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TermDefinition
water bath The container of food is placed in a large, shallow pan of warm water providing a gentle heat. The pan of water is cooked in either the oven or on top of a stove. The water bath (or in French, bain marie) is designed to cook dishes such as custards, sauces, and mousses without curdling.
watercress Plant with small dark green leaves that can be found around cool fast running water. Bitter, peppery flavor compliments salads, sandwiches and soups. Usually available year-round in markets.
whetstone Extremely hard, fine grained blocks of carborundum that are commercially sold to sharpen knives and cutting tools. Knives should be periodically honed on whetstones to keep them sharp.
wok Traditional utensil in Asian cooking. This versitle round-bottomed pan is used for stir frying, steaming, braising, stewing and deep frying. They come in a variety of sizes and are also available with flat bottoms for electric stoves.
wood ear Variety of mushroom also known as cloud ear, tree ear or silver ear. Delicate to bland flavor that usually absorbs taste of more strongly flavored ingredients in dishes. Typically found in Asian markets as dried or fresh.
yam A tropical-vine tuber found in South and Central America, West Indies, Asia and Africa. Frequently confused with sweet potatos, true yams are from different plant species and are not widely marketed or grown in the U.S.
yeast bread Any bread that uses yeast as a leavening agent. As the yeast ferments it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The gas expands and causes the bread to rise. Oven head kills the yeast and evaporates the alcohol
Yorkshire pudding Cross between a popover and a souffle that is traditional compliment to British roast beef. Made with butter, eggs, milk and flour, it's baked in beef drippings until crisp and puffy. Made in shallow baking dishes or muffin pans and, like souffles, are best served immediately after baking before they "deflate".
zest Outermost layer of citrus skin typically removed with citrus zester to create thin strips. Only colored portion of skin (not white pith) is considered the zest. The aeromatic oils in citrus skin add considerable flavor to food.
ziti Long thin tubes of macaroni pasta.

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