An A-Z culinary dictionary

 Fig, prosciutto, pear and witlof salad

Even experienced cooks often run across culinary terms that are unfamiliar to them, whether a type of food, an uncommon spice mixture, or a technique that they haven't seen before. While a quick Google search usually clears up any confusion, it's nice to have a handy reference that contains many definitions in one place. Australian Gourmet Traveller is here to help in that regard, with its A-Z list of cooking terms.

I like to think of myself as an experienced cook, but right off the bat I saw several terms that I hadn't encountered previously. For instance, I did not know that accra  was a Carribean salt cod dish, or that it is also known as stamp-and-go. I also learned a wine word: bâttonage, a French term for lees stirring. Until today I was unaware that when wines are aged on their lees, bâtonnage can add creaminess and complexity. And until today I was unaware that witlof was a vegetable comprising a tight head of yellow-tipped white leaves of Belgian chicory (at least in Australia).

It was fun to scroll through this list, a mix of terms I already knew and ones that were completely novel. A few of the words have very sparse descriptions that don't explain much, and I saw some that I felt were not accurate. Despite these flaws, I learned several things in just a few minutes of skimming the list. Reading through it was a good way for me to break out of a case of the cooking doldrums! 

Photo of Fig, prosciutto, pear and witlof salad with pomegranate vinaigrette from Modern Salads (Australian Gourmet Traveller)

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