The complete glossary of culinary terms – H

The complete glossary of culinary terms – H

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 H

Habanero (or Habañero)

Habanero is a chilli pepper known for its intense heat and fruity flavour. It is commonly used as a spice in various cuisines, adding a fiery kick to dishes. It’s also available as a dried habanero powder! Due to its high levels of capsaicin, habanero peppers are also believed to have several health benefits, such as boosting metabolism and reducing inflammation. However, it is important to use them in moderation, as their heat can be overpowering for some individuals. Overall, habanero is a popular ingredient for those who enjoy a spicy flavour profile in their food.


Half-and-Half is a mixture of equal parts cream and milk. It has about 12% (10% to 18%) milk fat and cannot be whipped.

Hard Ball

A hard ball refers to a specific stage in candy-making. The temperature range reached when boiling sugar syrup is usually between 121-130°C/250-266°F. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of cold water. Use your fingers to gather the cooled syrup into a ball in the water. It will form a firm, pliable ball that holds its shape when pressed between the fingers. This is used as a guide for making various candies, such as fudge or caramels. The hard ball stage is crucial for achieving sweet treats’ desired texture and consistency.

Hard Crack

A Hard Crack is a candy-making stage where the sugar syrup reaches a specific temperature range of around 150-155°C/300-310°F. Syrup dropped into ice water at this stage separates into hard, brittle threads that break when bent. The candy becomes brittle and hardens when cooled at this stage, making it ideal for making brittle, toffees, and some hard candies. Achieving the hard crack stage requires precise temperature control and timing, as even a slight deviation can result in too soft or too hard candies. This stage is used for most candies, such as lollipops and brittles.


Hare refers to the meat of a wild rabbit species known as the European hare. Its strong gamey flavour characterizes it and is often used in traditional and regional dishes. Mountain varieties have a more delicate flavour than that of the plains hare. The hare meat is versatile and can be prepared in various ways, such as roasting, stewing, or braising. Due to its lean nature, the hare is often marinated or cooked with added fat to enhance tenderness and flavour. It is considered a delicacy in many cuisines and is popular among game meat enthusiasts.

Haricots Verts

Haricots Verts is a French term for green beans, specifically the slender and tender variety. They are often used in gourmet cooking and are known for their delicate flavour and crisp texture. Haricots Verts can be enjoyed cooked or raw and are a popular addition to salads, stir-fries, and side dishes. They are nutritious vegetables, rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. Whether you’re an amateur chef looking to elevate your dishes or simply a fan of green beans, Haricots Verts are a delicious and versatile ingredient to include in your culinary repertoire.


Harissa is a spicy paste commonly used in North African cuisine, specifically in Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian dishes. It is made from various peppers, such as red chilli peppers, and other ingredients like garlic, spices, and olive oil. Harissa adds a fiery and intense flavour to dishes, making it a popular condiment and ingredient in many recipes. It can be used as a marinade for meats, incorporated into sauces, or spread on bread and sandwiches. Harissa is known for its vibrant red colour and its ability to add depth and heat to dishes.


Hash is a dish made by finely chopping or dicing ingredients, such as meat, potatoes, and vegetables, and then cooking them together. The ingredients are typically cooked in a skillet or frying pan until browned and crispy. Hashes can be a versatile meal option as they can be made with various ingredients, allowing endless flavour possibilities. They are often served as a breakfast or brunch dish but can also be enjoyed as a hearty lunch or dinner option.

Haute Cuisine (or Grande cuisine)

Haute Cuisine, or Grande cuisine, refers to the highest level of culinary artistry and elegance in French cooking. High-quality ingredients, meticulous preparation techniques, and elegant and elaborate presentations characterize it. Haute Cuisine creates exquisite, complex dishes showcasing the chef’s creativity and skill. This cooking style is often seen in fine dining establishments at a high price level and accompanied by expensive wines. It is associated with sophistication and luxury. Haute Cuisine sets a high standard in the culinary world and is revered by food enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is a dairy product commonly used in cooking and baking. It is made from the high-fat content of cow’s milk and has a rich and creamy texture. Heavy cream adds richness and thickness to soups, sauces, and desserts. It is often whipped to create whipped cream, which can be used as a dessert topping. Heavy cream has a higher fat (about 35-46%) content than regular cream, making it suitable for recipes that require a luxurious and indulgent taste.


Heifer is a young (between eight and twenty months of age) female cow that has not yet given birth. The meat from a heifer tends to be more tender and flavourful than older cows. It is often used in beef dishes and is prized for its tenderness. The term heifer is also used to describe dishes featuring beef or dishes made specifically using the meat from a heifer. As a result of the improvements in raising dairy cattle and overcapacity, an increasing number of heifers are being slaughtered for beef rather than being kept for milk. Equal to veal in most respects, the meat and offal are of good quality.


Herbaceous are plants that have a soft and leafy texture. These plants are commonly used as herbs in cooking, adding flavour and aroma to dishes. Examples of herbaceous plants include basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill. They are often used fresh but can also be dried for later use. The term herbaceous can also describe the flavour profile of dishes, indicating a fresh, green, and slightly floral taste. Overall, herbaceous plants and flavours play an important role in enhancing culinary creations’ taste and aesthetic appeal.


Herbs are aromatic plants that add flavour, fragrance, and colour to various dishes. They are typically the leaves or flowers of plants and are used fresh or dried. Common herbs include basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, and parsley. Each herb has its own distinct flavour profile, ranging from mild and earthy to strong and pungent. Herbs can be used in a variety of cuisines and dishes, including soups, stews, salads, marinades, and sauces. They enhance the taste of food, provide health benefits, and showcase the art of seasoning in cooking. Previously, the term “herbs” once included all plants and vegetables that grew above ground. Those growing below ground were considered “roots.” Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while a “spice” is a product from another part of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.

Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of Provence, used to flavour grilled foods and stews. Typically it contains savoury, fennel, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other herbs.


Hock is the joint of a pig’s leg, specifically the lower portion. It is commonly used in dishes such as ham or pork shank. The hock is known for its rich, flavourful meat and is often used for making broths, soups, stews, and slow-cooked dishes. The hock can be smoked, roasted, braised, or used to flavour stocks and sauces. It adds depth and richness to dishes and is a popular ingredient in various cuisines worldwide.

Hog Jowl (or Pork jowl or Jowl bacon or Guanciale)

Hog jowl is a versatile ingredient in culinary terms. It refers to the cheek area of a hog, which can be cured or smoked and used in various dishes. Southern cuisine commonly uses it in dishes like collard greens and black-eyed peas to add flavour and depth. It can also be used in stews, soups, or even diced and sautéed as a flavourful addition to pasta dishes. Hog jowl has a rich and savoury taste that can enhance a wide range of recipes, making it a popular choice among chefs and home cooks alike.
Pork jowl is alternately called jowl bacon or hog jowl, especially in the Southern United States. The Italian variant is called guanciale.

Hog Maw

Hog Maw is a traditional culinary dish consisting of a pig’s stomach, typically stuffed with ground pork, vegetables, and spices. It is a popular dish in certain regions, particularly Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. The dish is often slow-cooked or baked until the stomach becomes tender and flavourful. Hog Maw is known for its unique texture and rich taste. It is a dish that showcases the use of various parts of the pig and reflects the cultural traditions of certain communities.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet and savoury condiment commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is made from a variety of ingredients, such as soybeans, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and various spices. Hoisin sauce adds a rich and complex flavour to dishes, often used as a dipping sauce or marinade for meats and vegetables. It pairs well with stir-fries, spring rolls, and barbecued meats. Its sweet and tangy taste can also be used to enhance the flavour profile of many other dishes. Hoisin sauce is a versatile ingredient that adds depth and deliciousness to meals. Look for hoisin sauce alongside soy sauce in most supermarkets or Asian markets. The word hoisin is from the Chinese word for seafood, but the sauce does not contain any seafood ingredients.

Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise is a classic French sauce that is popular in the culinary world. It is made by emulsifying melted butter with egg yolks and lemon juice, resulting in a rich and creamy sauce with a tangy flavour. Hollandaise is commonly used in dishes like Eggs Benedict, asparagus, fish, and vegetables. Preparing requires careful attention and skill, as overheating or over-whisking can cause the sauce to separate. However, when made correctly, Hollandaise adds a luxurious touch to a variety of dishes and is a staple in French cuisine.


Hominy is a dried maize (white or yellow corn) kernel treated with an alkali (alkaline solution), usually lye or lime, to remove the hull and germ. This process, known as nixtamalization, softens the corn and imparts a distinct flavour. It is available canned or dried. In culinary terms, hominy is commonly used in dishes such as pozole, a traditional Mexican soup, and grits, a popular Southern dish in the United States. It can also be used as a base for stews, added to casseroles, or even enjoyed on its own as a side dish. With its unique texture and flavour, hominy adds a delicious twist to a variety of recipes. The term can also refer to the removal via an alkali process of the pericarp from other grains, such as sorghum.


Homogenize refers to the process of combining ingredients or mixtures to create a uniform consistency or texture. This is often achieved using a blender, mixer, or other kitchen tools to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Homogenizing is commonly used in recipes for soups, sauces, dressings, and desserts, where a smooth and consistent texture is desired. It ensures that all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dish, resulting in a well-balanced and harmonious final product. Homogenized milk and some commercial salad dressings are two examples of homogenized foods.


Hondashi® is a popular ingredient used in Japanese cuisine. It is a type of dashi, a traditional Japanese stock made from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes. Hondashi is a powdered dashi, making it convenient to use in various dishes. It adds a rich, umami flavour to soups, sauces, and marinades. Hondashi can also be sprinkled on top of dishes as a garnish. It is known for its versatility and ability to enhance the taste of many different dishes. Hondashi® guarantees the authentic taste of fish to the preparations and can be used in the most varied recipes with fish, seafood, oriental recipes, and fish-based broths, giving a delicious and full-bodied flavour!


Honey is a sweet, viscous substance produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. In culinary, honey is used as a natural sweetener and flavour enhancer in a variety of dishes. It can be used in baking, as a topping for desserts or pancakes, salad dressings, marinades, and even savoury dishes like glazes for meat or sauces. Honey adds a unique and distinct flavour profile to recipes and can be a healthier alternative to processed sugar. It also has some potential health benefits, although moderation is key due to its high sugar content.


Honeycomb refers to the hexagonal wax structure created by bees to store honey. It is considered a delicacy and can be used in various dishes and desserts. The honeycomb is known for its unique texture and sweet flavour, making it a popular addition to cheese boards, ice cream, and cocktails. It is often enjoyed for its natural sweetness and chewy consistency. However, it is important to note that honeycomb should be consumed in moderation as it is high in calories and sugar.

Hors d’oeuvre

Hors d’oeuvre is a French culinary term for small appetizers or snacks served before a meal. These bite-sized dishes are usually served on a platter. They are meant to stimulate the appetite and enhance the dining experience. Hors d’oeuvres can range from simple finger foods like cheese and crackers to elaborate options like canapés or stuffed mushrooms. They are often served at parties or social gatherings and provide guests with a variety of flavours and textures to enjoy before the main course. Hors d’oeuvres may be served at the dinner table as a part of the meal, or they may be served before seating. Formerly, hors d’oeuvres were also served between courses.


Horseradish is a pungent root, a mustard family member, commonly used as a condiment or spice. It has a strong, spicy flavour and is often grated and added to sandwiches, salads, or sauces. Horseradish adds a unique and tangy taste to foods and is popular in many cuisines worldwide. It can also be used as a natural remedy for various health benefits, including aiding digestion and boosting the immune system. Overall, horseradish is a versatile ingredient that adds a zesty kick to any dish.

HP Sauce (House of Parliament Sauce)

HP Sauce, also known as “House of Parliament Sauce,” is a popular condiment in culinary terms. It is a tangy, brown sauce commonly used in British cuisine. Made from a blend of tomatoes, malt vinegar, and various spices, HP Sauce adds a rich and distinctive flavour to dishes. It is often enjoyed with traditional British fares like fish and chips or as a flavour enhancer in sandwiches and burgers. Its versatility and unique taste make it a staple in many home and restaurant kitchens.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros (“rancher’s eggs”) is a classic Mexican breakfast dish consisting of a fried egg served on a tortilla and smothered in a spicy tomato sauce. It is often garnished with cheese, beans, avocado, and cilantro. This dish is popular for its bold flavours and satisfying combination of textures. It is delicious and provides a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Whether for breakfast or brunch, huevos rancheros is a flavorful and hearty dish that will surely please.


Huile refers to oil in French. It is commonly used to describe different types of cooking oils, such as olive oilvegetable oil, or sunflower oil. Huile is an essential ingredient in many recipes, adding flavour, moisture, and richness to dishes. It can be used for sautéing, frying, dressing salads, or as a base for marinades and sauces. Different oils have different flavours and cooking properties, so it is important to choose the right huile for each recipe to enhance the overall taste and texture of the dish.


Hull refers to the action of removing the outer layer or covering of certain fruits or vegetables. It is commonly done to remove the tough or inedible parts, such as the skin or outer shells. Examples of foods that are often hulled include strawberries, peas, and corn. Hulling these foods enhances their texture and makes them easier to eat or cook. So, hulling is the process of removing the outer layer of certain foods to improve their quality and edibility. More specifically, it is the leafy green part of a strawberry.


Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from cooked and mashed chickpeas blended with tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. It is typically used as a dip or spread and is enjoyed with pita bread, vegetables, or crackers. Hummus is known for its creamy texture and nutty flavour. It is delicious and has nutritional benefits, rich in protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Hummus is a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal or snack.


In culinary terms, Husk refers to the outer protective covering of certain fruits, vegetables, or grains. It is typically removed before cooking or consuming the ingredient. Husks can vary in texture and thickness, and they serve to provide protection and support to the inner part of the food. Examples of ingredients that have husks include corn, coconuts, and tamarind. Removing the husk allows for easier preparation and makes the inner part of the ingredient more accessible for cooking or eating. Some husks can also be used in cooking, such as corn husks for wrapping tamales.


Hydration is the process of combining dry ingredients, usually flour, with a liquid, such as water or milk, to create a wet dough or batter.

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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