The complete glossary of culinary terms – J

The complete glossary of culinary terms – J

Reading a recipe and aren’t sure about some of the ingredients, terms, and recipe techniques included? You’re not alone if you’ve ever found yourself lost in a restaurant menu or need clarification on a recipe. Even for the most gifted Chefs, there are terms in a recipe that make them stop and say, “Huh?” The culinary world is full of unique terms, jargon, and words and techniques that can be challenging to understand and master. That’s where the complete glossary of culinary terms comes in. This comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the world of cooking and help you easily navigate complex recipes. This glossary covers everything from ingredients and cooking methods to equipment and kitchen jargon. It provides all the essential knowledge you need to navigate the world of cooking. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting in the kitchen, this guide is a must-have tool for expanding your culinary skills and knowledge. So grab your apron and get ready to elevate your cooking endeavours with the Fast2eat complete glossary of culinary terms.

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Here is a glossary of culinary terms starting with the letter J

Jacquarding (or Needling)

Jacquarding or needling refers to a technique of tenderizing meat by creating small holes or perforations using a jacquard or a meat needle. This process helps to break down the tough connective tissues in the meat. It allows marinades or seasonings to penetrate deeper, resulting in a more tender and flavourful end product. Jacquarding is commonly used for tough cuts of meat like steaks, roasts, and poultry to enhance their texture and taste. Commercially, Jacquarding is done with machines called “Jacardi.”


Jam is a sweet fruit preserve made by cooking fruit or berries with sugar. It is a versatile ingredient used in various dishes and baked goods. Jam can be made from a single fruit or a combination of fruits, and it is often enjoyed on toast, scones, or as a filling for pastries. The cooking process helps to break down the fruit and release its natural pectin, creating a thick and spreadable consistency. With its sweet and fruity flavour, jam adds a burst of flavour and a touch of sweetness to any culinary creation.

Jamaican Jerk

Jamaican Jerk is a spicy and flavourful cooking technique, and seasoning that originated in Jamaica. The term “jerk” refers to the method of marinating, seasoning, and cooking meats, typically chicken or pork, in a spicy blend of ingredients. The key ingredients in Jamaican Jerk seasoning include allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, garlic, ginger, and other herbs and spices. The meats are traditionally slow-cooked over wood fires or grilled to perfection. The result is a deliciously smoky, spicy, and aromatic dish that is beloved worldwide. Jamaican Jerk is a culinary delight that gives any dish a unique and exciting twist.


Jambalaya is a traditional Louisiana dish that combines various ingredients such as rice, vegetables, meat (usually sausage or chicken), and spices. It is often referred to as a rice-based dish, similar to paella, and is known for its bold and flavorful taste. Jambalaya originated from blending French, African, and Spanish cuisines in Louisiana, resulting in a unique and delicious combination of flavours. It is a popular dish in southern cuisine and is enjoyed by many for its hearty and satisfying qualities.


Jambon is the French word for “ham.”

Jambon Cru

Jambon Cru is the French word for “raw ham.”


Jambonneau is a specific cut of meat, typically from the hind leg of a pig. It is a French term that literally translates to “ham knuckle” or “ham shank.” Jambonneau is known for its tender and flavourful meat, often used in traditional French dishes, such as braised or roasted pork. It is a popular ingredient for stews, soups, terrines, and charcuterie. Preparing jambonneau involves slow cooking or braising to achieve a tender, succulent texture. It is a delightful addition to any meat lover’s menu.


A jambonnière is a special vessel that serves and keeps ham (jambon) warm. It is typically made of porcelain or ceramic. It features a lid and a base with slots or holes, allowing the excess fat to drain away from the ham. The jambonnière is an elegant and practical way to present and serve ham, as it helps to maintain its temperature and texture. It is commonly used in restaurants or special occasions where ham is the meal’s star.

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is a variety of long-grain rice popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Thai cuisine. It is known for its beautiful aroma and fragrance, reminiscent of pandan leaves or popcorn. When cooked, jasmine rice has a slightly sticky texture and a soft, fluffy consistency. It is often a staple ingredient in stir-fries, curries, and rice-based desserts. The delicate flavour of jasmine rice pairs well with various meats, vegetables, and sauces, making it a versatile choice for creating delicious and aromatic meals.

Jellyroll (or Swiss roll or Cream roll)

Jellyroll is a type of cake made by rolling a thin sponge filled with a sweet filling, such as jam or cream. It is a classic dessert often served on special occasions and can be enjoyed in various flavours and variations. The cake is typically baked on a flat sheet pan, then spread with the desired filling, rolled up tightly, and chilled to set. When sliced, the jellyroll reveals a beautiful spiral of cake and filling that is visually appealing and delicious.
When other foods are shaped “jelly-roll-style,” it refers to rolling them into a log shape with fillings inside.

Jelly Roll Pan

A jelly roll pan is a specific type of baking pan that is typically rectangular and has shallow sides. It is commonly used to make baked goods, such as jelly rolls, sheet cakes, brownies, and bar cookies. The shallow sides of a jelly roll pan make it easier to remove and handle the baked goods once they are done. Its size and shape also allow for even heating and baking. Overall, a jelly roll pan is a versatile tool in the kitchen, ideal for creating a wide range of delicious treats.


A jerk is a cooking method or seasoning used in Caribbean cuisine. It typically involves marinating meat, such as chicken or pork, in a flavourful spice mixture with ingredients like scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, ginger, and thyme. The marinated meat is then slow-cooked over a grill or open fire, producing a smoky and spicy flavour. Jerk cooking is popular for its unique blend of spices and heat, creating a delicious and distinctive dish.


Jeroboam is a large wine bottle typically holding about three litres (4/5 of a gallon) of liquid. It is equivalent to four regular wine bottles. The term “Jeroboam” is derived from the biblical King Jeroboam and is often used to describe bottles for special occasions or celebrations. This bottle size is commonly found in the wine industry and is used for still and sparkling wines. It offers a grand, festive presentation when serving wine at larger gatherings or events.


Jicama, also known as Mexican yam bean or Mexican turnip, is a versatile vegetable used in many culinary dishes. It is native to Mexico and has a mild and crisp texture similar to a water chestnut. Jicama can be enjoyed raw and cooked, adding a refreshing crunch to salads or stir-fries. It can be used as a substitute for water chestnuts in various recipes. Its neutral flavour makes it a great addition to sweet and savoury dishes, and it is also often used in Mexican cuisine as a popular snack, often paired with lime juice and chilli powder.


Joint is to cut meat and poultry into large pieces at the joints, where two or more bones are connected, using a sharp knife. It is commonly used to refer to larger cuts of meat, such as a beef joint or a chicken joint. These cuts are often roasted, braised, or stewed to bring out their flavour and make them tender. Joints can be found in various animal parts, such as the leg, shoulder, or loin. They are a popular choice for special occasions or family meals, as they can feed a larger number of people.


Jonagold is a variety of apple commonly used in culinary applications. This apple is known for its crisp texture, tart-sweet flavour, and aromatic qualities, making it suitable for various dishes. It is commonly used in baking, where its natural sweetness adds depth to pies, tarts, and cakes. Jonagold apples can also be used in salads, as their crispness and juiciness make them an excellent addition for added texture and flavour. Additionally, this apple variety can be enjoyed on its own as a healthy snack. Overall, Jonagold is a versatile and delicious apple for various culinary uses.

Juniper berry

Juniper berry refers to the dried, ripe fruit of the juniper plant. It is commonly used as a spice or flavouring agent in various dishes and beverages. Juniper berries have a distinct, pine-like flavour that adds a unique depth and complexity to savoury dishes, especially those featuring game meats. They are often used in marinades, sauces, and rubs for venison, pork, and sauerbraten dishes. In addition to their culinary uses, juniper berries are also a key ingredient in gin production, contributing to its distinct herbal and botanical notes.


Jus is a French word loosely translated into “juice,” but it has a more specific meaning than the translation. Jus is a sauce or liquid made from the natural juices of cooked meat or vegetables. It is often used as a flavourful base for gravies, sauces or as a finishing touch to a dish. Jus can be made by deglazing the pan after cooking meat or simmering meat or vegetables in liquid until the flavours are extracted. The result is a rich, concentrated sauce that enhances the dish’s overall taste. Jus can add depth and complexity to a wide range of recipes and is commonly used in French cuisine.

Jus Lie

Jus Lie is a sauce made from the juices of cooked meats combined with starch, typically flour or cornstarch, to thicken it. It adds richness and depth to sauces, gravies, and other dishes. The process involves simmering the meat juices and then gradually whisking in the starch slurry until the desired consistency is achieved. This technique helps enhance the sauce’s flavour and texture, giving it a velvety smoothness. Jus Lie is commonly used in French cooking and essential in creating savoury and flavourful dishes.


A joule is a unit of energy used to measure the heat applied to food. It is commonly used for sous vide cooking, where precise temperature control is important. The joule determines the energy needed to cook or heat food to a desired internal temperature. By using the joule as a reference, chefs and home cooks can ensure consistent and precise results in their cooking process.


Juice is the natural liquid extracted from fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used in cooking and baking to add flavour, acidity, or sweetness to dishes. Juice can be used to make sauces, dressings, marinades, or even as a drink on its own. It is a versatile ingredient that can enhance the taste of various recipes. Juice can be a delicious addition to many culinary creations, whether freshly squeezed or store-bought. It also refers to the process of extracting juice from foods such as meats and poultry.


Julienne is a specific way of cutting vegetables or other ingredients into long, thin strips. The ingredient is first cut into evenly-sized rectangular or cylindrical shapes to achieve this. These shapes are then sliced lengthwise into thin, matchstick-like strips. The resulting julienne cuts are often used for adding texture and visual appeal to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. Julienne is a versatile cutting technique that can be used with various vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini, as well as other ingredients like cheese or meat.


This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers a variety of culinary terms.
Did we leave any out? What would you add to this list of culinary terms?
If you need more terms or have any other questions, please ask in the comments, and we will update our ever-growing list.


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