Culinary Software Services - Home Page Food Lover's Glossary
of Culinary Terms

Copyright© 1998-2006 by Culinary Software Services, Inc.®

Sabayon - See the definition under zabaglione.
Sable - A rich short cookies similar to shortbread.
Saffron - A spice consisting of the dried stigma of the Crocus sativus plant, originating in the eastern Mediterranean, now grown as well in Spain, France, and South America. It has a characteristic pungent aroma and flavor and bright yellow color. It is also very expensive and used sparingly. Saffron is indispensable in paella and bouillabaisse. A good substitute for the yellow color is tumeric, though nothing can replace its unique flavor.
Salt Cod - Cod that has been salted and dried to preserve it for long periods of time. Salt cod is evident in cuisines of the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. To reconstitute the fish, you must soak it in many changes of fresh water to remove the excess salt. You may then poach the fish until it is just flaking off the bone, or use it raw for other preparations.
Saltimbocca - An Italian dish comprised of thin slices of veal, rolled around ham and cheese, seasoned with sage and braised until tender.
Saltpeter - The name for potassium nitrate, which is used primarily in the meat industry to help preserve cured meats. It gives a distinctive pink color to hams and bacon. There are recent reports from the USDA that nitrates, and nitrites are carcinogenic.
Sambuca - An anise-flavored, not-to-sweet Italian liqueur which is usually served with 2 or 3 dark-roasted coffee beans floating on top.
Samosa - An Indian snack of deep fried dumplings stuffed with curried vegetables. Most common of the fillings is potatoes or cauliflower with peas.
Sangria - Spanish drink made from sweet red wine, pieces of fresh fruit (usually orange and lemon), spices (cinnamon,cloves)
Sashimi - A Japanese dish of raw fish, shellfish, and mollusks served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled vegetables. Sushi is similar but it is served with vinegared rice, and may also include nori seaweed, vegetables, and strips of cooked eggs similar to omelets. A common accompaniment to this is pickled ginger.
Satay - Also spelled sat‚ and sateh. These are pieces of meat or fish threaded onto skewers and grilled over a flame. Several variations of these are seen throughout Southeast Asia. A spicy peanut sauce is served with meat satay in Vietnam and Thailand.
Savarin - A ring-shaped cake made of a rich yeast dough, soaked with a rum syrup, and filled with pastry or whipped cream.
Scampi - Another word for langoustine. This word is used in the US as a description of shrimp broiled with butter, lemon, and garlic.
Scone - A small, lightly sweetened pastry similar to American biscuits, often flavored with currants.
Sea Urchin - A round spiny creature found off the coasts of Europe and America. The only edible portion is the coral, usually eaten raw with fresh lemon juice.
Semifreddo - Meaning "half cold", this is gelato with whipped cream folded into it.
Semolina - A coarse flour made from durum wheat, used in making pasta and bread.
Seviche - A Spanish dish of raw fish, scallops, or shrimp marinated in citrus juices until the flesh becomes "cooked". Onions, peppers, and chiles are then added to finish the dish.
Shortbread - A butter-rich cookie from Scotland, often seasoned with lemon, cinnamon, ginger, almonds, and cumin.
Shoyu - Japanese for Soy Sauce.
Skate Wings - This is the edible portion of the skate. The flesh, when cooked, separates into little fingers of meat and has a distinctive rich, gelatinous texture. The taste is similar to that of scallops.
Smorgasbord - A Swedish buffet of many dishes served as hors d oeuvres or a full meal. Similar buffets are served throughout Scandinavia, as well as the Soviet Union. Common elements of a smorgasbord are pickled herring, marinated vegetables, smoked and cured salmon and sturgeon, and a selection of canapés.
Soba Noodle - Buckwheat noodles resembling spaghetti, used in Japanese cooking.
Sorrel - Low perennial herb with acid leaves. It is used to flavor sauces.
Soy Sauce - A condiment from Southeast Asia and Japan made from fermented soy beans. There are different varieties of soy sauce available. Darker, stronger sauces are used for cooking while lighter ones are used as sauces and seasonings. Japanese soy sauce is called shoyu.
Spatzle - This is a coarse noodle from Alsace and Germany made of flour, eggs, oil, and water. The soft dough is dropped into boiling water(with a spatzle press) and poached until cooked through. The noodle is then fried in butter or oil and served as a side dish to meat dishes. Spatzle may also be flavored with cheese, mushrooms, and herbs.
Speck - Cured and smoked pork flank.
Spiedini - An Italian word for skewers of meat or fish grilled over a flame or under a broiler.
Spring Roll - Thin sheets of dough which are filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables and rolled into logs. Spring rolls are most often deep fried, though they may also be steamed. Chinese versions use wheat doughs, while the Vietnamese and Thai versions use a rice paper wrapper.
Stock - A flavored broth from meats, fish, shellfish, and vegetables. These are the basis of sauce and soup making.
Strudel - Paper thin pastry rolled around sweet fillings of fruit, nuts, or cheese. Savory versions of this are similar to the Russian coulibiac.
Sugar Syrup - Differentiating from natural syrups, this term refers to a solution of sugar and water. Simple syrups are made with equal quantities of water and sugar. Heavy syrup is made with twice as much sugar as water. These types of syrups are used in making sorbets, soft drinks, and for soaking cakes.
Sweetbread - The culinary term for the thymus gland of an animal. Those of veal and lamb are most commonly eaten. The pancreas is also considered a sweetbread, but its taste and texture is inferior to that of the thymus gland.
Syllabub - An English dessert comprised mainly of whipped cream sweetened with sugar and flavored with sherry, brandy, or cointreau. Lemon zest, fruit preserves or puree may also be swirled into the cream.



























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