(ah-bah-NEH-roh) - You might also know this Yucatan-raised, lantern-shaped
chile as a Scot bonnet or Bahamian chile. Whatever you call it, with a fire
reportedly 60 times that of a Jalapeno, these pods pack a punch. It is the
hottest of all chiles in the world. It should be handled only while wearing
plastic gloves. Ripe Habaneros, which are dark green, red, or orange-red,
have a sweeter flavor and are fruitier than the green, unripe ones.
haggis (HAG-ihs) - Haggis is a
Scottish dish made from sheep's offal (windpipe, lungs, heart and liver) of
the sheep, which is first boiled and then minced. It is then mixed with beef
suet and lightly toasted oatmeal. This mixture is placed inside the sheep's
stomach, which is sewn closed. The resulting haggis is traditionally cooked
by further boiling (for up to three hours).
This is the most traditional of all Scottish
dishes, eaten on Burns Night (25th January; the birthday of Scotland's
national poet, Robert Burns, 1759-1796) and at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve).
Haggis is traditionally served as "haggis, neeps and tatties". The neeps are
mashed turnip or swede, with a little milk and allspice added, whereas the
tatties are creamed potatoes flavored with a little nutmeg. To add that
authentic touch, consume your haggis, neeps and tatties with a dram of good
History: There are no actual records,
as far as we are aware, of the origins of haggis, as we know it today. The
first known English cookbook is The Form of Cury (cookery), written
in 1390 by one of the cooks to King Richard II. It contains a recipe for a
dish called Afronchemoyle, which is in effect a haggis. The haggis
became well established in the Scottish culinary scene, not as a star dish
but as an everyday staple. Like a lot of other foods, haggis probably came
about because the raw material was available and it had to be made into a
more acceptable form.
Author Clarissa Dickson Wright in her book
The Haggis - A Little History makes a case for haggis originally being
from Sweden. Scandinavians from Sweden eat haggis with great relish and
invariably remark on its resemblance to a dish in their local cuisine.
Relations between Scotland and the Nordic world go back to the 9th century.
Norsemen, raiders at first, very soon became settlers and farmers. It was
late in the 15th century before Orkney and Shetland finally ceased to be
dependencies of the Danish crown. The impact of the Norse was far greater
than that of the French; they are part of Scotland's historic fabric. The
root of the word haggis is not from Latin languages, and its origin appears
to be Scandinavian. There is no doubt that the word haggis is related to
such words as the Swedish hagga, meaning to hew or chop; and the Icelandic
hoggva, with the same meaning.
halibut - Halibut is a large
flatfish, resembling the turbot in appearance, and is the largest in the
flatfish group. They sometimes weigh in at over 500 pounds and six feet in
length. The flesh of the halibut is coarser and the flavor is stronger and
less refined than the flounder, and especially the sole. Halibut is
exclusively a cold-water fish and is found in the North Atlantic and North
Pacific oceans. "Hippo of the sea” is how the halibut’s Latin family name
hamburger - A grilled, fried, or
broiled patty of ground beef that is usually served on a "hamburger bun" and
topped with ketchup, onions, and/or other condiments. It is considered a
cultural icon in America.
History and Legends of Hamburgers.
Hangtown Fry - This oyster dish
includes oysters, eggs, and bacon.
History of the Hangtown Fry.
haricot vert (ah-ree-koh VEHR) -
The French term for green string beans, Haricot means, "bean," and vert
means, "green." They are much thinner than regular green beans and
traditionally have a much better flavor. They are also known as French green
beans and French beans.
- A hard square biscuit or cracker that is made with flour and water only
(unleavened and unsalted bread). Since it's very dry, it can be stored for
years without refrigeration.
People can live for quite a while on just bread and water. Hardtack is eaten
by itself, dipped in coffee, or crumbled into soups. Inexpensive, stable,
and easy to transport, hardtack was a staple in military life throughout
most of our history. It was also
the most convenient food for soldiers, explorers, and pioneers.
Dandy funk – Also called Danderfunk. A pudding made by sailors
using crumbled hardtack, fat, and molasses.
Hardtack was a part of the staple diet of English and American sailors for
many centuries. Christopher Columbus took
unleavened bread with him on his journeys. Sailors referred to it as
sea biscuit, sea bread, ship biscuit, Midshipman’s nuts, and pilot
During the Civil War, a soldier in the army, both north and south was
usually issued one half pound of beans or peas, bacon, pickled beef,
compressed mixed vegetables and one pound of hard tack. Too hard to be eaten
whole, it was generally broken up with a rock or rifle butt, placed in the
cheek pocket and softened with saliva enough to be chewed and swallowed. The
hardtack was also soaked in water and then fried in bacon grease to soften
it. The soldiers called the biscuits "sheet iron crackers", "teeth dullers",
or "worm castles" in references to the weevils and maggots all too often
found in the hardtack boxes.
hartshorn - It is also called bakers' ammonia (ammonium
carbonate). It is an ammonia compound and not harmful after baking. However,
don't eat the raw dough. Your kitchen will stink of ammonia while the
cookies bake - but once baked, the cookies will not taste of it. Can be
substituted for equal amount of baking powder in any cookies recipe. It is
an old-time leavening favored for cookies, such as German Springerle. It is
said to give a "fluffiness" of texture baking powder can't. Its leavening is
only activated by heat, not moisture (such as baking powder).
hash - A dish of chopped pork or
beef combined with various chopped up vegetables and seasonings. Hash is
often thought of as a dish that you throw into it whatever is left in the
kitchen. In the 19th century, cheap restaurants were called "hash houses"
and the workers in these restaurants were called "hash slingers."
History: Check out
Hasty Pudding/Indian Pudding.
Hasty Pudding/Indian Pudding -
Despite the name Indian Pudding, it is not a traditional native
dish. Native Americans had neither milk nor molasses to use in their
cooking. They did mix ground corn with berries, and may have had
maple syrup. Hasty Pudding and Indian Pudding are basically the same
pudding, as Hasty Pudding was an English tradition for centuries.
Printed references to hasty pudding in England date to 1599, while
Indian pudding recipes start appearing in American cookbooks in
haunch - A term used in a cut
of meat, usually venison. One
of the back legs of an animal with four legs that is used for meat (the
leg and loin undivided, or, as more commonly called, the hind quarter) - a
haunch of veal, venison, or wild boar.
Haute Cuisine - Food that is
prepared in an elegant or elaborate manner; the very finest food available.
The French word "haute" translates as "high" or "superior." Cuisine
translates as "cooking" in general. Literally meaning "high cooking" or
high-class cooking, the rich sauces, fine ingredients and exquisite taste of
haute cuisine typifies classic French cooking.
History: The arrival in 1533 of
Italian-born Catherine de Medici at the French court and her marriage to
Henri II in the 16th century brought about the development of the culinary
arts in France. She had her staff introduce delicacies previously unknown to
the French. Over the next couple of centuries, the royal families employed
chefs who developed and prepared the finest cuisine, and dining became an
art form. Chef Francois Pierre de La Varenne (1615-1678) who was a court
chef during King Louis XIV's (1643-1715) reign is often cited as being the
founder of haute cuisine. It was during La Varenne life that is often
considered the turning point of cuisine, the ending of medieval cuisine and
the beginning of classic French cooking.
Haute Cuisine Couture - It means
"Recipe for Comfort" and it relates to the fashion world. It is first and
foremost a form of expertise or savoir-faire, involving a craft that has
endured for more than one hundred and fifty years. The origins of haute
couture date back to Charles Frédéric Worth who, in 1858, founded the first
true house of haute couture at 7, rue de la Paix, in Paris, creating
original models for individual clients. Haute couture involves
craftsmanship, the skill of the seamstress and embellisher (feather makers,
embroiderers, milliners) who, each season, create the finery of the
havarti cheese (huh-VAR-tee) -
It is a light to pale yellow cheese with tiny holes "eyes" in its smooth
body, it melts well when it is shredded. It is similar to Montery Jack
hazelnut - Also called filberts.
According to a manuscript found in China, from the year 2838 B.C., the
hazelnut took its place among the five sacred nourishments God bestowed to
human beings. The cultivation of hazelnuts has been going on for over 4500
years. In olden times, the nut was used as a medicine and tonic. Up until
1940, most hazelnuts were imported to the United States from Sicily and
Naples. Now the nuts are grown in Oregon and Washington. Nuts begin forming
on the trees in the early spring. They mature during the summer months and
are harvested in the early fall. The nuts usually grow in clusters of two or
three, each nut covered with an open ended husk that extends beyond the
rounded nut itself. When the nuts mature, they fall free from the husks to
the ground where they are harvested.
headcheese - A sausage made from
a calf or pig's head and molded in its own jelly and seasoned. In England it
is called brawn and in France it goes by the name fromage de tete de porc.
History: This dish was created in the
Middle Ages when bits and pieces of meat and gelatin were enclosed in the
head skin of the animal cooked and served that way.
heart of palm - Heart of palm is
the inner, edible portion of the stem of the cabbage (palmetto) palm tree.
This palm grows in tropical climates such as Florida (it's the state tree)
and Brazil. Hearts of palm are ivory colored and resemble white asparagus
without the tips. They are usually available canned and packed in water.
They are rather expensive and have a taste reminiscent of artichoke.
Delicious in salads, hearts of palm can also be used in main dishes or
hickory nuts - There are 17
varieties of hickory trees, 13 of which are native to the United States,
including the pecan nut. The common hickory nut has an extremely hard shell.
Hickory nuts have an excellent rich flavor with a buttery quality due to
their high fat content. They are a usually sold unshelled. Hickory nuts can
be used in a variety of baked goods and in almost any recipe as a substitute
High Tea - High Tea is often a
misnomer. Most people refer to afternoon tea as high tea because they
think it sounds regal and lofty, when in all actuality, high tea, or
"meat tea" is dinner. High tea, in Britain, at any rate, tends to be on
the heavier side. American hotels and tea rooms, on the other hand,
continue to misunderstand and offer tidbits of fancy pastries and cakes
on delicate china when they offer a "high tea."
Afternoon tea (because
it was usually taken in the late afternoon) is also called "low tea"
because it was usually taken in a sitting room or withdrawing room where
low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs
generally in a large withdrawing room. There are three basic types of
Afternoon, or Low Tea:
Cream Tea - Tea, scones, jam
Light Tea - Tea, scones and sweets
Full Tea - Tea, savories, scones, sweets and dessert
In England, the
traditional time for tea was four or five o'clock and no one stayed after
seven o'clock. Most tea rooms today serve tea from three to five o'clock.
The menu has also changed from tea, bread, butter and cakes, to include
three particular courses served specifically in this order:
Savories: Tiny sandwiches
Scones: Served with jam and Devonshire or clotted cream
Pastries: Cakes, cookies, shortbread and sweets
Hoagie – Also
known as submarines, heroes, bombers, grinder, torpedoes, and rockets in
other parts of the United States. Hoagies are built-to-order sandwiches
filled with meat and cheese, as well as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions,
topped off with a dash of oregano=vinegar dressing on an Italian roll. A
true Italian Hoagie is made with Italian ham, prosciutto salami, and
provolone cheese, along with all the works. It was declared the “Official
Sandwich of Philadelphia.”
History of Hoagies, Submarines, Po'Boys, Dagwood, and Italian Sandwiches.
Holland Rusks - Rusks are known
in France as Biscotte and in Germany as Zwieback. A rusk is a slice of yeast
bread (thick or thin) that is baked until dry, crisp, and golden brown. In
America, rusks are given to babies when teething.
hollandaise sauce (butter) -
Uses butter and egg yolks as binding. It is served hot with vegetables,
fish, and eggs (like egg benedict). It will be a pale lemon color, opaque,
but with a luster not appearing oily. The basic sauce and its variations
should have a buttery-smooth texture, almost frothy, and an aroma of good
butter. Making this emulsified sauce requires a good deal of practice — it
is not for the faint of heart. Béarnaise sauce, which is "related" to
hollandaise sauce, is most often served with steak.
hominy - Hominy is made from
dried corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed, usually
by boiling in lime. The kernels look somewhat like popcorn and have a soft,
chewy consistency. It is sold either in canned or dried form.
Hommard a L'amoricaine
- Hommard in French means “lobster or crawfish” and amoricaine “mean in the
style of America or American Sauce.” Also called Lobster a L’amoricaine.
History: French Chef Pierre Fraisse who had lived and worked in Chicago,
Illinois in 1858 created this dish. Fraisse was considered to be a bit "Americanized” by
the French. He created the dish in Paris in 1860 when several
American customers came in very late and asked for supper by specifying that
they had only one hour to eat. Not having time to cook lobsters with the
traditional court-bouillon, he prepared a sauce that consisted of tomatoes,
tarragon, wine, cream, and cognac, and then poached the lobsters pieces it.
The guests asked for the name of this exquisite receipt and Pierre,
according to the inspiration of the moment, called it “Lobster au
américaine” in honor of his American customers and probably because he had
worked as chef in Chicago.
It is also said this dish had actually been on the menu of the restaurant
before Fraisse began to work there and was then known as Homard Bonnefoy,
thought to have originated in Languedoc in Southern France.
honey - Honey is produced by
domesticated and many wild bees from the nectar of flowers and other plant
secretions. The bees combine those fluids with other substances to make
honey, which they store in their hives. Honey has been around as long as
bees and man has used it as a sweetener and food since the earliest times.
It is still one of his richest and most useful food substances. A rock
drawing near Valencia in Spain that dates back to 15000 BC shows two men
climbing up cords to reach the nest of a swarm of bees. And beekeeping was
being practiced along the banks of the Nile in Egypt at least as early as
3000 BC. Ancient literature teems with references to bees, honey and
hooch, hootch - A cheap whiskey.
The term, which became widespread during Prohibition. It was derived from
the name of a Chinook Indian tribe, the Hoochinoo that made a form of
distilled spirits bought by U.S. soldiers who had occupied the Alaskan
hopping john - A southern dish
made of black-eyed peas (cowpeas) and rice. It is traditionally served on
New Year's Day to ensure good luck for the New Year. The dish was a staple
of the African slaves who populated southern plantations (especially those
of South Carolina).
Check out History of Hoppin' John.
Means little snack foods, small items of food or
light courses, served before or outside of ("hors") the main dishes of a
meal (the "oeuvres") which are intended to stimulate the appetite. The terms
hors d'oeuvres and
appetizers are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference:
hors d'oeuvres are the small savory bites, typically finger food, served
before a meal, while appetizers appear as the first course served at the
table. The name hors d'oeuvres comes from the French and is literally
translated as "out of the work," but it's more logical to think of it as
meaning "apart from (or before) the meal."
horseradish - The name may have
come from an English adaptation of its German name. In early times the plant
grew wild in European coastal areas; the Germans called it meerrettich, or
sea radish. The German word “meer” sounds like “mare” in English.
History: The earliest account of
Horseradish comes from 13th century Western Europe, where Germans and Danes
used it as a condiment, stimulant, and digestive medicine. The word
horseradish first appeared in print in 1597 in John Gerarde’s English herbal
on medicinal plants. It was introduced in England in the 16th century, where
it is still used to treat hoarseness and coughs. It was brought to the
United States in the 19th century, and now grows wild along the East Coast.
Horseshoe Sandwich – The
sandwich is considered the signature dish or Springfield, Illinois, the home
of Abraham Lincoln. This sandwich will make our arteries cringe and your
taste buds rejoice. The sandwich starts out with two to three slices of
thick toasted bread. On top of that you have two traditional choices: a
thick fried ham steak or two large hamburger patties. Then a large amount of
freshly made French fries are placed onto the top of it. The secret to this
sandwich is the sauce that is poured over the top. Every restaurant and chef
seems to have his or her own secret cheese sauce recipe. The name of the
sandwich comes from the shape of the ham with the fries representing the
horseshoe nails, and the heated steak platter as the anvil. If you order a
Pony Shoe Sandwich, it is the same thing, but a smaller or half a Horseshoe
portion (usually one slice of toast).
Hot Brown Sandwich – An
open-faced turkey sandwich with turkey, bacon, pimientos, and a delicate
Mornay sauce. The sandwich is place under the broiler to melt the cheese.
hot dog - Also called
frankfurters. A cooked sausage that consists of a combination of beef and
pork or all beef, which is cured, smoked, and cooked. Seasonings may include
coriander, garlic, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and white pepper.
They are fully cooked but are usually served hot. Sizes range from big
dinner frankfurters to tiny cocktail size.
History and Legends of the Hot Dog.
huitlacoche – See cuitlacoche.
Hurricane – This signature
cocktail of New Orleans is a potent sweet fruit punch and rum drink that is
served in a special hurricane lamp glass that has become one of the most
sought-after souvenirs in New Orleans. During celebrations (celebrations
seem to be nightly in the New Orleans French Quarter) tourists carry their
“to go” Hurricane drink down the streets. Hurricanes are also the cocktail
of choice during Mardi Gras, where thousands come to parade and party. The
Hurricane was made famous by Pat O’Brien’s French Quarter bar. Other
restaurants and bars serve this drink but it has become synonymous with Pat
O’Brien’s, where people line up to get their Hurricane drink.
History of Hurricane.
Hushpuppies - A finger-shaped
dumpling of cornmeal that is deep-fried (they are traditionally served with
fried catfish). Hushpuppies, also known as corn dodgers. They are especially
popular throughout the South.
Check out History