- The Italian term for beans, most often white
Fahrenheit - A temperature scale with 32º
as the freezing point of water and 212º as
its boiling point..
Fajitas - A Mexican-American dish consisting
of strips of beef skirt or chicken breast strips
marinated in lime juice, garlic, red pepper and
grilled with onions and sweet peppers. The mixture
is wrapped in a four tortilla and served with
sour cream, and pico de gallo as garnishes.
Falafel - A Middle Eastern dish consisting
of a paste made from ground dried chickpeas and
herbs shaped into balls and deep-fried.
Farce - French for forcemeat or stuffing.
Farfalle - Bow tie shaped pasta. Farfallini
is the smaller version.
Farina - Inner portion of coarsely ground
hard wheat, also known as Cream of Wheat.
Farmer Cheese - A form of cottage cheese,
pressed to remove most of the liquid. Dry farmer
cheese is firm enough to slice or crumble.
Fast Rising Yeast - Smaller-grained than
conventional active dry yeast; speeds rising as
much as 50 percent, which may eliminate the need
for a second rising. This form of yeast measures
the same as active dry yeast and works best when
mixed directly with the dry ingredients before
Fat Free, Fat-free - A food containing
fewer than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.
Fat Separator - A clear cup (usually made
of plastic) with a long spout set very low on
the cup; used to make lower-fat gravy. Pan drippings
are poured into the cup and the fat rises to the
top. The desirable liquid remains below and can
be poured off through the spout. Also known as
a gravy separator.
Fatback - Fat from the back of a pig, used
to make lard or cracklings, as well as for seasoning.
Fava Bean - A meaty, strong flavored bean
that is light brown in color, flat in shape and
looks somewhat like a large lima bean. They are
available dried or canned. They work well in side
dishes, soups, or salads.
Fedelini - A very fine type of vermicelli
Feijoa, Pineapple Guava - An exotic fruit
from New Zealand that tastes somewhat like a mixture
of pineapple, banana and strawberry. It has a
thin green skin and can be eaten raw or used in
preserves and jellies.
Fennel - Both the seeds and the stalks
from this plant are called fennel. 1. The plant
has feathery foliage and white bulbous stalk.
Fennel tastes like licorice or anise, and commonly
used in Italian dishes. 2. The plant's oval, green-brown
seeds have prominent ridges and short, hair-like
fibers. Their taste is similar to anise seed,
but sweeter and milder. It goes well with fish
but Italians add it to sauces, meat balls, and
Fermented Black Beans - Small black soybeans
preserved in salt; used in Chinese cuisine. Fermented
black beans have a very salty and pungent flavor.
Also known as Chinese black beans and salty black
Fenugreek - A very hard seed grown in the
Middle East and used as a spice. It adds an earthy
flavor to chutneys and curries.
Feta - 1. A salty, soft Greek cheese made
from ewe's milk and pickled in brine It has a
white color, crumbly texture and salty, sour,
tangy flavor. 2. A soft, white, flaky American
feta-style cheese made from cow's milk and stored
- Long, relatively thick ribbons of pasta. A narrower
version is called fettuccelli, while a wider one
is called fettucci. Fettucine goes well with cream,
cheese, meat and tomato sauces.
Fig - A pear-shaped fruit that grows well
in warm regions with a thick, soft skin, sweet
flavor and many tiny edible seeds. Popular varieties
usually have dark purple skin and pink flesh or
green skin and pinkish-white flesh.
Filé Powder - An American seasoning
made of sassafras leaves and used to flavor and
thicken Creole dishes, such as gumbo.
or Filet - To remove bones from a fish, so
that only the flesh remains. The process depends
on the type of fish. Though similar, it is different
for flat fish, like a flounder, or round fish,
like a trout. The best way to learn how is to
purchase a cookbook with details or watch the
cooking shows. If in doubt, your seafood monger
will do it for you.
Filo, Phyllo - Layers of paper-thin leaves
of dough used in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Frozen phyllo dough can be found in most supermarkets
and should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
Also spelled "phylo," "filo,"
Finely - Especially small, as in finely
chopped, but not as small as minced.
Fines Herbes - A mixture of finely chopped
herbs made up of equal parts chervil, tarragon,
chives, and parsley or equal parts chervil and
chives (not always limited to these combinations).
Finger-tip Test - A method used to test
whether risen dough has doubled in size. Two fingers
are pressed lightly and quickly ½ inch
into the risen dough. If the dents stay, the dough
Fino Olive Oil - A blend of extra-virgin
and virgin olive oils. Fino means "fine"
Fiori Di Sambuco - Small star-shaped pasta
used in soups.
Fischietti - The smallest tube-shaped pasta.
Fish - Any one of a thousand species of
aquatic vertebrates with fins for swimming and
gills for breathing, found in saltwater and freshwater
Fish Sauce - A strong, salty sauce made
from fresh anchovies. Used primarily in Thai cooking.
Five Spice Powder - A ground Chinese seasoning
that contains equal amounts of cinnamon, cloves,
ground star anise, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorns.
Flageolets - A French kidney-shaped bean,
generally available in the United States dried
or canned; often used as an accompaniment to lamb.
Flake - To gently break up into small pieces,
usually with a fork or your fingers.
Flambé - Dramatic presentation of
food by sprinkling with alcohol (or other flamable
substance) and igniting into flames.
Flan - 1. A round pastry tart that can
have a sweet or savory filling. 2. A Spanish custard
coated with caramel.
Flank Steak - A long, thin, fibrous cut of
beef from an animal's lower hindquarters, usually
tenderized by marinating.
Flauta - Corn tortilla wrapped around a
meat or poultry filling and fried. Usually served
with guacamole and sour cream.
Flavor - To add seasoning or other ingredients
to a food or beverage to enhance taste.
- 1. A cookie that contain butter, cream and often
coated with chocolate. 2. Also refers to dishes
containing spinach and usually a cream sauce.
Florets - The small, closely bunched flowers
that make up the whole head or broccoli or cauliflower.
Flounder - A large family of flatfish,
flounder generally has lean, firm flesh and a
delicate flavor. Available whole or in fillets,
the fish can be baked, boiled, poached, steamed
or sautéed. Flounder is often marketed
as sole, which (with the exception of imported
European Dover sole) is actually a variety of
- 1. (used as a verb) To lightly sprinkle or coat
with flour. 2. A powdery substance made by milling
wheat, corn, rye or other grains that are available
in various degrees of fineness.
Flour Dredger - A kitchen device similar to
a large salt shaker with a handle for sifting
a coating, such as flour, cocoa powder or confectioners'
sugar, onto foods.
Flute - 1. To press a scolloped pattern into
the raised edge of a pie crust. 2. To groove or
slit markings in vegetables (like cucumbers) and
fruits for decoration. 3. A tall, thin, stemmed
champagne glass. 5. A long, thin loaf of bread.
Focaccia - An Italian flatbread made with
pizza or bread dough. Herbs, cheese and other
toppings may be added or it can be served plain.
Foie Gras - The term means goose liver,
but is used to describe the fattened liver of
both duck and geese.
Foil, Aluminum Foil - A thin pliable sheet
of aluminum; easily molded, conducts heat well,
can withstand temperature extremes and is impervious
to odors, moisture and air; used to cover foods
for cooking and storage.
- To gently mix two or more ingredients together
by softly lifting up and over from the sides to
- A very sweet and thick sugar paste used in candy
making and glazing baked goods.
Fondue - A dipping sauce such as cheese
or chocolate which is usually served warm along
with the items to be dipped such as bread, meat,
Fontina Cheese - A high-fat (about 45 percent)
Italian cheese made from cow's milk, with a mild,
slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture. Fontina
has a dark golden-brown rind and a pale-yellow
interior that's dotted with tiny holes.
Forcemeat - Ground up meat(s) combined
with seasonings and other ingredients, used for
Formaggio - Italian word for cheese.
Frappe - (from the French frappe) A simple
sugar syrup mixed with fruit or other flavorings
and frozen, then processed to a slightly slushy
consistency. It can be served as a drink or a
dessert. In some parts of the United States, a
milk shake is sometimes referred to as a frappe.
Freeze - To preserved food by placing it
in temperatures below 32ºF (0ºC) so
that the moisture solidifies.
Freezer Burn - A loss of moisture in foods
when wrapped inappropriately before freezing.
Texture and flavor of food is compromised and
is confirmed by dry white or gray patches on the
surface of the food.
Freezer paper - A plastic-coated Kraft paper
used for wrapping foods for freezing and for general
household purposes. The plastic coating provides
a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality,
flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing;
the paper provides strength and durability as
well as an easy-to-write-on surface.
Fry - To deep-fry food, such as strips of
Fresh - 1. A food that has been recently
cooked or baked, such as a fresh bread. 3. A food
left in a state as grown or harvested; not canned,
dried or processed and containing no preservatives.
Fresh Frozen - Food that was frozen when
it was fresh.
Fresh Masa - A dough used in the making
of tamales that consists of ground, dried corn
that has been soaked in limewater.
Fresine - Straight, narrow noodles similar
in length to short spaghetti.
Fricassée - A stew that contains
diced meat, lightly cooked in butter, and then
simmered in liquid until tender.
Frisée - A member of the chicory
family with delicately slender, curly leaves that
are feathery in appearance and mildly bitter in
Frijoles - Beans, most commonly referring
to the pinto bean.
Frijoles Refritos - Refried beans. Most
commonly cooked pinto beans that are mashed, sauteed
in oil or fat, and mixed with cheese cheddar.
Frittata - An Italian omelet that has additional
ingredients mixed in with the eggs rather than
being folded inside like a French omelet. It is
sometimes baked or cooked in a skillet over very
slow heat then flipped or the top browned under
Fritter - Foods coated or dipped in batter,
Fritto Misto - An Italian platter filled
with a variety of mixed fried foods.
Frizzle - To fry thin slices of meat or
other food until the edges curl
Fromage - French for cheese.
Fromage Blanc - A simple French white cheese.
This soft, fresh cream cheese has the consistency
of sour cream. Fromage blanc is usually eaten
with fruit and sugar as dessert, but it can also
be used in cooking.
Frost - To apply sugar, frosting, glaze,
or icing to fruit, cake, or other food.
Frosting - A cooked or uncooked sugar mixture
used to cover and decorate cakes, cookies and
Fruit Pectin - A substance found naturally
in some fruits such as apples that possess the
ability to gel liquids. It is an essential ingredient
in making jelly and jam. Pectin can be purchased
in powder and liquid form.
Fry - To cook food in hot cooking oil until
it turns a light crispy brown.
Fry Bread - Thin, unleaved fried bread
made from flour, water or milk, and salt. Fry
bread is traditionally from Southwest Native Americans.
Fryer - A chicken that weights 3 to 4 pounds
and is 9 to 12 weeks old.
Fudge - Candy (usually chocolate) made
with sugar, butter, milk or cream, corn syrup,
and flavorings that has a soft, creamy, smooth
Fuji Apple - A cross between the Red Delicious
and Virginia Rawls Jennet apples. Rosy in color
and striped with green and yellow, these incredibly
sweet apples are ideal for cooking and baking,
applesauce or eating out of hand.
Funnel - A conical tool with a short straight
tube at the tip used to transfer liquids into
a narrow-mouthed vessel. Funnels are available
in various materials and some have strainers in
the bottom to separate fine particles from the
Fusilier Col Buco - Long, thin spirals about
the same length as short spaghetti.
Fusilli - Literally means "Twisted
Spaghetti". Popularly known as cork-screw
pasta which is shaped like springs or screws.