galia melon -
They resemble a small cantaloupe and have a light golden-yellow skin when
ripe. Their flesh is lime green and tastes similar to a sweet honeydew
ganache (gahn-AHSH) - Ganache is
a rich chocolate mixture made by combining chopped semisweet chocolate and
boiling cream and then stirring until smooth. The proportions of chocolate
to cream can vary, and the resulting ganache can be used as a cake glaze or
beaten until fluffy and used as a filling or as the base for truffles and
other chocolate confections.
garam masala (gah-RAHM
Mah-SAH-lah) - Traditionally used in northern Indian cuisine, garam masala
means literally "warm spice blend" because its spices are supposed to heat
the body. There are many variations of garam masala and it can contain up to
twelve spices. Some of the spices can be cardamon, coriander, cumin, black
pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
garbanzo bean - Also known as
ceci or chickpeas. They are very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Canned
chickpeas can be found in the bean aisle of most grocery stores.
garlic - The pungent, segmented
bulb of the perennial plant Allium sativum, a member of the Lily family,
closely related to the onion. Among the oldest known cultivated plants and
most universally popular cooking herbs, garlic appears extensively, both raw
and cooked in the cuisines of southern Europe and is considered essential to
many dishes in Italy. The peeled cloves can be preserved for short periods
in jars of oil.
garnish - A decorative edible
accompaniment that is added to a finished dish entirely for eye appeal, such
as a sprig of mint or parsley. A garnish may be eaten but that is not its
garniture (gahr-nih-TEUR) -
French word for garnish. A garniture becomes part of the dish and is eaten
A cold uncooked summer tomato soup
(a liquid salad). Usually contains tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, celery,
cucumbers, and bread moistened with water. Gazpacho should be drunk slightly
chilled, but not iced. As its purpose is to quench thirst as well as
nutritious, there should no need to supplement it with a drink.
The southern Spanish region of Andalusia is
known for this dish. A Spanish refrain says, “De gazpacho no
hay empacho” which means there’s never too much gazpacho. It hits the
spot any time of the day or night. In Andalusia, you will probably
eat these cold soups as a first course, just as they have been served for
about thirty years in the restaurants and private homes of the large cities
in Andalusia. It is still customary in village homes to have gazpacho after
the first course and before dessert.
Originally a soup from Andalusia in southern Spain. It probably derives from
Roman dish gruel of bread and oil. The name gazpacho may come either from
the Latin or Mozarab (Hispano-Romans or "would-be Arab") word "caspa,"
meaning "fragments, residue, or little pieces," referring to the bread
crumbs which are such an essential ingredient. None of the forerunners of
gazpacho contained tomatoes, considered basic today. That’s because tomatoes
were unknown in Spain, until after the discovery of the New World. The base
for gazpacho was originally bread, garlic, oil, vinegar, and salt. The Roman
legions carrying bread, garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar along the roads
of the Empire, with each soldier making his own mixture to taste. An ancient
ritual whereby they approach after each other and then "step back" at the
moment of eating. The Moorish influence is evident too,
especially in some of the variations on the basic theme, such as ajo blanco,
made with ground almonds. Gazpacho was originally poor people’s food and was
eaten in the fields.
According to historians, the
popularity of gazpacho out of Andalusia into the rest of Spain is said to be
the result of Eugenia de Montijo, originally from Granada and the wife of
the French Emperor Napoleon III in the 1850s. Gazpacho was unknown, or
little known, in the north of Spain before about 1930.
gelatin - The word gelatin comes
to us from the French word geatine meaning “edible jelly” and gelato
meaning” to freeze.” In Italian, it's gelatina. An odorless, colorless,
tasteless thickening agent is the nutritious glutinous protein material
obtained from animal tissues by boiling. Most comes from beef bones,
cartilage, tendons, and pigskin.
Learn how to work with
gelato (jau-LAH-toe) - An
Italian word meaning "frozen" and is the same as ice cream in the U.S. It is
usually made of whole milk and eggs. This gives it richness without flavors
becoming masked by the fat from cream.
History: According to historians,
gelato has very ancient origins. It is believed that the Arabs brought what
came to be known as sorbetto to Sicily; but gelato is said to have been
first created by Bernardo Buontalenti for the court of Francesco de' Medici
in 1565. The Greeks and the Turks were also known for preparing lemon-based
mixtures that resembled sorbetto (sherbets). Sherbets were thought to have a
beneficial effect on the nervous and digestive systems, and were usually
served between main courses, more precisely after the first few meat and
fish dishes, at the sumptuous banquets of the 18th and 19th century. It was
only later that richer ingredients such as egg yolks, sugar, milk, and cream
began to be used; to make what is now known as gelati alla crema (ice
cream). Gelato is classified according to the ingredients used in making
semifreddo - Literally means "half cold." It is made from the same base
as gelato but has whipped cream folded in. It vaguely resembles a mousse,
which is what the chocolate flavor is called.
sorbetto - Also know as fruit sorbet. It has become popular in many
Italian restaurants and is often served halfway through the meal to separate
the fish and meat courses and act as a palate cleanser, but instead it
anesthetizes the mouth in time for the arrival of the red wine.
granite - These are slushy grainy water ices, usually come in lemon or
coffee flavors, are normally found in bars, and are more common in southern
General Tso's Chicken - Fried
boneless dark-meat chicken, served with vegetables and whole dried red
peppers in a sweet-spicy sauce. It's not authentically Chinese, but it's
nevertheless one of the most popular dishes at Chinese restaurants.
Alternate spellings include General Cho, General Zo, General Zhou, General
Jo, and General Tzo. It is pronounced "Djo," with the tongue hard against
This dish is thought to have been the invention of Taiwanese immigrants to
the United States in the 1970s and was named after General Zou Zong-Tang
(1812-1885), a general of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty of China. He was
responsible for suppressing Muslim uprisings. His name was used to frighten
Muslim children for centuries after his death.
genoise (zhayn-WAHZ) - An almond
powder based sponge. It is usually about a 1/4-inch and wrapped around a
German Chocolate Cake - German
Chocolate Cake is an American creation that contains the key ingredients of
sweet baking chocolate, coconut, and pecans..
History: For the history of
German Chocolate Cake, check out Linda Stradley's
History of Cakes.
(ger-VERTZ-trah-meener) - A variation of the Traminer grape (meaning ‘of
the village of Tramin’*) which itself is a variation/mutation of the
distinct and ancient Muscat grape. The name Gewürz is curious in that,
although its German translation means ‘spicy’ (in fact the official
protected title only came into being in 1973), its French and Italian names
(traminer musque, traminer parfume, termener aromatico ) lead one to believe
that the wine’s perfumes would indicate a more accurate translation. Roses
and flowers generally are cited as the most common smells, followed by
litchees and perhaps grapefruit. And yet, cloves and nutmeg are also
consistently noted, thus legitimate spice references.Obviously differences
could be attributed to the terroir, except that the one characteristic of
the Muscat family is that they give their intense flavor to the wine
independent of where they are planted. A better answer might lie in
climate; a cooler climate with a long, slow ripening season seems to produce
the superior versions of this wine, interruptions of which may result in
bitterness, and the wine-making procedure itself. Gewürztraminer is,
generally speaking, a fragile grape which requires great care.
Perhaps the Germans felt, at the birth of the
Gewürztraminer renaissance in Alsace (another hotly contested province but
this time between France and Germany) in the late 19th century,
their words for aroma and perfume, being taken from the French, did not
suit their nationalistic pride. One could also speculate that the fact that
Gewürztraminer is very often suggested as a compliment to spicy foods (Asian
or Latin American) or sausages, pork and sauerkraut (certainly a signature
dish in Alsace and Lorraine) could have influenced its name. An interesting
aside is that the Alsace retains the distinction of being the only region in
France which may label the bottles (which maintain the traditional German
tall, narrow shape) after the grape type (think of Bordeaux, Burgundy or
Champagne where this detail is not mentioned).
Gewürztraminer wine can be dry to very sweet and
is known for its high alcohol content, low acidity and golden color. It’s a
powerful wine that likes powerful foods. It can also be used as a dessert
wine or to accompany cheese such as Munster (in particular the pungent
Alsace variety which has the European Protected Denomination of Origin, or
PDO, and not to be confused with the bland American Muenster.
Interestingly, the cheese is commonly served with bowls of caraway, cumin or
fennel seeds which are sprinkled on the cheese as they eat it. The more one
learns about Alsace it seems, the more one understands why they might name
their wine Spicy Tramin).
*The Austrian name for a village in the much
contested province of South Tyrol where, despite being part of Italy, German
is still the most significant language. The town is known in Italian as
Termeno and the region is called Alto Adige (above the river Adige.
Gewurztraminer article courtesy of Paul Armas Lepisto, Director,
The Olive University.
ghee (GEE) - Ghee is clarified
butter with all of the water and solids removed. Ghee will not scorch or
burn and can be cooked at higher temperatures than any oil. It allows
cooking with butter at a higher temperature before it will burn. It removes
the milk solids from the butter and will last in the fridge for a long time!
Ghee can be used in place of butter (it has a nutty more intense flavor). It
can also be used for stir-frying as the ghee making process removes the
protein solids permitting it to be used in high temperature cooking. It does
not require refrigeration if you keep moisture out of it; for example, don't
dip a wet spoon into the ghee jar. Ghee is used extensively in good Indian
Cuisine. Ghee comes from ancient India; I believe the first reference to
ghee comes from the Ayurveda text, which dates back a couple thousand years.
In Italian, the word means "garden style." Italian mixed pickled
vegetable assortment or
condiment that usually includes cauliflower, carrot, sometimes celery or
fennel, and hot or sweet peppers. Generally used as a condiment on
sandwiches or antipasto plates.
ginger, ginger root - At one
time ginger was as common as salt and pepper and was frequently placed on
the table. Hawaii, Fiji, and Costa Rica grow most of the world's ginger
supply, which is available throughout the year. In January and February look
for its pale, golden flesh; in summer and early fall look for young, baby
ginger. In late fall or early winter, the harvest can come from as far away
as Fiji. Ginger is thought of as a "hand" and the "fingers" are snapped off.
It should feel heavy for its size. There are many types of ginger available
today, including fresh and dried. As a general rule, fresh and dried ginger
should not be substituted for one another in recipes, as their flavor is
very different. Ginger is also available in syrup, crystallized, candied,
preserved and pickled (as served with sushi).
History: The Chinese and
Indians first cultivated it. It was one of the important spices that led to
the opening of the spice trade routes. The name Ginger comes from the
Sanskrit word "sinabera" meaning "shaped like a horn" because of its
resemblance to an antler. In the 19th century it was popular to keep a
shaker of Ginger on the counter in English pubs so the patrons could shake
some into their drinks. This practice was the origin of ginger ale.
glace (glahs) - French word
meaning: (1) ice or ice cream; (2) Icing or frosting used on a cake; (3) A
cut of meat that has been glazed in a hot oven by constantly basting the
meat with its own juices.
glace de viande (glahs duh
vee-AHND) - It is a meat glaze by French definition, but it is actually a
very high end bouillon cube made by reducing unsalted meat stock. The stock
is boiled down to about 20% of its original volume or until it is thick,
viscous, and syrupy. It is so concentrated a little bit goes a long way.
glaze - (1) To alter the surface
of a product for taste or eye appeal by adding a glossy coat. Glazing can be
done by basting the food with a syrupy liquid while it is cooking or by
putting a sauce on it and placing briefly under the broiler. To glaze a cold
food, you can cover it with a shiny coat of aspic or gelatin. (2) Also
coating pastries and cakes with an icing.
gluten - A protein found in wheat and other cereal flours that forms the
structure of the bread dough. It holds the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by
the yeast and expands during fermentation. Gluten is developed when flour is
combined with water and liquids, mixed, and kneaded. It provides the
elasticity and extensibility (stretch) in bread dough.
Available at cake decorating stores. Used by professional bakers and not
usually at home.
gnocchi (NYOK-kee) - In the
Italian tradition gnocchi are always meant to be dumplings. They are
generally made with a potato base with the addition of flour. The
proportions of potatoes and flour may vary from one region to another,
according to local customs and traditions, as well as to the type of
potatoes used. In addition to potato-based gnocchi, there are also other
types of gnocchi made with flour, semolina, ricotta cheese, spinach, or
gnocchetti - These are usually smaller than gnocchi.
gooseberry - A small green,
grape-sized fruit that is still slightly tart even when ripe. Makes
wonderful jams and jellies. The New Zealand gooseberry or Cape gooseberry is
a small tart fruit that is enclosed in papery husks.
(gohr-guhn-ZOH-lah) - The most popular of the Italian blue cheeses. Made of
cow's milk, fat content 45%, and is very soft and tender. Gorgonzola, which
has an intricate, complicated method of creation, dates back to the eleventh
century. The thick veins are created from the addition of penicillin
glaucum, a mold, which is primarily grown in laboratories today. Originally,
Gorgonzola was aged in caves, but now it is mass-produced by creating
controlled environments. Named after a village in Italy. It is similar to
the American blue cheese and the French type.
History: Gorgonzola was made in the Po
Valley in Italy in 879 A.D. and Italy became the cheese-making center of
Europe in the 10th Century. According to folk legends dating back to the
(1) Gorgonzola was invented by an
absent-minded dairyman, which let a curd bundle drip all night long. The
day after he tried to make up for his mistake by mixing it with the
was the result of the herds of cattle that were moved through the
village on their way down from the northern Alps. By the time the poor
beasts reached the town, they needed badly to be milked. Much of this of
milk was then given or traded to local inhabitants. Quite often, curdled
milk from the morning milking was mixed with the then cooled milk from
Gouda cheese (Goo-dah) - Gouda
was first made in the vicinity of Gouda, in the Province of South Holland,
Netherlands. It can range from semi-soft to firm with a smooth texture. It
is made from whole or partly skimmed cow's milk. It is usually shaped like a
flattened sphere and it usually has a wax coating (a more mature Gouda has a
yellow wax coating and black wax or a brown rind suggests it has been smoked
and aged for over a year). Gouda melts quickly when it is shredded and
baby Gouda - It is usually coated in red wax coating.
thin chunky strip of fried food. Originally term was used for fish, but
now term is also used for chicken. Chicken cut this way is known as
gourmet (goor-MAY) - (1) A
gourmet is a person of impeccable taste. A gourmet is not only concerned
with the quality of the food and wine he serves, but also with the way the
food he chooses harmonizes with each other. (2) Food of the highest quality
that is perfectly prepared and presented.
gourmand (goor-MAHND) - A French
word for a person who appreciates fine food. Considered to be a step about a
gourmet. It is said that basically the word means a "glutton."
graham crackers - Graham
crackers are sweetened wheat "biscuits" or "crackers" eaten in the United
States. They are flat; about 3 inches square and appear dark golden brown.
They are (frequently sweetened with honey). Despite the name, most brands of
"graham cracker" today use refined white flour
Graham crackers were invented in 1829 by American Presbyterian
minister named Sylvester Graham (1795-1851). He was a vegetarian and
promoted and preached on temperance and stressed whole-wheat flour and
vegetarian diets. He promoted the use of a type of coarsely ground wheat
flour, which was high in fiber. The flour became known as "Graham Flour" and
the crackers known as "Graham Crackers".
Graham thought intense physical desire,
regardless of whether you were married or not, would have dire physiological
consequences on people. He thought men should remain virgins until age 30
and then should make love only once a month--not at all if they were sickly.
To control lust, Graham prescribed a special vegetarian diet, the
centerpiece of which was "Graham bread," made from whole-wheat flour. Graham
crackers, which Graham invented in 1829, were another manifestation of the
grana - Grana is a class of hard
grating cheeses from Italy, which were developed in the 13th Century in the
Po Valley. One-quarter of Italian milk production goes to making Grana
cheese. Most are aged for up to four years, yet they have a smooth texture
and "melt in your mouth."
granita (grah-KNEE-tah) - It is
an Italian ice. A coarse fruit ice similar to sorbet, without the meringue,
which is often flavored with liqueurs. Unlike ice creams or sherbets,
granita must be frozen into a pan of plastic or stainless steel with the
syrup not higher than 1-1/2" up the sides. It should be stirred from time to
time to allow the sides and the top to freeze. Churn before serving, so as
to yield a lightly granular texture. Liqueurs may be added if desired. The
sugar and/or liqueur will not allow the granita to freeze solid, making it
easier to churn before serving. Granita is served in a long-stemmed glass.
grape leaves - Leaves from grape
vines originally planted in the Mediterranean region, but now grown locally.
Available in jars, packed in brine, at specialty food stores and some
supermarkets. Leaves bought in jars should be soaked briefly in hot water
and rinsed well before using. Fresh leaves should be steamed or poached
briefly to soften before using.
grape must - The juice pressed
from grapes before it has fermented; new wine. Grape must is also used in
making traditional balsamic vinegar, which must mature by a long and slow
process thought natural fermentation.
grapes - It is the common name
of an edible fruit in the buckthorn family, and of the vines that produce
the fruit. There are thousands of types of grapes. Grape varieties are
classified according to their ultimate use. Grapes used to make table wine
must have relatively high acidity and moderate sugar content; those used for
dessert wines and other sweet wines must have high sugar content and
moderate acidity. Table grapes must be low in both acidity and sugar
content, and grapes used to make juices and jellies must have high acidity
and moderate sugar content. Raisin grapes are preferably seedless, with high
sugar content and low acidity.
grapeseed oil - This is very
light oil that cooks at high temperatures. It should have a "grapey" flavor
and fragrance. It is excellent for sautéing and for fondues.
grappa (GRAHP-pah) - An old
alcoholic beverage made from the remnants of wine-grape pressings (whatever
was leftover, including stems, seeds, and skins). Grappa has been made in
Italy since at least the sixteenth century. The first grappa makers were
probably frugal farmers seeking a way to use up the leftovers from the
winemaking process. Like balsamic vinegar and wine, the price goes up
depending on the vineyard, and the aging process. Although grappa is a
thoroughly Italian beverage, similar concoctions are produced in other
nations, including the United States. In Spain it is aguardiente, the French
call it marc, and the Greeks have their raki.
grate -To rub hard-textured food
against a grater (a tool with small, rough, sharp-edged holes) to reduce to
fine particles. Grating works best with firm foods; soft food (such as some
cheeses) form clumps.
gravlax, gravlax -
Scandinavian cured salmon in a sugar,
salt, and dill mixture. It is then sliced paper thin and served on dark
bread with a dill and mustard sauce. The word
literally means 'buried'. Originally, fishermen in the middle ages salted
the salmon (or other fish) and then 'buried' the fish in the ground, or
under snow and ice, to preserve it and to keep it cool.
Green Goddess dressing – A salad
dressing that is a mixture of mayonnaise, anchovies, tarragon vinegar,
parsley, scallions, garlic, and other spices.
History: It was created at San
Francisco’s Palace Hotel (now called the Sheraton-Palace) in the 1920s. The
Palace Hotel was built in 1875 and was San Francisco’s first grant lodging.
The hotel chef named the dressing for English actor George Arliss
(1868-1946), who stayed there while performing in the play called The Green
Goddess. This play was considered the best play of the 1920-21 Broadway
season and it later became on the earliest “talkie” movies in 1930. The
actor frequently complemented San Francisco’s marvelous weather and
proclaimed that it induced a healthy appetite. George Arliss, himself,
suggested that the hotel should name a salad or salad dressing after the
green onion - A green onion can
be classified as a type of scallion. As the name scallion applies to several
members of the onion family, including a distinct variety called scallion,
immature onions (commonly called green onions), young leeks, and sometimes
the tops of young shallots. In each case the vegetable has a white base that
has not fully developed into a bulb and green leaves that are long and
straight. Both parts are edible.
[greh-moh-LAH-tah] – An Italian garnish consisting of minced parsley, lemon
peel, and garlic that adds a fresh
flavor to dishes.
It's traditionally sprinkled over Osso Bucco. Etymologically
speaking, the root means ground or chopped, hence the preparation of the
grill, grilling - Grilling is a
high-heat cooking method done directly over live flames (cooking the food in
a matter of minutes). Many grilled foods have a wonderful smokey or charred
flavor because as the food cooks, fat drips down to the heat source and as
it burns on the coals or heat element its fumes and flavors are sent back up
to the outside of the food. Usually the food is turned over as it grills, so
both sides are directly exposed to the heat source.
grits - The word comes from the
Old English grytt meaning "bran," but the Old English greot also meant
"something ground." Grits are coarsely ground hominy (corn with the hull and
germ removed). Hominy is made from field corn that is soaked in lye water
(potash water in the old days) and stirred over the next day or two until
the entire shell or bran comes loose and rises to the top. The kernel itself
swells to twice its original size. After the remaining kernels have been
rinsed several times, they are spread to dry either on cloth or screen
dryers. In the Southern United States, it is commonly boiled and served for
breakfast or as a dinner side dish. Grits are considered an institution in
the South, but rarely found in northern states. Many cookbooks will refer to
grits as hominy, because of regional preference for the name.
History: Americans have been using the
term "grits" since at least the end of the 18th century.
Learn more about
History of Grits and how to cook grits.
grouper - Groupers are members
of the sea bass family. They are particularly common around coral reefs and
rock outcroppings of the inner coastal shelf, which makes them less
vulnerable to, trawls or traps. In addition to the southern United States,
Mexico, Central and South America, the Mediterranean, and South Africa have
important grouper fisheries. They are a white-fleshed and lean fish.
gruyere cheese GRUYÈRE (groo-YEHR)
- It is also known as groyer cheese. It is named for the village of Gruyere,
in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland, which is near the French border. It
is a shiny yellow, hard, smooth small-eyed cheese that melts well without
separating and is often used for sauces, with grilled meats, poultry, and
fish. It is made from cow's whole milk in much the same way as Swiss cheese.
guacamole (gwok-ah-moh-lay) - An
avocado condiment that is made from ripened avocados and lemon or lime
juice, diced onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.
guava (GWAH-vah) - A native to
South America, it is also grown in the U.S. There are many varieties of
guavas, and they can range in size from a small egg to a medium apple, all
are very sweet. Guavas make excellent jams, preserves, sauces, and sorbets.
gumbo (gum-boe) - A delicacy of
South Louisiana. It is a thick, robust soup almost always containing a roux,
and sometimes thickened with okra or file'. There are thousands of
variations, only a few of which are shrimp or seafood gumbo, chicken or duck
gumbo, okra and file' gumbo. Generally, gumbos come in two categories, those
thickened with okra (thus the name), which comes from an African word for
"okra," and those with ground sassafras leaves, known as "file." The earlier
gumbos were closer to soups than to the stew often served today. You can
make the soup thicker by using more roux or adding more file powder. The
ingredients call for oyster liquor, the juice left over from opening
oysters, which would have been abundant in an era when many meals began with
oysters. Bottled clam juice or fish broth make suitable substitutes. Serve
the gumbo over rice.
History and Legends of Gumbo.