• a l’anglaise
    In the English style, e.g. boiled and served without a sauce.
  • a la
    In the style of, e.g. a la Russe, meaning ‘in the Russian style’.
  • a la carte
    Can mean bill of fare from which the diner selects individual dishes, or dishes cooked to order.
  • a la crecy
    French for puree of carrots and rice
  • a la creme
    Served with cream or a cream-based sauce
  • a la duglere
    French, meaning with onions, shallots and tomatoes.
  • a la eggs creole
    Hard boiled, yolks mixed in Creole garniture, baked, served with rice.
  • a point
    Of meat, medium cooked
  • Acidulated water
    The addition of lemon juice or vinegar to cold water-which prevents discoloration of some fruits and vegetables. To every 1/2 pint of water, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Agar
    A vegetarian alternative to gelatine, based on seaweed and used as a stabiliser or thickener in many food products. It is sold in many of the large supermarkets in powder form, as flakes and as bars.
  • Al dente
    An Italian word to describe when pasta is cooked: tender but firm to the bite.
  • Albumen
    The white of an egg.
  • Alla
    In the style of, e.g. alia parmi-giano, meaning ‘in Parmesan style’.
  • Allspice
    An aromatic spice, also called Jamaica pepper or pimento.
  • Allumettes
    Vegetable strips of matchstick length.
  • Almond Paste
    A firm but pliable confection made of ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar mixed with glucose, corn syrup, or egg white. Available in cans or tubes, almond paste is similar to marzipan, which is sweeter and softer. If almond paste seems hard, microwave
  • Almonds
    Nuts that can be bought as skin-on, blanched, whole, halved, flaked, chopped or ground.
  • Amandine
    Cooking or coating with almonds.
  • Amaranth
    A tall plant with broad leaves that produces many thousands of tiny seeds.
  • Amaretti
    Small Italian macaroon biscuits.
  • Amaretti Cookies
    Hard, crisp, round Italian cookies, found at Italian grocers and specialty food stores. Often come tissue-wrapped in pairs and packed into pretty tin boxes
  • Amarettini
    mini versions of the popular Italian amaretti biscuits.
  • Anchovies
    These are the smallest fish of the herring family.
  • Anchovy essence
    A natural juice concentrate from the anchovy.
  • Angelica
    A biennial herb used mainly in dessert cooking.
  • Angostura Bitters
    Bitters refers to spirits that have been flavoured with herbs or bitter roots.
  • Anise
    Related to the carrot and parsley families, it is the seeds of the anise or aniseed plant that are used in cookery.
  • Annatto seeds
    Also known as ‘achiote seeds’, commonly used in South American cooking.
  • Antipasti
    Cold or hot Italian hors-d’oeuvre.
  • Antipasto
    The Italian word, meaning ‘before pasta’, for hot or cold starters or hors d’oeuvres. A mixture of antipasti could include cheese, smoked meats, salamis, olives, fish and marinated vegetables
  • Aperitif
    A French term referring to a light alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Examples include drinks based on wine (eg vermouth) or alcohol (eg anise, bitters) and certain spirits and liqueurs
  • Arrowroot
    Starch made by grinding the root of an American plant of the same name. Used for thickening sauces
  • Arrowroot
    Starch made by grinding the root of an American plant of the same name. Used for thickening sauces
  • Artisan baguette
    A fresh baguette finished with a criss-cross pattern and dusted with flour.
  • Asafoetida
    An extremely pungent spice extracted from a plant of the giant fennel family.
  • Aspic
    A clear jelly used to cover or glaze foods to prevent them from drying out and to enhance the appearance of the dish.
  • Atjar
    A seasoned relish made of sliced fruits or mixed vegetables.
  • au bleu
    Blue; fish cooked immediately after being caught will turn blue.
  • au gratin
    Cooked food, covered with a sauce, sprinkled with crumbs or grated cheese, dotted with butter and browned under the grill
  • Aubergine
    The most common type of aubergine, also known as eggplant, is fairly large, an elongated oval shape and purple in colour. Others are white, mauve and green, some even striped.