The complete glossary of culinary terms – Z

The complete glossary of culinary terms – Z

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 Z

Za'atar (or Zahtar )

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb and spice blend commonly used in cooking and herbal remedies. It typically includes ingredients such as thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, powdered sumac and salt. It is known for its earthy, savoury flavour. Zahtar can be used to add flavour to dishes like hummus, falafel, and kebabs or as a garnish for soups and salads. It can also be used in herbal remedies to aid digestion and boost the immune system.

Zabaglione (or Sabayon or Zabaione or zabajone)

Zabaglione is an Italian frothy custard foamy dessert, or sometimes a beverage, made by beating together egg yolks, sugar, and wine (traditionally Marsala wine) or other spirits until a thick, luscious cream forms. This whisking is done over a bain-marie (simmering water) so that the egg yolks cook as they thicken into a light custard. Sabayon is a French name derived from the Italian zabaione or zabaglione (or zabajone, an archaic spelling). Zabaione is usually served with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc. It is also served warm as a dessert or sauce. See its recipe at Irresistible Tiramisu Fast2eat Recipe.


Zereshk is a small, bright red fruit commonly used in Persian cuisine. It is also known as barberry and is often used in rice dishes, stews, salads, and desserts. Zereshk has a tart and tangy taste, which adds a burst of flavour to various dishes. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, making it a nutritious addition to your diet. In addition to its culinary uses, zereshk has been used for its medicinal properties, including promoting heart health and boosting digestion. So, whether you use it as a garnish or incorporate it into your cooking, zereshk is a versatile and beneficial fruit to include in your meals.


Zest is the coloured outer peel of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, limes, or grapefruit. The fruit’s rind contains essential oils that lend a nice flavour to the final dish. It is often grated or finely chopped and used to add flavour and aroma to dishes. It is commonly candied or crystallized for pastry use. To remove the zest, scrape a grater, a peeler, a knife or a fruit zester across the peel. When zesting, be careful NOT to include the white pith (the white membrane beneath the peel), which adds a bitter taste.


Ziti is a type of pasta that is shaped like a tube, similar to penne but larger in size. It is commonly used in Italian-American cuisine and is often served with tomato-based sauces.


Zucchini is a type of summer squash with green skin that is low in calories and rich in vitamins A and C. It can be used in various dishes, including stir-fries, breads, and salads. Its mild flavour and high water content make it a versatile and healthy addition to many meals.


Zucotto is an Italian dessert made of sponge cake or ladyfingers filled with a thick, creamy mixture of sweetened whipped cream, eggs, sugar, chocolate, nuts, and fruits flavoured with vanilla or other flavourings. It is similar to a custard but has a lighter texture and is often served chilled.


Zwieback is a slightly sweet bread or biscuit that is baked twice, resulting in a crispy, golden-brown, dry texture. It is often served with soups or eaten as a snack with butter or jam and is a popular breakfast food in many parts of the world.


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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