Culinary Terms G-H


Galantine (GAL-uhn-teen)

A forcemeat of poultry, game, fish, shellfish or suckling pig, wrapped in the skin of the bird or animal, if available, and poached in an appropriate stock; usually served cold in aspic.

Galette (gah-leht)

1. A round, flat, thin French cake made with puff pastry or a yeast-leavened dough, usually sprinkled with sugar before baking.
2. A thin, round cake made from potatoes or cereal grains; also known as a buckwheat crepe in Normandy.
3. A small shortbread cookie.


Wild mammals, birds or fish hunted for sport or food as well as the flesh of these animals; common game include deer, rabbit, hare, bear, boar, duck, goose, pheasant, quail and pigeon, many of which are also ranch raised and available commercially.

Ganache (ga-nosh)

A rich blend of chocolate and heavy cream and, optionally, flavorings, used as a pastry or candy filling or as a frosting.

Garam Masala (gah-RAHM mah-SAH-lah)

A flavorful and aromatic blend of roasted and ground spices used in Indian cuisines (usually added toward the end of cooking or sprinkled on the food just before service); the blend usually contains peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, turmeric and/or fennel seeds; also known as a gorum moshla and masala.

Garde-Manager Section

One of the principal work sections of a food services facility; it typically contains a salad station, cold foods station, sandwich station and charcuterie station.


A member of the lily family; the highly aromatic and strongly flavored edible bulb (called a head) is covered in a papery layer and is composed of several sections (called cloves), each of which is also covered with a papery membrane; used as a distinctive flavoring in cuisines around the world.

Garlic Butter

Softened butter mixed with minced or crushed garlic; used as a cooking medium, flavoring or spread.

Garlic Powder

Finely ground dehydrated garlic; used as a seasoning; also known as powdered garlic.

Garlic Salt

A blend of garlic powder, salt and an anticaking agent or humectant; used as a seasoning.


1. To use food as an attractive decoration. 2. Food used as an attractive decoration.
3. A subsidiary food used to add flavor or character to the main ingredient in a dish.

Gastrique (gas-strek)

Caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar and used in fruit-flavored savory sauces and tomato-based sauces.

Gastronome, Sauce (GAS-truh-nohm)

A French compound sauce made from a Madeira sauce flavored with a meat glaze, seasoned with cayenne pepper and finished with Champagne.


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Gaufrette (goh-FREHT)

A thin, crisp fan-shaped French wafer, often served with ice cream.

Gazpacho (gahz-PAH-choh)

A cold Spanish soup made of uncooked tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, onions, oil and vinegar and traditionally thickened with bread crumbs or slices of bread.

Gelatin; Gelatine

A colorless, odorless and flavorless mixture of proteins from animal bones, connective tissues and other parts as well as from certain algae (agar-agar); when dissolved in a hot liquid and then cooled, it forms a jelly-like substance that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in molded desserts, cold soups, chaud-froid creations and the like and as a fining agent in beer and wine.

Gelatin, Granulated

A granular form of unflavored, unsweetened gelatin.

Gelato (jah-laht-to)

An Italian-style ice cream that is denser than American-style ice cream.


1. A class or group of products with predominating common characteristics such as usage, origin, principal ingredients and so on.
2. A product (usually a house brand) that closely resembles a well-known brand name product.

Genoa Salami

A large sausage from Genoa, Italy, made from pork and beef, highly seasoned with garlic, white peppercorns and other spices; it is cured and air-dried.

Genoise (zhen-waahz)

1. A form of whipped-egg cake that uses whole eggs whipped with sugar.
2. A French sponge cake.

German Chocolate; German’s Sweet Chocolate

Baking chocolate with sugar, milk and vanilla added.

German Potato Salad

A salad made with cooked potatoes, bacon, onions celery and green pepper bound with a dressing of bacon fat, vinegar, seasonings and sometimes sugar; served hot, room temperature or cold.

Gewurztraminer (geh-VAIRTZ-tra-MEE-ner

1. A white wine grape grown principally in France’s Alsace region, Germany, Austria, Italy and California.
2. A white wine made from this grape; it has a perfumed aroma reminiscent of rose petals; the wine ranges from dry and flavorful to spicy.

Ghee (gee)

1. Hindi for fat or buttermilk.
2. A form of clarified butter (after the moisture has evaporated, the milk solids are allowed to brown) originating in India but now mass-produced worldwide and used as an ingredient and cooking medium; it has a long shelf life, high smoke point and a nutty, caramel-like flavor; ghee flavored with ginger, peppercorns or cumin is available.

Gherkin (gerr-ken)

A small, dark green pickling cucumber; usually harvested before it ripens and pickled in vinegar.


The edible internal organs of a bird; in the United States, these include the heart, liver and gizzard as well as the neck; in France, they also include the cockscomb and kidneys.


To brush pastry or other foods with egg yolk so that the brushed surface will brown when cooked.


A clear spirit distilled from grain and flavored with juniper berries; it has a high alcohol content.

Ginger; Gingerroot

The gnarled, bumpy rhizome (called a hand) of a tall flowering tropical plant native to China; it has a tan skin, an ivory to greenish-yellow flesh, a peppery, fiery slightly sweet flavor with notes of lemon and rosemary and a spicy, pungent aroma; used to flavor beverages and in sweet and savory dishes in Asian and Indian cuisines; available fresh, powdered, preserved in sugar, crystallized, candied or pickled.

Ginger Ale

A sweetened carbonated beverage flavored with a ginger extract.


A sweet cake or cookie flavored with ginger and other spices.


A thin, crisp cookie flavored with ginger and molasses.

Ginseng (JIHN-sing)

A plant of the ivy family native to China; the forked reminiscent of fennel, and is used in tisanes, as a flavoring for soups, and as a tonic believed by some to be an aphrodisiac and restorative.

Glace (glahs-say)

French for glazed and used to describe both a fruit dipped in a syrup that hardens when cold and a cake with a shiny, sweet surface (icing).


1. To apply a shiny coating to a food.
2. Any shiny coating applied to a food or created by browning.
3. The dramatic reduction and concentration of a stock.
4. A thin, flavored coating poured or dripped onto a cake or pastry.


1. Food that has been dipped in water and then frozen; the ice forms a glaze that protects the item from freezer burn.
2. Food that has been coated with a glaze.

Global Cuisine

Foods (often commercially produced items) or preparation methods that have become ubiquitous throughout the world, for example, curries and French-fried potatoes.


1. A monosaccharide occurring naturally in fruits, some vegetables and honey with about half the sweetness of table sugar; used as the principal source of energy for most body functions; also known as dextrose, blood sugar, corn sugar and grape sugar.
2. A food additive used as a nutritive sweetener in processed foods such as confections and candies.


An elastic-like network of proteins created when glutenin and gliadin (proteins found in wheat flour) are moistened and kneaded; it is this network that traps gases inside the batter or dough, causing it to rise.

Gluten Flour

A flour made from hard wheat flour from which a large percentage of the starch has been removed; usually used for making bread for diabetic individuals and others who abstain from starch or to add protein to flours, such as rye, that do not produce gluten naturally.

Gnocchi (NYOH-kee)

Italian for dumplings and used to describe irregularly shaped balls or small concave oval disks made from a dough of potatoes, flour, semolina flour, cornmeal and/or rice flour, with or without eggs; they are boiled or baked.

Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Cheeses made from goat’s milk; usually pure white with an assertive, tangy, tart flavor; their texture can range from soft, moist and creamy to dry, firm and crumbly and their shape from small- to medium-sized cones, cylinders, disks or pyramids; they are left ungarnished or covered with black ash, leaves, herbs or pepper.

Golden Nugget Squash

A small, pumpkin-shaped winter squash with a dull orange skin, an orange flesh and a sweet, slightly bland flavor.

Golden Raisins

Small seedless raisins with a pale gold color made from sultana grapes and used in confectionery and for table use; also known as white raisins and sultanas.

Gold Leaf

The pure metal beaten into a gossamer-thin square and sold in packages interleaved with tissue paper; edible in small quantities, it is used to decorate rice dishes in Indian cuisines, and desserts, confections and candies; also known as vark and varak.

Gold Powder

22- to 24- karat gold that is ground to dust and used to decorate desserts, pastries and confections.


A large berry originally grown in northern Europe; it has a smooth or furry green, yellow, red or white skin and a tart flavor; available dried or fresh and used in preserves and baked goods.

Gordita (gohr-DEE-tah)

Spanish for little fat one and used to describe a thick tortilla made of masa, lard and water, fried and then filled with ground pork or chorizo; it is topped with cheese, lettuce and the like.

Gorgonzola (gohr-guhn-ZOH-lah)

An Italian cheese made from cow’s milk; it has an ivory interior streaked with blue-green veins and a slightly pungent flavor when young that grows stronger as it ages (it also becomes drier and more crumbly as it ages).

Gouda (GOO-dah)

A semisoft to firm Dutch sweet curd cheese made from cow’s milk; it has a yellow interior and a mild, nutty flavor (it is sometimes flavored with cumin or other herbs and spices); marketed in large wheels with a yellow wax coating.

Goulash (GOO-lahsh)

A Hungarian stew made with beef and vegetables and flavored with paprika; also known as Hungarian goulash.


1. The nonedible fruit of various plants of the gourd family; generally, they have a tough, hard shell that can be used as a utensil or storage unit once the flesh is removed and the shell is dried.
2. British for several edible squashes.

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Gourmet (goor-may)

A connoisseur of fine food and drink.

Gourmet Foods

a term used imprecisely to denote foods of the highest quality, perfectly prepared and beautifully presented.

Graham Cracker

A sweetened whole wheat cracker.


1. Grasses that bear edible seeds, including corn, rice and wheat.
2. The fruit of such grasses.


A tasting term for a food with a gritty or mealy texture.

Gram (g)

The basic measure of weight in the metric system; 28.35 g equal 1 oz., and 1000 g equal 2.2 lb.

Granada (grah-NAH-dah)

Spanish for pomegranate.

Grande Cuisine

The rich, intricate and elaborate cuisine of the 18th and 19th century French aristocracy and upper classes; it was based on the rational identification, development and adoption of strict (and very often elaborate) culinary principles.

Grand Marnier (GRAN mahr-NYAY)

An orange-flavored French liqueur made in two styles: Cordon Rouge (has a light amber color and is made from Cognac and aged for 18 months) and Cordon Jaune (a paler variety made with a lesser-quality brandy).

Granita (grah-nee-TAH)

An Italian frozen mixture made with water, sugar and a flavoring such as fruit juice or wine; stirred frequently while freezing, it has a grainy texture.

Granny Smith Apple

Named for an Australian gardener, Maria Ann Smith, and originally grown in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand; a good all-purpose apple with a rich, almost emerald green skin, a tart, sweet flavor, and a firm flesh.


A mix of grains, nuts and dried fruits, sometimes coated with oil and honey, eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

Granulated Sugar

Fine, white sucrose crystals, a general-purpose sweetener; also known as table sugar.

Grape Leaves

The large dark green leaves of the grapevine; used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines to wrap foods for cooking or as a garnish; available fresh or packed in brine; also known as vine leaves.

Grape Seed Oil

An oil obtained from grape seeds; it has a pale color, a delicate, neutral flavor and high smoke point and is used for frying and other culinary purposes.

Grape Tomato

A very small, ovoid tomato with a bright red or golden yellow color and a very sweet flavor.

Grasshopper Pie

A light, creamy pie flavored with green creme de menthe and white creme de cacao.


To reduce food to small pieces by scraping it on a rough surface.


A tool used to reduce hard foods to small pieces or long thin strips by passing the food over the sharp raised edges of various-sized holes or slits.

Gratin, Au (GRAW-ten, oh)

A dish that is topped with cheese or bread crumbs and baked until browned; usually served in the baking dish.


Money given voluntarily in return for or anticipation of service.

Gravlax (GRAHV-lahks)

A Swedish dish of salmon cured in a sugar, salt and dill mixture, sliced thin and served on dark bread with a dill and mustard sauce.


A sauce made from meat or poultry juices combined with a liquid and a thickening agent.

Gravy Boat

An elongated, boat-shaped pitcher used to serve gravy; it usually sits on a plate, which is sometimes attached, and has a ladle; also known as a sauceboat.

Gravy Separator

A clear plastic cup with a long spout set low in the cup; pan drippings are poured into the cup, the fat rises to the top, and the desirable underlying liquid can be poured off through the spout; generally available in 1.5 to 4 cup capacities.


1. To rub fat or a fat substitute on the surface of a cooking utensil or item of cookware.
2. Rendered animal fat, such as bacon, beef or chicken fat.

Great Northern Bean

A large, flat, kidney-shaped white bean; it has a delicate flavor and is generally available dried.

Green Chile Stew

A Native American dish of lamb cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, roasted green chiles and pinto beans and flavored with oregano and cumin; generally served on fry bread and topped with chopped onions and grated cheese.

Green Meats

Freshly slaughtered meats that have not had sufficient time to age and develop tenderness and flavor.


1. A general term for the green, leafy parts of various plants that are eaten raw or cooked.
2. Members of the cabbage family, such as kale, spinach and chard, that have edible leaves.

Green Salad

A salad consisting of a variety of salad greens often combined with garnishes such as croutons, cheese and bacon and dressed with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing.

Green Tea

One of the three principal types of tea; the leaves are steamed and dried but not fermented; the beverage is generally a greenish-yellow color with a slightly bitter flavor suggestive of the fresh leaf.

Gremolada (greh-moa-LAH-dah)

An aromatic garnish of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest used for osso buco.

Grenadine (GREN-a-deen)

A sweet, thick red syrup made from pomegranates; used in cocktails or consumed diluted with water.


1. A cooking surface similar to a flat top but made of thinner metal; foods are usually cooked directly on its surface.
2. A pan, usually made of cast aluminum or cast iron and sometimes with a nonstick coating, used to fry foods and available with a long handle or two hand grips.


A dry-heat cooking method in which foods are cooked by heat radiating from a source located below the cooking surface; the heat can be generated by electricity or by burning gas, hardwood or hardwood charcoals.

Grill Pan

A round or rectangular pan with a ridged bottom, usually made of cast iron or anodized aluminum, and used to grill meats on a stove top.


1. To reduce an object to small particles, usually by pounding, crushing or milling.
2. The size, texture or other characteristic of a ground object.


Any of a variety of manual or electrical devices used to reduce food to small particles of varying degrees by the action of rotating blades; also known as a mill.


Ground dried hominy; they have a bland flavor and a gritty texture; those tiny white granules are available in three grinds: fine, medium and coarse; also known as hominy grits.

Grosse Piece

A centerpiece consisting of a large piece of the principal food offered; for example, a large wheel of cheese with slices of the cheese cascading around it.

Gruyere (groo-YAIR)

1. A Swiss cheese, now also produced in France, made from cow’s milk; it has a golden brown rind, a pale yellow interior, well-spaced very large holes, and a rich, sweet, nutty flavor.
2. A term used imprecisely, especially in France for almost any cooked, compressed cheese sold in large rounds, including Emmental, Beaufort and Comte.

Guacamole (gwah-kah-MOH-lee)

A Mexican dip, sauce or side dish made from mashed avocado flavored with lemon or lime juice and chiles; sometimes chopped tomatoes, green onion and cilantro are added.


A medium-sized tropical fruit; it has a spherical to plump pear shape, a smooth or rough greenish-white, yellow or red skin, a pale yellow to bright red flesh, small gritty seeds and an acidic, sweet flavor; eaten raw or used for preserves.

Guinea; Guinea Fowl

One of the principal kinds of poultry recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the domesticated descendant of a game bird; it has light and dark meat, very little fat, a tender texture and a strong flavor.

Guinea Squash

Another name for eggplant.


A Louisianan stewlike dish of meat, poultry and/or shellfish, okra, tomatoes and onions flavored with bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne.


A tasting term for a food with a undesirable gooey, sticky or tough texture.

Gum Paste

A smooth dough of sugar and gelatin that can be colored and used to make decorations, especially for pastries.

Gyro (JEER-oh)

A Greek dish consisting of spiced minced lamb molded around a spit and roasted vertically; it is sliced, folded in a pita, and topped with grilled onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes and a cucumber-yogurt sauce; marinated chicken is sometimes used instead of lamb.

Habanero (ah-bah-NEH-roh)

A squat cylindrical chile with a dark green to orange skin that becomes red when mature and an exceptionally hot flavor; also available dried.


1. A mixture of equal parts light cream and milk; it does not contain enough fat to whip into a foam.
2. An English drink of equal parts stout and ale.

Ham Hock

The lower portion of a hog’s hind leg, consisting of bone, flesh and connective tissue and usually available in 2- to 3- in. lengths, smoked, cured or fresh; used to flavor soups and cooked vegetables.

Hand Pies

Small, hand-sized pies made with a biscuit or pie dough crust enclosing a filling of stewed dried fruit; they can be baked or fried; also known as fried pies.

Hard-ball Stage

A test for the density of sugar syrup; the point at which a drop of boiling sugar forms a rigid ball when dropped in ice water; this is equivalent to 250-265 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Hard-Boiled Egg

An egg simmered in its shell until it reaches a hard consistency, usually 12-15 minutes.

Hard-Crack Stage

A test for the density of sugar syrup: the point at which a drop of boiling sugar will separate into brittle threads when placed in ice water; equivalent to 300-310 degrees F on a candy thermometer.


1. To cut food into very small, irregularly shaped pieces.
2. A dish of chopped meat, potatoes and sometimes green pepper, celery and onions; pan-fried and often served with a poached or fried egg on top.

Hash Browns

Chopped or grated cooked potatoes fried in fat, traditionally bacon fat, pressed into a cake, and fried on the other side.

Hasty Pudding

A dish of cornmeal mush made with water or milk and sweetened with honey, maple syrup or molasses; it is served hot with milk or cream as a breakfast dish or dessert; also known as Indian pudding.

Havarti (hah-VAHR-tee)

A semisoft Danish cheese made from cow’s milk; it has a pale yellow interior with small irregular holes and a mild, tangy flavor that intensifies as it ages; also known as Danish Tilsit and Dofino.


The nut of the wild hazel tree found in the northern United States; shaped like a smooth brown marble, the nut has a rich, sweetish, distinctive flavor and is used in a variety of dishes, especially in baked goods and desserts containing chocolate or coffee flavors.

Hearts Of Palm

The inner part of the stem of the tropical cabbage palm; it has an ivory color, many concentric layers, and a delicate flavor reminiscent of an artichoke; usually available canned and used in salads; also known as chou coco, chou glou glou, chou palmiste, palm hearts and swamp cabbage.

Heat Diffuser

A metal grid, approximately 1 in. tall, placed on a stove top to raise a pot farther from the heat source to help maintain a very slow simmer.


Any of a large group of annual and perennial plants whose leaves, stems or flowers are used as a flavoring; usually available fresh and dried.


1. A large sandwich consisting of a small loaf of French or Italian bread filled with cold cuts and garnished with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and peppers; also known as grinder, hoagie, po’boy, and submarine sandwich.
2. Any large sadwich built on a small loaf of French or Italian bread and filled with hot or cold foods such as meatballs or tuna salad.

Heuvo (WEH-voh)

Spanish for egg.

Hickory Nut

The nut of any of several trees of the genus Carya, including the pecan; the common hickory nut has a very hard shell and a rich, buttery flavor and can be used instead of the thinner-shelled pecan.


1. The collective name for all domesticated swine, including pigs, sows and boars.
2. Domesticated swine weighing more than 120 lb. and raised for their flesh.

Hoisin (HOY-sihn)

A thick, reddish-brown, sweet-and-spicy sauce made from soybeans, garlic, chiles and various spices and used as a condiment and flavoring in Chinese cuisines; also known as Peking sauce, red vegetable sauce and ten-flavored sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce (ohl-lahn-dez)

A French leading sauce made from an emulsification of butter, egg yolks and flavorings; also known as Dutch sauce.

Home Fries

Slices of raw or boiled potatoes that are pan-fried, sometimes with onions and green peppers; also known as cottage fries.


Dried corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed by either mechanical methods or soaking the grains in hydrated lime or lye; the white or yellow kernels resemble popcorn and have a soft, chewy texture and a smoky-sour flavor.


The process by which milk fat is prevented from separating out of milk products.


A sweet, usually viscous, liquid made by bees from flower nectar and stored in the cells of the hive for food; generally contains 17-20% water and 76-80% sucrose; consumed fresh or after processing, it is usually used as a nutritive sweetener.


A flat, spiral-shaped yeast breakfast roll glazed with honey.

Honeydew Melon

A slightly ovoid, large muskmelon; it has a smooth, creamy-yellow rind with a pale green, juicy flesh and a sweet flavor.

Hopping John

A dish from the American South consisting of black-eyed peas cooked with a ham hock and served over white rice.

Hors d’oeuvre (ohr durv)

Americanized also hors d’ oeuvres. A very small portion of a hot or cold food served before a meal to stimulate the appetite or at a social gathering in lieu of a meal.


A plant with a large, white root that has a sharp, biting, spicy flavor; the root is peeled and grated and used as a condiment.

Horseradish Sauce

An English sauce made from horseradish, vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, cream, salt and pepper; usually served with roast beef or fish.

Hot Buttered Rum

A cocktail made of hot rum, water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon peel; garnished with nutmeg and butter.

Hot Cross Buns

Round, sweet yeast rolls containing candied fruit or raisins and marked on top with a cross of white confectioners’ sugar icing; traditionally served on Good Friday.

Hotel Pan

A rectangular stainless steel pan with a lip; it is designed to rest in a steam table or rack and is used to cook, drain, ice, store or serve foods; a full-sized pan is 12 x 20 in. with pans one-half, one-third, and so on of this size available; depth is standardized at 2 in. intervals (a 2 in.-deep pan is known as a 200 pan); also known as a steam table pan.

Hot Fudge

A thick, rich sauce made with chocolate, butter, sugar and cream; served warm as an ice cream or dessert topping.

Hot Pack

A canning term used to describe food that is pre-cooked and packed into canning jars while still hot, sealed, and processed in a boiling water bath.

Hot Plate

1. An electrically heated lidded pan for cooking or warming food.
2. A tabletop cooking device with one or two electric or gas burners.

Hot Sauce

A seasoning sauce, usually commercially made, containing chile peppers, salt and vinegar.

Hot Smoker, Indoor

A metal smoke box with a sliding cover; 15 x 11 x 3 in.; it sits on a single burner that heats a small amount of wood shavings in the bottom of the box whose fumes waft up and around a drip-pan insert with an inset rack holding the food.

Hot Toddy

A cocktail made of sugar syrup, boiling water, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, nutmeg and whiskey, brandy, rum, gin or vodka.

Hot Water Dish

An assemblage used to keep food warm at the table, either as a serving piece or as part of a place setting; consists of a covered plate set on a shallow bowl filled with hot water.

House Wine

The wine served by a restaurant or bar when no particular wine is specified; often served by the glass, carafe or half carafe with no identifying characteristics given other than grape variety; it can also be specially blended, bottled and labeled for the establishment.

Huevos Rancheros (WEH-vohs rahn-CHER-ohs)

A Mexican dish of fried eggs set on a tortilla and covered with a tomato and chile salsa.


Also known as the husk, the outer covering of a fruit, seed or grain.

Hummus (HOOM-uhs)

A Middle Eastern sauce made from mashed chickpeas seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and olive or sesame oil; usually served as a dip.

Hush Puppy

A deep-fried cornmeal dumpling flavored with onions, traditionally served with fried fish, especially in the American South.


The outermost protective covering found on most grains; usually a dry, thin, papery wrapper.


The offspring of plants or animals of different breeds, varieties, species or genera.


The process used to harden oils; hydrogen atoms are added to unsaturated fat molecules, making them partially or completely saturated and thus solid at room temperature.


The science of growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution rather than soil.


Describes a food that readily absorbs moisture from the air.


An herb with dark green leaves and deep blue or pink flowers; the leaves have a strong mint and licorice flavor and aroma and are used in salads and with fatty meats and fish.