Culinary lexicon - Your kitchen dictionary


Welcome to the delightfully wacky world of the culinary lexicon!

Attachez vos tabliers et préparez-vous à savourer des définitions gastronomiques aussi riches en saveurs que le plat le plus exquis. Dans ce voyage lexical, nous vous invitons à explorer l’univers fascinant et parfois mystérieux de la cuisine à travers les mots qui éveillent les sens et titillent les papilles gustatives.

Ce dictionnaire culinaire est bien plus qu’un simple recueil de termes et de définitions. Il est un festin pour l’esprit, un buffet varié de connaissances qui vous emmènera des marchés animés de Marrakech aux ruelles étroites de Tokyo, en passant par les cuisines familiales où les secrets sont transmis de génération en génération. Chaque mot que vous découvrirez ici est comme un ingrédient unique, apportant sa propre couleur, son arôme et sa texture à l’ensemble de ce festin linguistique.

Dans ces pages, vous trouverez non seulement des définitions précises et claires, mais aussi des récits savoureux sur l’histoire des plats emblématiques, des techniques de cuisine innovantes et des coutumes culinaires fascinantes. Apprenez l’art subtil de marier les épices, découvrez les secrets de la pâtisserie française, et plongez dans l’exploration des vins du monde entier. Que vous soyez un chef étoilé en quête d’inspiration ou un amateur de cuisine curieux, ce dictionnaire est votre guide inestimable dans l’univers infini des délices culinaires.

Alors, que vous soyez passionné par la cuisine ou simplement affamé de nouvelles connaissances, préparez-vous à déguster chaque mot, à savourer chaque définition et à vous perdre dans ce monde délicieusement farfelu du lexique culinaire. 

Lower Piece of dough (shortcrust, shortbread, etc.) thinned with a rolling pin
Lower Action d’étaler une pâte à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie ou d’un laminoir
Offal Edible parts of slaughtered animals: heart, brain, liver, head, foot, kidney, tenderloins. Duck and goose livers are not included in the "offal" category.
Slaughterhouses Fins, necks, hearts, livers, gizzards, legs, of poultry or game birds
Shelter Spread a topping (thick syrup, coulis...) with a brush on the fruits of a pie for example to make it shiny
Aiguillette Thin slices of chicken fillet
Cranberries Small red fruits, very sour and acidic, which often accompany game
At the tablecloth A very slow cooking method for an egg-based preparation, usually in a bain-marie
English style English cooking: cooking vegetables in boiling salted water
English style Fish breaded in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs
Alcoholize Adding alcohol to a preparation
Missed Round cake mold with high edges
English Mixture of beaten eggs, salt and pepper, possibly a little water, a dash of oil, used to bread food
Device Mixing of the different ingredients constituting the base of a recipe
Shave Cut the roots, leaves or fans of the vegetables flush
Aromas Spices and aromatic plants that flavour the dishes
Flavouring    Introduce spices and aromatic plants in a preparation to perfume it
Watering Pouring juice, sauce or fat on a roast, poultry or dish during cooking
Dry Said of cooking without adding fat at the start. Bacon or sugar to make a caramel for example
Aspic Cold savoury or sweet preparation in which gelatine has been added to gel the whole
Attiéké Couscous of manioc very appreciated in all Africa and in Europe
To the ribbon A whipped preparation that is "ribboned" when it flows like a ribbon
Sweethearts Spinal cord of meat animals cooked in a broth (beef, veal, mutton) and then fried with garlic and parsley (amourettes is always written in the plural)
Water bath The delicate cooking of a food in a pan placed in another larger pan filled with boiling water and set over low heat. The bain-marie is used to melt chocolate, to make egg-based sauces (hollandaise, sabayon) or to keep warm a sauce that is afraid of being heated up.
Barder Wrap a thin slice of bacon around a meat, a poultry, a roast...
Beat Work energetically with a whisk on a preparation (or device)
Beatilles Ragoût d’abats et d’abattis avec champignons, lié avec une sauce et utilisé pour la garniture des bouchées à la Reine ou de tourtes. Béatilles s’écrit  toujours au pluriel
Clarified butter Melted butter then decanted. (See clarifier°)
Maître d'Hôtel Butter Soft butter mixed with chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can make a sausage out of it, wrap it, put it in the freezer and take slices according to your needs
Handled butter Creamed butter, mixed with flour in equal quantities. Used for the bindings of sauces
Hazelnut butter It is a butter put to cook in a pan. As soon as it boils, the butter takes on a nutty color. To use immediately
Ointment butter It is a butter put at room temperature, it becomes soft and can be worked in pomade
White Technique de cuisson (préparation): Mélange de farine et d’eau froide ajouté ensuite à de l’eau bouillante citronnée et chinoiser, c’est à dire passer la préparation au chinois.
Used to cook artichoke bottoms, certain vegetables and offal to preserve their white appearance and avoid oxidation
White° see c Cuisson à blanc. Se dit d’une pâte à tarte, salée ou sucrée que l’on cuit avant ajout de l’appareil
Whiten Plunge vegetables into boiling salted water for a few minutes in order to cook or freeze them later
Whiten Whisk eggs with sugar until white and fluffy
Whiten   Work softened butter with sugar until mixture turns white
Blonde Lightly fry a food until it becomes light in color (onion, shallot, flour, vegetable...)
Bouquet garni Thyme, laurel, celery, green leek and all aromatic plants according to taste, tied up to flavour a dish
Braise Slow cooking of a vegetable in fat, covered and without adding water
Wishbone Y-shaped median bone of the sternum of poultry and birds
Brider Tie up a bird before cooking. Close a stuffed bird with a needle and a kitchen thread
Brunoise Vegetables cut into small cubes of 1 to 2 mm
Buisson How to arrange the shrimp in a pyramid shape
Canneler Make incisions around lemons and other citrus fruits for decoration with a piping tool
Channeler Tool for removing citrus peel (zester)
Caramelize Coat a sweet or salty ingredient with caramel
Caramelize Coat the inside of a mold with a layer of caramel
Caramelize Brown a vegetable or meat in fat and add a little sugar at the end of cooking to caramelize (onions, endives, meat...)
Carcass Skeleton of an animal. Poultry carcasses are used to make "poultry stock" or "poultry broth".
Breadcrumbs Dried bread then mixed. Used to make breadcrumbs
Casting Eliminate the central gut of shrimps, scampi ... (black filament located on the back of shellfish, which is removed by an incision and avoids a certain bitterness).
Casting To castrate the crayfish: The tail of the crayfish is made up of 3 "scales" It is enough to take between the fingers that of the medium, to turn towards the right while drawing in order to remove the gut which is likely to bring bitterness during cooking. This must be done before cooking and therefore when the crayfish are still alive...
Heating Coat a piece of meat or fish with a hot and cold sauce
Lining Mettre une couche de beurre, de farine ou un papier sulfurisé ou un film alimentaire sur le fond et les parois intérieures d’un moule. Mais aussi des bardes de lard ou une crépine pour confectionner une terrine ou encore des biscuits à la cuillère pour réaliser une charlotte…
Chiffonade Vegetables or salads cut into thin strips
Chinese Very fine strainer
Chinoiser Filtering a liquid by passing it through a chinois
Ciseler How to cut onion, small pieces
Lime Rub the surface of some fruits and vegetables with lemon to prevent oxidation. Bananas, apples, avocados, artichoke hearts...
Civet Stew made with the blood of the animal. Originally civet (chives) was added, hence the name
Clarify Action of making a broth clear by removing the deposit of fat and/or impurities from the surface. To proceed when the broth is cold.
Clarify A process that separates butter from its whey. To do this, heat the butter over low heat or in the microwave, let it rest, and the whey will settle at the bottom of the container, then simply recover the butter on the surface. The clarified butter does not burn during cooking and allows you to make "delicate" sauces such as hollandaise for example.
Clarify Action of separating the yolk from the white of an egg
Cloûter Prick an onion with cloves. It is best to leave the skin on the onion, which will add a lot of color to the dish.
Compote Cook vegetables or fruits for a long time on a low heat in order to transform them into compote
Crush The term most often used for tomatoes. It is necessary to remove the seeds and peel the tomato and cut it into small cubes.
Confire Cook for a long time and keep food in its own fat (pork, goose, duck)
Confire Preserve various fruit or vegetable preparations in oil, alcohol, vinegar, sugar
Confire Cook whole fruits for a long time over low heat in a syrup in order to preserve them
Contiser Gently cut the skin of a poultry or fish to slide in slices of truffle
Coral Red-orange part of the stomach of crustaceans and scallops
Cord Sauce arranged around a dish
Horn Small flexible plastic rectangle used to scrape the bottom of containers when transferring to another dish
Corser Increase the flavor of a dish by adding spices or reducing the cooking juice
Grout Thick sauce made by mixing cooked or raw fruits or vegetables
Coverage Chocolate of cover:
Chiboust cream In homage to the name of the pastry chef who created the St Honoré, a light pastry cream made with egg whites
Crème fleurette Liquid cream with 35% of fat. It is ideal for making whipped cream
Strainer Fatty membrane surrounding the viscera of the pig, in the shape of a net. It is used in cooking to maintain a preparation (pâté, crépinette, paupiettes) and to bring softness to the cooking
Crunch with salt A way of eating raw vegetables that are dipped in salt (radishes, tomatoes) and often accompanied by buttered bread
Blank cooking°. Baking a pie crust without filling. We add a piece of parchment paper and/or dry white beans on the bottom of the pie to prevent the pastry from swelling during cooking.
Houndstooth Container most often made of stainless steel, in the shape of a salad bowl with a round bottom. It is used for all preparations in cooking and pastry making.
Darne Thick slice cut transversely in a big fish (hake, salmon, tuna)
Debride After cooking, remove the strings that hold a bird together
Decanting Remove meat pieces from a sauce and set aside in another container
Decanting To decant a clarified butter is to remove the whey (see clarifying°)
Decanting Decanting a wine:
Deconstruct   Removing shells from crustaceans
Decoat Add cold water to a cooking sugar or jam to lower the degree of cooking
Deglaze Add a liquid (wine, water, poultry or veal stock...) to the caramelized juices at the bottom of a container.
Disgorge Salting a raw vegetable to make it give back its vegetation water (example: cucumber)
Disgorge The action of soaking a meat in salted or vinegar water to remove impurities (e.g. beef tongue and certain offal or shellfish)
Degrease Removing excess fat from a piece of meat
Degrease To eliminate with a spoon the grease which was formed on the surface of a broth, a sauce...
Degrease Remove the fat from the bottom of a pan or casserole dish that has been used to brown a food or meat before continuing cooking
Deny Removing the nervous parts of a fresh meat or foie gras
Stoning Remove the pit (cherries, plums, olives...)
Skinning Separate, with a knife, the different pieces of a large piece of butchery
Stripping To tear off the skin of rabbits, hares, eels, soles...
Stripping Skimming/degreasing
Dice Cutting of fruits or vegetables in small squares
Drying Work a dough on the fire until the water evaporates (cabbage dough for example)
Relax Make a preparation more fluid by adding a liquid
Develop A dough containing yeast that is allowed to "grow" at room temperature. It will develop and increase in volume
Gilding Fry meat or vegetables until golden brown
Gilding Mixture of egg yolk and water, applied with a brush on a dough before cooking to bring a nice color to the preparation
Dresser Arrange a dish harmoniously on the serving plates
Duxelle Very thinly sliced button mushrooms, browned in butter with chopped shallots
Ebarber Remove fins from fish. Remove beards from mussels
Scaling Removing fish scales
Ecaler Removing the shells from hard-boiled eggs
Skimming Remove the scum from the surface of a syrup, jam, sauce or broth using a skimmer
Leaf removal Remove the cooked flesh from a fish or poultry between the fingers Remove the leaves from an aromatic plant
Tapering Cut the almonds and dried fruit into thin strips
Drain Remove water from food by pouring it through a colander, strainer or spinner (salad)
Egrener Detach the grains from a bunch, from an ear of corn
Chop Cut into slices of varying size (onion, shallot, etc.)
Pruning Remove the skin. Said of almonds, tomatoes...
Stuffing Transformation of starch when it comes into contact with a hot liquid
Piece cutter Metal or plastic shape used to cut pasta. It can be plain or fluted
Emulsify Mix a fat (butter, oil, sauce) with an egg yolk, mustard or an ingredient that will bind the preparation
Bake Place a ready-to-bake dish in an oven that has been heated to the right temperature
Enrobing Covering food evenly with a sauce or topping
Peel Removing the skin from a food
Equeuter Remove the tail from the fruit after washing and draining
Climbing Slicing a meat or a vegetable in a transversal way
Study Place leavened dough in a proofer for fermentation
Study Gently stew certain preparations
Evider Remove the central part of some fruits (apples, pears...)
Shaping Action to give a shape to a dough, a preparation. Example: to shape bread rolls
Pheasant Hanging a game animal in a cool place for several days until it takes on a very strong smell. Is done less and less
Stuffing Preparation made from chopped food (meat, vegetables), seasoned and sometimes bound with an egg, which is used to garnish the inside of a poultry, a roast or to make a pâté
Stuffing Filling the inside of a fruit, vegetable, meat or fish with a filling
Net Said of a few drops of lemon, vinegar or oil. Any liquid brought in small quantities
Net The most delicate part of an animal (fillet of sole, beef, poultry)
Thread Lever les filets d’un poisson à l’aide d’un couteau à lame flexible (couteau dont le nom est » filet de sole »)
Filming Cover a dish or food with cling film to protect it before placing it in the refrigerator
Flame Sprinkle a preparation with a heated alcohol and ignite it.
Flame Quickly pass under a flame a piece of poultry or game to remove the fluff
Fleurer Sprinkle flour on a work surface or pastry case to prevent sticking
Fleurons Small crescent-shaped motifs made of puff pastry to decorate dishes
Go for it Line a pie pan with a layer of dough
Fountain          Cooked with flour in order to add all the ingredients necessary for the recipe in the center
Search Strain a semi-liquid preparation. Press strongly with a pestle to extract the maximum of juices
Frémir Bring a liquid to a low boil
Frying Cooking technique that consists of immersing a food in an oil bath
Fumet Juice prepared with fish heads and bones, moistened with white wine and accompanied by diced carrots, garlic, onion and spices. The filtered juice (fumet) is used as a base for many sauces accompanying the fish
Ganache Preparation based on butter chocolate and/or cream
Gastric Said of a preparation based on sugar, white vinegar, cooked until a blond caramel is obtained. It is the base of sweet and sour sauces 
Jig Leg of big game
Meat ice cream unbound fund reduced to a minimum by evaporation
Glaze Covering a dessert with chocolate icing
Glaze Cuire des aliments avec de l’eau et du beurre. A blanc, sans coloration et à brun, avec coloration. A la fin de la cuisson, le liquide doit être complétement évaporé et le légume est enrobé et bien brillant. Cette cuisson s’adapte bien aux jeunes carottes, navets et petits oignons
Glaze Browning the surface of a baked meat by basting it with its cooking juice
Glaze Colorer à la salamandre (gril) la surface d’une sauce ou d’une crème
Dowel Tongues cut on the bias in sole fillets
Grease Brush butter or oil on a pan, plate or dish
Gratinate Sprinkle cheese or breadcrumbs over a preparation and place under the grill to brown the surface
Toast Exposing food (meat, poultry, fish, vegetables) directly under the oven grill
Toast Toasting bread in the toaster or under the broiler
Dress Trimming, scaling, gutting and washing a fish
Dress        Flaming, trimming, gutting, trimming of poultry or game birds
Chop Cut into small pieces with a knife or electric food processor
Historier Signifie décorer. En cuisine ce terme se rapporte souvent à la découpe du citron ou d’un agrume ou encore d’une tomate en « dents de loup »
Imbiber To wet to make penetrate a liquid (syrup, alcohol, liquor, milk?) in various preparations in order to bring softness and to perfume (example: to wet a sponge cake of rum)
Incise Make shallow incisions on the surface of a fish or on the fatty part of a duck breast to facilitate cooking
Incorporate   Adding an ingredient to a preparation (an appliance)
Infuse To put an aromatic substance in boiling water to perfume it
Jabot         A pocket formed by the swelling of the bird's esophagus in which food remains before passing into the stomach. Also called "gave".
Julienne Vegetables cut into strands.
Laminate Stretch a dough with a rolling machine to obtain the desired thickness
Rolling mill Apparatus for rolling out a dough
Larder Using a larder, push strips of bacon into a piece of meat
Bacon       Pieces of bacon cut into small sticks
Sourdough        A ball of bread dough containing fresh yeast that has been "developed" and then introduced to the bread dough to seed it and make a leavened bread or pie crust
Lift Gently remove fillets from poultry or fish with a knife
Link Operation intended to give consistency to a liquid by adding flour, cream, egg...
Link Action of thickening a sauce by adding cream, egg, cornstarch, roux...
Limoner Remove the bloody parts and skins of certain offal (brains, sweetbreads, lamb, etc.) under a stream of water
Smooth Spread the surface of a dessert or cream with a spatula
Smooth Whisk a sauce or cream vigorously to make it smooth
Shine Brush clarified butter, jelly or a topping on the surface of a dish to make it shiny
Luter Souder le couvercle d’une cocotte avec une bande de pâte « morte » (farine+ eau) dans le but de la rendre hermétique pour une cuisson sans évaporation. Ce procédé est surtout utilisé pour cuisiner le Baeckoeffe alsacien qui demande plusieurs heures de cuisson
Freeze-dried Dehydrated food at very low temperature, under air vacuum
Macerate Consists in soaking a food in a liquid (alcohol, oil, lemon juice, wine...) for a longer or shorter period of time in order to flavour or preserve it
Maïzena Corn flour used instead of wheat flour to thicken a sauce
Mandolin Kitchen utensil for slicing vegetables
Marinade Liquid with added herbs in which meat or fish will soak for a few hours
Mariner Dipping a food in a marinade in order to flavour it
Mark  To start cooking a food by browning it on all sides. Usually before placing it in the oven to finish cooking
Massé Said of a sugar syrup that has crystallized
Matelote Fish stew cooked in red wine
Mesclun Mix of several varieties of salads
Miniature Crushed pepper
Migaine Mixture of eggs and cream that is put on a quiche
Mirepoix Légumes taillés en dés de 1 à 2 cm
Monder The act of peeling a fruit or vegetable. Term used most often for tomatoes. Plunge them into boiling water, refresh them in cold water and peel them easily
Mount with butter Add small cubes of cold butter to a sauce 
Wet Adding a liquid to a preparation
Nacrer Action of making translucent the raw rice coated in oil or butter in the cooking of rice pilaf
Tablecloth        Fruit-based jelly (apricots, red fruits) used to give a brilliant finish to fruit tarts, babas
Tablecloth Covering a preparation with sauce or cream
Panad Basic dough used to make choux pastry. It is essentially composed of water, butter and flour
Paner Cover a food with breadcrumbs after having passed it in an "anglaise" (beaten egg, salted, peppered and possibly with water)
Breadcrumbs Crushed dry bread crumbs
Papillote       Wrap a preparation in aluminum foil or parchment paper for baking
Parer To remove the inedible or non-presentable parts of a food. To trim a poultry, a meat, a fish...
Ornaments Waste or parts detracting from the presentation
Paste Piece of bread dough not detailed
Peel it off Peel a citrus fruit by removing the peel and the whitish part to leave only the "raw" fruit
Persillade A mixture of oil, vinegar (salt and pepper) and finely chopped parsley, which is used in the composition of a vinaigrette
Persillade Finely chopped parsley
Persillée Meat that has fatty infiltrations that add a lot of softness to the cooking process
Piler Grind, reduce to powder with a pestle (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts...)
Pestle Wooden or porcelain handle which allows to crush, grind or reduce in pomade aromatic plants (basil...) in a mortar
Pestle Lower part of the thigh of poultry
Quilting Use a fork to poke many small holes in a piece of dough so that it does not puff up during baking
Pistols Covering chocolate chips.
Pluches Leaves at the end of the stems of certain aromatic plants (chervil, parsley...)
Pocher Cooking food in water or liquid below boiling temperature
Point A small amount of a condiment.
Push Action of making a dough swell and develop which contains yeast
Well Synonymous with fountain, this term is often used when a hole is dug in the center of a pile of flour to add ingredients, but also, by children, when they dig a hole in the center of mashed potatoes to add sauce...
Puncher To wet, to soak a cookie or a sponge cake with an alcoholic syrup
Grid  Use a knife to mark certain preparations to improve presentation
Grid Marking a meat on the bars of a grill to obtain a grid pattern
Saddle Part from the bottom of the ribs to the joints of the thighs of hares and rabbits
Refresh Cool a food under running water or in a container of ice water. Most often a green vegetable to preserve its color
Stiffen Sauté meat without browning to firm up the fibres
Reduce Concentrate the flavors of a sauce or juice by letting it cook uncovered for a long time
Check Enhance the flavor of a dish by adding spices
Go to Emulsify a sauce whose elements have dissociated, using a mixer for example
Book During a recipe, put aside a preparation or a food item for later use
Back to Sauté a food in a little fat
Frying Frying a food in a fatty substance by coloring it
Field dress Cooking potatoes in their skins. Start in cold salted water
Rondeau Round cooking vessel with low vertical walls and a lid
Roasting Cooking meat in an oven or on a spit
Rouelles Round slices cut into the onion
Rouelles Thick slices or large rounds
Reddish white Mixture of flour and butter in equal proportions and moistened with water or broth without coloring
Roux Mix flour and butter over low heat. As soon as it is colored, add water or broth
Russian Round saucepan with straight and high edges, with a tail and a lid
Sabayon Very light sweet or salty sauce made from egg yolk that is cooked in a bain-marie with the addition of a liquid (alcohol, broth)
Sandblasting Action of working with the fingertips flour and butter to make a shortbread dough
Bleeding            Killing an animal by draining its blood
Enter Fry meat over high heat
Salamander Professional appliance for grilling preparations
Salmis Roasted game stew cooked in red wine
Salpicon Vegetables, fruits, fish, meat cut into small cubes
Strapping Set an appliance in a blender or ice cream maker until it solidifies
Sangler Action of transforming a liquid, a cream, a syrup into ice
Jump Fry small pieces of meat, fish or vegetables in fat quickly
Saddle Piece from the bottom of the ribs to the thigh of some animals (deer, doe, lamb...)
Tighten Action of beating whites very vigorously to make them very firm
Whistles Leek slices cut on a bevel
Singer Sprinkle flour on cooking meat to bind the sauce
Top Flowering extremity of some plants (in cooking of aromatic plants)
Suer Fry a food in a fatty substance at low heat and without colouring
Supreme Fleshy part of the wing of a bird, commonly called "poultry breast".
Prune General term for cutting
Screening Pass an ingredient through a sieve to remove lumps (sauce, flour...)
So much for so much Expression often used in pastry making. Means that each ingredient must have the same weight
Upholstery Put a layer of butter, flour or parchment paper on the bottom and inside of a pan
Tempering Bring to room temperature a cooked preparation or a product coming out of the refrigerator (cheese, egg...)
Toast Slice of bread, toasted or not...
Roasting Place spices or dried fruits (pine nuts) in a hot dry pan to enhance their taste
Tourer Puff pastry folding technique
Turn Action de donner une forme à certains légumes pour améliorer la présentation (petit artichaut violet)
Work Vigorously mix a device
Dip Soak savarins or babas in syrup
Dip Rehydrate dried vegetables by placing them in a container with cold water 24 hours before use
Cutting Cut certain vegetables into large pieces of the same size (carrots, leeks, etc.)
Turbiner Set an ice cream maker in an ice cream maker or turbine
Turbine Apparatus for glazing a preparation
Venaison    Big piece of game (stag, doe, boar...)
Vergeoise Brown sugar
Verjus Green grape juice. Its acidity allows it to be used instead of vinegar
Green-cooked Degree of cooking of duck in blood
Zest Outer skin of a citrus fruit, without the white part and removed with a zester, a grater or a knife
Ziste            White membrane under the peel, with a very bitter taste