans, Louisiana is famous for this chicken dish.
Chicken Tetrazzini –
chickpea (chik-peez) - See
chicory (chick-ory) - An herb of
which the roots are dried, ground, and roasted. It is now used to flavor
coffee (there is a popular belief that chicory smoothes out coffee).
History: For thousands of years, these
plants have been cultivated and used in home remedies and a drug of choice
for royalty. Queen Elizabeth I of England took chicory broth. In the U.S.,
chicory is so common on roadsides that it is hard to realize that is not
native. Thomas Jefferson had some planted at Monticello in 1774 with the
seeds probably coming from Italy. He used it as a ground cover in his
fields, as cattle fodder, and as "a tolerable salad for the table."
cake - It is the first really new development in
cake making in many years. It uses vegetable oil in place of conventional
History: For history of
Chiffon Cake, check out Linda Stradley's History of Cakes.
chiffonade (shihf-uh-NAHD) - (1)
This is a French word, which comes from the word "chiffon" which means,
"rag". In culinary terms, a chiffonade describes a way of cutting herbs and
lettuces into thin strips or shreds, which look a bit like rags. (2)
Chiffonade is also a dish consisting of a mixture of green vegetables (such
as spinach, lettuce, and sorrel) which are shredded or cut finely into
ribbons (sometimes melted butter is added). It is used to form a bed for a
dish such as egg mayonnaise or as a garnish for soups.
chile, chilie, chili pepper -
Chile peppers are all members of the capsicum family. There are more than
200 varieties available today. They vary in length from 1/2-inch to 12
inches long with the shortest and smallest peppers being the hottest. Always
take caution when handling them (wear rubber gloves when seeding a fresh
one). Colors range from yellow to green to red to black. The best antidote
for a "chile burn" in the mouth is sugar or hard candy. The heat of chiles
comes from a compound called capsaicin. It is located in the "ribs" of the
chile. Seeds do contain some heat, but not at the same intensity as the
ribs. Chiles are called peppers, but are not related to black pepper.
Botanically, they are berries and horticulturally, they are fruits. When
fresh, we use them as vegetables. When dried, we use them as spices.
Scoville unit is the thermometer of the chile business. Established by
Wilbur Scoville, these are the units of heat of a chile's burn. A habanero
is considered 100 times hotter than a jalapeno! Units rank from 0 to
To learn more about these peppers, check out Linda Stradley's web page on
Chiles Relleno – A Mexican and
Southwest dish of stuffed chile peppers.
chili - Chili is the stew-like
soup made entirely with meat, chiles or chili powder (or both) and according
to what region of the country that you live in, it can also include beans..
Will Rogers called chili "bowl of blessedness."
History: For a very detailed history of Chili, check out
History and Legends of Chili.
chimichanga (chim-me-CHAN-gaz) –
A burrito prepared with your choice of meat, vegetables, and spices that are
rolled up to form a large spring roll, either deep fried or grilled
deep-fried, and served on a bed of lettuce with cheese and mild sauce. The
chimichanga or “chimi” is the quintessential Tucson, Arizona food item,
which has achieved a cult status in that city. The residents of Tucson take
their “chimis” very seriously and would prefer to pay more money so as not
to be served a smaller one with fewer ingredients. They love the large,
gigantic ones. Every restaurant and Mom and Pop eatery has his or her own
version of this favorite dish.
Culinary historians argue about exactly where in Tucson chimichangas were
invented. Several restaurants claim the bragging rights of being the first
to serve one. The strongest claim comes from Tucson’s El Charro Cake, the
oldest Mexican restaurant in Tucson. Family legend says that, Monica Flin,
who started the restaurant in 1922, cussed in the kitchen when a burrito
flipped into the deep fryer. As young nieces and nephews were in the kitchen
with her, she hanged the swear word to chimichanga, the Spanish equivalent
Chinese gooseberry - It is now
called kiwi fruit and it is a native of China.
History: It was introduced into New
Zealand in 1906 and has been commercially cultivated there ever since. Since
Chinese gooseberry is a rather un-enchanting name, they decided to rename
the fruit "kiwi." This name not only identifies New Zealand but also
describes the tiny New Zealand Kiwi bird.
Chinese parsley - See cilantro.
chipotle chile (chih-POHT-lay) -
pepper is simply a smoked jalapeno pepper.
are usually a dull tan to coffee color and measure approximately 2 to 4
inches in length and about an inch wide. It is sold either dried or canned with adobo
sauce. Most of the
natural heat of the jalapeno is retained in the process.
Chipotle peppers are very hot, and they can
easily over power dishes and recipes. Chipotles are available dried
whole, powdered, pickled, and canned in Adobo sauce.
(CHIHT-lingz) - Chitterlings are the middle section or small intestines of
animals (hot intestines or guts). Chitterlings are the more formal name, but
most people call them chitlins. Some people turn up their noses at
the mention of chitlins, as they are a food that you either love or hate.
Others leave the house while they are cooking, driven away by their earthly
odor. The volume sold for New Year’s dinners, with Christmas and
Thanksgiving not far behind, attests to chitlins’ popularity in the United
History: In colonial slave days of the
sold South of the United States, December was the time when the hogs were
slaughtered. The hams and all the better cuts went to the plantation owners,
while the leftovers or garbage (chitterlings) were given to the slaves.
Because of the West African traditional of cooking all edible part of plants
and animals, these foods helped the slaves survive in the United States.
Animal innards have long been treasured foods
around the world Scotland has their national dish of haggis (sheep’s stomach
stuffed with animal’s minced heart, liver, and lungs); Throughout Europe,
tripe 9cow or ox stomach) is popular, and French chefs in upscale
restaurants serve dishes based on cow’s brains and kidneys.
Learn more about
and also a recipe.
chives - Chives are a member of
the onion family. They are used to delicately flavor soups, salads, dips,
cheeses, eggs, sauces, and dressings. They make an eye-catching garnish when
sprinkled on top of a favorite recipe. Their lavender flowers are an
attractive and tasty addition to salads. Chives are almost always used fresh
or added to hot foods at the last minute so they retain their flavor.
History: Chives have been respected
for their culinary versatility for more than 3000 years. In Ancient China,
raw chives were prescribed to control internal bleeding. But when chives
made their way to Europe, herbalists had a different opinion. They warned
that eating the herb raw would induce evil vapors in the brain. Despite the
admonishments, chives became everyday sights in European households; bunches
of them were hung in houses to ward off evil spirits. Gypsies used chives
for their fortune-telling rituals and also hung them from the ceiling to
drive away diseases and evil spirits.
chocolate (CHAWK-lit or
CHAWK-uh-lit; CHAHK-lit or CHAHK-uh-lit) - A delicate tree, cacao, it is
only grown in rain forests in the tropics, usually on large plantations,
where it must be protected from wind and intense sunlight. The cacao bean is
harvested twice a year.
bittersweet chocolate - Still dark, but a little sweeter than
unsweetened. Bittersweet has become the sophisticated choice of chefs.
- A term generally used to describe high-quality chocolate used by
professional bakers in confectionery and baked products. It has more cocoa
butter than regular chocolate. It's specially formulated for dipping and
coating things like truffles.
milk chocolate or sweet chocolate - Candy bar chocolate. Chocolate to
which whole and/or skim milk powder has been added. Rarely used in cooking
because the protein in the added milk solids interferes with the texture of
the baked products.
semisweet chocolate - Slightly sweetened during processing and most
often used in frostings, sauces, fillings, and mousses. They are
interchangeable in most recipes. The favorite of most home bakers.
German chocolate - Dark, but sweeter than semisweet. German chocolate is
the predecessor to bittersweet. It has no connection to Germany; a man named
German developed it.
unsweetened chocolate - It is also called baking chocolate or
plain chocolate. This is the most common type used in baking and is the
only true baking chocolate.
white chocolate - According to the FDA, "white chocolate" cannot legally
be called chocolate because it contains no cocoa powder, a component of
chocolate. True chocolate contains pulverized roasted cocoa bean, consisting
of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids
and thus technically is white confectionery coating. Beware--some
white confectionery coatings don't even contain cocoa butter. Even in "real"
white chocolate the chocolate flavor is subtle at best, being to real
chocolate what white soul is to soul.
History: Aztec Indian legend held that
cacao seeds had been brought from Paradise and that wisdom and power came
from eating the fruit of the cacao tree. Because of a spelling error,
probably by English traders long ago, the cacao beans became know as the
cocoa beans. The Spanish general, Hernando Cortes, landed in Mexico in 1519.
The Aztecs believed he was the reincarnation of one of their lost gods. They
honored him by serving him an unusual drink, presented in a cup of pure
gold. This unusual drink was called chocolatl by the Aztecs. During
his conquest of Mexico, Cortez found the Aztec Indians using cocoa beans in
the preparation of the royal drink of the realm, "chocolatl," meaning warm
liquid. In 1519, Emperor Montezuma, who reportedly drank 50 or more portions
daily, served chocolate to his Spanish guests in great golden goblets,
treating it like a food for the gods. Montezuma's chocolate was very bitter,
and the Spaniards did not find it to their taste. To make the concoction
more agreeable to Europeans, Cortez and his countrymen conceived the idea of
sweetening it with cane sugar. While they took chocolate back to Spain, the
idea found favor and the drink underwent several more changes with newly
discovered spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla. Ultimately, someone decided
the drink would taste better if served hot. This sweet drink became
fashionable and soon there were chocolate houses in all the capitals of
Swiss chocolatier, Daniel Pieter, invented
milk chocolate in 1876. Today, the finest chocolate is still made in
Switzerland, and the consumption of milk chocolate far out-weights that of
plain chocolate. Chocolate was introduced to the United States in 1765 when
John Hanan brought cocoa beans from the West Indies into Dorchester,
Massachusetts, to refine them with the help of Dr. James Baker. The first
chocolate factory in the country was established there in 1780. It was
America's first chocolate mill where they made a blend of quality chocolate
called BAKER'S® chocolate.
Read Linda Stradley's article on It's True - Dark
Chocolate is Healthy Chocolate.
chocolate chips -
History: In 1939, Nestle created the
convenient, ready-to-use chocolate pieces, introducing chocolate chips. In
the 1940s, Mrs. Wakefield sold all legal rights to the use of the Toll House
trademark to Nestle. In 1983, the Nestle Company lost its exclusive rights
to the trademark in federal court. Toll house is now a descriptive term for
a cookie. See chocolate chip cookie.
chocolate chip cookie - Today
the chocolate chip cookie remains a favorite choice among cookie
connoisseurs. The term "toll house" has become a part of the American
History: For the history of
Chocolate Chip Cookies, check out Linda Stradley's History of Cookies.
cholent (CHUH-lent) - Cholent is
traditional Jewish cuisine served on the Sabbath. Whether the hamin of
Sephardic communities, the cholent of Ashkenazic ones, or a fusion of the
two, it is still favored by many for Shabbat, particularly on a cold winter
History: It was born of Orthodox
Jewish observance of the Sabbath, when fires could not be kindled. Instead,
families would either leave a real low oven going at home or take their pots
to the village baker and let the food cook overnight. Some contend that
every slow-cooking dish made with beans derives from this Jewish technique.
There is no doubt that, in Hungary, it evolved into shalet, one of the
national dishes, while the Pilgrims, after spending time with Sephardic Jews
in Holland, adopted it prior to sailing to the New World. The substitutions
they later had to make for some ingredients resulted in Boston baked beans.
The origin of cholent is likely in the pre-Inquisition Sephardic kitchen.
From there, it probably traveled to Alsace, where it is believed to have
been called chault-lent, Old French for hot and slow. When it was then
brought to Germany and Eastern Europe, it took on the basic composition,
which characterizes it today.
chop - To cut food into
irregular pieces. The size is specified if it is critical to the outcome of
Chop Suey – Chop Suey is the
English pronunciation of the Cantonese words tsap seui (tsa-sui in
Mandarin), which means, "mixed pieces." It is a Chinese-American dish
consisting of bits of meat or chicken, bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms,
etc., cooked in its own juices and served with rice. Most Chinese are not
fond of Chop Suey as it is mainly popular with non Chinese-Americans.
According to the Chinese-Americans, its presence on a restaurant's menu is
often times a harbinger of bad food to come. It is only served in Chinese
restaurants that cater to American customers.
An American dish that Chinese immigrants in the 1860s, who were untrained as
cooks, created out of meat and vegetables fried together in their own juices
and served over rice. In the 1860s, a pattern of discrimination emerged that
prevented the Chinese from working their own gold mining claims, causing
them to take work as laborers and cooks for the Transcontinental Railway. It
was this Chinese influence that gave us the totally American Chop Suey, as
these dishes were created to feed the workers with what food was on hand.
Constrained by the lack of Asian vegetables, and trying to produce a Chinese
dish palatable to Westerners, the cook stir-fried whatever vegetables were
handy, thus Chop Suey is a mixture of odds and ends of large pieces of
vegetables and meat. After World War II, Chop Suey became as American as
apple pie to the non-Chinese population.
chopsticks - Eating utensils,
about eight inches long, rectangular at the top and tapered at the eating
ends. Today, chopsticks are used in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as
China, making them the world's second-most popular method of conveying food
to mouth, the most popular being the fingers. Chopsticks are never made of
metal because metal may react with the acids found in food and taint its
taste. Usually made out of wood, some of the more fancy ones are intricately
carved out of bone or ivory. Bamboo is used also.
History: It is not known when
chopsticks first began to be used, although it is fairly certain that they
were invented in China, where they have been traced back at least as far as
the 3rd century BC. Knives, with all their associations with war and death,
were not brought to the dinner table, as they were in the West.
Chinese chopsticks - In China, chopsticks are usually made of bamboo or
other wood. Chinese chopsticks were once referred to as chu, meaning, "help
in eating." Today, they are called k'uai-tzu, meaning "something fast." This
phrase is said to have originated among boatmen, who renamed the utensils,
originally called chu, which means, "help," because the word sounded
so much like their word for a slow or becalmed ship. This struck them as
particularly inappropriate for such an efficient eating tool. The word with
which we are all familiar came into being during the 19th century, when
traders into Pidgin English translated Chinese words. The word chop
means fast, as in the phrase "chop chop!"
Japanese chopsticks - The Japanese word for chopsticks, hashi, means
"bridge." Unlike Chinese chopsticks, which are squared-off and blunt at the
end, the Japanese utensils are rounded and tapered to a point. It has been
suggested that this is in order to facilitate the removal of bones from
fish, which makes up a great part of the Japanese diet.
chorizo (CHORE-ee-so) - A highly
seasoned Mexican sausage that is made with ground pork and hot peppers. It
is sold fresh or dried and usually encased in narrow casings, but also sold
in bulk in some markets. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork, while the
Spanish version uses smoked pork.
Chorley cake - Chorley cakes are
a British pastry made with dried fruit similar to the cakes and buns common
in Banbury, Eccles, Coventry, and Clifton. A typical recipe consists of a
pie crust (like pastry cut into small rounds) filled with a mixture of dried
currants, peel, brown sugar, butter, and spices such as nutmeg. The pastry
is folded, and then rolled out until the fruit begins to show through. They
are baked, then eaten fresh with butter, or kept for several days.
History: It is believed that they were
developed to take on trips during medieval times. Each city claimed its own
version, differing in spices, fruits, and the use of rum.
choux pastry (shoo) - Choux
derives from the French work "chou" which means "cabbage." It was used to
describe layered pastry, as the layers were thought to resemble the leaves
of cabbage. It is a kind of pastry made from smooth dough consisting of
flour, water, salt, butter, eggs, and sometimes sugar. This pastry is used
for cream puffs, eclairs, beignets, and other dishes requiring a puff
chow – An American slang term
for food. The named is credited to American servicemen for have to
stand in line and wait for their food. The word is thought to be from the
Chinese word “ch’ao” meaning “to fry or cook” during 1850s when Chinese
laborers worked on the Pacific railroads.
chowhound - A
person who enjoys eating and live to eat
- A line of people waiting for food, as in a cafeteria.
chowder (chowda) - Chowder comes
from the French word "cauldron," meaning a cooking kettle. Vegetables or
fish stewed in a cauldron thus became know as chowder in English speaking
nations (a corruption of the name of the pot or kettle in which they were
For a detailed history of
Chowder, check out Linda Stradley's
History of Chowder, Clam Chowder/Fish Chowder.
Mein – A Chinese-American dish consisting of
stewed vegetables and meat with fried noodles. It comes from the Mandarin
Chinese words ch’ao mien
meaning “fried noodles.” It is thought that this Chinese dish was brought to
America by the Chinese laborers and cooks for the Transcontinental Railway
in the 1850s.
chutney (CHUHT-nee) - The word
comes from the Hindustani word chatni, which means "a hot, spicy condiment."
Originally this word referred to a sweet and spicy preserve of fruit,
vinegar, sugar, and spices that was used exclusively in Indian cooking.
American chutneys are less spicy and very sweet. They are used more as jams
or preserves. However, with the advent of "fusion cuisine" and with all
culinary terms bandied about rather loosely these days, a chutney can be
just about any topping or accompaniment, somewhat sweet, usually made with
fruit and used the way we do salsas.
History: Chutney became an accepted
part of the British culinary scene after the British who lived in India
brought it back.
cider - Cider is fermented apple
juice that is made by pressing the juice from fruit. Although apples are the
most common fruit from which cider is made, pears and sweet cherries are
often pressed for cider as well. It can be drunk straight or diluted with
- Hard cider is a fermented beverage prepared from the juice of apples. The
fermentation continues until the sugar is transformed into alcohol.
commercial grade cider - Apple juice or cider is usually more refined
than ordinary cider. They remove the yeasts and develop to produce hard
cider. They are destroyed by a low temperature method without affecting the
vitamin content. Apple juice is also put through very fine filters. Of
course, they usually add preservatives.
fresh or sweet cider - The liquid is fresh cider as long as it remains
in its natural state and is not sweetened, preserved, clarified, or
otherwise altered. In sweet cider, fermentation is not permitted at all.
History: Hard cider made from ripe
apples usually contains from 4% to 8% alcohol. Hard cider was a staple of
life in the U.S. from the earliest colonial times until the mid-19th century
temperance campaigns that resulted in the destruction of thousands of acres
of apple orchards. By the turn of the century, hard cider had all but
disappeared from the national diet.
cilantro (SEE-lan-trow) -
Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander leaves. It is also sometimes
called Chinese or Mexican parsley. Technically, coriander refers to the
entire plant. It is a member of the carrot family. Chopped fresh leaves are
widely used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking, where they are combined with
chiles and added to salsas, guacamoles, and seasoned rice dishes. Most
people either love it or hate it. Taste experts aren't sure why, but for
some people the smell of fresh coriander is fetid and the taste soapy. In
other words, while most people love coriander, for some people, coriander
just doesn't taste good. When purchasing, look for leaves that are tender,
aromatic, and very green. If it has no aroma, it will have no flavor. Avoid
wilted bunches with yellowing leaves.
cinnamon (SIH-nuh-muhn) - It is
the aromatic inner bark of the "cinnamonum zeylanicum", a native tree in
History: Cinnamon was considered one
of the spices that started world exploration. This common spice was once the
cause of much intrigue and bloodshed among traders and growers. The Arabs
first introduced it on the world market, but kept the source secrets. They
invented fantastic tales of bloodthirsty monsters that roamed the cinnamon
country. It was once considered a gift fit for a monarch. In ancient times,
it was thought to inspire love, and a love portion was concocted from it.
When the Dutch were in control of the world spice market, they burned
cinnamon when its price went too low to suit them.
Cincinnati Chili – The main
differences between Cincinnati and Texas chili is that the Cincinnati Chili
calls for some sweet spices and the way you start cooking the meat. The
sauce has a thinner consistency that is more like a topping and is mixed
with an unusual and secret blend of spices that includes cinnamon,
chocolate, or cocoa, allspice, and Worcestershire sauce. Cincinnati Chili is
truly the unofficial food of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the most
chili-crazed city in the United States. Cincinnati prides itself on being a
true chili capital with over 180 chili parlors.
If you choose “the works,” you are eating
what they call “Five-Way Chili.” Make sure to pile on the toppings – that is
what sets it apart from any other chili dish. To test a restaurant for
authenticity, ask for a Four-Way. If they ask you whether you want the bean
or onion option, you have a fake Cincinnati Chili as Four-Way comes with
This chili is unique to the Cincinnati area and was created in 1922 by a
Macedonian immigrant, Tom Kiradjieff. He settled in Cincinnati with his
brother, John, and opened a small Greek restaurant, called the Empress, only
to do a lousy business because nobody there at the time knew anything about
Greek food. He then created a chili made with Middle Eastern spices, which
could be served in a variety of ways. His “five-way” was a concoction of a
mound of spaghetti topped with chili, chopped onion, kidney beans, shredded
yellow cheese and served with oyster crackers and a side order of hot dogs
topped with more shredded cheese.
Check out two different recipes and methods of making Cincinnati Chili:
- Version 1
Chili - Version 2
Cioppino (chuh-PEE-noh) – It is
a fish stew that is considered San Francisco's signature dish. It is a
descendant of the various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cooking.
The best way to make Cioppino, is as you like it. It can by prepared with as
many as a dozen kinds of fish and shellfish. It all depends on what the
day's catch is like and what your own personal choice is. The origin of the
word is something of a mystery and many historians believe that it is
Italian-American for "chip in." It is also believed that the name comes form
a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.
History: This fish stew first became
popular on the docks of San Francisco's Fisherman’s Wharf in the 1930s. It
is thought to be the result of Italian fishermen adding something from their
day's catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf. After World War II,
Cioppino migrated to the East Coast.
Check out Linda's favorite
San Francisco Cioppino
citron (SIHT-ron) - (1) Citron
is a semi-tropical citrus fruit like a lemon, but larger and less acidic. It
grows as an irregular, open-headed shrub or small tree with large, light
green leaves. The flowers are purple on the outside and are followed by
large, oblong or ellipsoid fruits. The peel is very thick and is rough and
yellow on the outside and white inside. They were originally grown in Europe
out of interest for its fragrant fruits, but later, the white pulp was used
raw, being served as a salad or with fish. A method of candying the peel was
developed and candied peel is now the main Citron product. This plant is
never eaten raw but is harvested for usage of its peel. The plant is soaked
in a brine solution to extract the oil, which is used in liqueurs. The peel
is then candied. This product is used in many baking dishes and desserts.
History: This was the first Citrus
fruit that was introduced to Europe by the armies of Alexander the Great
about 300 BC. It found a suitable home in the Mediterranean region where it
has been cultivated from that time to the present. Southern Italy, the
island of Corsica and some Greek islands grow nearly all the Citrons.
(2) Citron (see-TRAWN) - Citron is also the
French word for "lemon."
citronella (sih-truh-NEHL-uh) -
It is also known as lemongrass. It is a stiff tropical grass that resembles
a large fibrous green onion. It is an essential herb in southeast Asian
cooking. It adds a lemony flavor to dishes.
citrus fruits - Citrus fruits
are native to the southern and southeastern mainland of Asia and the
bordering Malayan islands. Their flowers smell sweet and they have five
petals that are white and some kinds have purple staining the outer
surfaces. The fruits are spherical or egg-shaped and have 8-14 juicy
sections containing large, white or greenish seed leaves (cotyledons). These
trees are cultivated in orchards or groves and in gardens where the climate
and soil are suitable and as greenhouse plants. Florida and California
produce an abundant supply of Citrus fruits. Citrus trees require a minimum
winter temperature of 45-50 degrees.
History: Citrus fruits are native to
Southern China and Southeast Asia where they have been cultivated for
approximately 4,000 years. In fact, the oldest Oriental literature includes
stories about these fruits. The citron was carried to the Middle East
sometime between 400 and 600 BC. Arab traders in Asia carried lemons, limes,
and oranges to eastern Africa and the Middle East between AD 100 and 700.
During the Arab occupation of Spain, citrus fruits arrived in southern
Europe. From Europe they were carried to the New World by Christopher
Columbus and Portuguese and Spanish explorers and were well known in Florida
and Brazil by the 16th century. Superior varieties from Southeast Asia also
arrived in Europe with the Portuguese traders in the 16th century
clams - All clams are mollusks
that live in the sediments of bays, estuaries, or the ocean floor. Clams are
sold in the shell or shucked. There are three major types of clams.
soft-shell clams - Known as steamers, manninoses, or squirts. They have
brittle shells that break easily.
hard-shell clams - Known as quahog, littleneck, cherrystone, and hard
- These make up the bulk of the commercial catch. They are used for
preparing chowders, clam sauces, and fried clam strips.
clarified butter - Clarified
butter is butter, which has been slowly heated up in order to separate the
white milk solids (which burn at high heat) from the butterfat. The milk
solids (which sink to the bottom of the pan) are discarded and the pure
butterfat (clarified butter), which remains, is saved for frying and
sautéing. Chefs clarify butter because it has a higher smoking point and
they can then fry or sauté in it without it burning.
Learn how to make
clarify - To clear a liquid of
all solid particles using a special cooking process. (1) To clarify butter
means to melt it and pour off the clear top layer from the milky residue at
the bottom of the pan. The resulting clear liquid can be used at a higher
cooking temperature and will not go rancid as quickly as unclarified butter.
(2) To clarify stock, egg whites and/or eggshells are commonly added and
simmered for about 15 minutes. The egg whites attract and trap particles
from the liquid. After cooling, strain the mixture through a cloth-lined
sieve to remove residue. (3) To clarify rendered fat, add hot water and boil
for about 15 minutes. The mixture should then be strained through several
layers of cheesecloth and chilled. The resulting layer of fat should be
completely clear of residue.
clotted cream - Traditionally
served with tea and scones in England; it is a 55% minimum milk fat product
made by heating unpasturized milk to about 82 degrees C, holding them at
this temperature for about an hour and then skimming off the yellow wrinkled
cream crust that forms (until the cream separates and floats to the
surface). It is also known as Devonshire cream. It will last up to
four days if refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.
cloves – The name clove is
derived from the Latin word clavus meaning “nail.” Cloves are the
fried flower buds of the clove tree belonging to the evergreen family.
History: Trade between the Ternate
(clove island) and China goes back at least 2500 years. In China, cloves
were used for cooking and also to cover bad breath and body odor, any one
having an audience with the emperor had to chew cloves to prevent any
undesired smell. This spice was jealously fought over by the early growers
and traders. They were grown in the Molucca islands for many centuries and
then later in Zanaibar. After a cyclone had destroyed the Zanaibar crops, a
number of barrels of cloves reached New York that had been stored for 100
years. The cloves were in perfect condition.
Club Sandwich – It is a sandwich
with cooked chicken breast and bacon, along with juicy ripe tomatoes and
crisp lettuce layered between two or three slices of toasted bread with
History: For the history of the
Club Sandwich, check out Linda Stradley's History
and Legends of Sandwiches.
coagulation - The curdling or
clumping of protein (usually eggs) due to the application of heat or acid
(such as lemon juice or vinegar) in sauces and custards. In normal
environments, the proteins in the egg yolk will begin to coagulate at 160
deg F. A sauce or custard can be thickened, called coagulation, by adding
egg and heating.
coat - To cover food completely
with a glaze, aspic, mayonnaise, sauce, or icing.
Cobb Salad - Typically a Cobb
Salad consists of chopped chicken or turkey, bacon, hard cooked eggs,
tomatoes, avocado, cheddar cheese, and lettuce. It is served with crumbled
blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing. The original recipe for Cobb salad
included avocado, celery, tomato, chives, watercress, hard-boiled eggs,
chicken, bacon, and Roquefort cheese.
History: For the history of the
Cobb Salad, check out Linda Stradley's History of Salads and Salad Dressings.
cobbler – (1) An iced drink made
of wine or liqueur, sugar, and citrus fruit. Served in a Collins
or highball glass garnished with fruit.
Cobblers are an American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust
(usually a biscuit crust) and a fruit filling (such as peaches, apples,
berries). Some versions are enclosed in the crust, while others have a
drop-biscuit or crumb topping.
These desserts have been and are still called by
various names such as cobbler, tart, pie, torte, pandowdy, grunt, slump,
buckles, crisp, croustade, upside-down cakes, bird's nest pudding or crow's
nest pudding. They are all simple variations of cobblers, and they are all
based on seasonal fruits and berries. Whatever fresh ingredients are readily
at hand. They are all homemade and simple to make and rely more on taste
than fancy pastry preparation. Early settlers were very good at improvising.
When they first arrived, they bought their favorite recipes with the. Not
finding their favorite ingredients, they used whatever was available. That's
how all these traditional American dishes came about with such unusual
For a detailed
history of Cobbler, check out Linda Stradley's
History and Legends of Cobbler,
Crisps, Crumble, Brown Betty, Buckle, Grunts, Slumps, Birds's Nest Pudding,
cochon de lati - Translated from
French to English, the word literally means, "pig in milk." To make this
Cajun pig roast, use a suckling (young) pig to get the finest pork flavor.
The Cajuns of southwest Louisiana have always enjoyed their pork, but
consider a Cochon De Lait to be a special treat. Historically, men cooked
the pig over an outdoor fire, while the women prepare other dishes inside
the house. Many Cajuns consider the crackling skin the best part of the
Cochon De Lait.
cocoa - Cocoa was used in
beverage making in Central America and the West Indies long before the
arrival of the early explorers. See chocolate.
cocoa butter - The
yellowish-white vegetable fat, removed from chocolate liquid under high
coconut - In Thailand they are
called a maprao. They are thought to be native to Indonesia or
Malaysia, but they now grow freely in all the tropical regions of the world.
They are used for coconut juice when young and coconut cream when mature.
Coconuts are green when young and brown with the hard inner nut when ripe.
They are the stones of the fruit and have a hard inner shell, which includes
coconut milk surrounded by a bright, white, crunchy flesh.
coconut cream - The rich, solid milk found at the top of a can of
coconut milk. If a recipe calls for coconut cream, simply scoop out the top
solid portion. Each 14-ounce can of coconut milk contains approximately 3 to
4 ounces of coconut cream.
- It is not the liquid inside a coconut, but the liquid produced when
freshly grated coconut is soaked in hot or scaled water or milk for a
designated length of time and then strained. This milk has a sweet fragrance
and gives body and flavor to dishes. It is usually available in cans.
Coconut milk is classified as thick, thin, or coconut cream. Thick coconut
milk is the result of the first soaking and squeezing. If this milk is
refrigerated it separates, and the top layer is the coconut cream. Thin
coconut milk is what is produced when the coconut meat is steeped a second
time and then strained. Canned coconut milk naturally separates. They top
layer can be spooned of for recipes calling for cream, the bottom poured
into thin, or just shake it up to get the most commonly called for thick
coconut milk (if a recipe calls for coconut milk, vigorously shake the can
to thoroughly mix).
coddle - To cook food slowly in
water just below the boiling point.
coffee – The coffee (coffea)
plant in the Rubiacee family, to which belongs also, for example, the
gardenia. Coffee beans are roasted to varying degree of darkness and can
have a wide array of flavors. Additives to the beans, such as vanilla or
hazelnut are popular in America. Coffee can be drunk black, or sweetened
with sugar or honey, and lightened with milk or cream.
History: The first definite dates go
back to 800 B.C.; but already Homer, and many Arabian legends, tells the
story of a mysterious black and bitter beverage with powers of stimulation. B the end of
the 9th Century an Arab drink known as qahwa, literally meaning,
"that which prevents sleep" was being made by boiling the beans. Its introduction to Europeans came through
the Arab pilgrimages. The government forbade transportation of the plant out
of the Moslem nations.
Coffee beans were not allowed to be taken out of the country
unless they had first been dried in sunlight or boiled in water to kill the
seed-germ The actual spread of coffee was started illegally by
either being smuggled or inadvertently taken by groups of pilgrims on their
annual travels to Mecca.
Venice, the key port of Europe, started the coffee drinking trend in Europe.
The first coffee house was opened in 1640, and by 1763 Venice
numbered no less than 218 coffee houses.
coffee: In 1903, Ludwig Roselius, a
German coffee importer, in an
attempt to rescue a batch of ruined coffee beans, perfected the process of
removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He markets
it under the brand name "Sanka." Sanka is introduced to the United States in
instant coffee: In 1906,
George Constant Washington, an English chemist living in Guatemala, notices
a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee carafe.
After experimentation, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee
(his brand is called Red E Coffee).
Learn about Coffee Time - Java Talk
(How to make a perfect cup of coffee),
Use a French Press (coffee press, plunger press and/or press coffee),
How To Use a Moka Pot
Espresso Machines (Different
Styles for Different Homes),
Coffee Beans, and
Coffee Drink Calories.
Coffee Milk (kaw-fee milk) –
A lot like chocolate milk but with coffee-flavored syrup. It is milk with
sweet coffee syrup added (two tablespoons of coffee syrup to 8 ounces of
milk). The drink is served either by the glass or the half-ping (in a
waxed-cardboard carton). In 1993, after much political debate, it was made
“The Official State Drink of Rhode Island,” Rhode Island is the only place
in the world where you can get this drink. If you travel more than ten miles
from the state border, no one will know what you’re talking about.
In Rhode Island, a milk shake is just what it
says: milk to which you add flavoring and then shake. In most of American,
if you order a milk shake, you get ice cream blended with milk. In Rhode
Island and most of New England, you would get chocolate powder or syrup
stirred into milk without ice cream.
History: The Coffee Milk was first introduced
to Rhode Islanders in the early 1920s. Two companies, Autocrat and Eclipse)
used to vie for the chocolate syrup business. Their rivalry ended in 1991,
when Autocrat bought the Eclipse brand name and secret formula. Both labels
are now produced by Autocrat and are available in stores.
Coffee Cabinet - When ice cream is added,
Coffee Milk is called a “Coffee Cabinet” or “Coffee Cab.” In other words, a “cabinet” is a
local term for a “frappe” which is a regional term for an ice cream milk
shake. It is though to be called a “cabinet” because it unknown originator
kept his blender in a kitchen cabinet.
Also mixers were often stored in square wooden cabinets.
Coffee Milk/Coffee Cabinet.
Cointreau (kwahn-troh) - It is
colorless, orange-flavored liquor from France.
Colby cheese (khol-bee) - It is
a hard cheese that is similar to cheddar cheese, although it is softer with
a more open texture, It may be made from either raw or pasteurized milk. It
is made in the same way as cheddar cheese except that the curd is not matted
- It is a combination of Monterey Jack and colby cheeses.
colcannon - Colcannon is a famous Irish dish
using mashed potatoes and cabbage that is served in a fluffy pile with a
well in the center filled with melted butter, so that you can dip each
the butter before eating it. It gets its name from the old name “cole” for
cabbage, which we still use in the term cole slaw or cabbage salad. In
most Irish cookbooks, kale is used instead of cabbage. Also known as Kale
Cannon or Kailkenny. In Scotland this dish is also known as Rumbledethumps. Traditionally
eaten at Lughnasa or Samhain, the Irish version of Thanksgiving. Colcannon
is a national Irish dish of sorts and it is traditional to put coins in the
Colcannon (kids absolutely love this tradition).
In England, this dish is
called Bubble and Squeak. The dish is composed of potatoes mashed up with
peas and cabbage and fried. Usually it's eaten for breakfast and is
made by frying on both sides in bacon fat until crisp and brown.
The dish originally contained beef along with the leftover cooked potatoes
and cabbage, though today people don't generally bother with the meat. The
name is apparently due to the sounds that are emitted during cooking, the
vegetables bubble as they are boiled and then squeak in the frying pan.
cold-smoking - Curing meat
(hams, sausages, bacon, fish) in the smoke of smoldering wood or corncobs at
temperatures from 60 to 100 degrees F.
Coleslaw (kol-slaw) – A cold
salad made with shredded cabbage mixed with mayonnaise as well as a variety
History: The term coleslaw is a late
19th century term, which originated in the United States. Cole
slaw (cold slaw) got it's name from the Dutch “kool sla”- the word “kool”
means cabbage and “sla” is salad - meaning simply, cabbage salad. In
English, that became “cole slaw” and eventually “cold slaw.” The original
Dutch “kool sla” was most likely served hot.
collard, collards, or collard greens
(KAHL-uhrd) - Any sort of cabbage in which the green leaves do not form a
compact "head." They are mostly large "kales." Reaction to the smell of
cooking collards separates true Southern eaters from the wannabes, as no
kitchen odor is more distinctive than that of a pot of greens as they come
to a boil. In the South, a large quantity of greens to serve a family is
commonly referred to as a “mess o’ greens.” The traditional southern way to
cook collards is to boil them with a piece of salt pork or ham hock slowly
for a long time (the longer the better) until they are very soft. The
typical way to serve greens is with freshly baked corn bread to dip into the
“Pot-Likker.” Pot likker is the highly concentrated and vitamin-filled broth
that results from the long boil of the greens, It is, in other words, the
“liquor” left in the pot.
History: Check out Linda Stradley's
History of Collard Greens.
compote (KAHM-poht) - (1)
Compote refers to a chilled dish of fresh or dried fruit that has been
slowly cooked in sugar syrup, which may also contain alcohol or liqueur and
sometimes spices. Slow cooking is important for the fruit to retain its
shape. (2) Also called compotier. It refers to a deep, stemmed dish (usually
silver or glass) used to hold fruit, nuts, or candy.
compound butter - Also known as finishing butter,
flavoring butter, or beurre composé
in French, A compound butter is butter that has been flavored by
blending softened butter together with various ingredients. These can be
savory or sweet.
The recipe for all flavored
butters is basically the same: soften unsalted butter and blend in the
flavor ingredients with an electric mixer, beating at medium speed until
completely blended (1 to 2 minutes). Use only fresh herbs and lemon or lime
juice. Let the butter stand for an hour in a cool place, covered, so the
flavors can develop; then refrigerate to harden.
Check out some
Flavored Butters (Compound Butters,
Finishing Butter, or Beurre Composé).
(kawn-ka-SAY) - A French term for rough chopping of a food/foods with a
knife or for breaking by pounding in a mortar. The term is frequently used
to refer to coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped). It
is often used in Italian-style pasta dishes.
condensed milk - Condensed Milk
is pure cow's milk properly combined with unadulterated cane sugar. The
waster content of the milk is evaporated.
History: Gail Borden (1801–1874), American dairyman, surveyor, and inventor, came
up with the idea during a transatlantic trip on board a ship in 1852 when
the cows in the hold became too seasick to be milked during the long trip,
and an immigrant infant died from lack of milk. He was granted a patent for
sweetened condensed in 1856.
Condensed milk was not successfully canned until 1885.
Condensed milk, initially sold from handcarts in New York City, became an
immediate success in urban areas where fresh milk was difficult to
distribute and store. Condensed milk was very popular during World War II in
England because of how well is kept.
(KON-duh-ment) - A spice, seasoning, or sauce that is used to give relish or
to enhance meat or other foods, and to gratify the taste. Condiments usually
supply little nourishment but add flavor to foods. Ketchup, butter, mustard,
salt, mayonnaise, hot sauce, etc. are considered as condiments. The word is
derived from the Latin word "condire," meaning to preserve or pickle.
conduction - In the process of
conduction, heat is transferred directly from one molecule to another (for
example, the hot coils from your stove element heat the cast-iron frying
pan, which then transfers heat to the cheese sandwich being grilled).
Conduction is not a speedy method of cooking, but it does do a good job. The
time cooking takes will depend upon how well your pan conducts heat. Various
materials conduct heat differently, so the material from which cooking
utensils are made, makes a difference to how quickly, and how well, food
cooks by conduction. Conduction also takes place as heat moves through the
food itself, cooking it from the outside first and then moving through the
food to the inside.
(kuhn-FEHK-shuh-nehrs) - Also called powdered sugar. It is granulated sugar
ground to a powder and sifted. Always sift it before using. In Britain it is
called icing sugar and in France sucre glace. See Sugar.
confit (kon-FEE) - It is French
term used to describe a way of preserving meat (usually pork, goose or
duck). It is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat whereby it is
salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The meat or poultry is salted first
and then slowly cooked in its own rendered fat. The resulting confit is then
packed in crocks and sealed with more fat. Confit can be refrigerated up to
6 months. Confit d'oie and confit de canard are preserved goose and
preserved duck, respectively. You can eat it cold, thinly sliced, in salads,
or use it to add to hot dishes such as the French specialty "cassoulet".
consomme (kon-somay) - It is
from the Latin word "consummare" meaning to "finish perfectly" and "raise to
the highest point of achievement." Consomme is considered one of the finest
of soups. It is a clear soup and it is essential to use stock made from raw
meat, which has been clarified by the addition of beaten egg white and clean
consomme Diane - It is made with game.
consomme Amiral - It is made with fish.
comsomme Madrilene - It is a beef consomme with cubes of beef or chicken
and vegetables julienne.
banquet consomme - It contains vegetables julienne and smoked salmon.
consomme frappe - Is an iced or chilled clear soup.
convection - It is the spread of
heat by a flow of hot air, steam, or liquid. This flow may be either natural
or mechanical. In a pot of liquid, the liquid closest to the fire is heated
first. As it is heated, it becomes lighter and rises to the top. The cooler,
heavier liquid sinks down, becomes heated in turn, and rises. Therefore, a
naturally circulating current of hot liquid is sent up throughout the pot.
convection oven - Convection
ovens are simply traditional gas or electric ovens equipped with a fan,
which circulates the hot oven air around the food. Foods cook more evenly
and faster with this type of oven.
cookie - In America, a cookie is
described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake; in Australia and the UK it
is called a biscuit. There are hundreds upon hundreds of cookie recipes in
the United States. No one book could hold the recipes for all of the various
types of cookies.
- These cookies are baked in sheets and then cut into squares or bars. They
are a softer type of cookie (more like a cake).
- Cookies that are dropped from a spoon. Almost any cookie dough can be
baked as a drop cookie (if additional liquid is added to the batter).
molded cookies - Molded cookies can be shaped by hand, stamped with a
pattern before baking or baked directly in a mold.
pressed cookies - These cookies are formed by pressing dough through a
cookie press (or pastry bag with a decorative tip) to form fancy shapes and
refrigerator cookies - Cookie dough is shaped into logs and is
refrigerated until firm. They are then sliced and baked.
rolled cookies - Rolled or crisp cookies are made from a stiff (or
chilled) dough, which is rolled and cut into shapes with sharp cookie
cutters, a knife, or a pastry wheel. They should be thin and crisp.
History: Check out
History of Cookies.
cooking spray - Aerosol cans
sold in grocery stores containing vegetable or olive oil, which can be
sprayed in a fine mist. This spray is used for "oiling" cooking pans so food
does not stick. One of the benefits of using cooking spray is that fewer
calories are added than if the pan is coated in oil.
copha - Copha is a solid fat
that is derived from the coconut. It is used primarily in recipes where it
is melted and combined with other ingredients and left to set.
- A hard dry sausage of Italian origin that is prepared by combining meat
from the most marbled part of pork necks and shoulders.
It is served
thinly sliced for antipasto or on sandwiches or pizza.
coquille ((kok-eeya) - It is
French for a shell (of a snail, oyster, or other shellfish).
Coquille St. Jacques (kok-eeya
sa zhak) - Coquille is the French word for "shell.”
Translated, the name means “Shell of St. James.” Coquilles St.
Jacques are scallops cooked in white wine with a little salt, peppercorn,
parsley, bay leaf, chopped shallots, and water. A sauce of fish stock,
butter, flour, milk, egg yolks, and cream accompanies them.
History: In the 12th century, the
scallop was around the necks, worn on the robes, and on the hats of pilgrims
traveling to the Spanish shrine of St. James the Apostle (St. Jacques in
French) in Campostello, Spain. Galicians who would accept passing
pilgrims into their homes also hung scallop shells over their doors. The shrine of St James ranked with Rome and the Holy Land as a
destination for pilgrims. Pilgrimages were undertaken as a penance for
grievous sins such as murder or adultery, to seek help with health problems,
or simply as an act of worship.
The scallop symbol identified them as harmless pilgrims and allowed them to
move unmolested through wars and civil unrest.
cordials - A sweet alcoholic
beverage made from an infusion of flavoring ingredients and a spirit. Today
cordials are usually served at room temperature in small glasses.
History: The history of cordials (also
called liqueurs) goes all the way back to the 1200s in Europe, when every
sort of spice, fruit, flower, and leaves were distilled or infused in
alcohol in an attempt to discover cures for diseases, the secret of eternal
youth, or a magic portion to turn base metals into gold. Alchemists and
monks in monasteries produced these elixirs behind closed doors and guarded
the recipes. A single drink might call for over 100 different ingredients
(many of which are familiar today). In France, in the 1700s, the character
of cordials changed. Their medicinal properties were forgotten and they
began to be consumed for pure pleasure following a meal. They were named
digestif, a drink to aid digestion. A new cordial was often created to
commemorate a victory or other happy occasion. Lighter, sweeter, and more
brightly colored than earlier cordials, they were first cousins to the
cordials we enjoy today.
(kor-dohn-BLUH) - It is French for "blue ribbon" or "cord." (1) The term is
now used to mean "an exceptional cook." By the eighteenth century, the term
Cordon-bleu was applied to anyone who excelled in a particular field.
The term became chiefly associated with fine cooks. (2) There is a cooking
school in Paris, established in 1895, called the Cordon Bleu. The "Grand
Diplome" of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School is the highest credential a chef
can have. It is considered to be one of the greatest references a chef can
have. (3) The term is also applied to outstanding foods prepared to a very
high standard, such as a chicken or veal dish stuffed with cheese and ham.
History: There is more
than one story on the history of the term.
Some claim this
association arose after Louis XV bragged to his mistress, Madame du
Barry, that only man made great chefs. The lady believed otherwise and
invited the king to a small meal prepared by her cuisinière. It
was a great success and the king exclaimed. "Who is the new man you
have cooking for you? He is as good as any cook in the royal household."
"It's a woman cook Your Majesty," Madame du Barry replied,
"and I think you should honour her with
nothing less than the Cordon-Blue."
A cooking school, called
Cordon Bleu, run by Madame de Maintenon, the second wife of Louis XIV,
where each young girl, upon her graduation, wore a blue ribbon a an
emblem of her culinary accomplishment and expertise.
It derives from the sixteenth-century French
knight's order, Ordre du Saint Esprit the most exclusive in
France, whose members - royalty included - were called Cordon-bleus
after the broad blue ribbons they wore. Nothing was too good for a
Cordon-bleu, and the dinners that accompanied their ceremonious meetings
(CORE-ee-an-der) –Coriander is related to the parsley family and native to
the Mediterranean and the Orient. It represents a seeds, a leaf, and a
powder used in cooking. Coriander, the leaf, is also known as cilantro
and Chinese parsley. The flavors of the seeds and the leaves bear no
resemblance to each other. The tiny (1/8-inch), yellow-tan seeds are lightly
ridged. They are mildly fragrant and have an aromatic flavor akin to a
combination of lemon, sage, and, caraway. Whole coriander seeds are used in
pickling and for special drinks, such as mulled wine. Ground coriander seed
is also called cumin.
corn - (1) The word
"corn" is sometimes used to denote grains in general. Corn was the term used
for whatever grain was the primary crop in a given place. Therefore, corn in
one area might be barley, while in another area it might be wheat. (2) In
the U.S., it applies to "maize" or "Indian corn" which was used for food by
the earliest natives of the Western Hemisphere. Corn had an important part
in early tribal ceremonies and celebrations.
History of Corn and Corn On The Cob.
corned beef - A beef brisket (a
fibrous, tough muscle located in the belly between the animal's front legs)
is considered the meat of choice, though a bottom round can also be used.
The meat was preserved in brine using a salt so coarse that it was the size
of corn kernels. The traditional corning mix also used saltpeter and spices.
Thus, the term "to corn" was coined, and it refers to the process of making
the brine for preserving the meat for several weeks.
History: Corned beef is of British
origin. Corning was a preservation method much used by their military. It
was also found well suited to the rigors of colonial life, as few
communities had butchers. Although the word "corn" is now used as a verb, it
originally was a noun, describing small grains and other, particles. Corned
beef was heavily salted and spiced with ingredients in particulate form.
Corned beef was originally made with a cut known as "silverside" (part of
corn oil - It is made from the
germ of the corn kernel. Corn oil is almost tasteless and is excellent for
cooking because it can withstand high temperatures without smoking. It is
high in polyunsaturated fat and is used to make margarine, salad dressings,
cornmeal - In Italy, it is known
as polenta. Made from ground corn, fresh ground cornmeal is excellent
flour for baking. It is similar to semolina in texture. Tortillas and
cornbread are two of the most common cornmeal based foods. Cornmeal is
versatile enough to be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
steel-ground cornmeal - The husk and germ have been almost completely
removed from the corn's hull. Because of this, it can be stored almost
indefinitely in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
stone- or water-ground cornmeal - This cornmeal retains some of the
corn's hull and germ. Because of the fat in the germ, it is more perishable,
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four months.
corn salad - It is a salad green
(not actually corn), having small, white to pale bluish flowers and edible
young leaves. Mache leaves are tender, velvety green with either a mild or
sweet, nutty flavor. It is also sometimes called mache, field salad, field
lettuce, feldsalat, lamb's tongue, and lamb's lettuce.
It is considered a gourmet green and usually
is expensive and hard to find. This plant grows wild in Europe and is used
as a forage crop for sheep. It is a pest in wheat and cornfields. Chefs, who
love these early spring greens, desire it. Mache is very perishable, so use
immediately. Cook it like spinach, or use it in fruit and vegetable dishes.
cornstarch - A white, dense,
powdery thickener that is finer than flour. It is extracted from the starch
(endosperm) of the wheat of corn. It must be dissolved in a cold liquid
before it is added to a hot mixture or it will lump. It results in a glazy
corn syrup - Also know as
syrup glucose. It is produced when starch granules from corn are
processed with acids or enzymes. It varies in color from clear white to
amber. It is not as sweet as cane sugar and is used a lot in candy making.
Baked goods made with corn syrup retain their moisture and stay fresh
light corn syrup - It has been clarified to remove all color and
dark corn syrup - The more strongly flavored dark corn syrup is a
mixture of corn syrup and refiners' syrup.
cottage cheese - Cottage cheese,
as we know, is a soft, lumpy cheese, made from drained and pressed milk
curds. It is a soft, uncured cheese made from skim milk or from
reconstituted concentrated skim milk or nonfat dry milk solids. If the
cheese contains 4% or more of fat, it is called creamed cottage cheese. It
has also been known, at various times in various places, in various name
such as pot cheese, smearcase, bonnyclabber, farmer cheese, sour-milk
cheese, and curd cheese.
History: For centuries the standard
type of cheese was cottage cheese, made by souring milk. The technique of
using rennet (a substance taken from the stomach lining of calves) to hard
cheese first appeared in Switzerland around the 15th century. Since such
cheese could be stored for lengthy periods, it soon became part of the basic
food of travelers.
The Gaelic term
bonnyclabber (bainne clabhair), clabber cheese or clabbered milk dates back
to at least 1631, while the name "cottage cheese" only shows up in 1850 or
so. In the early part of the 19th century, the name for such cheese was "pot
cheese," which is pretty much synonymous with cottage cheese today. By the
1820s, the German communities of American used the term "smear case" from
Schmierkase. Other names are "farmer cheese," "sour-milk cheese," and "curd
cotton candy – Also known as
candy flosh, spun sugar, and sugar cotton wool.
A fluffy confection that is made from long spun sugar threads. Traditionally
made by melting sugar and flossine together in a centrifuge. These resulting
strands become long thread that collect on the sides of the centrifuge.
History: The inventor of cotton candy
is uncertain, as there are two claimants. (1) The city of New Orleans claims
that Josef Delarose Lascauz, a dentist, was the inventor of cotton candy and
the cotton candy machine and that it was first introduced at the 1830
World's Fair. (2) Thomas Patton received a patent for the cotton candy
machine in 1900 and that cotton candy first appeared in 1900 at the Ringling
cottonseed oil - A clear yellow
oil with almost no taste. It is produced from the seeds of the cotton plant
and it is primarily used for commercial margarine and salad dressings.
coulis (koo-LEE) - (1) A French
culinary term. It is a type of a sauce, usually a thick one, which derives
its body (either entirely or in part), from pureed fruits or vegetables. A
sauce of cooked down tomatoes can be a tomato coulis as can a puree of
strained blackberries. (2) Today coulis also denotes some thick soups made
with crayfish, lobster, prawns, and other crustaceans, the word being
employed where bisque has formerly been used.
History: In old English cookbooks, the
word cullis is found but this has fallen into disuse and coulis has taken
its place. At one time, coulis were sauces and also the juices, which flowed
from roasting meat. Some cooks called liquid purees coulis, but only those
prepared with chicken, game, fish, crustaceans, and some vegetables.
Country Captain Chicken – A
curried chicken dish. The chicken is browned and then stewed in a sauce of
tomatoes, onion, garlic, and curry powder. At the end, golden raisins are
added. The dish is served over rice sprinkled with toasted almonds. As with
all chicken recipes in the South, Country Captain Chicken varies with the
cook. Some recipes call for a long cooking time and other use quick-cooking
chicken breasts. One thing is always certain about this dish; it is perfumed
and slightly spiced with curry.
For history of the following Country Captain Chicken,
Check out Linda Stradley's
History of Poultry Dishes.
court bouillon (koor- bwee-YAWN)
- It is a French term that means, "short broth." It is used in place of
water when boiling various types of food (mostly used for poaching fish or
as a base for fish soups). The broth is made of wine, water, herbs, and
spices. It usually is also flavored with onions, celery, carrots and cloves.
couscous (KOOS-koos) - It is a
French term that comes from the Arabic word kuskus, which in turn evolved
from another Arabic word, kaskas, meaning "to pound, to make small." It is
the national dish of Morocco. There are a number of recipes for couscous,
which vary from one part of the world to another. It basically is a dish
consisting of tiny pellets of crushed durum wheat or rice and salted water.
The large-grain couscous has grains about the size of peppercorns, while
regular couscous is very similar to Cream of Wheat in size. It has been a
staple food in all the Middle East countries and North Africa from the
earliest times. It is an Arab dish that was adopted from the Chinese method
of steaming rice or other cereal grains over cooking meat.
- This is the traditional pot in which couscous is cooked. It looks like an
enormous double boiler with a deep bottom and a perforated top in which the
couscous grain is steamed over an aromatic spicy stew.
cover charge - A fee levied by
restaurante "to cover" the cost of tablecloths, napkins, cutlery, glasses,
etc. It has also become the custom for nightclubs, which offer entertainment
as well as food and drink, to levy a cover charge of these professional
crab boil - It is a phrase that
describes a mixture of dried herbs and spices that are added to water in
which crab, shrimp, or lobster is cooked (it's strong, pungent and spicy).
They come either in a flow-through packet, in dry powdered form, or as a
liquid concentrate. The blend is sold packaged in supermarkets or specialty
stores. Crab boil includes some or all of the following: whole allspice, bay
leaves, hot chiles, cloves, ginger, mustard seeds, and peppercorns.
Crab Louie Salad – This famous
west coast salad is also called “King of Salads,” and is sometimes written
as Crab Louis Salad. Today there are as many versions of this famous salad
as there are cooks.
History: For history of Crab
Louie Salad, check out Linda Stradley's
History of Salads and Salad Dressings.
cracklin, cracklings – Also
called gratons or grattons by the Cajuns. Cracklings are bits of roasted or
deep-fried pork skins. You can make your own, or you may be able to find
them at small Mom & Pop groceries.
History: During slavery, after the slave-owner had
rendered his pork fat, the skin was given to the servants. They would then
deep-fry this skin and eat then plain or stirred into cornbread batter, and
baked delicious cracklin' bread.
cranberry – (Vaccinium
macrocarpon) As cranberries bounce when they’re ripe, they are also called
bounceberries. Also since their blossom resembles the neck of a
sand hill crane, thus another name, “crane-berries.” Gradually, this word
became “cranberry,” the name we use today. These berries, blueberries and
Concord grapes are North America’s only true native fruits. They are grown
in huge, sandy bogs on low, trailing vines across northern North America.
Cranberries are usually harvested in September and October. Although, they
can be hand-scooped (dry-harvested), most are mechanically harvested while
the bogs are flooded.
History: The cranberry helped sustain
Americans for hundreds of years. Native Americans used cranberries in a
variety of foods. They also used it as a medicine to treat arrow wounds and
as a dye for rugs and blankets. Ripe berries were mixed with fat and meat to
make pemmican. Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to use cranberries.
The Pilgrims considered cranberries such a delicacy that in 1677 the
Plymouth colonists sent 10 barrels of them to King Charles II. The tart
fruit did not impress him.
Cultivation of the cranberry began around
1810. Captain Henry Hall
(a veteran of the Revolutionary War), of Dennis, Massachusetts, made an accidental discovery that led to
their commercial cultivation. He noticed that the wild cranberries in
his bogs grew better when sand blew over them. Captain Hall began
transplanting his cranberry vines, fencing them in, and spreading sand on
crawfish (craw-fish) - Sometimes
it is also spelled crayfish but the word is always pronounced crawfish.
Crawfish resemble tiny lobsters, but are also know in the South as mudbugs
because they live in the mud of freshwater bayous. They are more tender than
lobster, more delicate than shrimp, and has a unique flavor all its own.
These delicious crustaceans are now raised commercially and are an important
Louisiana industry. Louisiana is famous for its Cajun cuisine of which
crawfish is a traditional element.
History: The local Indians are
credited with harvesting and consuming crawfish even before the Cajuns
arrived. They would bait reeds with venison, stock them in the water, and
then pick up the reeds with the crawfish attached to the bait. By using this
method, the Indians would catch bushels of crawfish for their consumption.
By the 1930s, nets were substituted, and by the 1950s, the crawfish trap was
used. Crawfish have become synonymous with the hardy pioneers that settled
there after being forced to leave their homes in Nova Scotia, but up until
40 years ago crawfish were used mainly as bait; it took too much effort to
remove the meat from the tiny crustacean.
crawfish boil – A traditional
event or party where friends and family gather to feast on pounds of
steaming, boiled crawfish that are
highly seasoned with a secret blend of Cajun spices, and served with boiled
skin-on potatoes, whole onions, and corn-on-the-cob. In the Spring,
whole families will go out fishing on the bayous or crawfish farms in an
age-old tradition that thrives to this day. Boiling crawfish is an art and
every cook seems to have their own recipe and opinions about what should and
should not go into the pot.
History: Learn more about the
and also how to have your own Crawfish Boil.
crayfish - See crawfish.
cream - (1) To work one or more
foods until smooth and creamy with a spoon or spatula, rubbing the food
against the sides of the mixing bowl until of the consistency of cream. See
creaming. (2) A rich filling for cakes, eclairs, cream puffs, flans, or
fancy tarts. It is somewhat similar to custard filling. (3) The rich, fatty,
aggregation of oil globules found in milk.
Learn more about the different types
half and half cream - It is a blending of heavy cream and milk and has
about 12% butterfat, 7% milk solids, and 51% water.
- Also called whipping cream. It contains about 40% butterfat, 5% milk
solids, and over 50% water.
- It contains about 20% butterfat and 7% milk solids; the rest is water.
- This is cream that has been processed commercially so as to be soured
under ideal conditions. It contains about 20% butterfat, 7% milk solids, and
the remainder is water.
cream cheese - It is a soft,
white, smooth, cheese that melts quickly and should not be frozen. It is
similar to unripe Neufchatel cheese but has a higher fat content. It is one
of the most popular soft cheeses in the United States.
creaming - Creaming incorporates
air into the butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening to give the cake a
light, fine-grained texture. When creaming butter and sugar together, beat
sugar gradually into room temperature butter to be sure it is absorbed. If
you use an electric mixer to cream, use medium speed. Excessive speed can
damage the air bubbles and melt the butter, resulting in a loss of volume
and a cake that's too dense.
cream of tartar - Cream of
tartar or tartaric acid is a natural component of grapes. Utilizing leftover
particles from wine production creates this fine white powder. Crystalline
acid deposits form on the inside walls of wine barrels and these deposits
are purified and tartaric acid is pulverized into a fine powder. It is also
added to baking soda to create baking powder.
cream puff - A very light,
delicate, hollow pastry puff made from choux pastry. It is usually filled
with a sweetened whipped cream or custard. Sometimes they are filled with
savory fillings (such as chicken salad). See pate a choux.
eam sauce - See béchamel
creme (krehm) - It is the French
word for "cream." (1) It refers to a puree of vegetables. (2) Refers to
custard like (such as caramel custard) pudding. (3) It also is the
cream-like foam on top of a well-made espresso. (4) A term used to
distinguish those liqueurs, usually French that have an unusual amount of
- It refers to a dish with a cream sauce.
creme anglaise (krehm ahn-GLEHZ)
- Anglaise means "English." It is French custard, which can be served
either, or cold. Also called cream inglese.
crema catalana - The Spanish
name for creme brulee. See creme brulee.
creme brulee (krem broo-LAY) -
It is simple custard of nothing more than cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla
that is topped with a caramelized topping.
History: The origins of this custard
are very much in contention, with the English, Spanish, and French all
staking claim. (1) The Spanish have taken credit for this dessert as Crema
Catalana since the 18th century.
(2) The English claim it
originated in the 1860s at Trinity College, Cambridge. It is said that it
was born when an English chef accidentally burned custard he had sprinkled
with sugar. The chef then passed it off as an original creation calling it
burnt cream. It is also called Trinity Cream and Cambridge Burnt Cream.
Around the end of the 19th century, the
French translation came into vogue. It is thought that Thomas Jefferson, who
loved the dish, may have influenced the dish to be called creme brulee. The
theory is that Jefferson always referred to this dish by its French name and
before long, American and English people were doing the same. Whatever its
origins, creme brulee came to the U.S. sometime in the 19th century in New
Orleans. It wasn’t until the 1980s that creme brulee gained popularity after
being introduced by Chef Alain Sailhac of New York's Le Cirque restaurant.
creme chantilly - It is lightly
whipped cream, which has been sweetened with sugar and flavored with
vanilla. It is used with many cakes and meringues.
History: This cream is named after the
city of Chantilly in France was the heavy cream was first produced at a
creme de cacao - It is a dark,
chocolate flavored liqueur created by soaking parts of the cocoa plant in
spirit-laced sugar syrup.
creme de Menthe - It is the most
popular of liqueurs and it tastes of fresh mint. It comes in green and white
colors. It is commonly served after dinner.
creme fraiche (krem FRESH) - It
is a matured, thickened cream that has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and
velvety rich texture. The thickness can range from that of commercial sour
cream to almost as solid as room temperature margarine. In France, the cream
is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it
naturally. In America, where all commercial cream is pasteurized, the
fermenting agents necessary can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour
cream. To make creme fraiche, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons
buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature
from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and
refrigerate up to 10 days. It is an ideal addition for sauces or soups
because it can be boiled without curdling. It is also delicious spooned over
fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or puddings.
Creole cuisine (CREE-ol) - (1)
The word originally described people of mixed French and Spanish blood who
migrated from Europe or were born in southeast Louisiana. (2) It is also a
local term used in the New Orleans area meaning the finest regionally raised
products (such as Creole garlic, Creole tomatoes, etc). (3) Today the term
has expanded and now embraces a type of cuisine. Creole cuisine uses more
spices than Cajun cuisine and is considered more sophisticated and complex.
Cajun cooking is "city cooking." New Orleans, the capital of Creole cuisine,
had established a culinary reputation by early 19th century.
History: The Creoles were the European
born aristocrats, wooed by the Spanish to establish New Orleans in the
1690's. Second born sons, who could not own land or titles in their native
countries, were offered the opportunity to live and prosper in their family
traditions here in the New World. They brought with them not only their
wealth and education, but also their chefs and cooks. With these chefs came
the knowledge of the grand cuisines of Europe. The influences of classical
and regional French, Spanish, German and Italian cooking are readily
apparent in Creole cuisine. The terminologies, precepts, sauces, and major
dishes carried over, some with more evolution than others, and provided a
solid base or foundation for Creole cooking.
Creole cooking is based upon French stews and
soups, and is influenced by Spanish, African, Native American, and other
Anglo Southern groups. The Spanish brought into the cuisine the use of
cooked onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. African chefs brought
with them the skill of spices and introduced okra. Native foodstuffs, such
as crawfish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, and pecans found their way into both
Cajun and Creole cuisine. From the Choctaw Indians came the use of file, a
powdered herb from sassafras leaves, to thicken gumbo. One factor typically
overlooked in the development of Creole-style cooking was that it was food
prepared for affluent whites by their black slaves and servants. So often
the emergence of a new dish was the result of creative chefs intermingling
their cooking experience and heritage with the tastes of their employers.
crepe (krayp) - Crepe is French
for "pancake" is derived from creper meaning "to crisp." It is used
in referring to the final filled culinary creation and also the "pancake"
made from batter. Though the French word has been adopted in the U.S. the
crepe is by no means exclusively French. Almost every nationality developed
its own version. This culinary delight is almost as old as civilization
itself and through the years has been perfected in humble kitchens of the
world. A crepe is made from batter comprising beaten eggs, flour, melted
butter, a pinch of salt, and a liquid (such as water, milk, or even beer).
The batter is poured into a frying pan containing hot oil or butter and
fried on both sides until fairly crisp.
(krayps soo-ZEHT) - Probably the most famous crepe dish in the world. In a
restaurant, a crepe suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view
of the guests. They are served hot with a sauce of sugar, orange juice, and
liqueur (usually Grand Marnier). Brandy is poured over the crepes and then
History: Check out
History of Crepes Suzette.
crimp - (1) To seal a double
crusted pie by pinching the edges together. (2) To gash a freshly caught
fish on both sides of the body at intervals of about one and one-half
inches. The fish is then plunged into ice-cold water for about one hour.
This is done to keep the flesh firm and to retain the original flavor.
crisp - (1) To make crisp by
immersing in cold water or refrigerating. This is used particularly with
greens. (2) To crisp foods by heating in the oven. (3) A crisp is fruit
topped with a crumbly mixture of butter, sugar, flour and, sometimes, nuts.
Other crisp toppings include oatmeal, buttered breadcrumbs, cookie crumbs,
graham cracker crumbs, and cake crumbs.
croissant (kruh-SAHNT) -
Croissant is the French word for "crescent-shaped." Originally the croissant
was made from rich bread dough but is now usually made with dough similar to
puff pastry. Layers of dough are separated by butter creating a flaky,
moist, richly flavored pastry. They can also be served stuffed.
History: It originated in 1686, in
Budapest, when the attacking Turks were defeated thanks to the bakers
(during their night baking, detected the enemy's approach and gave the alarm
in time). The bakers were granted the privilege of making a special pastry,
which they shaped into crescents like the crescent moon on the Turkish flag.
They called them “gipfel”. When Marie Antoinette became the Queen of Louis
XVI, she brought the recipe with her to France. The French bakers enriched
the dough and developed the process of refrigerating the dough after each
butter application and of folding and refolding the dough.
croquembouche (kroh-kum-boosh) –
(French) The word can also be written croque-en-bouche. It derives from the
French word croquer meaning to "munch or crunch" or "crisp-in-the-mouth." The term applies to foods that are
glazed with sugar. A croquembouche consists of balls of baked choux pastry
(called profiteroles and cream puffs) stacked in a pyramid (cone shape). The
pastry is covered with spun caramelized sugar. It is considered the
traditional French "wedding cake" and when featured as a wedding
centerpiece, it is known as a “piece monte.” It also plays an important role
at French baptisms, christenings, and other French gatherings.
French Chef Antonin Careme (1783-1833) is created with popularizing
croquemboche. He was known for the eatable architectural structures he
created from the choux pastry puffs.
croquette (kro-ket) - Croquette
is derived from the French word "croquer" meaning to "crunch or munch." Ette
is a suffix meaning "small." It literally means "a small crunchy morsel."
Croquettes come in various shapes such as balls, pear-shaped, and
barrel-shaped. They are made from a wide variety of ingredients, such as
minced meat, fish or poultry, mashed potatoes, rice, tapioca, and semolina.
The main ingredient is bound with egg yolk or a mixture of butter, egg,
flour, and milk. It is fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
- This is the Italian croquette. Its main ingredients are bound with a
crostini (kroh-STEE-nee) -
Crostini means "little toasts" in Italian. Technically, the appetizer is
named after the toast that makes up its base. They are small slices of
bread, usually brushed with olive oil or butter, then toasted. They are then
topped with a variety of savory toppings. They are the Italian version of
canapés. A long thin loaf (such as a baguette bread) will work well. Slice
it on a diagonal into half-inch slices. The topping should be spread about a
quarter-inch thick. In addition to bread, you can also use polenta squares,
cut to the same size and fried for a few minutes, or until crisp and golden,
in hot oil.
croute (KROOT) - In French the
word means "crust." (1) It is the French culinary name for round or oval
pieces of stale bread fried in butter (or any other fat). They are used as a
foundation upon which all manner of fish, meat, and vegetables preparations
are served either as hors d' oeuvres, canapés, or for garnishings. (2) Also
the name of thin slices of stale crusty bread, toasted or not, which are
added to some soups at the time of serving.
crouton (KROO-tawn) - The French
culinary name for a small piece of bread (usually cube or dice shaped),
which has been browned by toasting, baking, or frying. Croutons are used as
a garnish or an accompaniment for everything from soup to salads.
crown roast - A crown roast is
made from either lamb or pork. It is made from the rib chops, using enough
ribs (two racks or parts of two), to make a handsome crown. After it is
cooked, the tips of the bone are often covered with paper frills.
crumpet (KRUHM-pit) - Crumpets
are British griddlecakes. A cross between a pancake and an American-style
English muffin, the crumpet is a soft yeast-raised bread that is poured into
special rings about the size of a small pancake (flat discs about three
inches across and an inch or so deep), then baked on a stovetop. They are
similar to an English muffin (one side is smooth, the other full of tiny
holes) but flatter. You don't slice a crumpet and it is best toasted. Some,
especially in the north of England, call crumpets muffins, while others,
particularly in the Midlands call them pikelets (a much thinner and bigger
version of a crumpet).
History: British history relates to
them as teacakes. Crumpets have been known for several centuries, though the
origin of the name is obscure. There are records as far back as the 14th
century where they are called a crompid cake. Crompid means "curved up" or
"bent into a curve", which is what usually happens to thin cakes baked on a
griddle; the word may be linked to crumb, crimp and other words from a
common Germanic origin. In the 1930s, the word crumpet became British
English slang for a woman regarded as an object of sexual desire.
- A much thinner and bigger (size of a dinner plate) version of a crumpet.
Usually made from a mixture of whole wheat and white flour. It is though
that the word comes from the Welsh bara pyglyd meaning "pitchy bread"
because of it color.
crustacean (krust-ashan) -
Crustacean derives from the Latin word "crusta" meaning "crust, shell, or
hard surface." "Cean" is the Latin suffix indicating "belonging to." The
word came to mean a class of animals, mainly sea animals, with hard shells
(edible shellfish with shells, such as crabs, crawfish, lobster,
langoustine, mussels, scallops, scampi, and shrimp).
cube - Cut into small,
straight-sided cubes. The size is specified if it is critical to the recipe.
Larger cubes are often called chunks.
cuccia (koo-CHEE-nah) - It is
the Italian word for "cooking" or "kitchen."
cuisine (kwee-ZEEN) - The work
cuisine has come to mean the "art of cooking" or "cookery" in France and
throughout the world. It derives from the Latin word coquina meaning,
“cooking” and from the word coquere meaning “to cook.”
haute cuisine (OHT kwee-zeen) - See haute cuisine for history.
cuisine naturelle - This was a movement in the 1970s and 1980s which
emphasized natural products in all dishes and avoided the use of cream,
butter, oil, fat, lard, and used very little sugar.
cuisine bourgeoise - A French cooking style that varies from region to
region, based solely on local ingredients. Can best be described as high
quality home cooking
cuisine Francasise - Literally means the "new French cooking." This
movement was started in 1974. It avoids rich, flour-thickened sauces in
favor of reduced stocks and it placed strong emphasis on the ingredient's
freshness, lightness of texture, clear flavors, simplicity, and aesthetic
(whett-lah-KOH-chay) - Also called huitlacoche, corn mushroom, maize
mushroom, Mexican truffle, and corn smut or smut corn. It is a costly and
much-coveted corn fungus or parasite that occasionally balloons on sweet
corn causing kernels swell to 10 times their normal size during the rainy
season. It is very popular Mexican delicacy and considered a gourmet rage in
the United States. It is often compared to caviar or truffles (not so much
in terms of taste but cost and delicacy). Its earthy, smoke-like flavor is
reminiscent of mushrooms. It is sold canned and frozen in gourmet markets.
It's used in a variety of dishes--typically appropriate for dishes that call
for cooked mushrooms.
History: The Aztecs are said to have
prized cuitlacoche and the Hopi Indians thought it a delicacy and gathered
it when young and tender. The black spores were referred to as "excrement of
the gods." Cuitlacoche became acceptable on elite tables
in the 1950s when Jaime Saldívar, a Mexican restaurant owner, created
a preparation, in crêpes with béchamel sauce at his restaurant. Saldivar is
said to have created a sensation when he combined a Mexican product with French crepes. By 1990s, the fungus had become
known as the "Mexican truffle" and it formed the mainstay of the so-called
"nueva cocina mexicana.”
culinary (KYOO-li-NER-ee or
KUFL-i-NER-ee) - Comes from the Latin word "culina" which means a kitchen.
Today the word means anything to do with cooking.
cumin (KUHM-in) - Same as ground
coriander seed that is produced by the cilantro plant at full maturity. Also
History: Cumin is native to countries
that border the Mediterranean Sea; the ancient Persians, the Egyptians, and
the Hebrews used cumin. During ancient Roman times, when pepper was hard to
get, cooks substituted cumin seed for the pepper.
curdle - The undesirable effect
of overcooking. When a food (usually a dairy product based sauce or custard)
becomes lumpy or separated and forms curds.
currant - This fruit gets its
name from Corinth, a once famous city of ancient Greece, where currants were
cultivated and exported in considerable quantities. It is related to the
gooseberry and there are black, red, and white currents. The black ones are
generally used for preserves, syrups, and liqueurs (such as cassis), while
the red and white berries are usually eaten raw. Currant can also refer to a
small Zante grape that originated in Greece that is used for baking.
curry - A curry is basically a
sort of stew containing vegetables, spices, and usually some kind of meat
often served over rice. It is the mainstay of Indian cuisine. While we
usually think of curry as a very spicy dish, there are also many subtle and
mild curries. The origin of word is rather straightforward: it comes from
Tamil, a language found primarily in Southeastern India and Sri Lanka. The
Tamil word kari means "sauce or relish for rice.”
Subsequent forms included "carree," "carrye" and "kerry" before our modern
spelling "curry" became current in the 18th century
- The spices for curry powder have varied for thousands of years. The word
curry comes from the South Indian word kari, which means "sauce." Curry
powder is not one single spice (it actually is a blend of many spices).
Curry powder should not be confused with curry leaves, which are obtained
from a native tree of India. Curry powder, as we know it in the United
States, simply does not exist in Indian cooking. Spices should be bought
whole and ground and blended as needed. This way the flavors are truly
aromatic and blends are tailor-made to suit individual recipes and personal
taste. There are a lot of variations in curry powder blends. As a general
rule, a curry powder blend will contain six or more of the following items:
cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, pepper, dill, mace, cardamon,
custard - Custard is a
combination of eggs and milk, which may be sweetened or unsweetened, cooked
in a double boiler (as soft custard), or baked (which gives it a jelly-like
consistency). Custards require slow cooking and gentle heat in order to
prevent separation (curdling).
History: Custards as we know them
today date back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a filling for a Flan
or a Tart. The word custard is derived from "crustade" which is a tart with
a crust. After the 16th century fruit creams became popular and it was about
this time that custards were made in individual dishes rather than a filling
in a crust.
cut in - To work with a pastry
blender or two knives until sold fat and dry ingredients are evenly and
finely divided, especially in making dough.