© Denzil Green
In the world of food, there is a vast range of technical and scientific terms related to food laws, to crop growing techniques, to the science of what happens to our food when we cook it in the kitchen, and food manufacturing, processing, distribution, and sale.
Knowing what terms like these mean is not vital to putting a good meal on the table, but curious cooks will want to refer to them from time to time to expand their understanding of just what a "Best Before Date" does and doesn't mean, or why recipes often call for meat to be browned in a pan before braising (see Maillard Reaction.)
This area of the site holds our collection of such terms.
Technical terms related to the act of cooking in a kitchen are listed separately in another area of the site under Cooking Techniques.
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- À la Cooking Terms List
- Acetic Acid
- Alpha Amylase
- Anodised Aluminium
- Ascorbic Acid
- Bake Sales
- Bavarian Beer Purity Laws
- Best Before Dates
- Bread ImproversBread Improvers is a generic term for items that help improve the quality of a loaf of bread. Two of the best known ones are Ascorbic Acid (aka good old vitamin C), and Alpha Amylase (an enzyme which helps to break down starch.) Other items include gluten flour (aka Vital gluten), and in France, broad bean flour.
- Butyric Acid
- Carbonic Acid
- Carnauba WaxCarnauba Wax is a vegetable wax made from the leaves of a palm tree called Carnuba (Copernicia cerifera.) It's a yellowish-green wax that occurs on the underside of new or young leaves of the tree. To harvest the wax, the leaves are cut off, shredded and dried, then then beaten to get the wax to flake off.
- Cheese Technical Terms
- Chocolate Bloom
- Citric Acid
- Cracker Barrel
- Cucina Casalinga
- DeipnophobiaReputedly, this word means a fear of dining in the social sense, and by association, of dinner conversation. The opposite would presumably be something like Δειπνοσοφιστές (deipnosophist, meaning something like master of dinner-table conversation), which is an actual word used by Athenaeus as the title of his book Δειπνοσοφισταί (Deipnosophistae) written around 228 AD.
- Dioecious Plants
- Docker Holes
- Du JourA French phrase that means of the day. In theory, in cooking, it means either that the chef was able to procure some produce that was either in season or hard-to-get, which couldn't be placed on the regular menu, or that the chef alternates an item on the menu, such as the soup, for variety for the regular customers.
- EU Designations
- Fish Worms
- French Revolutionary CalendarThe French Revolutionary Calendar, created at the same time as the metric system, was an attempt to create a metric calendar and time system. The calendar year still had 12 months, but each month was divided into 3 weeks (called "décades") of 10 days each. Each day had 10 hours, each hour 100 "decimal" minutes and each minute 100 "decimal" seconds. The extra 5 days a year were assigned to special Celebration Days.
- Gomme Arabique
- Gueridon Service
- Hock Locks
- KosherKosher is a Jewish religious term applied to food, meaning prepared or produced and packaged under supervision of a Kosher inspector, called a meshkiach. Jewish dietary laws are very closely tied in with their religious laws, which were designed to unite a group of tribes, give them a common identity, and to make them different from all those around them.
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Popular Topics This Week
Food CalendarA calendar of food days tracking what happens when in the world of food.
- Bavarian Beer Purity Law Day (Today)The Bavarian Beer Purity Law is a law that governs what ingredients can be used for beer made in Germany. Many alcohol aficionados, particularly beer enthusiasts, will know about this already.
- Peppercorn Ceremony (Today)The Peppercorn Ceremony is held in St George, Bermuda on the Wednesday nearest St George's Day, 23rd April. The ceremony, full of pomp and circumstance, is held in King's Square in front of the limestone-block State House, starting around 11 in the morning.
- Shakespeare's Birthday (Today)William Shakespeare was born on this day, the 23rd April, in 1564 . On this same date in 1616, 52 years later, he would also die.
- St George's Day (Today)St George is the Patron saint of England. His flag is a red cross on a white background.
"Cerevisiam bibat!" ("Let us drink beer!") -- Hildegard of Bingen (16 September 1098 – 17 September 1179).
Myth of the Day
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