Culinary Terms S-T


Sabayon (sah-by-on)

A foamy, stirred French custard sauce made by whisking eggs, sugar and wine over low heat; known in Italian as zabaglione.

Sachet; sachet d’epices

A French seasoning blend of aromatic ingredients tied in a cheesecloth bag and used to flavor stocks, sauces, soups and stews; a standard sachet consists of parsley stems, cracked peppercorns, dried thyme, cloves and sometimes garlic.


A plant (Carthamus tincotorius) with a flower that looks like a saffron crocus; its flavorless threads have a deep burnt orange color and are used as a food coloring; also known as bastard saffron, false saffron, haspir, Mexican saffron and saffron thistle.

Safflower oil

A viscous oil obtained from the seeds of the safflower; higher in polyunsaturated fats than any other oil; it has a strong flavor, a rich yellow color and a high smoke point and does not solidify when chilled.

Saffron (SAF-ruhn)

A spice that is the dried yellow-orange stigma of a crocus’s purple flower (Crocus sativus); native to the Middle East, it has a slightly bitter, honeylike flavor and a strong, pungent aroma; used as a flavoring and yellow coloring agent.


An herb (Salvia officinalis) native to the Mediterranean region; soft, slender, slightly furry, gray-green leaves and a pungent, slightly bitter, musty mint flavor; used for medicinal and culinary purposes; available fresh or dried and chopped, whole or rubbed.

Sake (sah-KEE)

A clear Japanese wine made from fermented rice and served hot or cold; because of its grain base, it is sometimes categorized as a beer; also known as rice wine.


A single food or a mix of different foods accompanied or bound by a dressing; it can be served as an appetizer, a second course after an appetizer, an entrée or a course following the entrée or dessert and can contain almost any food.

Salad, Composed

A salad whose ingredients (greens, garnishes and dressing) are arranged carefully and artfully on the plate.

Salad, Tossed

A salad whose ingredients (greens, garnishes and dressing) are placed in a bowl and tossed to combine.

Salad Greens

Any of a variety of leafy green vegetables that are usually eaten raw.

Salad Spinner

A tool used to remove moisture from the surface of salad greens; the produce is held in a perforated bowl sitting inside a container; the inner container is spun, displacing the water through centrifugal forces and through the perforations into the outer container.


1. A small overhead broiler used primarily to finish or top-brown foods.
2. A tool with a heavy iron head attached to a metal shaft with a wooden handle; heated over a burner and held closely over a dish to brown the food.


A style of Italian sausages made from pork and beef, highly seasoned with garlic and spices; rarely smoked, they are cured and air-dried and vary in size, shape and seasonings (e.g., Genoa and cotto).

Salisbury Steak

A beef patty seasoned with parsley, broiled or fried with onions and served with a gravy made from the pan drippings.


A large family of anadromous fish found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; generally, they have a silver to gray skin, a pink-red flesh, a firm texture and a rich flavor; principal varieties include the Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon and coho salmon.


1. Spanish for sauce.
2. Traditionally, a Mexican cold sauce made from tomatoes flavored with cilantro, chiles and onions.
3. Generally, a cold chunky mixture of fresh herbs, spices, fruits and/or vegetables used as a sauce or dip.


1. A substance resulting from the chemical interaction of an acid and a base, usually sodium and chloride.
2. A white granular substance (sodium chloride) used to season foods.

Salt Curing

The process of surrounding a food with salt or a mixture of salt, sugar, nitrite-based curing salt, herbs and spices; salt curing dehydrates the food, inhibits bacterial growth and adds flavor.

Saltimbocca (salt-eem-BOHK-ka)

An Italian dish of veal scallops sautéed in butter, topped with thin slices of prosciutto and braised in white wine.

Salt Mill

A handheld tool used to grind granules of sea salt.

Salt Pork

Very fatty pork, usually from the hog’s sides and belly, cured in salt and used principally as a cooking fat or flavoring; also known as corned belly bacon and white bacon.

Sanding Sugar

Granulated Sugar with a large, coarse crystal structure that prevents it from dissolving easily; used for decorating cookies and pastries.


Slices of bread separated by any of a wide variety of fillings such as meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, cheeses, preserves, vegetables and/or condiments; served hot or cold.


The dominant red wine grape grown in Italy’s Tuscany region and the principal variety used for Chianti.

Sangria (sahn-GREE-ah)

A Spanish punch usually made of red wine, lemon and orange slices, sugar and sometimes soda water.


1.A generic name for any of several small, soft-boned, saltwater fish, such as the pilchard, sprat, herring and alewife; generally not available fresh outside the area in which they are caught and usually available smoked, salted, pickled, cured in brine or packed in tomato sauce, mustard sauce or oil.
2. A young herring.


A Japanese dish of sliced raw fish served with condiments such as soy sauce, daikon, wasabi or ginger.


An aromatic, native American tree (Sassafras albidum) belonging to the laurel family; the bark of the root is dried and used as a flavoring for root beer, and the leaves are pounded to make file powder.

Sate; Satay (sah-TAY)

A Southeast Asian dish consisting of small cubes or strips of meat, fish or poultry threaded on skewers and grilled or broiled; usually served with a spicy peanut sauce.


1. To add a sauce; to flavor or season a food with a sauce.
2. A thickened liquid or semiliquid preparation used to flavor and enhance other foods.


A round metal cooking vessel with one long handle and straight or sloped sides; generally smaller and shallower than a pot, it is available in a range of sizes, from 1 pt. to 4 qt., and sometimes with a fitted lid.

Sauce Whisk

An elongated whisk; its nine fairly rigid looped wires create a pear-shaped outline; also known as a piano-wire whisk.


A German dish of shredded, salted, fermented green cabbage, sometimes flavored with juniper berries.


A forcemeat stuffed into a casing; the principal ingredients, seasonings, shape, size, casing type, curing technique and degree of drying vary.


A dry-heat cooking method that uses conduction to transfer heat from a hot pan to food with the aid of a small amount of hot fat; cooking is usually done quickly over high temperatures.


1. A grape-growing and wine-producing district in France’s Bordeaux region known for the white wine of the same name.
2. A wine made from overly ripe grapes (usually Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon) affected by the noble rot; it is sweet, complex and honeyed.


The basic sauté pan with sloping sides and a single long handle.


A sauté pan with straight sides and a single long handle (if very large, it may have a loop handle on the other side); used to fry foods quickly in a limited amount of fat.

Sauvignon Blanc

1. A white wine grape grown extensively in France’s Bordeaux and Loire regions, California, Australia and New Zealand; also known as Blanc Fume (especially in the Loire Valley) and Muskat-Silvaner (in Germany and Austria).
2. A white wine made from this grape, generally known for its acidity and grassy or herbaceous aroma and semisweet character.


1. A food that is not sweet.
2. An herb of the mint family.

Savoy Cabbage

A member of the cabbage family with a spherical, relatively loose head of curly, wrinkled leaves in variegated shades of green and purple; it has a milder flavor than that of red or green cabbage.


To heat a liquid, usually milk, to just below the boiling point.


Equipment used to measure the weight of an object.


1. The immature green stalks of a bulb onion.
2. A variety of onion with a small white bulb and long, straight, hollow green leaves.
3. A bulbless onion with these green stalks; also known as green onions, spring onions and bunch onions.


1. To cook a food (e.g., potatoes) by layering it with cream or a sauce and usually topping it with crumbs before baking.
2. To form a raised, decorative rim on a pie crust.


A family of bivalve mollusks found in saltwater regions worldwide; they have rounded, fan-shaped shells with small ears or wings at the hinge; the adductor muscle generally has an ivory or pinkish-beige color that becomes white when cooked, a tender texture and a sweet flavor; most scallops are shucked aboard ship; significant domestic varieties include the bay scallop, calico scallop, Pacific pink scallop and sea scallop.


1. Italian for a small lobster.
2. An American dish of large shrimp cooked in butter, seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and white wine; also known as shrimp scampi.


A traditional measuring term for just barely (e.g., 1 scant teaspoon).


A tasting term for the pleasant odor or smell of a food (particularly fresh fruits, vegetables and cheeses) or beverage (e.g., wine beer or distilled spirit).


A group of Dutch or German strong, colorless alcoholic spirits distilled from grains or potatoes; they are often flavored (e.g., peach schnapps and peppermint schnapps).


1. A traditional Scottish quick bread originally made with oats and cooked on a griddle.
2. A rich, delicate quick bread similar to a biscuit; it is sometimes studded with raisins or other dried or fresh fruit and is usually served with jam, butter or clotted cream.


To make shallow cuts in meat or fish, usually in a diamond pattern; done for decorative purposes, to assist in absorbing flavors and to tenderize the product.

Scotch Egg

A British dish of a hard-cooked egg coated with sausage, dipped into beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried; served halved, hot or cold.


To mix a food or foods until well blended.

Scrape Down

To remove batter or dough from the sides of a mixing bowl with a spatula; the material gathered is typically added to the bulk of dough or batter in the bowl.


The froth that forms on the top of boiling liquids; it usually contains impurities and other undesirable items and is removed with a skimmer.


1. Shellfish.
2. Shellfish and other small, edible marine creatures.
3. Saltwater shellfish.
4. Saltwater shellfish and fish.
5. All shellfish and fish, saltwater and freshwater.


To brown food quickly over high heat; usually done as a preparatory step for combination cooking methods.

Sea Salt

Salt recovered through the evaporation of seawaters; it is available in fine and coarse crystals and is used for cooking and preserving.


1. Traditionally, to enhance a food’s flavor by adding salt.
2. More commonly, to enhance a food’s flavor by adding salt and/or ground pepper as well as herbs and other spices; other than adding salt and pepper, seasoning is usually done by the chef and not by the diner.
3. To mature and bring a food (usually beef or game) to a proper condition by aging or special preparation.
4. To prepare a pot, pan or other cooking surface to reduce or to prevent sticking.

Seasoned Salt

A seasoning blend; its primary ingredient is salt, with flavorings such as celery, garlic or onion added.


1. French for dry and used to describe a dry (not sweet) wine.
2. A medium-sweet Champagne or sparkling wine; it has 1.7-3.5% sugar.

Self-Rising Flour

An all-purpose white wheat flour to which salt and baking powder have been added.

Seltzer; Seltzer Water

1. A mineral water from the town of Nieder Selters in Germany’s Weisbaden region.
2. A flavorless water with induced carbonation consumed plain or used as a mixer for alcoholic drinks and soda fountain confections; also known as club soda and soda water.

Semisweet Chocolate

A type of chocolate containing moderate amounts of sugar and from 15 to 35% chocolate liquor; usually sold in bars or chips and eaten as a candy or used for baking.


A grainy, pale yellow flour coarsely ground from wheat (usually durum or other hard wheats) with a high protein content and gluten-forming potential; used principally for pasta dough.


A short, tapered fresh chile with a green or orange-red color, a thick flesh and a very hot flavor.

Serrated Edge

The cutting edge of a knife; generally used for slicing items with a hard exterior and a soft interior (e.g., crusty bread or tomato); the blade has a series of tiny, sharp V-shaped teeth that saw the food.

Sesame Seeds

The tiny, flat seeds of a plant (Sesamum indicum) native to India; they have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and are available with a red, brown, black or grayish-ivory color; also known as benne seeds.


To allow a mixture to thicken or congeal, usually by chilling (e.g., gelatin).

Seven-Minute Frosting

A fluffy meringue frosting made by beating egg whites, sugar and corn syrup together in a double boiler until stiff peaks form; also known as seafoam frosting and foam frosting.

Seven-Spice Powder

A spice blend generally consisting of ground anise pepper, sesame seeds, flax seeds, rapeseeds, poppy seeds, nori and dried tangerine (or orange) peel; used in Japanese cuisine.

Sfoglia (sfo-ghee-ah)

A thin, flat sheet of pasta dough that can be cut into ribbons, circles, squares or other shapes.


A member of the onion family (Allium ascalonicum) native to the Middle East and formed like garlic, with a head composed of several cloves covered in a thin papery skin; the outer covering can be pale brown, bronze, pale gray or rose; it has a pink-tinged ivory-colored flesh and a flavor that is more subtle than that of onion and less harsh than that of garlic.

Shallow Poaching

A moist-heat cooking method that combines poaching and steaming; the food (usually fish) is placed on a vegetable bed and partially covered with a liquid (cuisson) and simmered.

Sheperd’s Pie

An old English dish of ground meat, usually lamb or mutton, and sometimes vegetables such as corn or peas, bound with a gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.


A frozen dessert made with fruit juice, sugar and water; it can also contain milk, cream and egg whites.


A fortified wine made principally from the Palomino grape in a delimited district in southern Spain centering around the city of Jerez de la Frontera; a sherry can range from pale gold and bone dry to dark brown and very sweet; its distinctive flavor and aroma are partly the result of a flor forming during the solera.

Sherry Vinegar

A nutty brown-colored vinegar with a full, round flavor made from sherry and aged in wooden barrels in a process similar to that used to make sherry.

Shiitake (shee-TAH-kay)

A mushroom (Lentinus edodes) native to Japan and now cultivated in the United States; it has a tough stem that is usually not eaten and a dark brown cap that has a velvety texture and a meaty, smoky flavor; available fresh and dried; also known as black forest mushroom, flower mushroom winter mushroom, doubloom and golden oak.

Shirred Eggs

Eggs covered with milk or cream and sometimes bread crumbs and baked in a small dish until the whites are firm.

Shish Kebab

1. A Mediterranean dish of marinated meats (usually lamb or beef) and vegetables threaded on a skewer and grilled or broiled; also known as shashlik.
2. A term used imprecisely to describe a grilled or broiled skewer of meats, poultry, shellfish, firm fish, vegetables and/or fruits; the foods are often marinated.


Submerging a food in cold water to quickly cool it and prevent further cooking, also known as shocking; usually used for vegetables.

Shoofly Pie

A Pennsylvania German dessert consisting of a flaky pastry shell filled with a spicy molasses and brown sugar custard.


A rich, crumbly British butter cookie; the dough is traditionally formed into a circle and cut into pie-shaped wedges called petticoat tails.


A dessert made with a sweet biscuit split in half and filled with fresh fruit, especially strawberries, and whipped cream; angel food cake or sponge cake is sometimes used instead of a biscuit.


1. A white, flavorless, solid fat formulated for baking or deep-frying.
2. Any fat used in baking to tenderize the product by shortening gluten strands.

Short Ribs

1. A fabricated cut of the beef primal short plate consisting of not more than five ribs (numbers 6-10) it is meaty and has a high percentage of connective tissue; also known as plate short ribs and beef ribs.
2. A fabricated cut of the beef primal chuck; they are rectangular chunks of meat, typically 2-3 in. long, with layers of fat, meat, bone and connective tissue.


To cut into thin but irregular strips.


Any of several varieties of crustaceans found world-wide, particularly in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Gulf of Mexico; generally, they have 10 legs, a shell that can be light brown, pink, red, grayish-white, yellow, gray-green or dark green, a lean, white flesh and a rich, sweet flavor; usually sold according to count (number per pound) and categorized as colossal (10 or less per pound). Significant varieties, which are generally distinguished by shell color, include brown, pink, white, Caribbean white, sea bob and royal red shrimps.

Shrimp Deveiner

A tool with a handle and a curved blade with a serrated tip; the tool follows the arc of the shrimp’s shell; as it is pushed from the head to the tail, the ridged edge removes the intestinal vein while the upper edge cuts the shell.


Loss of weight or volume during storage or preparation of a food; it is usually caused by a loss of moisture.


1. A shell, pod or husk.
2. To remove the edible portion of a food (for example, clam meat, peas or an ear of corn) from its shell, pod or husk.

Side Dish

The name given to a dish such as a starch or vegetable that accompanies the main dish or entrée; usually served in a separate dish.

Side Masking

The technique of coating only the sides of a cake with garnish.


1. To strain a liquid from a food through the fine mesh or perforated holes of a strainer or sieve.
2. To rub or press food through a sieve or strainer with a utensil such as the back of a spoon.


To pass dry ingredients, such as flour and baking powder, through a sieve or sifter to remove lumps and blend and aerate the ingredients.


A handheld utensil used to sift dry ingredients, especially flour; it consists of a cylinder with four curved rods connected to a hand crank; the rods brush the contents through a fine mesh screen; battery-powered models are available; also known as a flour sifter.


The tough connective tissue that surrounds certain muscles.


1. A moist-heat cooking method that uses convection to transfer heat from a hot (approximately 185-205F) liquid to the food submerged in it.
2. Maintaining the temperature of a liquid just below the boiling point.

Simple Syrup

A syrup made by mixing equal parts of sugar and water and then boiling until the sugar dissolves; it is used for glazing and moistening cakes and pastries and in beverages and sorbets; also known as bar syrup.


To impale small pieces of meat or other food on a skewer. A long, narrow, sharp-pointed metal or wooden pin that is put through the center of a large piece of food (particularly meat) or several small pieces of meat in order for them to be cooked together.


To remove the upper part of a liquid while leaving the rest intact (e.g., removing fat from a liquid or scum from a soup or stew).


A long-handed tool with a shallow mesh or perforated bowl; used for skimming stocks and removing food from a liquid.


To remove the skin, peel or outer layer from a food, such as poultry, fish, fruits or vegetables, before or after cooking.


1. To cut a food into relatively broad, thin pieces. The cut pieces of the food.
2. A triangular spatula used for lifting, especially cakes and fish.


A mixture of raw starch and a cold liquid used for thickening.

Small Sauces

Also known as compound sauces; made by adding one or more ingredients to a leading sauce; they are grouped together into families based on their leading sauce; some small sauces have a variety of uses, while others are traditional accompaniments for specific foods.


A method of preserving and flavoring foods by exposing them to smoke; this includes (1) cold smoking, in which the foods are not fully cooked, and (2) hot smoking, in which the foods are cooked; also known as smoke curing.


A beverage made by pureeing fruits or vegetables with juice, yogurt, milk and/or ice cream to a thick consistency; nutrient supplements are sometimes added; served chilled.


Confections made by sandwiching milk chocolate and marshmallows between graham crackers and heating the sandwich, often over an open fire, until the chocolate melts.


A cooking method in which one food is completely covered with another food or sauce while baking or braising in a covered container.


A cookie with a crackly surface; usually flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and coated in sugar before baking.

Snow Crab

A variety of crab found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Oregon; it has long, slender legs, a white flesh with vivid red markings, a delicate, succulent flavor and a tender texture; also known as queen crab, spider crab and tanner crab.

Snow Pea

A bean with a bright green pod and small, paler green seeds; the thin, crisp pod and the tender, sweet seeds are eaten cooked or raw; also known as the Chinese snow pea and sugar pea.

Sodium Bicarbonate

A food additive used as a leavening agent; also known as baking soda.

Soft-Ball Stage

A test for the density of sugar syrup; the point at which a drop of boiling sugar will form a soft sticky ball when dropped in cold water; equivalent to approximately 234-240F on a candy thermometer.

Soft-Boiled Egg; Soft-Cooked Egg

An egg simmered in its shell, at least until some of the white has solidified, usually 3-5 minutes.

Soft-Crack Stage

A test for the density of sugar syrup; the point at which a drop of boiling sugar will separate into firm but bendable strands when dropped in cold water; equivalent to approximately 270-290F on a candy thermometer.


To prepare a food, usually butter, by leaving it at room temperature until it becomes pliable but not runny.

Sommelier (suhm-uhl-YAY)

The person at a restaurant in charge of the wine cellar (and sometimes all other beverages, alcoholic or not); he or she generally assists patrons in selecting wine and then serves it; also known as the wine steward or wine captain.

Sopaipilla (soh-pah-PEE-yuh)

A crisp deep-fried Mexican pastry or bread that is puffy with a hollow center; usually served with honey or a cinnamon-flavored syrup.


A soft, smooth frozen dish made with pureed fruit or fruit juice and sugar and sometimes flavored with liqueur, wine or coffee; served as a dessert or a palate cleanser between courses.

Soufflé (soo-FLAY)

A sweet or savory French dish made with a custard base lightened with whipped egg whites and then baked; the whipped egg whites cause the dish to puff.

Soufflé Mold

A round, porcelain mold with a ridged exterior and a straight, smooth interior; available in 2- to 3.5-qt. capacities.


A combination of meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, vegetables and/or fruits cooked in a liquid; it can be garnished with any of an extremely wide range of garnishes, can be hot or cold, sweet or savory, thin or thick and served as a first course or main dish.

Soup Bones

Bones from the forshanks and/or hindshanks of a beef or veal carcass; rich with marrow, they are used for stocks and soups.


1. To ferment.
2. To spoil or become rancid. An acidic, tart, possible unpleasant flavor.

Sour Cream

Pasteurized, homogenized light cream (containing not less than 18” milkfat) fermented by the bacteria Streptococcus lactis; it has a tangy flavor, a gel-like body and a white color; used as a condiment and for baking and cooking.


A bread dough leavened with a fermented starter; this gives the bread a tangy, slightly sour flavor.

Sous Vide

A French term which literally translates to “under vacuum.” First, food is vacuum sealed in plastic. Then, it’s immersed in a heated water bath (rarely exceeding 185 F). The water is maintained at the precise, preset temperature by an immersion circulator that keeps the water constantly moving around the food. The food is slowly heated to the preset temperature, so that when the internal temperature of the food reaches the same temperature as the water, the food is cooked.

Soybean; Soyabean; Soy Pea

A versatile legume whose beans are used to make a variety of products, including curds, milk and soy sauce; the pods are tan to black with a tawny to gray fuzz, and the beans, which range from pea to cherry sized, can be red, yellow, green, brown or black and have a bland flavor; also known as soi and soya.

Soy Milk

A pale yellow liquid made by pressing ground cooked soybeans; it has a slightly bitter flavor and is used for people with milk allergies and in infant formulas and cooking; available plain or flavored with honey or carob.

Soy Sauce

A sauce made from fermented boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley; its color ranges from light to dark brown and its flavor is generally rich and salty (a low-sodium version is available); used extensively in Asian cuisines (especially Chinese and Japanese) as a flavoring, condiment and sometimes a cooking medium.


1. Italian for a length of cord or string and used to describe long, thin, solid rods of pasta with a circular cross section.
2. In the United States, a term used imprecisely to describe any of several types of long, solid strands of pasta with varying widths and either oval, rectangular or circular cross sections.

Spaghetti Squash

A large watermelon-shaped winter squash (Cucurbita pepo) with a creamy yellow shell and a slightly nutty-flavored flesh that separates into yellow-gold spaghetti-like strands when cooked; also known as noodle squash and vegetable spathetti.


A Greek dish consisting of phyllo dough baked with a stuffing of feta cheese and spinach bound with an egg.


A fabricated cut of the pork primal belly; it is a long, narrow cut containing the lower portion of the ribs and breastbone.


The bubbly characteristic of a wine whose effervescence is induced by the methode champenoise or Charmat process.


A utensil with a handle and a broad or narrow, long or short, flexible or rigid flat blade.

Spatula, Rubber

A spatula with a beveled and slightly curved rectangular rubber blade; available with blades ranging from 1 X 2 to 3 X 5 in.; used to press and smooth foods, remove foods from bowls and fold and stir ingredients.

Spatula, Wooden

A spatula with a wooden blade; used to mix foods when high heats are present or to turn food or remove it from a heat source or cookware.


An herb (Menta spicata) and member of the mint family; it has soft, bright green leaves and a tart menthol flavor and aroma that is milder than that of peppermint; used as a flavoring, garnish and tisane.


A hard wheat kernel with the husk attached; used as a thickener in soups or served as a side dish.

Spice Cake

A cake flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded with dried and candied fruits.

Spice Mill

A tool similar to a meat grinder with a clamp to fix it to the work surface; electric grinders are also available.


Any of a large group of aromatic plants whose bark, roots, seeds, buds or berries are used as a flavoring; usually available dried, either whole or ground.


A tasting term for a food with a predominant flavor from one or more spices; although the flavors can range from very mild to very hot, the term is more often used to describe hot, pungent foods.


A hand tool with a long handle attached to a mesh disk used for skimming stocks or removing foods from liquids, especially hot fat.


A vegetable (Spinacea oleracea) with dark green, spear-shaped leaves that can be curled or smooth and are attached to thin stems; the leaves have a slightly bitter flavor and are eaten raw or cooked; also known as Persian herb.


A thin metal bar on which meat, poultry or game is placed to be roasted before an open fire.


1. An imprecise measure of volume for a liquid; usually a small amount.
2. A small amount of a liquid ingredient added to a drink or other food item.


1. A soupy mixture of flour, liquid and yeast used as the first stage in making certain breads; the sponge is allowed to ferment, then the remaining ingredients are incorporated and the bread is finished; a sponge gives the bread a slightly tangy flavor and a denser texture.
2. A light dessert made with whipped gelatin, beaten egg whites or whipped cream.


A small branch of a leafy substance such as thyme or rosemary.

Springform Pan

A circular baking pan with a separate bottom and a side wall held together with a clamp that is released to free the baked product; used primarily for baking cheesecakes.

Spring Roll

A smaller, more delicate version of the egg roll; it is wrapped in rice paper and traditionally eaten on the first day of spring.


To scatter small amounts of a dry substance or drops of liquid over the surface of a food.

Spritz Cookie

A small buttery cookie formed by forcing the dough through a cookie press or pastry bag; also known as bagged cookie.


The very young shoots emerging from germinated seeds; generally, they have a soft texture, a white or yellow stem, a green leaf bud and a delicate, sometimes nutty flavor.

Spun Sugar

A sugar syrup cooked to the hard-crack stage 310F, then drawn out into fine, golden threads with a fork or whisk; these threads are used to decorate desserts and pastries.


1. The edible fleshy fruit of various members of the gourd (Cucurbitaceae) family; generally divided into two categories based on peak season and skin type: summer and winter.
2. A British beverage made by diluting a sweetened citrus concentrate, usually with soda water.

Squash, Summer

Any of several varieties of squashes with edible thin skins, soft seeds, a moist flesh and a mild flavor; they have a peak season of April through September and can be eaten raw or grilled, sautéed, steamed or baked.

Squash, Winter

Any of several varieties of squashes with hard skins (called shells) and hard seeds, neither of which are generally eaten; the flesh, which is usually not eaten raw, tends to be sweeter and more strongly flavored than the flesh of summer squashes; winter squashes have a peak season between October and March and can be baked, steamed, sautéed or pureed for soups and pie fillings.

Squash Blossoms

The edible blossoms of both winter and summer squashes; usually stuffed and fried, they have a slight squash flavor.


Any of several varieties of cephalopod mollusks found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; generally, they have a long, slender body, an elongated head and tentacles, an ivory-white flesh, a firm, tender texture and a mild, sweet flavor; they vary greatly in size and are available whole or in steaks; also known as inkfish.

Stainless Steel

An alloy of steel, usually with chromium; it is strong and will not rust or corrode; when used for a knife blade, it is difficult to sharpen but holds its edge; when used for cookware, it does not react with acids but is a poor heat conductor, so it is sometimes sandwiched with copper.


1. A tasting term for a food or beverage that has lost its freshness because of age, moisture loss or improper storage.
2. A beer- and wine-tasting term for a product that has lost its lively, fresh, youthful character and has become flat, dull, musty and flavorless; often the result of a beverage being kept too long.

Standard Breading Procedure

The procedure for coating foods with crumbs or meal by passing the food through flour, then an egg wash and then the crumbs; it gives foods a relatively thick, crisp coating when deep-fried or pan-fried.


1. Certain foods regularly used throughout the kitchen.
2. Certain foods, usually starches, that help form the basis for a regional or national cuisine and are principal components in the diet.

Star Anise

The dried, dark brown, star-shaped fruit of the Chinese magnolia; its seeds have a pungent, bitter licorice flavor and are available whole or ground; the fruit is used in Chinese cuisine and as an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder; also known as badian and Chinese anise.


1. An appliance used to steam foods in a closed compartment; the steam is generated by a built-in heat source.
2. An assemblage of two pots and a lid used on a stove top to steam foods; the bottom pot holds the water, and the upper pot, which rests on or in the bottom pot and has a perforated bottom, holds the food; also known as a vegetable steamer.

Steamer Basket

A collapsible basket with three or four short legs and numerous overlapping petals that open to a circle with an 8- to 10-in. diameter; the basket sits in a pot of boiling liquid holding the food above the liquid; the petals are perforated to allow the rising steam to cook the foods; also known as an expandable steamer basket.


A moist-heat cooking method in which heat is transferred by direct contact from steam to the food being cooked; the food to be steamed is placed in a basket or rack above a boiling liquid in a covered pan.


A tool, usually made of steel, used to hone or straighten knife blades.


To soak a food or seasoning in a hot liquid to extract flavors or impurities or to soften the item’s texture.


1. The slender, vertical part of a goblet, wineglass or other glass between the bowl and the base.
2. The handle of a spoon.
3. The stalk of a mushroom, supporting the cap; also known as a stipe.


A combination cooking method similar to braising but generally involving smaller pieces of meat that are first blanched and then served with a sauce and various garnishes.

Sticky Bun

A sweet yeast roll flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar; usually shaped into a pinwheel and baked atop a layer of butter and sugar, which caramelizes and becomes sticky.

Stiff But Not Dry

A culinary term for egg whites that are beaten until they hold firm peaks and are still glossy; they are moist and not too finely grained.


A dry-heat cooking method similar to sautéing in which foods are cooked over very high heat with little fat while stirring constantly and briskly; usually done in a wok.


A mixing method in which ingredients are gently mixed until blended using a spoon, whisk or rubber spatula.


A clear, unthickened liquid flavored by soluble substances extracted from meat, poultry or fish and their bones as well as from a mirepoix, other vegetables and seasonings; used for soups and sauces.


A large pot that is taller than it is wide, with two handles, a flat lid, a capacity of 8-20 qt. and sometimes a spigot at the bottom to release liquid contents; used for making stocks or soups or boiling large amounts of water for pasta.


A sweet German yeast bread filled with dried fruit, shaped like a folded oval and topped with a confectioners sugar icing and candied cherries.

Stone Crab

A variety of crab found in the Atlantic Ocean from the Carolinas to Florida; it has a purple or reddish-brown mottled shell, large claws with black tips and firm, white claw meat with a sweet flavor similar to that of lobster; only the claws can be marketed; they have an average weight of 2.5-5.5 oz.


A dark, bittersweet and heavy-bodied beer made with roasted malt and a relatively high hops content; it is fermented with a top-fermenting yeast.

Straight Dough Method

A mixing method for yeast breads in which all ingredients are simply combined and mixed.


To pour foods through a sieve, mesh strainer or cheese-cloth to separate or remove the liquid component from solids.


A low-growing plant with a conical berry that has tiny seeds on the outside of its red skin; the berry has a red to white juicy flesh and a sweet flavor.

Streusel (STROO-zuhl)

A crumbly mixture of fat, flour, sugar and sometimes nuts and spices; used to top baked goods.

Strudel (STROO-duhl)

A long rectangular German pastry made with many layers of a very thin dough rolled around a sweet or savory filling and baked until crisp and golden.


To fill a cavity in a food with another food.


A seasoned mixture of foods used to fill a natural or created cavity in poultry, meats, fish and vegetables or around which a strip of poultry, meat shellfish, fish or vegetables may be rolled.

Submersion Poaching

A poaching method in which the food is completely covered with the poaching liquid.


An American Southern dish of corn, lima beans and sometimes red and green peppers.


The chemical name for refined or table sugar, it is refined from the raw sugars found in the large tropical grass called sugar cane and the root of the sugar beet.


The savory juices released by meats and fish during cooking; generally, they are the caramelized juices left on the bottom of a sauté or roasting pan before deglazing.


A group of carbohydrates containing one (monosaccharide) or two (disaccharide) sugar units; occurring naturally principally in fruits and honey, it is sweet, soluble and readily absorbed to be used as an energy source.

Sugar, Raw

A natural sugar that has been washed to remove the impurities; it has a light golden color and a large crystal.


To cover a food with sugar.

Sugar Snap Pea

A sweet pea that is a hybrid of the English pea and snow pea; the bright green, crisp pod and the paler green, tender seeds are both edible.

Sugar Syrup

1. A syrup made from sugar and water heated gently until the sugar is dissolved; also known as a simple syrup.
2. Melted sugar cooked until it reaches a specific temperature.

Sun-Dried Tomato

A tomato that has been dried in the sun; it has a dark, ruby red color, a chewy texture and an intense flavor; available dried or packed in oil (including flavored oils).

Sunflower Oil; Sunflower Seed Oil

An oil obtained from sunflower seeds; it has a pale yellow color and virtually no flavor and is high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats; used for cooking and in dressings.

Sunflower Seeds

The seeds of the sunflower plant; they have a hard black-and-white-striped shell that is removed before eating; usually eaten dried or roasted, with or without salt.

Sunny-Side-Up Egg

An egg that is not flipped during frying; its yolk should remain intact.

Superfine Sugar

A finely granulated form of refined sugar; used in beverages and frostings because of the speed with which it will dissolve; also known as castor (caster) sugar.


1. Traditionally, a light meal served in the evening.
2. Now, the main meal of the day in the United States, served in the evening; also known as dinner.


1. A sauce made by adding cream to a veloute made from chicken stock; it is used to make several compound sauces of the veloute family.
2. A boneless skinless chicken breast with the first wing segment attached.
3. An intact segment of citrus fruit with all membrane removed.

Surface-Finishing Agent

A type of food additive used to maintain or add gloss and/or inhibit surface discoloration of a food; it includes protective coatings, polishes, waxes and glazes.

Sushi (SOO-shee)

1. A Japanese dish of cooked seasoned rice (zushi) garnished with a variety of cooked or raw ingredients such as fish, shellfish and vegetables; there are four principal types of sushi: chirashi-zushi, maki-zushi, nigiri-zushi and oshi-zushi.
2. An imprecisely used term for nigiri-zushi.
3. An incorrectly used term for sashimi.


Cooking a food (typically vegetables) in a small amount of fat, usually covered, over low heat without browning until the food softens and releases moisture; sweating allows the food to release its flavor more quickly when it is later cooked with other foods.


1. One of the basic taste sensations.
2. Something having a flavor of or like sugar.
3. A candy or other small sweetly flavored treat.


Any of a variety of dishes that combines sweet and sour flavors, usually sugar and a vinegar-based ingredient.


The thymus gland of a calf, lamb or young hog; it consists of two principal parts, the elongated throat bread and the more spherical heart bread; both have a mild delicate flavor.


Any small piece of sweet candy or pastry, especially candied fruit.

Sweet Pepper

1. The fruit of various plants of the genus Capsicum; it has a mild, sweet flavor with undertones of various fruits and spices; a fresh sweet pepper can be white, yellow, orange, green, red, brown or purple, and its shape is generally conical to nearly spherical; sweet peppers are rarely used dried.
2. A term used imprecisely for a bell pepper.

Sweet Potato

The starchy tuber of a morning glory plant native to South America; it is unrelated to the potato plant and yam and has a sweet flavor.

Swiss; Swiss Cheese

A term used imprecisely to describe any of several large, firm, pressed-curd cheeses with an elastic body, many large holes and a mild, nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

Swiss Meringue

A mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar made by combining the ingredients, heating them over simmering water to approximately 140F, then whipping until light, fluffy and cool.

Swiss Steak

A thick piece of beef, usually round or chuck, coated with flour and browned, then braised, baked or simmered with tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, beef broth and seasonings; also known as smothered steak (especially in England).


A fish found in the tropical oceans off the Americas; it has a long upper jaw and snout that forms a flat, sharp, double-edged sword, a dark, purplish skin that fades to white on the sides and belly, a moderately lean, gray, off-white or pink flesh that whitens when cooked, a very firm texture, a sweet mild flavor and an average market weight of 100-200 lb.; usually sold as wheels or smaller cuts.

Syrah (see-RAH)

1. A red wine grape grown in France (northern Rhone Valley), California, South Africa and Australia; also known as Shiraz or Hermitage (especially in South Africa and Australia).
2. A red wine made from this grape; slow to mature and long-lived, it has a deep red color, a high tannin content and a spicy, peppery aroma.


1. A thick, sweet, sticky liquid consisting of sugar dissolved in a liquid, usually water; it is often flavored with spices or citrus zest.
2. The juice of a fruit or plant boiled with sugar until thick and sticky; it is usually used as a topping or sweetener.

Tabasco Sauce

The proprietary name for a hot pepper sauce made in Louisiana; Tabasco peppers are mashed and fermented with salt and vinegar in barrels for 3 years.

Table Salt

Finely ground and refined rock salt; it usually contains anticaking agents and other additives.


A Mexican dish consisting of a small folded corn or flour tortilla filled with beef, pork, chicken, chorizo and/or refried beans and garnished with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onions, guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa; it can be crisp or soft.


A soft, chewy candy made with cooked sugar, butter and flavorings; the mixture is pulled repeatedly into long ropes and twisted as it cools; this incorporates air and creates a shiny, opaque color; the ropes of taffy are then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Tahini (tah-HEE-nee)

A thick, oily paste made from crushed sesame seeds and used in Middle Eastern cuisines as a flavoring.

Tamale (tuh-MAH-lee)

A Mexican dish consisting of chopped meat or vegetables coated with a masa dough, wrapped in a softened corn husk and steamed; sweet tamales are filled with fruit.


The portion of a knife’s blade that extends inside the handle.


A small- to medium-sized citrus; it has a thick, loose, orange rind, a dark orange, juicy flesh and a sweet flavor; named after the city of Tangier, Morocco.


1. A tasting term used to describe a pleasantly tart flavor.
2. A cheese-tasting term for a cheese, typically a goat’s milk or blue cheese, with a pleasing acidity or tartness.


A wine-tasting term for an astringent, mouth-puckering wine.

Tapas (tah-pahs)

Spanish appetizers that can be hot or cold, simple or complex.

Tapenade (TA-puh-nahd)

A thick paste made from capers, anchovies, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings in France’s Provence region; used as a condiment, garnish and sauce.


1. A starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant and used for thickening.
2. A milk pudding made with processed pellets of tapioca, known as pearl tapioca.


An herb native to Siberia with narrow, pointed, dark green leaves, tiny gray flowers, a distinctive aniselike flavor with undertones of sage and a strong aroma; available fresh and dried.

Tarragon Vinegar

A red or white wine vinegar in which tarragon has been steeped.


1. A shallow-sided pastry dough crust filled with a sweet or svaory mixture; the tart may or may not have a top crust.
2. A sharp, piquant, often acidic or sometimes sour flavor.
3. A wine-tasting term for a wine that is either highly acidic but not necessarily unpleasant or one that is disagreeably sharp.


An imprecisely used term for any dish featuring a raw ingredient.

Tartlet Pan

A small pan, 2 to 4 in. in diameter and .75 to 1.5 in. high, available in many shapes including round, oval, rectangular and square, with plain or fluted straight or sloping sides; it is used for baking tartlets and usually made of tinned or black steel and generally without a removable bottom.

Tartufo (tahr-TOO-fuh)

Italian for truffle; tartufo bianco is a white truffle.


1. To test the flavor of something by placing it in the mouth or on the tongue.
2. To sample a food or beverage.
3. One of the five senses; concerned with perceiving and distinguishing the flavors of foods and beverages.

Tawny Port

A mature, golden red port; aged in wooden pipes for more than 3 years; it has a softer, rounder flavor than a ruby port.

T-bone Steak

A fabricated cut of the beef primal short loin; this tender cut contains a distinctive T-shaped portion of the backbone and on either side of the center bone, a large portion of the loin eye muscle and a smaller portion of the tenderloin.


1. An aromatic beverage made by infusing water with the cured leaves of the shrub; a mild stimulant due to caffeine, a tea is generally named for its leaf type and size or region of origin.
2. The leaves used to make the beverage.
3. An imprecisely used term for a beverage made from steeping the leaves of shrubs, herbs or other plants in water.
4. An imprecisely used term for a very thin, runny sauce, usually one flavored with vegetables, herbs or spices.

Tea, Afternoon

1. A light British meal or refreshment of bread and butter, cucumber or other delicate sandwiches, cookies, scones and Devonshire cream and the like served with a pot of tea during the late afternoon.
2. A formal social occasion or reception at which tea and other refreshments are served.

Tea, High

A late afternoon or early evening British meal, usually quite substantial and consisting of meat and/or fish dishes, biscuits and jam, an array of cakes and pastries and a pot of tea.

Tea Ball

A perforated metal ball that holds loose tea leaves; used for making tea in a cup or pot.

Tea Biscuit

British expression for any of a variety of cookies or crackers served with afternoon tea; also known as a tea cake.


A utensil used for boiling water for teas, tisanes, filtered coffee and so on; it has a broad base, a high-set handle, an often rounded or tapered top with a tightly fitting lid and sometimes a whistle on the spout to indicate when the contents have produced steam.


To bring something to the proper temperature or texture by mixing, stirring, heating or cooling (e.g., to temper eggs by slowly whisking in hot milk to avoid curdling).

Temperature Danger Zone

The broad range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F in which bacteria thrive and reproduce; by keeping foods out of this temperature range, the chances of an infection, intoxication or toxin-mediated infection are decreased.

Tempered Chocolate

Chocolate treated with a heating and cooling process to stablize the cocoa butter crystals; tempered chocolate is shiny, smooth and unblemished by bloom.


1. Heating gently and gradually.
2. The process of slowly adding a hot liquid to eggs or other foods to raise their temperature without causing whem to curdle.

Tempering Machine

An electric machine designed for melting and tempering chocolate, then holding it at the correct temperature for use in making candy or decorations.

Tempura (TEM-poo-ra)

A Japanese dish of battered and deep-fried pieces of fish and vegetables, usually accompanied by a sauce.


1. A fabricated cut of the beef primal sirloin; it is a trimmed, boneless steak.
2. A strip of flesh found on the inside of the chicken breast next to the bone.
3. A wine-tasting term for a young, light-bodied wine that is easy to drink.


To soften and/or break down tough muscle fibers in meat by cubing, needling, pounding, marinating in acidic ingredients, adding enzymes and/or cooking in moist heat.


A flavorful and very tender muscle that runs through the beef short loin and sirloin primals; it is part of T-bone and porterhouse steaks or can be cut into chateaubrian, filet mignon and tournedos.

Tequila (tuh-KEE-luh)

A spirit made in Mexico from the fermented and distilled sap and pulp of the maguey plant; it has a high alcohol content, colorless to straw color and somewhat herbaceous flavor; it is often sold as either blanco or plata.

Teriyaki (tayr-ee-YAH-kee)

1. A Japanese dish of beef, chicken or pork marinated soy sauce, ginger, sugar and seasonings, skewered and grilled or broiled.
2. A Japanese marinade or sauce made from soy sauce, ginger, sugar and seasonings.


1. Traditionally, coarsely ground and highly seasoned meats baked without a crust in an earthenware mold and served cold.
2. A coarsely or finely ground and highly seasoned meat, fish, shellfish, poultry and/or vegetable forcemeat baked without a crust in an earthenware mold, usually lined with pork fat, and served hot or cold.
3. The earthenware, metal or glass mold used for such preparations; usually a long, narrow rectangular loaf pan with a flared edge to hold the cover.

Texas Toast

A very thick slice of white bread that is toasted and brushed with butter; often served with steaks.


A term used for food that is based on the combined cultures of Texas and Mexico; these foods include burritos, nachos and tacos, and the principal flavorings include tomatoes and chiles.


A device designed to measure temperatures; it can be calibrated in Fahrenheit and/or Celsius and can be a column of mercury with temperatures indicated on a glass tube or a stem-type thermometer in which temperatures are noted by an arrow on a dial or a digital readout.

Thermometer, Instant-Read

A thermometer used to measure the internal temperature of foods; the stem is inserted into the food, producing an instant temperature readout.

Thermometer, Meat

A thermometer inserted into the meat to read the internal temperature; the top of the thermometer usually has a scale indicating the temperatures of doneness for certain meats.

Thermometer, Oven

A thermometer used to test the accuracy of an oven’s thermostat; it must be able to withstand temperatures as high as 500 degrees F.


The process of making a liquid substance dense by adding a thickening agent or by cooking to evaporate some of the liquid.

Thickening Agents

1. Ingredients used to thicken sauces, including starches, gelatin and liaisons.
2. A type of food additive used to produce viscous solutions or dispersions, impart body and/or improve texture or consistency; includes stabilizers, suspending agents, bodying agents, setting agents, jellying agents and bulking agents.

Thread Stage

A test for the density of sugar syrup; the point at which a drop of boiling sugar will form a thin thread when dropped in cold water; equivalent to approximately 230-234 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Thuringer (THOOR-ihn-juhr)

A style of German sausages made from chopped pork and/or beef, seasoned with herbs, spices and other flavorings such as garlic, coriander or mustard; they are preserved by curing, drying and smoking and have a semidry to moist, soft texture.

Thyme (time)

A low-growing herb with small purple flowers and tiny, gray-green leaves; the leaves have a strong, slightly lemony flavor and aroma; used fresh and dried.

Tilapia (tuh-LAH-pee-uh)

A generic name for several species of freshwater fish aquafarmed worldwide; they generally have a gray skin, a lean white flesh, a firm texture, a sweet, mild flavor and an average market weight of 3 lb.; sometimes marketed as cherry snapper or sunshine snapper, even though not members of the snapper family; also known as mudfish.


1. A dish, usually a custard base mixed with vegetables, meats or fish, baked in this mold.
2. A pastry shell made with a timbale iron; it can be filled with a sweet or savory mixture.

Timbale Mold

A 1 1/2 in. deep, flair-sided, round, stainless steel mold with a capacity of 4 oz.; it is used for single servings of foods such as eggs in aspic.

Tiramisu (tih-ruh-mee-SOO)

Italian for pick me up and used to describe a dessert made with layers of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers or sponge cake, sweetened mascarpone cheese and zabaglione, usually garnished with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.


Beverages made from herbal infusions that do not contain any tea.


1. To make an item crisp and hot.
2. A piece of bread grilled or broiled on both sides.
3. A speech made or a phrase stated before drinking a beverage in a person’s or thing’s honor.
4. The beverage consumed in honor of someone or something.


1. A firm but chewy candy made with brown sugar or molasses and butter; Danish and English versions are hard and brittle instead of chewy.
2. The British spelling of taffy.

Tofu (TOH-foo)

A custardlike product made from curdled soy milk from which some of the water has been removed by pressure; it has a white color and a slightly nutty, bland flavor that absorbs other flavors; available dried and fresh and used in Asian cuisines in soups or cooked; also known as soybean curd and bean curd.

Tomatillo (tohm-ah-TEE-oh)

A plant native to Mexico whose fruit resembles a small tomato with a papery tannish-green husk; the fruit has a thin, bright green skin and a firm, crisp, pale yellow flesh with a tart, lemony-herb flavor; used like a vegetable in American Southwestern and Mexican cuisines; also known as jamberry, Mexican green tomato, Mexican husk tomato and husk tomato.


The fleshy fruit of the Lycopersicon esculentum, a vine native to South America and a member of the night-shade family; used like a vegetable, tomatoes are available in a range of sizes, from tiny spheres to large squat ones, and colors from green to golden yellow to ruby red.

Tomato Juice

The thick liquid produced by blending the pulp and juice of a tomato.

Tomato Paste

A thick, slightly coarse paste made from tomatoes that have been cooked for several hours, strained and reduced to form a richly flavored concentrate used as a flavoring and thickener; also known as tomato concentrate.

Tomato Puree

A thick liquid made from cooked and strained tomatoes; often used as a thickener for sauces.

Tomato Sauce

1. A French mother or leading sauce made by sauteing mirepoix and tomatoes; white stock is added, and the sauce is then thickened with a roux; also known as sauce tomate.
2. A pasta sauce made from skinned, cooked, deseeded tomatoes; it can be thick or thin, seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices and garnished with meat, mushrooms, onions or the like.
3. A slightly thinned tomato puree, often seasoned, used as a base for sauces or as a flavoring or topped ingredient.


A utensil with two long handles attached at the top; there are two types: those with a heavy wire scissor action and those with a spring; both are made in either stainless steel or chromed steel and are used as a retrieval tool.


In Central and Eastern European usage, refers to a rich cake in which all or part of the flour is replaced with finely chopped nuts or bread crumbs.

Tortilla (tohr-TEE-yuh)

A round, thin, unleavened Mexican bread made from masa or wheat flour and lard and baked on a griddle, it is eaten plain or wrapped around or garnished with various fillings.

Tortilla Chips

Corn or flour tortillas cut into wedges and deep-fried or baked; eaten as a snack, usually with a dip or salsa.

Tortilla Press

A metal utensil used to flatten tortilla dough; it consists of two hinged disks: the top disk has a handle and is lowered over the ball of dough resting on the lower disk.

Tostada (toh-STAH-duh)

A Mexican dish of a crisp-fried tortilla topped with refried beans and garnished with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and/or salsa.

Tourner (toor-nay)

French for to trim or to turn and used to describe the act of cutting foods, usually vegetables, into football-shaped pieces with seven equal sides and blunt ends.

Trifle (TRI-fuhl)

A deep-dish British layered dessert made with sponge cake, sherry, custard, jam or fruit and whipped cream.

Triple Sec

A clear, strong, orange-flavored liqueur used principally to make cocktails.


1. A fungus that grows underground near the roots of certain trees, usually oaks; generally spherical and of various small sizes, with a thick, rough, wrinkled skin; there are two principal varieties: black and white.
2. A rich, creamy chocolate candy made with chocolate, butter, cream, and flavorings, formed into small rough balls and coated with cocoa powder or melted chocolate.

Truffle, Black

A truffle grown in France with a dark brown to black skin with white striations and a pungent aroma and rich flavor; also known as a Perigord.

Truffle, White

A truffle grown in Italy with an off-white to grayish-tan skin and an earthy, garlicky flavor; also known as a piedmontese.


To tie poultry with butcher’s twine into a compact shape for cooking.

Tube Pan

A deep round baking pan with a hollow tube in the center.


The fleshy root, stem or rhizome of a plant from which a new plant will grow; some, such as potatoes, are eaten as vegetables.

Tuile (twee)

French for tile and used to describe a thin, crisp wafer cookie traditionally shaped while still hot around a curved object such as a rolling pin.


Any of several varieties of saltwater fish of the mackerel family found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide; they generally are available as loins or smaller cuts and have a low to moderate fat content, a dark pink, flaky flesh that becomes light gray when cooked, a firm texture and a distinctive rich flavor; significant varieties include albacore tuna, bluefin tuna, bonito, skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna.

Tuna Salad

A salad of tuna typically garnished with celery and onions, bound with mayonnaise and often flavored with celery salt.


The holes that may form in baked goods as the result of overmixing.

Turbinado Sugar

Raw sugar that has been cleaned with steam to make it edible; it is light brown and coarse, with a molasses flavor.


One of the principal kinds of poultry recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); it has light and dark meat and a relatively small amount of fat.

Turkish delight

A chewy, rubbery Middle Eastern candy made with cornstarch or gelatin, honey and fruit juice, often flavored with nuts; the candy is cut into small squares and coated with powdered sugar.

Turmeric (tehr-MEHR-rik)

A dried, powdery spice produced from the rhizome of a tropical plant related to ginger; it has a strong, spicy flavor and yellow color and is used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines and as a yellow coloring agent; also known as Indian saffron.


The rounded, conical root of the turnip plant; it has a white skin with a purple-tinged top, a delicate, slightly sweet flavor that becomes stronger as it ages and a coarse texture.

Turnip Greens

The crinkly green leaves of the turnip plant; they have a sweet, peppery flavor when young that becomes more bitter with age.


An expression used to refer to a product that is baked, then reworked and baked a second time.