Food Terms (was Re: Long Island Iced Tea)

Bruce K. Dykes bkd at GRAPHNET.COM
Tue Jul 27 11:05:23 UTC 1999

So I go on over to the Food TV website to see if they still have
anything on that show, and discover a section of food terms...

Some samples:

A friend of mine and I have a small wager on the table and perhaps you
can help us settle the dispute. Is the term “foie gras,” by itself,
synonymous with goose liver? If one is to use the term “foie gras” to
mean duck liver, must one designate the “foie” as duck?
                            Justin R., Houston, TX

The literal translation of “foie gras” from French means “fat liver”.
Even though the term is usually associated with goose liver, it also
encompasses duck liver. This specialty, enjoyed all over the world, is
from the Alsace and Perigord regions of France and is the enlarged liver
of a goose or duck that has been force-fed grain for a period of 4 to 5
months. This process, along with the fact that the animal is not allowed
to exercise, produces a huge, fatty liver that can weight up to three
pounds. In general, goose liver is superior to duck liver in terms of
texture, flavor and taste.

I need help defining the word "rouille".
                            Missy W., Concord, NH

The literal translation of rouille is "rust." The culinary definition is
a fiery-flavored, rust-colored sauce of hot chiles, garlic, fresh bread
crumbs, and olive oil pounded into a paste and often mixed with fish
stock. It's served as a garnish with fish and fish stews such as

I just got hired in a restaurant kitchen as a "Pantry Chef." What does
that mean exactly?
                            Kristi B., Moraga, CA

A pantry chef also known as a chef garde manger would be responsible for
the cold food preparations which include salads and salad dressings,
cold appetizers, charcuterie (pate, terrines, sausages and similar
Garde-manger is a French term for the cool, well ventilated pantry area.
Division of work in this manner is done at food service operations
following the brigade system.

What does "brunoise" mean?
                            Elissa P., Coral Springs, SD

"Brunoise" is a French word used to describe a mixture of vegetables,
usually onion, celery and carrot, which have been very finely diced,
then cooked slowly in butter. This classic mixture is used as a base to
flavor soups, stews and sauces.

What is meant by the term kippered? I heard it used regarding fish, but
I don't know exactly what it is.
                            Donald S., West Hartford, CT

To kipper means to cure, usually fish, by cleaning, salting and drying
or smoking. It also means a male salmon during or shortly after
spawning. When a herring is kippered it is first butterflied, cured in
brine and cold smoked. It has a smokey, salty flavor and is usually
given an artificial golden color. When a salmon is kippered in the U.S.
it is a chunk, steak or fillet of salmon soaked in brine, hot smoked and
dyed red. In Europe a split salmon is soaked in brine and cold smoked.

What is a mirepoix?
                            Keith H., Lansdale, PA

It is a classic French mixture of diced carrots, onions, celery (usually
it's a mixture of 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery) and herbs
which are then sauteed in butter. Sometimes ham or bacon is added for
more flavor. It is used to season sauces, stews and soups. Mirepoix can
also be used as a bed on which to braise meats.

What is "speck"?
                            Wayne M., Glenolden, PA

Speck is a term used for smoked prosciutto. Prosciutto is ham that has
been seasoned, cured, pressed and air-dried. It has a firm, dense
texture. If you are unable to find speck, a good substitute is smoked
There are plenty more where those came from...


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