Gourmet Glossary: "A"
Acetic Acid The acid in vinegar that comes from a second fermentation of beer, wine or cider.
Acidulated Water Water to which lemon juice or wine vinegar is added, used to stop peeled vegetables from discoloring.
Agar-Agar A seaweed based vegetarian alternative to gelatin, used as a stabilizer or thickener.
Albumen Egg white.
Allspice A spice, berry used as a flavoring.
Almonds A type of nut sweet and bitter, available blanched, whole, halved, flaked, chopped or ground, used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Amaretti Small almond macaroon biscuits. used as a base for trifles and other desserts.
Amontillado Spanish sherry, in the Montilla style, usually darker and older than a fino.
Anchovy An oily fish, anchovy fillets often preserved in salt. Anchovy essence is also available. both used as flavurings.
Angelica A herb, often candied used in dessert cooking. Can also be steamed and eaten as a vegetable.
Aperitif An alcoholic drink, taken before the meal to stimulate the appetite.
Arbroath Smokie Smoked haddock with the backbone still in. Serve grilled, poached, in kedgeree and soup.
Arrowroot A fine white powder used for thickening sauces, similar to cornflower. Arrowroot, gives a clear gloss. It is best mixed with a little water before adding to liquids.
Artichoke Globe artichoke the leaves and base (heart), are eaten. Jerusalem artichoke (of the sunflower family), the tubers that are eaten.
Asafoetida A spice used in Roman, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking in very small amounts.
Aspic A clear jelly made from the juices of cooked fish or meat, used to garnish or mold savory dishes.
Aubergine An elongated oval, purple in color vegetable. Also known as eggplant
Au Gratin A dish covered with a sauce or breadcrumbs or both, then browned under a grill or in the oven.
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