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TermDefinition
vindloo Hottest of the Indian curry dishes. They come from central and southwestern coastal India. A complexed spice mixture made up of mustard, cumin, ginger, pepper, fungreek, cloves and coriander makes up the basic sauce. Red chilies and tamarind concentrate add heat and unique flavoring. Sauce is typically combined with meat and served over rice.
Waldorf salad Salad made of apples, celery and mayonnaise originally from Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, circa 1890s. Walnuts have been added to modern recipies.
wasabi Japanese version of horseradish. It's a green condiment with sharp, firey flavor. Can be purchased in powdered form from most Asian markets. Typically mixed into paste and served with soy sauce at the table. Wasabi is made by combining water with wasabi powder. Wasabi powder is powder made from Japanese horseradish. You can find it in Asian markets, specialty food stores, and in some grocery stores. It also is available pre-made. It should be a vivid green color.
wassail Norse for "be in good health". Wassail is a drink made from wine or ale that is mixed with sugar and flavored with spices. Traditionally served in wassail bowl and ladled into cups.
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.
water biscuit Crisp cracker that is often served with wine and cheese. Its blandness is a compliment to wine tasting because it allows the wine flavor to come through.
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.
whelk Large marine snail of the gastropod family. The foot-like muscle is flavorful but tough. It is typically tenderized by pounding before cooking. Sometimes found in Italian recipes.
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.
whip to beat ingredients until light and fluffy.
wild rice Popular for its nutty flavor and chewy texture but not really a rice at all. Wild rice is a long grained marsh grass that's native to the Great Lakes region and traditionally harvested by native Indians. It's very expensive and usually combined with other rices or grains.
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.
won ton Chinese dumpling made from won ton skins (paper thin sheets of dough made from flour, eggs and salt). Skins are filled with meat, seafood or vegetable mixture then boiled, fried or steamed and served as appetizer with dipping sauces.
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.
Worcestershire sauce Thin, dark, piquant sauce used to season meats, gravies, soups and vegetables. The many formulas are typically made various quantities of soy sauce, garlic, lime, molassaes, tamarind, onions, molasses, anchovies, vinegar and seasonings.
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.
yarrow Pungent herb found in Europe and North America. It has a very strong aroma and is used sparingly in egg dishes, salads and soups.
yeast A living single celled organism that grows and converts its food (through fermentation) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Most commonly used to leaven breads and in beermaking.
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
yogurt Dairy product made from milk that is fermented and coagulated from introduced or natural "friendly" bacteria. Can be made from the milk of many animals but cow's milk is most popular. Commercially available in flavors, with fruit and as a frozen dessert.
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.
Zinfandel Red wine grape brounght to the U.S. from Italy. Its spicy raspberry flavor makes fruity to rich red wines.
ziti Long thin tubes of macaroni pasta.
zucchini Summer squash shaped in slightly curved cylinder. skin color can vary from light to dark green with off-white flesh. Typically picked when 6-10 inches long and may be used in a variety dishes with varied preparation techniques. Can be found year-round in most supermarkets.
zuppa Italian word for soup.
zwieback From the German word for twice baked. Refers to bread that is baked, sliced and reheated in the oven until dry and crisp. Frequently served to those with digestive problems because of its digestability. It has a slightly sweet flavor.

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