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A crisp, pancake-like batter product that is cooked in a specialized iron that gives the finished product a textured pattern, usually a grid. Also a special vegetable cut which produces a grid or basket weave pattern.

Waldorf Salad:
Also called Waldorf Astoria Salad. A classic American fruit salad that usually consists of apples, lemon juice, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise.

The following history is courtesy of Linda Stradley and her web site What's Cooking America at http://whatscookingamerica.net .

History: Oscar Michel Tschirky created this salad for the opening of New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 9, 1893. Different sources list him as chef, maitre d', and also banquet manager. He was known as "Oscar of the Waldorf." It debuted at a "society supper: for 1,500 people as part of the preview of the new hotel. He worked at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel from its opening in 1893 until he retired in December of 1943.

In 1896, Tschirky compiled a cookbook called The Cook Book by "Oscar of the Waldorf and gave the recipe for this salad using only apples, celery, and mayonnaise. At some point, walnuts were added to the recipe. In The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook published in 1981 by Ted James and Rosalind Cole, it includes the walnuts.

One of the most valuable of nuts. The two most popular varieties of walnut are the English and the Black Walnut. English walnuts are the most widely available and are available year-round. Walnuts also make fragrant, flavorful oil.

The following history is courtesy of Linda Stradley and her web site What's Cooking America at http://whatscookingamerica.net .

History: Walnuts have been recognized as one of the oldest tree foods known to man, dating back to about 7000 B.C. Considered food for the gods in the early days of Rome, walnuts were named "Juglans regia" in honor of Jupiter. Today, they are commonly called "English" walnuts, in reference to the English merchant marines whose ships once transported the product for trade to ports around the world. Historians prefer the name "Persian" walnuts, referring to Persia, the birthplace of walnuts. The Franciscan Fathers are credited with bringing walnuts to California from Spain or Mexico. The first commercial planting began in 1867 when Joseph Sexton, an orchardist and nurseryman in the Santa Barbara County town of Goleta, planted English walnuts.

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Wassail is an ancient beverage and toast coming from the time in England when the Saxon lords and ladies cried out "waes hael," meaning "Be of good health." Originally, wassail was a beverage made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, nuts, eggs, and spices. In some parts of Britain it is still customary to perform the tradition, though the type of ceremony performed varies from one region to the next. As a result, no one knows exactly how many types of wassailing ceremonies exist; however, three of the most popular are wassail in the hall, wassail door to door and wassail in the orchards.

The following history is courtesy of Linda Stradley and her web site What's Cooking America at http://whatscookingamerica.net .

History: The custom of wassail originated as a pagan agricultural festival to help increase the yield of apple orchards. During the Christmas season, a procession of people would visit selected trees from the various orchards and either sprinkle the wassail mixture or break a bottle of it against the trunk. From this came the custom in England to drink a toast of "wassail" or "health" from a great punch bowl filled with hot ale spiced with nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Traditionally it was served in wooden bowls and loving cups or poured from "Susans."
Over the centuries, a great deal of ceremony had developed around the custom of drinking wassail. The bowl is carried into a room with great fanfare, a traditional carol about the drink is sung, and finally, the steaming hot beverage is served.

It became popular for carolers to go from house to house singing. At each stop they were treated to a cup of wassail (some historians think that the carolers brought the wassai with them). Some farmers began bringing wassail bowls into the barnyard to toast the health of their cattle, fruit trees, and fields.

Water Bath:
The French call this cooking technique bain marie. It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm.

Water Chestnuts :
A walnut-sized bulb covered by a tough russet-colored skin. In China they are eaten raw, boiled plain in their jackets, peeled and simmered with rock sugar, or candied. Except in the southern China, they are never used in cooking. In the U.S., water chestnuts are popular as an ingredient in cooked dishes. They re available fresh or in cans, either whole or sliced.

Waxy-Rice Flour :
Also called sweet-flour, this flour is ground from waxy-rice and is used extensively in frozen foods. Waxy-rice flour is able to withstand syneresis during freezing and thawing. This resistance to liquid separation is attributed to its high amyl pectin content.

Wet Frying :
This is cooking in a large quantity of fat, sufficient to cover the article to be fried. Clarified fat, oil or lard may be used for the purpose. The fat must be put into a plain iron stewpan, neither tinned nor enameled, as the great heat would destroy the lining. Success depends upon getting the fat to the right degree of heat. It must be quite still. If it bubbles it shows that it contains water which must pass off by evaporation before fat can reach the required heat. A blue, smoky vapour should also be seen rising from it. It should then be used at once, or drawn back from the fire, to prevent its burning and making an unpleasant smell.

Meat to be fried must first be coated with flour, egg and bread crumbs, or batter. Small meats, pieces of meats, or made up meats, such as fish cakes, cutlets, etc, may be fried in this fat, but larger pieces which require more cooking must be done by the slower method.

Do not put too many pieces into the pan at one time, as they will cool the fat too much, and always bring it to boiling point again before adding more meat. If the fat is not sufficiently hot, it will soak into the articles fried, and make them greasy instead of crisp. Either a frying basket or a perforated spoon must be used for lifting out the meat. Let them fry to a brown colour, and always drain on kitchen paper before serving. Always dish fried things on a d’oyley or dish paper. The fat must not be left on the fire when finished with, but should be strained through a piece of muslin into a tin basin, and put aside for further use. If care is taken of it in this way it will keep for a long time.

Wheat Berries :
They are the hulled whole kernels of wheat from which flour is milled.

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Wheat Germ :
It is the inner part of the wheat kernel. It is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. It adds a nutty flavor to baked goods and can be sprinkled over breakfast cereals, yogurt, or fruit.

Liquid which separates from the curd when milk curdles. Used in cheese-making.

To beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites.

To introduce air into egg whites, using a balloon whisk, rotary whisk or electric whisk, to increase their volume. Whisked egg whites should hold their shape.

Whitebait Fish:
There are nearly 100 species of whitebait around the world. In England the term often refers to sprats, in America silverside, and in Japan young sea perch. Whitebait are minute-size, thread-like, almost transparent, and very tender fish, which owing to their size you eat whole. Always wash and drain prior to cooking.

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White Confectionery Coating:
The technical name for white chocolate. According to the FDA, "white chocolate" cannot legally be called chocolate because it contains no cocoa powder, a component of chocolate. True chocolate contains pulverized roasted cocoa bean, consisting of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids and thus technically is "white confectionery coating." Beware--some white confectionery coatings don't even contain cocoa butter. Even in "real" white chocolate the chocolate flavor is subtle at best, being to real chocolate what white soul is to soul.

Wiener Schnitzel:
Thin slices of veal or pork breaded and fried in butter. Traditional garnishes are lemon butter, anchovies, and capers.

Wild Rice :
Wild rice is an annual aquatic grass, which produces an edible seed. It grows in the shallows of lakes and rivers throughout eastern and north central North America. Native North Americans have harvested and eaten wild rice for centuries. Since they first presented wild rice to the early North American explorers and fur traders, this unusual cereal grain (the only one native to North America) has been prized for its distinctive natural flavor and texture. Natural stands of wild rice grow in the clear lakes of northern Manitoba. Preserved wild rice grains have been found at North American archeological sites. These findings seem to indicate that wild rice has been an important North American native food for at least 1,000 years.

Wonton, Won Ton :
Wonton literally means, "swallowing a cloud" in Chinese. They are a very popular Chinese delicacy. They are small shapes of very thinly rolled dough, filled with sweet or savory mixtures. The size and shape of wontons, and the type of filling used, vary according to the different culinary traditions in each region of China. They may be boiled, steamed, or deep-fried and served as an appetizer, snack, or side dish (usually with several sauces).

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