Here is a glossary of culinary terms starting with the letter V
Vandyke is to cut a zig-zag pattern around the circumference of fruit and vegetable halves, usually oranges, tomatoes or lemons, to create decorative garnishes for food & dish presentation.
Vanilla is a popular fragrant flavouring derived from the beans of the vanilla orchid, often used in desserts, baking and cooking. It has a mild, sweet taste and a creamy texture. Vanilla extract is a common ingredient in many recipes. It can be used to add flavour to cakes, cookies, ice cream, and other desserts.
Veal is a type of meat that comes from young (between 1-3 months old) calves, typically raised on specialized farms. In contrast to the beef from older cattle, the pale flesh is a result of not feeding them grains or grasses, which darkens the flesh. It is known for its tender and delicate flavour. Though veal can be produced from an animal of either sex or any breed, most veal comes from young male dairy cattle. Generally, veal is more expensive than beef from older cattle. It is often used in high-end dishes such as veal parmesan or veal scallopini.
Vegetable Oil Spray
Vegetable oil spray is a cooking spray made with vegetable oil combined with an emulsifier and a propellant. It is used to grease cooking surfaces and prevent food from sticking. Since it dispenses a very fine mist of oil, it provides fewer calories per serving than an application of vegetable oil poured from a bottle; hence, it is ideal for low-fat cooking. Vegetable oil spray is versatile and can be used in various cooking methods such as baking, grilling, or sautéing. It is also an excellent option for those who prefer a plant-based diet. Alternatively, you may fill a spray bottle with the preferred oil or apply a thin coating with a brush or wax paper.
Velouté is a rich and creamy French soup made with a light stock, such as chicken or fish, egg yolks, and a roux (a mixture of flour and butter). It’s similar to a béchamel sauce but thicker and more flavourful. Velouté can be served as a main course or as a side dish, and it’s often flavoured with herbs and spices for added depth of flavour. It is often used as a base for other sauces. A velouté sauce, along with tomato, Hollandaise, Béchamel and espagnole, is one of the sauces of French cuisine that were designated the five “mother sauces,” which was a simplification of the “Sauce Carême.” The term velouté is from the French adjectival form of velour, meaning velvet.
Velveting is a technique used in Chinese cuisine where meat is marinated in a mixture of cornstarch, egg whites, and seasonings before being stir-fried.
Venison is a type of game meat that is obtained from deer. It is lean and has a mild flavour, making it a popular choice for those looking for a healthier alternative to beef. Venison can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, roasting, and sautéing. It is also popular in many recipes, such as stews and stir-fries.
Verjus is a highly acidic juice made from unripe grapes. It is often used as a culinary ingredient, particularly in French cuisine. Verjus is known for its tangy and slightly sweet flavour, which adds a unique zing to dishes. It can be used as a marinade, sauce base, salad dressing, or to deglaze pans. Verjus is a versatile vinegar or lemon juice replacement, offering a more delicate and complex taste. It is also known for its health benefits, as it is low in calories and rich in antioxidants. Whether you are a professional chef or an amateur cook, exploring the world of verjus can add a new dimension to your culinary creations.
Vermouth is a type of aromatized fortified wine flavoured with various herbs and spices. It is typically used as an ingredient in cocktails such as the Martini or Negroni. Vermouth adds a distinct aroma and flavour to these drinks, enhancing their complexity and balance. It can also be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif, served chilled with a twist of lemon or orange. Dry vermouth is white and used as an aperitif, as a before-dinner drink or in cocktails in nonsweet drinks, such as a martini. Sweet vermouth is reddish-brown and can be drunk straight or used in sweet mixed drinks. Vermouth often is used as a cooking ingredient. With its unique taste profile, vermouth is a versatile and enjoyable spirit for those who appreciate the art of mixology and the finer things in life.
Vichyssoise is a cold soup made with leeks, potatoes, and cream served as an appetizer. It’s a classic French dish that’s easy to make and delicious to eat. Simply chop the leeks and potatoes, sauté them in butter until tender, then puree them with cream and seasonings. Serve chilled, and enjoy!
Victual refers to food supplies or provisions. It can include any kind of edible items that are collected or stored for consumption. Any comestible, food, things which can be eaten; an article of food or food provisions for humans; all food is a “victual”. This term is often used in a historical or formal context. It is closely related to the concept of sustenance or nourishment. It is less commonly used in modern usage and has been largely replaced by the term “food.”
Vidalia onions are sweet onions known for their mild flavour and juicy texture. They are grown in the Vidalia region of Georgia and are prized for their sweetness and lack of pungency. Vidalia onions are great for cooking and can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, salsas, and stir-fries.
Vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing made from a mixture of vinegar, oil, and seasonings. It is often used to enhance the flavour of salads or as a marinade for vegetables or meat. The acidity of the vinegar helps to bring out the flavours of the ingredients, while the oil adds richness and smoothness to the dressing. Vinaigrette is a versatile condiment made with different types of vinegar and oil, allowing for variations in taste and texture. It is easy to make at home and can be customized to suit individual preferences.
Vindaloo is a popular spicy Indian curry dish made with marinated meat (usually chicken, pork or beef) marinated in a mixture of vinegar, spices, and chilli peppers, cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. It originated in the Indian state of Goa and is known for its bold flavours and spicy heat.
Vinegar is a liquid made from fermented fruit or grain, typically from grapes, wine, apples/cider, rice, or other sources. It has a sour taste and is often used as a condiment or ingredient in cooking, dressing, and preserving foods. It can also be used for cleaning and as a natural remedy for various ailments.
Vitello is the Italian word for “veal.” It is a type of veal, which is a meat made from the muscles of young calves. It is known for its tender and mild flavour and is often used in high-end dishes such as veal parmesan or veal scallopini.
Vol-au-vent is French for “windblown” to describe its lightness. A vol-au-vent is a type of French pastry that consists of a small hollow case of a round puff pastry shell filled with a savoury or sweet filling. Vols-au-vent is typically made by cutting two circles in rolled-out puff pastry, cutting a hole in one of them, then stacking the ring-shaped piece on top of the disc-shaped piece. It is similar to a croquette, but the filling is not encased in a ball of pastry but instead filled inside a hollowed-out pastry shell. Vol-au-vents are often served as an appetizer or side dish. They can be filled with a variety of savoury ingredients, such as chicken, fish, cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables, but can also have a sweet filling.
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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