Here is a glossary of culinary terms starting with the letter G
A galantine is a Polish dish of deboned stuffed meat, mainly poultry or fish. The meat is typically pounded flat, filled with a mixture of ground meat and seasonings, and rolled up into a tight log shape. It is then poached in gelatin stock or baked until cooked through and set. Once the galantine has chilled, it can be sliced and served cold with aspic or its own jelly, often as an appetizer or part of a charcuterie board. It can be garnished with herbs, vegetables, or sauce to enhance flavour. Since deboning poultry is considered difficult and time-consuming, this is a rather elaborate dish, which is often lavishly decorated, hence its name, connoting a presentation at the table that is gallant and sophisticated. Galantine is known for its elegant presentation and delicious taste.
A galette is a French pastry made with simple dough and filled with various ingredients. It is often referred to as a rustic tart, as it is typically free-form and not baked in a pie dish. The filling can range from sweet to savoury, with popular choices including fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. Galettes are deliciously versatile and can be served as a main course or dessert. They are perfect for entertaining or for enjoying a casual meal at home. Overall, galettes are a flavorful and visually appealing treat that is sure to impress.
A game refers to hunted wild animals or birds prepared and cooked for consumption. Game meat is known for its rich flavour and unique characteristics, thanks to the animals’ natural diets and active lifestyles. It is often cooked in various ways, such as grilling, roasting, braising, or sautéing, to bring out its delicious taste. Common types of game meat include venison, rabbit, quail, pheasant, and duck. Game dishes are popular among food enthusiasts and are often associated with gourmet or fine dining experiences.
Ganache (from the French word for “jowl”) is a rich cake or chocolate filling made by melting chocolate in heavy cream. The mixture is stirred or blended until smooth, with liqueurs or extracts added if desired. Butter is traditionally added to give the ganache a shiny appearance and smooth texture. When the mixture is completely cold, it can be whipped to lighten it, then pouring it over chopped chocolate.
Garlic is a strongly scented, pungent-smelling bulb of a plant related to the onion used in cooking and medicine. The garlic clove is one of the several small segments that make up a garlic bulb. Elephant garlic is larger, milder, and more closely related to the leek. Store firm, fresh, plump garlic bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place; leave bulbs whole because individual cloves dry out quickly. This robust flavouring is available as garlic powder, garlic salt, garlic chips, garlic seasoning powder, and garlic juice in a huge variety of dishes. Use convenient substitutes, such as a powder or bottled minced; for each clove called for in a recipe, use 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic.
Garlic press (also known as a garlic crusher in Australia and New Zealand)
A garlic press is a kitchen utensil used to crush a garlic clove efficiently by forcing them through a grid of small holes, usually with some piston, extracting pulp and juice. Cloves do not need to be peeled, but the press must be cleaned right after using it before any garlic fragments are left in the tool dry. Some press models contain teeth that push any remaining fragments through the holes, making cleaning much easier.
Garnish refers to the visual decoration or embellishment added to a dish to enhance its appearance and presentation. Garnishes can be edible and non-edible, adding colour, texture, and flavour to the overall dish. Common garnishes include fresh herbs, citrus zest, sliced vegetables, sauces, and edible flowers. They make the dish visually appealing and provide additional taste and aroma. The choice of garnish depends on the type of cuisine and the desired final presentation of the dish. Garnishes are often used to complement and enhance the main components of the dish.
Gazpacho (or gaspacho in Portugal)
Gazpacho is a Spanish (originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia) dish of cold, uncooked vegetable soup made of raw vegetables, usually with a tomato juice base or meat broth, which typically contains cucumbers, onions, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and Portugal (spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.
Gelatin (or gelatine)
Gelatin, or gelatine, is a common ingredient in culinary preparations. It is derived from the collagen found in animal bones and connective tissues. Gelatin is primarily used to create a variety of gel-like textures and to stabilize and thicken certain foods. It is often used in desserts like jellies, mousses, and panna cotta, as well as in savoury dishes like aspic and terrines. Gelatin can also be found in various processed foods such as marshmallows, gummy candies, and some dairy products. Overall, gelatin is a versatile ingredient that adds texture and structure to a wide range of culinary creations.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is commonly used in culinary preparations. It is made by heating butter to remove the milk solids, leaving a rich, golden liquid behind. Ghee has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying and sautéing. It also has a distinct nutty flavour that adds depth to dishes. Ghee is a staple in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, where it is used in a variety of dishes, from curries to desserts.
Giblets are the edible internal organs of poultry, such as the heart, liver, and gizzard. They are often used in cooking to add flavour and richness to dishes like gravy, stuffing, or pâté. The giblets are typically removed from the bird and cleaned before being cooked or added to other recipes. They can also be used to make a stock or broth for soups or sauces. Overall, giblets are versatile ingredients that enhance the taste of various dishes and add depth to their flavours. Although sometimes packaged with the giblets, the neck is not part of the giblets.
Ginger (or gingerroot)
Ginger, also known as gingerroot, is a versatile ingredient used in culinary preparations. It is a knobby, beige-coloured root with a pungent and spicy flavour. Ginger is commonly used in savoury and sweet dishes to add a unique and tangy taste. Depending on the recipe, it can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. Ginger is often used in Asian cuisines, such as stir-fries, curries, and soups. It is also a key ingredient in desserts like gingerbread and ginger cookies. Additionally, ginger is known for its potential health benefits, including soothing digestion and relieving nausea.
Ginger, Crystallized (or candied ginger)
Crystallized ginger, known as candied ginger, is a popular culinary ingredient made by preserving slices of fresh gingerroot in sugar syrup. This process gives the ginger a sweet, spicy flavour and a chewy and crystallized texture. It is often used in baking, confectionery, and dessert garnish. Crystallized ginger adds a unique and distinct taste to dishes, balancing sweetness with a subtle heat. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a sweet and spicy snack.
Gizzard refers to the muscular part of a bird’s stomach, often used as an ingredient in various dishes. The gizzard is known for its toughness and requires special preparation techniques to tenderize it before cooking. It is commonly used in cuisines worldwide, including in dishes such as chicken gizzard stir-fry, grilled gizzards, and gizzard soup. Gizzards have a unique texture and flavour, making them popular among those who enjoy offal or adventurous eaters looking to try something new.
It is the French term for “glazed” or “frozen.” In the United States, it describes candied food.
Glacé refers to a technique of coating fruits, vegetables, or meats with syrup or glaze to give them a shiny and sweet exterior. This technique is commonly used in desserts, where fruits or nuts are coated with sugar syrup and then dried or candied. It adds both flavour and visual appeal to the dish.
Glacé can also be used to describe a frozen dessert, such as a sorbet or ice cream with a smooth and creamy texture.
Glaze is a glossy, thin coating applied to food to enhance its appearance, flavour, and texture. Glazes can be made from a variety of ingredients, such as sugar, honey, sauces, egg or even fruit juices. They are typically brushed or poured over the food, allowing it to form a shiny and attractive outer layer. Glazes can be sweet or savoury and can be used on a wide range of dishes, including pastries, meats, vegetables, and even desserts. They add a touch of elegance and can elevate the overall presentation of a dish.
Glazing is applying a glossy coating or finishing touch to a dish. It is typically achieved by brushing a liquid, such as melted butter or a sauce, onto the surface of the food. This enhances flavour, adds shine, and creates a visually appealing presentation. Glazing can be used on a variety of dishes, including meats, vegetables, and pastries. It adds an extra layer of depth and complexity to the overall taste and appearance of the dish.
Gorgonzola cheese is a type of blue cheese that is known for its distinctive taste and crumbly texture. It originated in Italy and is made from cow’s milk. Gorgonzola cheese is often used in culinary applications to add robust flavour to dishes. It can be enjoyed on its own, crumbled over salads or pasta, or incorporated into recipes for sauces, soups, and spreads. Its rich and tangy flavour profile pairs well with fruits, nuts, and bread. Gorgonzola cheese adds a unique and delicious element to various dishes, making it a popular choice among chefs and food enthusiasts.
Grand Marnier is a popular liqueur used in culinary applications. It is known for its distinct orange flavour and smooth texture. It is made from a blend of Cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. In the culinary world, it is often used as a flavour enhancer or ingredient in various dishes and desserts. This kind of use is the most popular in France, especially with Crêpes Suzette and “crêpes au Grand Marnier”. It can be added to sauces, marinades, glazes, or used as a topping for desserts like crème brûlée or ice cream. Additionally, Grand Marnier can be used to create delicious cocktails or added to hot beverages like coffee or tea for an extra kick of flavour. Its versatility and unique taste make it a valuable addition to any kitchen.
Grate refers to the act of using a tool called a grater to finely divide food into smaller pieces. It is commonly used to grate cheese, vegetables, and spices. The grating can alter the texture and enhance the flavours of the food, making it easier to incorporate into recipes. Grating ingredients also allows for quicker cooking times and easier digestion. It is often used to add depth and complexity to various dishes, such as salads, pasta, and baked goods. Overall, grating is a versatile technique in the culinary world.
Grater (or shredder)
Grater is a kitchen utensil with round, sharp-edged holes that is used to grate foods into fine pieces.
Gratin, from the French word for “crust,” is a cooking method where a dish is topped with a browned crust. It is typically made by combining vegetables, potatoes, or pasta with a sauce and then sprinkling breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg or butter on top. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler until the top becomes golden and crispy. It is traditionally served in its baking dish. Gratin dishes are known for their rich and indulgent flavours and are often served as a main course or a side dish. Popular types of gratin include potato gratin, vegetable gratin, and macaroni and cheese gratin.
Grease is applying a thin coating of fat or oil to a pan or baking dish to prevent sticking to the cooking surface and adds flavour and moisture to dishes. Common types of grease used in cooking include vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, and lard. It is important to use the right type and amount of grease when cooking to ensure the best results. Excess grease can make a dish greasy or unhealthy, while insufficient grease can result in dry or burnt food. A pastry brush works well to grease pans.
It also refers to fat released from meat and poultry during cooking.
Gremolata is a classic Italian condiment made from lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It’s typically served with grilled meats, fish, or vegetables to add brightness and depth of flavour. Gremolata is a versatile condiment that can be used as a marinade, a sauce, or a topping, and it’s a great way to add flavour without overpowering the dish.
Grenadine is a pomegranate-flavoured non-alcoholic bar syrup that is used as flavouring and sauce. It is characterized by a flavour of both tart and sweet and deep red colour. It is popular as an ingredient in cocktails for its flavour and to give mixed drinks a reddish/pink tint.
A griddle refers to a flat cooking surface, typically made of metal or cast iron, that is heated to a high temperature. It is commonly used for cooking pancakes, hamburgers, and other flat, thin foods. A griddle’s smooth and flat surface allows for even heat distribution and quick cooking. It is a versatile kitchen tool commonly found in commercial kitchens and used for outdoor cooking.
A grill is a cooking device that uses direct heat to cook food quickly. It typically consists of a metal grate placed over an open flame or hot coals.
Grilling is also a popular cooking method for various types of food, including meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruits. It imparts a charred, smoky flavour to the food, searing and locking in its natural juices. Grilling is often associated with outdoor cooking, such as barbecues and picnics, but indoor grills or griddles can also be used for convenient year-round grilling.
Grilling (or Broiling)
Grilling is cooking food on a grill or a rack under or over a radiant direct intense dry heat, such as gas, electricity, charcoal, or wood, as on a barbecue or broiler—the intense heat produced seals in the juices by forming a crust on the surface of the food. The grill or grate itself must be heated before the food is laid on it and must be constantly cleaned and seasoned with oil so that the food does not adhere. The distinctive grill marks may show predominantly for presentation. The food can also be basted and seasoned.
Grind refers to reducing food into smaller particles or a fine powder using a grinder or a similar tool. This is typically done to enhance the texture or flavour of ingredients such as spices, coffee beans, or nuts. Grinding can be done using different methods, including manual grinding with a mortar and pestle or electric grinding with a food processor or coffee grinder. Grinding ingredients helps release their natural oils and flavours, making them more potent and easier to incorporate into recipes.
Grits are coarsely ground hominy (corn with the hull and germ removed, which has been boiled and then fried). It is commonly made by boiling ground maize (or corn) and served with other flavourings for breakfast or as a dinner side dish, usually savoury. It is popular in the Southern United States.
Gruyère cheese (or German: Greyerzer)
Gruyère cheese is a variety of Swiss cheese with a firm, yellow-smooth texture, containing numerous cells, small holes and a strong, tangy flavour. French Gruyère style cheeses include Comté and Beaufort. It is also known in the United States as Schweitzerkase.
Gumbo is a traditional dish in Louisiana cuisine. It is a flavourful stew that typically includes a combination of meat or shellfish, vegetables, and a thickened broth. Key ingredients often include onion, bell pepper, celery, and a dark roux made from flour and fat. The dish is seasoned with paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme, giving it a distinctive Creole or Cajun flavour. Gumbo is usually served over rice and is known for its rich, hearty taste. It is a popular dish representing the region’s diverse culinary heritage.
Gyro is a popular Greek dish made with thinly sliced meat (usually lamb, beef, or chicken) cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served on pita bread. The meat is often flavoured with various herbs and spices, giving it a unique and delicious taste. Gyros are typically topped with onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce, a yogurt-based sauce with cucumber and garlic. They are often served with a side of fries or a Greek salad. Gyros are a popular street food in Greece and have gained popularity worldwide for their flavourful and satisfying taste.
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.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!
Thank you so much for reading, commenting, following and sharing.
Check out what I’ve been busy preparing for you!