Cooking Dictionary

Allspice - a member of the pimento family and native to tropical regions in the western hemisphere; has leathery leaves, white flowers and small, brown berries, has a flavor reminiscent of a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pepper; also known as Jamaican pepper.

Appetizer - a small serving of food or beverage served before or as the first course of a meal.

Banana - is the common name used for herbaceous plants in the genus Musa, which because of their size and structure, are often mistaken for trees. Bananas are cultivated for their fruit which bear the same name, and to a lesser extent for the production of fibre and as ornamental plants.

Barbecue - to roast meat slowly over coals on a spit or framework, or to roast in an oven, basting intermittently with a special kind of sauce

Black Pepper - (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The same fruit is also used to produce white pepper and green pepper.[1] Black pepper is native to South India and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions.

Beef - the meat of bovines (ex. cows, steers and bulls) slaughtered when older than 1 year; generally, has a dark red color, rich flavor, interior marbling, external fat and a firm to tender texture.

Beet - a large bulbous edible root with an edible leafy green top; its color is typically garnet red but can range from pinkish-white to deep red; also know as the garden beet, red beet and beetroot (especially in Great Britain).

Cake Flour - a low-protein wheat flour used for making cakes, pastry doughs and other tender baked goods.

Callaloo - is a leaf vegetable, traditionally either amaranth (known by many local names including callaloo or bhaji), or taro or Xanthosoma species (both known by many local names including callaloo, coco, tannia, or dasheen bush). Because the leaf vegetable used in some regions may be locally called "callaloo" or "callaloo bush", some confusion can arise among the different vegetables and with the dish itself. Outside of the Caribbean, spinach is occasionally used.

Coconut milk - is a sweet, milky white cooking base derived from the meat of a mature coconut. The color and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content and sugars. The term "coconut milk" can also refer to the watery liquid found inside the nut. This liquid, when found in a young coconut, is more unambiguously referred to as "coconut water" or "coconut juice". In Malaysia and Indonesia coconut milk is called santan and in the Philippines it is called gata.

Curing - to preserve meat, fish, or cheese with salt or by drying and or smoking.

Curry Powder - an American or European blend of spices associated with Indian cuisines, the flavor and color vary depending on the exact blend; typical ingredients include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace and turmeric, with cardamom, tamarind, fennel seeds fenugreek and /or chile powder sometimes added.

Distilled Water - water from which all gases and minerals have been removed.

Dough - a mixture of flour and other ingredients used in baking and often stiff enough to cut into shapes; has a low moisture content and gluten forms the continuous medium into which other ingredients are embedded; generally has less fat, sugar and liquid than a batter.

Dumplings - Boiled dumplings are made from flour to form a dough. The size of the dumplings is the choice of the cook and does not affect the taste, but can have an effect on the texture. It is optional to serve with the meat in the dish or on the side.

Escallion - The escallion (Allium ascalonicum L.) is a culinary herb. Grown in Jamaica, it is similar in appearance to the British spring onion, American green onion, Welsh onion and leek, though said by Jamaicans to be more flavourful. Like these others, it is a (relatively) mild onion that does not form a large bulb.

Food Browning - The term browning may refer to several different processes. The most common type of browning, also known as the Maillard reaction, refers to a series of chemical reactions that makes foods from cookies to fried chicken and grilled steaks taste and look more appetizing. As the sugars in any food are heated, they change color from clear to dark brown and produce new flavor compounds. Browning is also an effective way to destroy surface bacteria on meats.

Garlic - (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant in the family Alliaceae and genus Allium, closely related to the onion, shallot, and leek. It does not grow in the wild, and is thought to have arisen in cultivation, probably descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in south-western Asia.[1] Garlic has been used throughout all of recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Ginger - Though called a root, it is actually the rhizome of the monocotyledonous perennial plant Zingiber officinale.Originating in southern China, cultivation of ginger spread to India, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean

Hot Peppers - All hot peppers contain capsaicinoids, natural substances that produce a burning sensation in the mouth, causing the eyes to water and the nose to run, and even induce perspiration. Capsaicinoids have no flavor or odor, but act directly on the pain receptors in the mouth and throat. The primary capsaicinoid, capsaicin, is so hot that a single drop diluted in 100,000 drops of water will produce a blistering of the tongue.

Lemon Juice - The lemon (Citrus × limon) is a hybrid citrus tree of cultivated origin. The fruit are used primarily for their juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, primarily in cooking or mixing. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste and a pH of 2 to 3. This acidity makes lemon juice a cheap, readily available acid for use in educational chemistry experiments.

Nutmeg - is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20-30 mm long and 15-18 mm wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 grams dried, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or arillus of the seed. Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavor. Mace is often preferred in light-coloured dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like colour it imparts. It is nice in cheese sauces and is best grated fresh

Onion - in the general sense can be used for any plant in the genus Allium but used without qualifiers usually means Allium cepa, also called the garden onion. Onions (usually but not exclusively the bulbs) are edible with a distinctive strong flavour and pungent odour which is mellowed and sweetened by cooking. They generally have a papery outer skin over a fleshy, layered inner core. Used worldwide for culinary purposes, they come in a wide variety of forms and colours.

Scotch Bonnet -These peppers are used to flavour many different dishes and cuisines worldwide. Scotch Bonnet has a flavour distinct from its Habanero cousin. This gives Jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavor. Eaten raw, these peppers are also known to cause dizziness, numbness of hands and cheeks, and severe heartburn.

Thyme - is often used to flavour meats, soups and stews. It is used in Jamaican cuisine, where it is an important element. Thyme should be added early in cooking so that its oils have time to be released.

Vinegar - is a liquid produced by the fermentation of alcohol into acetic acid and other fermentation by-products. The acetic acid concentration ranges typically from 4 to 8 percent by volume for table vinegar (typically 5%) and higher concentrations for pickling (up to 18%) although in some countries the minimum strength may be less.


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