A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – Q

A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – Q

Think you know every culinary term used in your kitchen? Get ready to think again.

Reading a recipe and aren’t sure about some of the ingredients, terms, and recipe techniques included?

Recipes can sometimes be a minefield of terms, jargon and foreign words. Even for the most gifted Chefs, there are terms in a recipe that make them stop and say “huh?”.

Don’t worry, we have compiled an extensive list of common culinary terms to help you out!

Some of the most common are defined here. Take a look at our list to get cooking.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



To make crisscross lines on the surface of grilled or broiled food, as part of food presentation. The scorings are produced by contact with very hot single grill bars, which brown the surface of the food. Very hot skewers may also be used to mark the surface.


A French term for a cut of veal taken from the rump.


Literally meaning “four spices”, used mainly in the French cuisine, but is also found in some Middle Eastern kitchens. A finely ground mixture of generally ground pepper(white, black, or both), nutmeg, ginger, or cloves, used to season vegetables, soups, and stews. Some variations of the mix use allspice instead of pepper or cinnamon in place of ginger.


A poached dumpling (oval) made with a forcemeat of pork, beef, veal, chicken or fish bound together with fat and eggs, sometimes combined with breadcrumbs. The term is also used to describe the oval, three-sided shape commonly produced. Formerly, quenelles were often used as a garnish in haute cuisine. Today, they are more commonly served as a dish in their own right.


To quickly place a heated object in cold water. This is usually done to either stop the cooking process or to separate the skin of an object from the meat. This process is sometimes referred to as “shocking”.


A savoury main dish pie, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savoury custard with cheese, meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold. It is part of French cuisine but is also popular in other countries, particularly as party food. Quiche lorraine is one variant.

Did we leave any out? What would you add to this list of culinary terms? Comment below!
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