• Macadamia
    A relatively expensive nut that is native to Australia. Its white kernel has a taste reminiscent of coconut. In Asia it is used in curries and stews; in the United States it is a flavouring for ices and cakes.
  • Macaroni
    Tubular-shaped pasta of varying lengths and shapes.
  • Macaroon
    A small biscuit or cake, crunchy outside and soft inside, made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. Macaroons are sometimes flavoured with coffeee, chocolate, nuts, fruit etc.
  • Mace
    A spice derived from the outer layer of nutmeg, mace is sold either in blades or ground. It adds a mild nutmeg flavour to soups and sauces as well as sausages, p¢t©s and fish dishes.
  • Macedoine
    Mixture of fruit or vegetables.
  • Macerate
    To soak raw, dried or preserved fruit or vegetables in liquid (usually alcohol, liqueur, wine, brandy or sugar syrup) to soften or take away bitterness and so that they absorb the flavour of the liquid. Dried fruits for winter compotes are often treated t
  • Mackerel
    A firm-fleshed oil-rich fish, usually sold whole. Can be grilled, fried, barbecued or poached. It also suits being pickled, marinated, salted and smoked.
  • Madeira
    Madeira is a fortified wine that comes from the island of the same name. Drunk as an ap©ritif, especially served chilled, but also used in cooking where it is similar to a dry sherry
  • Madeleine
    French scallop-shaped cake, made with sugar, flour, melted butter and eggs, often flavoured with lemon or almonds.
  • Maitre d’Hotel Butter
    Parsley and lemon butter served on meat.
  • Maldon salt
    An exceptional sea salt which comes from the Maldon area of Essex. Sea salt is produced as the sea washes over rocks and then recedes with the tide, leaving pools of water. The sun evaporates the water and leaves the salt in the form of crystals that can
  • Manchego
    A Spanish cheese made from ewe’s milk which originated in La Mancha. The cheese is very fatty and firm to the touch.
  • Mangosteen
    A tropical fruit from south-east Asia, the mangosteen is the size of a small peach with a leathery skin which, when peeled away, reveals five sweetly scented white segments
  • Maple syrup
    The boiled-down sap of the maple tree, this syrup is very popular in the United States and Canada. It is expensive; cheaper varieties are made from a mixture of maple syrup mixed with cane syrup.
  • Marbling
    Term used for fat deposits within the muscles. Unlike intramuscular or subcutaneous fat, this fat forms part of the edible meat and cannot be removed.
  • Marengo
    A chicken or veal dish made with white wine, tomato and garlic. Chicken Marengo is said to have been served to Napoleon after his battle at the Italian town of the same name in 1800
  • Margarine
    Margarine was invented in the 1860s by a French chemist as a cheap replacement for butter. Nowadays it is bought as a product in its own right, frequently in the belief that it is a healthier option than butter. There are many types available using differ
  • Marinade
    A mixture of oil, vinegar, herbs and spices in which meat is marinated for a few hours to give it extra flavour and succulence and to tenderize it slightly.
  • Marinate
    To steep fish, meat or vegetables in a flavoured liquid (the marinade) usually containing oil, wine or lemon juice, herbs and spices, in order to tenderise and add flavour
  • Mariniere (‘la)
    A method of preparing shellfish or other seafood, especially mussels, by cooking them in white wine, usually with onions or shallots.
  • Marlin
    Sport-fishermen of big-game fishing find catching the great marlin a challenge. Found in the waters off Hawaii, Florida, Venezuela and Australia, marlin is available in other parts of the world sold as steaks. These are best cooked under the grill, on a b
  • Marmite
    Earthenware stock pot.
  • Marsala
    A fortified wine, originally from Sicily, but also produced in California; available sweet (best for desserts) and dry (for use in savory dishes)
  • Marzipan
    Thick paste made from ground almonds, sugar and egg whites that is used in making cakes and pastries, especially as a topping for Simnel cake or as a base for the icing on a Christmas or wedding cake. It can be coloured and flavoured and used to make peti
  • Mascarpone
    Thick, creamy, soft Italian cheese used in savoury and sweet dishes.
  • Matelote
    In the sailor’s style; e.g. fish stew made with wine or cider.
  • Mayonnaise
    A thick, creamy, cold sauce made by beating oil and egg yolks, usually with some wine vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard. Used to dress salads or mixed with other ingredients.
  • Medallions
    Small circular cuts of meat, fish or pate.
  • Megrim
    Flat fish from the brill and turbot family
  • Melba
    The name given to various dishes dedicated to Dame Nellie Melba, the famous 19th-century Australian opera singer. The best known is peach Melba, created by Escoffier when he was chef at the Savoy in London. The original was an elaborate dish of a swan of
  • Meringue
    A very light sweet confection made from stiffly whipped egg whites and sugar. When baked it becomes hard on the surface but remains soft inside. Used to cover pies and tarts or on its own with fruit.
  • Mesclun
    A mixture of young shoots and leaves used in a salad. Mesclun usually contains various types of wild and cultivated chicory, lamb’s lettuce and dandelion but may also include rocket, chervil, purslane and oak leaf let
  • Meuniere (‘la)
    A method of cooking that can be used for all types of fish. The fish is coated in seasoned flour, fried in butter and served with some more melted butter with the addition of a squeeze of lemon juice and a few freshly chopped herbs. Traditionally, whole t
  • Milanese
    In the Milan style; escalopes coated in egg, breadcrumbs, seasoned with grated Parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.
  • Mille-feuille
    Pastry made of thin layers of puff pastry, whipped cream and jam or some other filling such as fresh fruit. Mille-feuilles are usually small rectangular pastries but can also be made as large g¢teaux. Literally means ‘a thousand leaves’.
  • Mincemeat
    A spicy preserve in English cookery that consists of a mixture of dried fruit, apple, suet, candied fruit and spices, steeped in rum or brandy. It is the traditional filling for individual mince pies, served warm at Christmas.
  • Minestrone
    A thick Italian soup containing a mixture of vegetables and pasta or rice
  • Mint sauce
    A thin sauce made from chopped mint, vinegar and sugar, traditionally served in England as an accompaniment to roast lamb.
  • Mirabelle
    #1. Small yellow plum, used as tart filling. #2. A liqueur made from this fruit
  • Mirepoix
    A mixture of diced vegetables, usually onion, leek, carrot and celery, that are saut©ed in butter to form a base for many sauces, soups and stews.
  • Mirin
    Mirin is sweetened sake (rice wine) used in Japanese cooking, especially for sauces.
  • Miso
    A paste made from soya beans, used in Japanese cookery. Popular when made into soup.
  • Mocca
    #1. High quality coffee served after dinner. #2. A blend of coffee and chocolate flavours
  • Molasses
    A thick, dark, heavy syrup that is a by-product of sugar refining. It is far less sweet than syrup or honey and the darker the molasses, the less sugar it contains. Molasses has a slightly bitter flavour that is favoured in traditional North American reci
  • Mongodi
    small sun-dried dumplings made from green gram (moong) or moth beans (moth dal) paste.
  • Monk’s beard
    A vegetable grown in Tuscany, Italy, monk’s beard is in season for only five weeks of the year. Similar in appearance to samphire, it is best prepared by light steaming and served with lemon or olive oil. It can also be added to risotto.
  • Monosodium glutamate
    dditive made from sodium salt crystals and used to enhance the flavour of foods, especially in Oriental cuisine.
  • Mooli
    Long white Japanese vegetable of the radish family. Also known as daikon, it is mild and crunchy and good in salads. Unlike other radishes it is as good cooked as raw.
  • Morel
    Morels are a highly prized wild fungus. They grow in dry, sandy areas and have a sponge-like cap so it is important to wash them well to get rid of any grit. They are often used dried and are excellent in all mushroom dishes and as additions to stews and
  • Mornay sauce
    A b©chamel sauce enriched with egg yolks and flavoured with grated Gruyere cheese. It is used to coat dishes to be glazed under the grill or browned in the oven, including poached eggs, fish, shellfish, vegetables.
  • Mortadella
    A large, lightly smoked Italian sausage flavoured with myrtle berries and studded with pistachios or green olives.
  • Mouler
    To grind soft food into a puree, or dry food into a powder.
  • Moules
  • Moules mariniere
    Mussels prepared ‘la mariniere, ie by cooking in white wine with chopped shallots, parsley, thyme and a bay leaf.
  • Moussaka
    A dish from Greece, Turkey and the Balkans, made of layers of lamb, slices of aubergine, potatoes and onions and covered with white sauce and cheese.
  • Mousse
    A name describing either a sweet or savoury dish which is light and creamy. Sweet versions are made with beaten egg whites, savoury mousses use gelatine
  • Mozzarella
    An Italian fresh or unripened cheese made from the milk of the water-buffalo and sold swimming in whey; fans often prefer its soft sponge-like texture and mild creamy flavour to the alternative cow’s milk mozzarella which can be more rubbery and less fl
  • Muesli
    Dish of raw rolled oats, coarsely grated apple, nuts and dried fruit served with cream.
  • Mulligatawny
    A spicy soup originally from India, adopted by the British and especially popular in Australia. It is a chicken consomm© with stewed vegetables, highly seasoned with curry and spices.
  • Mustard
    A herbaceous plant whose seeds are used to prepare the condiment of the same name. There are three varieties: black mustard (spicy and piquant), brown mustard (less piquant), and white or yellow mustard (much less piquant but more pungent). Mustard seeds