- A crisp, sweet meringue shell used as a serving
vessel for fruit and ice cream.
Vanilla - An aromatic spice with a warm
flavor, vanilla is the seed pod of an orchid.
It's available dried or as an extract.
Vanilla Extract - A vanilla-flavored product
made by macerating chopped vanilla beans in a
water-alcohol solution to extract the flavor;
its strength is measured in folds.
Vanilla Sugar - A flavored sugar made
by burying vanilla beans in granulated or confectioners'
sugar. Vanilla sugar can be used as an ingredient
or decoration for baked goods, fruit, and desserts.
Variety Meats - Also known as "offal,"
variety meats are usually organ meats, such as
brains, heart, kidneys, liver, etc.
Veal - Meat from calves slaughtered when
younger than 9 months (usually at 8-16 weeks);
has a lean, light pink flesh, delicate flavor
and tender, firm texture.
Vegetable Oil - A general term describing
blends of different vegetable oils such as corn,
safflower, rapeseed, cottonseed and/or soybean
oils; these blends are generally intended to have
little flavor and aroma and to be used as all-purpose
Vegetable Shortening - Vegetable oil that
has been chemically altered (hydrogenated) into
a solid state. This process converts the mixture
into a saturated fat, eliminating any benefits
of a polyunsaturated fat.
Vegetarian - A person who does not consume
animal flesh or, in some cases, any animal byproducts.
Vegans do not eat any animal-derivative foods
including butter, cheese, eggs and milk. Ovo-lacto
vegetarians allow such animal-related foods, but
do not eat meat. Some vegetarians will eat fish
and/or poultry, but no red meat.
Velouté - (French) A sauce made
with veal stock, cream, and tightened with a white
Venison - Meat from any member of the deer
family that broadly includes elk, moose, reindeer,
caribou and antelope; typically leaner and less
tender than meat from domesticated animals.
Vent - To allow the circulation or escape
of a liquid or gas.
Vermicelli - Italian for little worms;
used to describe very thin spaghetti; available
in straight rods or twisted into a cluster.
Vichyssoise - A cold potato and leek soup
thickened with cream and garnished with chives.
The term is now applied to many other tuber-based
Vidalia Onion - A Georgia-grown onion hybrid
known for its sweet, distinctively mild flavor;
has an international reputation as the "world's
Vinaigrette - An oil and vinegar sauce
usually used on salad greens or other vegetables.
Vinaigrette may contain other seasonings, shallots,
onions, mustard, etc.
Vinegar - From the French "vin aigre"
(sour wine); a weak solution of acetic acid derived
from a fermented liquid (such as cider, wine or
beer) subjected to bacterial activity.
Vintage - A wine term which describes
the year the grapes were harvested, but used only
if the wine was made only from grapes grown that
year. Wines made from grapes harvested in various
years is called "non-vintage."
Virgin Olive Oil - A first-press oil, with
an acidity level between 1 percent and 3 percent,
just slightly higher than extra-virgin olive oil.
Volume - The measurement typically used
to measure liquids; volume measurements are commonly
expressed as liters, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups,
pints, gallons, fluid ounces and bushels.