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The Cooking Inn : Cooking Terminology A

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Acesulfame Potassium:
High Sweetener: It is 200 times sweeter than a 3% sucrose solution.
Good Sensory Properties: It has a quickly perceptible sugar-like taste that does not linger or leave an aftertaste.
Good Heat Stability: Its stability in solid form appears to be virtually unlimited. Though it lacks a defined melting point, thermal decomposition occurs around 225°C, well above the temperatures used in food and beverage processing.
Excellent Liquid Stability: It exhibits excellent stability over a broad pH range. It may be used with confidence under processing conditions typical to liquid systems including pasteurization, UHT and HTST.
Good Solubility: Its ease of dissolution in liquids allows it to blend quickly with aqueous food components. Its solubility in water increases with temperature from 27% (W/W) at 20°C to more than 50% at 100°C.
Excellent Synergy: Use of AceSulfame-K with other non-nutritive sweeteners can result in a synergistic effect. The level of perceived sweetness becomes greater than the sum of its parts. As a result, as much as 20-40% less total sweetener may be required to achieve the desired sweetness level.
High Safety: The safety of AceSulfame-K has been demonstrated enough. AceSulfame-K is non-hazardous and non-toxic, and does not require health warnings or information labels. (doesn't say whether it was an independent study or one done by the company or the government.)
Uses: Currently more than 70 countries or areas have permitted the use of AceSulfame-K as a food additive. AceSulfame-K is used primarily in a wide range of food formulations; for example beverages, wines, confections, chewing gum, dry bases for dessert, dry bases for dairy product analogs, baked goods, yogurts, refrigerated and frozen desserts, salad dressings, and other products.
AceSulfame-K provides the versatility that can help you meet your toughest reduced calorie needs, reduce your risk for coronary disease, and meet requirements for sugar-free food formulations for diabetic foods, etc. When using AceSulfame-K in foods, drugs, and other products, the range and maximum levels must observe the respective regulations governing the use of this food additive in your country or area

Achiote Paste:
Pepper paste - can be found in the specialty section or at ethnic food stores.

A substance having a sour or sharp flavor. Most foods are somewhat acidic. Foods generally referred to as acidic include citrus juice, vinegar, and wine. Degree of acidity is measured on the pH scale; acids have a pH of less than 7.

Acid Foods:
Foods which contain enough acid to result in a pH of 4.6 or lower. Includes all fruits except figs; most tomatoes; fermented and pickled vegetables; relishes; and jams, jellies and marmalades. Acid foods may be processed in boiling water.

Acidulated Water:
A mixture of water and a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice, used to purify or prevent discoloration in meats and vegetables.

Describes a condition that comes quickly, produces marked symptoms, and rapidly reaches a peak.

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A Dente:
From Italy : pasta; cooked but firm to the bite.

A fat cell.

Paste or sauce made from chiles, vinegar, and other seasonings. Used as a seasoning for meats.

Adulterated Food:
Food items that have been contaminated to the point that it is considered unfit for human consumption.

Aerobic Bacteria::
Bacteria that require the presence of oxygen to function.

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A vegetable gelatin made from various kinds of algae or seaweed. The algae are collected, bleached and dried. Then the gelatin substance is extracted with water and made into flakes, granules, powder or strips which are brittle when dry. Primarily used as a thickening agent.

A cold egg and oil emulsion with olive oil and garlic. Many variations of this sauce are made. See the definition under rouille.

A La Carte:
1. Bill of fare from which the diner selects individual dishes. 2. Dishes cooked to order.

A La Mode:
Literal translation in the fashion of. In American cookery it describes cake, pie, pudding or any other dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream. In French cooking it describes beef pot roast, larded with fat, braised with vegetables and simmered in a sauce.

Al Dente:
A term, meaning "to the bite", used to describe the correct degree of doneness for pasta and vegetables. This is not exactly a procedure, but a sensory evaluation for deciding when the food is finished cooking. Pasta should retain a slight resistance when biting into it, but should not have a hard center.

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Albert sauce:
Usually served with beef, this is a rich horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream.

A protein found in most animal and many plant tissues that coagulates on heating.

A pasta sauce originally consisting of butter, cream, and the finest parmesan cheese available. Modern versions add garlic, peas, and less expensive parmesan. All of these will make fine sauces, but nothing can compare to the original version.

Nitrogen containing compounds produced mainly by plants. Some (codeine, morphine, and quinine) are used for medical purposes; others (nicotine, and solanine in potatoes exposed to light) are poisonous.

Allemande Sauce:
A classic velouté sauce thickened with egg yolks. Also called Parisienne sauce.

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A substance foreign to the body that causes an allergic reaction.

Almond Paste:
A mixture of ground almonds, sugar, and glucose. Often used as a pastry filling.

The vertical elevation of a location above sea level.

Once considered a simple weed in the United States, this nutritious annual is finally being acknowledged as the nourishing high-protein food it is. Amaranth greens have a delicious, slightly sweet flavor and can be used both in cooking and for salads. The seeds are used as cereal or can be ground into flour for bread. Amaranth seeds and flour can be found in health-food stores, as well as in some Caribbean and Asian markets.

1. According to Greek mythology, ambrosia (meaning "immortality") was the food of the gods on Mt. Olympus. More recently, the word designates a dessert of chilled fruit (usually oranges and bananas) mixed with coconut. Ambrosia is also sometimes served as a salad. 2. A mixed drink made by shaking cognac, brandy (usually calvados or applejack) and, depending on the bartender, cointreau or raspberry syrup with crushed ice. The shaken mixture is strained into a glass and topped off with cold champagne. It's said to have been created at New Orleans' famous Arnaud's restaurant shortly after Prohibition ended.

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Amino Acids:
Organic (carbon-containing) acids that the body links to make proteins. Nine amino acids are termed essential, because they must be provided in diet; the body produces the remaining 11 as they are needed.

An extremely severe allergic reaction that can be fatal; it occurs after repeated exposure to an antigen.

Anchovy Paste:
This combination of pounded anchovies, vinegar, spices and water comes in tubes and is convenient for many cooking purposes. It can also be used for canapés.

Circulating proteins (immunoglobulins) formed by the body to resist future invasion by specific microorganisms or foreign substances.

A foreign substance that stimulates the body to defend itself with an immune response.

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The Italian word for snacks served before a meal. These are dishes to peak one's appetite, not quench it. This may consist of one or more dishes of all types of food. Common elements of an antipasto table are cured meats and salamis, olives, marinated vegetables, and cheese.

Apple Slump:
Made by placing raised bread or dough around the sides of an iron pot, which is then filled with apples and sweetened with molasses.

Arni is Greek for Lamb.

A general (mainly Italian) term used to describe various herbs, such as rosemary, sage, tyme, etc. Aromatic vegetables, such as celery and onions are also called aromi. The term is used when no specific herbs are mentioned, the choice being left to the discretion and knowledge of the cook.

A starch. White, powdery thickening agent ground finer than flour. It is preferable to cornstarch because it provides a clear finish, rather than a cloudy paste. Arrowroot is extracted from rhizomes and was historically used by American Indians to heal arrow wounds, hence the name.

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Arroz Con Leche:
A Spanish pudding made from rice that's cooked in milk with various flavorings such as vanilla, lemon and cinnamon.

Arroz Con Pollo:
Literally "rice with chicken," this Spanish and Mexican dish is made with rice, chicken, tomatoes, green peppers, seasonings and, sometimes, saffron.

This is a strong smelling resin, reputed to prevent flatulence. It is used sparingly to flavor some vegetable dished.
Also known as Hing.

Ascorbic Acid:
The chemical name for vitamin C. Lemon juice contains large quantities of ascorbic acid and is commonly used to prevent browning of peeled, light-colored fruits and vegetables.

Asian Noodles:
Though some Asian-style noodles are wheat-based, many others are made from ingredients such as rice flour, potato flour, buckwheat flour, cornstarch and bean, yam or soybean starch. Among the more popular are China's cellophane noodles (made from mung-bean starch), egg noodles (usually wheat-based) and rice-flour noodles, and Japan's harusame (made with soybean, rice or potato flour), ramen (wheat-based egg noodles) and soba (which contain buckwheat flour). Other Asian countries, including Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, have their own versions of the venerable noodle. Asian noodles can be purchased fresh and dried in Asian markets; some dried varieties can be found in supermarkets. Throughout Asian cultures noodles are eaten hot and cold. They can be cooked in a variety of ways including steaming, stir-frying and deep-frying.

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Asparagus Pea:
Has a round pod that grows from a foot to three feet in length; makes a choice dish.

An artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

A jelly made from stock, fumet, wine, or fruit juices used to mold dishes. These preparations are often elaborately decorated for use on buffets. Both savory and sweet foods are set in aspic.

A kind of corn meal or gruel made of atole. Indians made large pots in which they kept water, made atole and preserved other things they needed to carry.

French for eggplant. Often appears in recipes from Francophonic countries such as Tunisia and Iran.

Au gratin:
Topped with crumbs and/or cheese and browned in the oven or under the broiler.

Au jus:
Served in it's own juices.

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