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Cachous: Small scented tablets used to freshen the breath; popular in England during the late 1800s.
Cafeteria Round: A variety of subprimal cuts of the Beef primal Round; they are large roasts, with or without bones, generally carved on a buffet line.
Caffeine: An odorless, bitter-tasting alkaloid found in cacao beans, coffee beans, cola nuts, tea leaves and other plants; acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system and as a diuretic.
Caged is a food industry term that refers to an efficient but controversial method of livestock production. Animals are kept in a warehouse of cages (a “battery” of cages) for their entire lives, with little room to move. Caged raised is the opposite of free...
New Orleans is a city that has been strongly influenced by France and French culture. In fact, the city was founded by the French in the early 1700s and even named for a French Duke, Phillip of Orleans. Though New Orleans culture has been shaped by many countries, especially Spain,...
Cake: In the United States, a broad range of Pastries, including Layer Cakes, Coffee Cakes and Gateaux; it can also refer to almost anything that is Baked, Tender, Sweet and sometimes Frosted or Savory.
In the kitchen, Calibrate; checking the accuracy of a device to ensure that it is performing correctly. When cooking, you might need to Calibrate your oven, meat thermometer, or any kitchen gadget. Nutritional Value USDA
Called to the Stove Originally Meant Graduationg from an Apprenticeship and Being Allowed to Approach the "Stove" the Life Blood of the Classic Commercial Kitchen.
A Canape is an, "hors d’oeuvre," consisting of toasted or untoasted bread cut into a shape. You will typically find a Canape topped with a spread with one or more savory garnishes. Nutritional Value USDA
Candelia Wax is a natural Wax, made from a reed-like desert plant from the genus euphorbia, that is used, among other things, for waxing Fruits and Vegetables in the produce distribution system. Production Candelia Wax is all natural and edible, though it is not digestible. The...
Candling uses light to help ascertain an egg’s quality. In large factory egg farms, automated scanning equipment is used by the egg packers to detect cracked shells & interior defects. Production Candling is performed as Eggs on a conveyor belt pass over a standard light...
War in the early 1800’s created an urgent need for transportable provisions to feed the troops. Napoleon Bonaparte offered a 12,000 francs reward to the inventor who could solve the problem and feed his troops. The challenge was met by Nicolas Appert who perfected his method of...
Capelli d' Angelo: Angel hair, a very fine pasta.
Watch Out for Capsaicin!
When reading a recipe, Caramelize means to brown the sugars in foods. Most natural sugars, in food, will Caramelize by applied heat. Especially, when applying high heat to Caramelize. Nutritional Value USDA
Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose for the blood. In our body, Carbohydrates are burned off through metabolism, which supplies energy. Nutritional Value USDA
Chefs and home cooks give a lot of praise towards Careme. A very famous French chef in our culinary history, chef Careme is known as, "The Father of Nouvelle Cuisine" and creator of the toque. Nutritional Value USDA
Carnauba Wax is a natural Wax, made from the leaves of Carnauba Palm Tree from Brazil that is used, among other things, for waxing Fruits and Vegetables in the produce distribution system. Carnauba Wax is all natural and edible, though it is not digestible. The U.S. Food and Drug...
Carré is a French Knife Cut and Means a Large Cube Cut.
An un-thickened liquid (Water, Stock, Broth, Wine, Juice, Jus) used in making sauces that ultimately will receive and “carry” the sauce ingredients’ desirable aromas and flavors. Nutritional Value USDA
Casein: A protein that coagulates into curds.
The Cashew Tree (Anacardium occidentale) is originally from Northeastern Brazil is a member of the Anacardiaceae family and is closely related to the Mango, Pistachio, and strangely enough, poison ivy. The Cashew Tree yields both Cashew Apples and Cashew Nuts as crops. In a natural...
Cashew Balm, also known as Cashew Shell Oil or Cashew Nutshell Liquid, is a toxic, inedible, caustic oil extracted from the shells of Cashew Nuts, that causes skin burns and will severely irritate the mucus membranes of the mouth and throat. The irritants in Cashew Nutshell Liquid...
Caulk: Fill in seams or crevices in order to make airtight or watertight.
On a label, the term “Certified” implies that the meat product has been inspected for safety by the Food Safety & Inspection Service and graded for quality by the Agriculture Marketing Service. For example, Certified Angus Beef would mean that the government stipulates...
A Beef Certification through the USDA that specifies a certain portion of the beef being sold is from a specific breed or variety of cattle. Angus is one of the most common certifications.
Chain Mail; is a flexible armor made of connected steel links. The Chain Mail serves 1 purpose only, to protect the hands when using knives for food prep. Nutritional Value USDA
Champignons; is the French word for "Mushrooms." If is dish or recipe has the description "Champignons" in its name or "à la Champignon" it means that it is prepared with mushrooms. Nutritional Value USDA
Charcoal, is a porous black residue of partially burned organic matter, usually wood, that has been a commercial product since ancient times. In fact, the ancient charcoal industry once employed hundreds of thousands. Charcoal, was also responsible for the major European deforestation as our...
Charring means that the surface of the product has completely broken down due to heat and only residual Carbon remains. Charring food is bad. Carbon doesn’t taste great, and it has a bad Mouth Feel. Worst of all, Charred meat contains cancer-causing substances created by the...
Chateaubriand, is a culinary term with dual meanings. It can mean both a recipe for Chateaubriand and specifically, a cut of beef: the 6 to 8 inch long (15.24 cm to 20.32 cm) and about 1 1/4 inch thick (3.18 cm) thick middle cut of the Tenderloin. The Chateaubriand beef cut, denotes the...
The History of Fondue was interesting and eventful, long before, Swiss native, Konrad Egli, popularized Cheese Fondue in the 1950’s at his New York City Restaurant, Chalet Suisse. Cheese Fondue is, at the very least, Melted Cheese and wine. Fondue actually means...
Culinary Uses Cheesecloth is a material made from fine cotton that is porous and used for holding ingredients and straining. Nutritional Value USDA
A Chef Knife, is the most commonly used knife in the kitchen! When purchasing a Chef Knife, the standard sizes are 8” (10 cm), 10” (15 cm), 12” (30 cm) lengths and, rarely, a 14” (35 cm) blade. The Chef Knife is made with ridged metal. The metal is thicker at...
The taste from cooking over Cherry Wood is similar the taste imparted by cooking over apple wood: a mild & fruity flavor. It is hard, however, to find it at prices fit for Grilling. Culinary Uses Cherry wood is good for Chicken, Turkey, Fish, even for flavoring Ham.
According to Jerry Flemmons, who wrote travel pieces for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the ‘70’s, “there were three major food groups in Texas: Barbecue, Tex-Mex and Chicken Fried Steak.” Chicken Fried Steak, also known as CFS and Pan-Fried Steak, is a famous...
The original Chicken Nugget was the McNugget created by McDonalds® in 1979, which has significant fillers and extenders. Needless to say, the fast food versions (and the frozen food versions) of Chicken Nuggets are not the tastiest or healthiest forms of Chicken you can...
Veal is the meat traditionally used in Saltimbocca, but other Meats such as Chicken can make a more approachable and perhaps healthier Saltimbocca. Not surprisingly, when a Saltimbocca (sometimes spelled Saltinbocca) is made with Chicken it is called Chicken Saltimbocca.
A Chicken Supreme is a raw, skinless, boneless chicken breast. Each chicken has two of them. If the upper part of the wing remains attached the cut is not a Supreme but a cutlet (Côtelette). A cooked chicken breast becomes a “blanc de poulet” or white chicken meat. It can...
A Chiffonade, is a culinary knife cut. The Chiffonade is basically a "fine julienne." Follow the steps below to make a Chiffonade cut: Start by, rolling a leaf green or herb. Then, cut along the edge of the rolled leafy green or herb....
The name Chinese Mustard Greens refer to any number of Asian Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea variety rugosa or variety foliosa) including Gai Choy (or Gai Choi), Dai Gai Choy, Indian Mustard and Leaf Mustard, Bamboo Mustard Cabbage, etc. Gluten Free Yes Low Fat Yes Low...
Chlorophyll: Is the pigment in plants that aids photosynthesis; its color ranges from green to bluish black.
Chocolate Fondue can be used with anything you think would be tasty if dipped in chocolate. Strawberries or other chunks of fruit. small cookies, and chunks of cake are common items. To create a Chocolate Fondue, you simply fill the Fondue Pot with chunks of Chocolate and heat it gently...
USDA Choice is the Second Best Grade of Beef.
A Chop is a portion cut of meat sliced perpendicularly across the spine of the animal. Production Chops usually contain a rib (or riblet), and part of a vertebra. Pork Chops and Lamb Chops are the most familiar Chops. If the chop is boneless, (or lightly boned) it may be called a...
Chowder denotes any of a variety of hearty soups (almost stews), often incorporating Bacon, Seafood, Vegetables, Potatoes and Thickened with crushed biscuit or crackers or Roux. Chowders can be cream based but do not have to be. Varieties To some Americans (mostly New Englanders),...
“Ciabatta” means “Carpet Slipper” in Italian and is also the name for an Italian form of Bread. Culinary Uses A Ciabatta Bread is an Italian Yeast Bread named for its long, flat, carpet-slipper-like, shape. Many of the different regions of Italy make...
Cinnamon Sugar is a fairly straight forward mixture of 84% Granulated Sugar and 16% ground Cinnamon. Since the method of production is so simple (and slightly decadent), making Cinnamon Sugar is a great place to call in the Junior Chefs (the kids) and get them involved with a small...
A civet is a wild animal but it is also a type of food. Civet is a type of Stew. It is made from furry animals like Rabbit and flavored with Onions, Mushrooms and Red Wine. Nutritional Value USDA Gluten Free Yes Low Fat Yes Low Calorie Yes
Cladding is a manufacturing technique which clouds the older delineations. Production Cladding is a method of manufacturing pans with a heat conductive material (copper or aluminum), and then covering them with a non-reactive material like stainless steel. The copper or aluminum...
Clarified Butter, is butter, that has been melted. Once the butter has melted, the water and milk solids have been removed. When the milk solids have been removed, the Clarified Buter will have a much higher smoke point. Nutritional Value USDA Gluten Free Yes Low...
Peaches and Apricots are divided into two main categories: Clingstone and Freestone. If the fruit has a “clinging” pit that adheres to the flesh of the fruit they are called “Clingstones.” If the pit pulls easily away from the flesh of the fruit they are called...
CLR: (stands for Calcium Lime Rust) is an effective household cleaner good for removing discoloration and rust stains from Stainless Steel Knives.
Coagulation is defined as the transformation of proteins from a liquid state to a solid form. Once proteins are coagulated, they cannot be returned to their liquid state. Coagulation begins around 100°F (38°C), and coagulation is complete between 160°F (71°C) and 180°F...
Coagulation: The transformation of proteins from a liquid state to a solid form. Typically, Coagulation occurs when heat is applied to proteins and then cooled. Nutritional Value USDA
Coarse: Composed of relatively large parts or particles; not fine in texture. 2. A beer-tasting term for an overly hopped, bitter beer. 3 A wine-tasting term for a rough-textured wine that may have too high an alcohol content or lacking in finesse.
Coarsely Chop: To cut food into small pieces, approximately 3.16 in. (0.5 cm) square.
Coat is referred to covering food (sometimes first dipped in a liquid such as Eggs or Milk before cooking) with an outer covering (coating) of Bread Crumbs, Oil, Flour, Dry Seasonings or the like. Nutritional Value USDA
When Cold Pressed, the oil’s temperature must not rise above 120°F (49°C) during production. Only Olive Oils and Sesame Seeds contain enough natural oils to yield useable product from a cold press alone.
Collagen is a long, firm protein that is the most common protein in mammals. Collagen is composed of three separate molecules made of amino acid chains, twisted around each other, similar to how a rope is formed. Collagen’s structure makes it extremely strong and difficult to break...
Colloids: A chemical mixture where one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another. Sometimes, Colloids are referred to as "suspensions." This is because the particles are mixed, but can eventually settle if left alone. Nutritional Value USDA
Compound Butter, is butter that has been worked (beaten, whipped, or mixed) with other ingredients (herbs or spices), to compliment the taste of butter. Nutritional Value USDA
Compound Sauce (Sauces Composée in French) is another name for Small Sauce, essentially a descendant of a Leading Sauce or a second generation or higher product of a Mother Sauce. Compound Sauces or Small Sauces are typically made by adding ingredients to a Mother Sauce or...
Reductions made from the juices left over in the pan after the meat or fish has been cooked are known as Concentrated Pan Juices. If not reduced, they are just Pan Juices. Both are a great starting point for flavorful Sauces.
Concentration means increasing the proportion of flavor compounds relative to the lightly or neutrally flavored Carrying Liquid. Culinary Uses In the culinary world, concentration is accomplished by an intentional evaporation of the carrying liquid over heat. Taking the neutral...
In the kitchen, Conduction is the the transfer of cooking heat. Conduction, occurs when heat moves directly from an item to something touching it. Nutritional Value USDA
Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking describes Connective Tissue as the “physical harness of the muscles,” that helps bind them together and connect them to the bones to be moved. As such Connective Tissue is one of the three components that make up meat. The other two...
In the kitchen, Convection is the transfer of cooking heat. Convection, occurs when heat is spread by the movement of air, steam, or liquid. Nutritional Value USDA
Cook Chill; also known as "snap freezing," involves cooking food until it is nearly done, then rapidly freezing it. Nutritional Value USDA
Cooking Twine is a narrow, strong string generally made of cotton or linen for tying food. Culinary Uses Cooking Twine is used in the kitchen to truss chicken and poultry types. It can also be used for tying beef and pork roasts. In all cases, tying cooking twine on raw meat items before...
Corned Beef is typically made from tougher cuts of the steer like Brisket or Flank, that is “Corned” or brined in a mixture of, at least, salt and water but potentially a whole cabinet of complementary spices . The brining mixture is called “corning” because in the...
Cotoletta is an Italian word for a specific type of Cutlet. Typically, and traditionally, a Cotoletta is a Veal Cutlet with a bit of the rib bone still attached. In fact, the word Cotoletta comes from the Italian word “Costoletta,” meaning “Little Rib,” and a...
Cotoletta Alla Milanese, as the name suggests, originated in Milan, and is a Bone-In Cutlet that is Breaded, then Pan Fried in Clarified Butter. Any Clarified Butter remaining in the pan is often poured over the Cotoletta alla Milanese just prior to service. Traditional Cotoletta...
Cotoletta alla Palermitana is a Sicilian dish (taking its name from Palermo, the capital of Sicily) that is made from a Boneless Veal Cutlet brushed with Olive Oil (or Lard) and Breaded with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Oregano and Parmesan Cheese. It is similar to Cotoletta Milanesa, but...
Coulibiac, (also known as Kulebiaka and Koulibiaka) is a French adaptation of a Russian dish made from Salmon in a creamy Dill sauce with Rice, Hard Boiled Eggs, Mushrooms and Shallots all stuffed in a Puff Pastry. Nutritional Value USDA Gluten Free No Low Fat No Low...
Culinary Uses If you are interested in learning more about the variety of Classic French Sauces, visit the resources page where we discuss many of the derivative French sauces and describe (roughly) how they are made.
Country Fried Steak is closely related to Chicken Fried Steak, which in turn is closely related to Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, Italian or Latin Milanesa or even Scottish Collops. Think of it as a “Southern Fried” Chicken Fried Steak and you won’t go far wrong. It...
Coupler: A plastic or metal adapter, for pastry bags. The Coupler adapter can be interchanged from the pastry bag, to achieve "creamy based outcomes." Nutritional Value USDA
Couscous, popular in the middle east, is treated like a grain but it is actually a pasta. Availability Couscous is available all year long. Portion Size Allow 1/2-1 oz of cooked Couscous per person. Substitutes Quinoa Nutritional Value...
Crab: A crustacean with many culinary uses, primarily known for its delicious legs and claws. Nutritional Value USDA
Cream Soups; classically, are strong flavored stocks and thickened with bechamel. More modern style Cream Soups are pureed soups with the addition of cream, for flavor and thickening. Nutritional Value USDA
Cream Together means to beat/whip/Whisk the ingredients together in the same Mixing Bowl until they are combined and have a creamy smooth consistency. Typically Butter or Cream Cheese are Creamed Together with Sugar or Flour. Sometimes Eggs are added. Culinary Uses To Cream Together,...
Crema Catalana is a traditional dessert that has been made in Catalonian area of Spain since Medieval times. Culinary Uses It is similar to Crème Brûlée, but is baked without a Bain Marie, and is made with a mixture of Cream and Milk, necessitating the addition...
Though its name is French, Crème Brûlée is probably either an English or Spanish creation (though Germany also claims to have made it first). In England it is known as Burnt Cream, and sometimes called Trinity Cream because of its popularity at Trinity College, where...
New Orleans is a city that has been strongly influenced by France and French culture. In fact, the city was founded by the French in the early 1700's and even named for a French Duke, Phillip of Orleans. Though New Orleans culture has been shaped by many countries, especially Spain,...
Creole Spice is, a dried (or fresh), ground, seasoning mix from a combination of ingredients. Creole Cuisine is one of the two main cuisines in New Orleans, Louisiana. Creole is the more sophisticated, more continental of the two. Whole Butter, Heavy Cream, Rouxs and “Creole...
Crepes, similar to a pancake, but much thinner and unleavened. Crepes are typically served as a breakfast item and can be sweet or savory, in taste. Nutritional Value USDA
Critical Control Point; also known as "CCP", is a step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented. Nutritional Value USDA
A Croquette (from the French “croquer” meaning “to Crunch”) is a small, fried rolled food, often covered in bread crumbs and containing a filling. Though the addition of breadcrumbs occurred around the 18th Century, Croquettes are actually variants of the earlier...
Crostini are small, thin slices of toasted bread, usually rubbed with Olive Oil. The word crostini in Italian means “little toasts”. Varieties In their plain form, they are similar to and sometimes confused with Bruschetta. Culinary Uses It can also mean these...
“Croûtes” means “Crusts” in French. Think of a flaky, French Baguette sliced vertically and resulting in thin or thick round cuts of bread. Now toast them and you have Croûtes. Because the word and concept are French, a Baguette is most frequently used...
Because of the symbolism, a Crown Roast is often thought of as a Holiday dish. The truth is that it is only a formal dish and be made at any time of year where you need to serve 12-14 people an impressive, meaty dish. Specifically a Crown Roast is a circular Meat presentation made from the...
Crudites are raw cut (point neuf) vegetables, usually served as hors d’oeuvres, accompanied by a dipping sauce. Nutritional Value USDA Low Fat Yes Low Calorie Yes
Cuisine: A specific set of cooking practices, often associated with a specific culture. Nutritional Value USDA
Cuisine Classiqueis a style of French cuisine largely based on the 19th century work of Georges August Escoffier. He reorganized the recipes and cooking ideas developed by Antoine Carême (and others), in many cases simplifying them as well. In addition, he changed the way meals...
Culinary Uses Cuisson is the liquid used for Shallow Poaching.
Contrary to mass market opinion a Culinary Nut is not some deranged foodie or a crazy Chef. A Culinary Nut is the term we use at Smart Kitchen to define all of the biological Seeds that people often confuse with actual, biological Nuts. Most people think of all of the following as nuts,...
Cull: 1. To examine a group of fungible or non-fungible goods and select appropriate units. 2. A lobster, usually a Maine lobster, with only one claw. 3. The lowest USDA quality grade for lamb and veal; the meat is usually used for ground, canned or other processed products.
Made from fermented cream, Cultured Butter has a richer, more “buttery” flavor than other butters. Cultured butter is more popular in Europe, and sometimes called “European-style butter” when sold in the United States. Production There are a few processes for...
Cultured Dairy Products are dairy products enhanced or transformed by the addition of special beneficial bacteria which usually impart a tangy taste. Varieties Common cultured products would be Yogurts and commercially available Butter Milk.
Cup: A unit of measurement used in cooking to measure volume. A Cup or "1 cup," is equal to 8 fluid ounces. When reading a recipe, a Cup can be abbreviated as "c" or "C". Nutritional Value USDA
Cuprous Iodide: Is a Food Additive used as a source of iodine in table salt.
Curdle is the separation of Milk or Egg mixtures into liquid and solid components; generally caused by excessive heat, overcooking or the presence of acids.
Curing has been known since early Roman times. The basis for curing is salt. If a food is described as “curable” it means that it is capable of being hardened/preserved/seasoned by chemical process. Varieties Dry Cure: The meat is covered with salt and the salt is...
Curing: Using salt to preserve meat without cooking it. Varieties May include such method as using a dry solution, a brine, or smoking. Nutritional Value USDA
The pen name of the French gastronome, journalist and food critic Maurice Edmond Sailand (1876-1956); he founded the Academy of Gastronomes in 1928, wrote Le France Gastronomique and a dozen cookery books, and encouraged the development of the modern restaurant.
Custards: A combination of Eggs, Cream or Milk, and Seasonings. They can be sweet or savory, and included in many dishes that are served in ramekins or pastry shells such as quiches. Nutritional Value USDA Gluten Free Yes Low Fat No Low Calorie No
A Cutlet, also known as a Cotoletta (Italian), Côtelette (French) or Kotelett (German), is a thin slice of meat typically taken from the leg or ribs of veal, pork, lamb, or mutton. In the case of chicken cutlets, the meat is usually thin-sliced chicken breast meat, which may or may...