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Culinary Dictionary
Cooking Glossary - Food Industry Terminology

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Kaffee: [German] coffee.

Kaffeekuchen: [German] coffee cake.

Kaffir lime leaves: Dried leaves from the Kaffir lime tree. Pale green in color, resembling a bay leaf. Purchase in packages in Oriental markets.

Kaffir Lime: The Kaffir lime is widely grown throughout south-east Asia. The rind and leaves are used for flavouring Thai curries. The fruit is yellow when mature but harvested while still green.

Kahlua: A coffee-flavored liqueur form Mexico.

Kahlua: dark Mexican coffee liqueur.

Kaiser Roll: A large, round yeast roll with a crisp crust, used for making sandwiches or served as a breakfast roll.

Kalakukko: A Finnish dish of bread filled with fish.

Kalamata Olives, Calamata Olives: A dark purple, fruity Greek olive.

Kalamata olives: [Greek] also Calamata. Purplish-black Greek cured in vinegar.

Kale: Curly-leafed member of the cabbage family which grows in loose bunches. The strong-tasting leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and iron; frequently eaten boiled or used as garnish.

Kale: Flavorful, curly-leafed green, widely available. Collards and kale may be substituted for each other.

Kamoboko: A variety of Japanese fish paste cake.

Kampyo: Japanese gourd shavings that are a popular stuffing for sushi. Find in Japanese markets.

Kamut: Kamut was cultivated in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago, the name itself comes from the ancient Egyptian word for "wheat." Kamut does contain gluten, but most people who are allergic or sensitive to wheat can tolerate it. Its grains look something like thick, slightly flattened rice grains, and it has a nutty, almost buttery flavor.

Kamut flour can be substituted for wheat flour in most recipes. Combine cooked kamut with dried cranberries and feta cheese for a quick cold salad, or use it as a base for pilafs.

Karo: Commercial brand of syrup that is available in dark or light.

Kartofflen: [German] potatoes.

Kase: [German] cheese.

Kasha: Buckwheat grouts.

Kasha: Toasted, hulled and crushed buckwheat groats (seeds) with a mildly nutty taste. Common in Middle Eastern, Russian and Jewish dishes. Find in large Jewish markets.

Kasseri Cheese: Greek cheese made from sheep's or goat's milk, with a sharp, salty flavor. As it matures, it develops a hard texture that is perfect for grating. This white cheese is delicious plain, grated over hot foods or used in cooking, and is the cheese used in the Greek dish saganaki. An American version of kasseri is made with cow's milk.

Kataifi: A popular Middle Eastern pastry made with a special form of shredded phyllo dough which is also called kataifi. Most forms of kataifi are sweets, typically with nuts and honey which make them flavorful, crunchy, and very sweet. However, some cooks also use kataifi dough to make unique savory appetizers which may be made with ground meat or vegetables. Many Middle Eastern bakeries stock kataifi, and it is also possible to make pastries with kataifi at home, for cooks with steady hands and patience.

Katsuo: This small tuna (6 to 8 pounds) has a light:colored meat similar to yellowfin. "Katsuo" is the Japanese name for this fish. The Hawaiians call it "aku."

Kebab, Kabob, Kabab: Cubes of food (meat, poultry, seafood, fruit or vegetables) placed on a skewer then marinated before cooking. Vegetables and fruit can be alternated with the meat and then grilled.

Kebab, kebob: [Turkish] also spelled kabob, these are skewers of meat, fish, or vegetables grilled over a fire. All countries serve some version of this dish.

Kedgeree: An Indian dish containing rice, lentils and onions. An English variation adds smoked fish, hard-boiled eggs and a cream curry sauce. Also known as kegeree.

Kedgeree: A British variation of an Indian dish with rice, smoked fish, hard cooked eggs, and bechamel sauce flavored with curry. Finnan Haddie is most often used, but smoked sturgeon or salmon are excellent substitutes.

Kefir: A fermented milk drink similar to a lassi, flavored with salt or spices. Where available, kefir is made with camel milk. The word "kefir" is derived from the Turkish word keif, which loosely translates to; good-feeling, feeling of well-being or feeling-good. Kefir is a refreshing probiotic cultured-milk beverage, which is believed to originate in the Northern Caucasus Mountains many centuries ago. Kefir has a uniform thick creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma of fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slight naturally carbonated effervescent "zest". To round this all off, kefir may contain between 0.08 to 2 % alcohol. Many aromatic compounds contribute to kefir's unique flavor and distinctive pleasant aroma.

Kelp: Dried seaweed used for making dashi stock. Kombu, a dried rolled kelp, is used as a flavoring in Sushi Rice. Found in health food stores, Japanese or Korean markets.

Ketchup, Catsup: A thick and spicy tomato sauce used as a condiment or a cooking ingredient.

Ketchup: Also spelled "catsup." A term derived from Asian cookery, this sauce is known to be a sweet sauce made from tomatoes. Other forms of ketchup are made from walnuts, mushrooms, and grapes.

Kettle: A large metal pot, usually made of iron, with a looped handle and a lid.

Key account (food industry term): A wholesaler's or manufacturer's primary customer that provides the majority of sales volume.

Key Lime: Small, tart, yellowish limes from Florida.

Key limes: Small, yellow-green limes that are tarter in flavor than the more common Persian limes. They are most famous for their role in key lime pie, the tangy custard pie made with a meringue topping. Key limes are often hard to find.

Kick plate (base) (food industry term): A metal sheet, usually at the bottom of doors, for protection purposes.

Kiddie corral (food industry term): An area dedicated for children's play in a store.

Kidney Bean: A medium-sized, kidney-shaped bean with a dark red skin, cream-colored firm flesh and a bland flavor. Available fresh, dried and canned.

Kidney bean: This reddish-brown dried bean is up to an inch long and, naturally kidney shaped. Virtually all-purpose, the are good cooked alone or added into any variety of dishes.

Kidney: The kidneys are a pair of glandular organs in the abdominal cavities of mammals and reptiles. Calf's and lamb's kidneys are amongst the most delicate. Pig's kidneys are larger and coarser and make good pates.

Kielbasa, Kielbasi, Kielbasy, Polish Sausage: A seasoned and smoked sausage usually made from pork.

Kielbasa: A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot.

Killing the Onion: A Turkish technique for taming onions is described as "killing" the onion - soaking it in salted water to draw out some of its harshness.

Kim Chee Cucumber: A very spicy pickled cabbage mixture of Korean origin. Also known as Korean cabbage pickle.

Kimchi (kimchee): The fiery cabbage-based staple of Korea, heavily seasoned with garlic and chile.

King crab: A giant crab that can grow up to 10 feet, claw:to:claw. It has snowy white meat edged in red. Because their numbers are rapidly decreasing, the catch is rigidly quota:controlled.

King prawns: [Great Britain] Jumbo shrimp.

King salmon: Considered the finest Pacific salmon. This high:fat, soft textured fish can reach up to 120 pounds. Also called the "Chinook Salmon."

King, a la: Food served in a cream sauce, often on toast.

Kingfish: Any of several varieties of drum found along the Atlantic coast.

Kiosk (food industry term): An interactive, video terminal featuring recipes or product locations for customer service.

Kipper: Salted, smoked herring.

Kippered Herring: Smoked or dried herring.

Kippered snack: Herring that is split, cured by salting, drying, and cold:smoking. Also called "Kippered Herring" and "Kippers."

Kirsch: A clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits. Usually added to cherries jubilee or fondue sauces

Kirsch: A clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits. In cookery, it is most prominently known as a flavorful addition to fondue and Cherries Jubilee.

Kitchen Bouquet: A trade name for a bottled sauce used for flavor and color enhancement.

Kitchen Bouquet: Brand name for a bottled seasoning used to flavor and color gravy. It is also known as "baker's caramel (burnt sugar caramel)" or "blackjack." You can make your own by combining 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Gradually add 1 cup boiling water; continue cooking until it becomes syrupy (about 15 minutes).

Kitchen paper: Paper towel.

Kitchen Shears: Strong, sharp scissors with multiple uses including cutting fish, poultry, meat and produce. One blade may have a serrated edge. This tool can snip herbs and crack nuts too.

Kitchen String: Linen string used for trussing poultry and securing stuffed or rolled pieces of meat before cooking. Also known as butcher's twine.

Kitchen: The place in a home where cooking takes place.

Kites (food industry term): A price list that includes wholesale/retail costs and advances.

Kiwi: The kiwi fruit is originally from China, but is now widely grown in all moderate climates. Its stark green color makes it a popular garnish, but it is a pleasant tasting fruit on its own.

Kiwi; Kiwi Fruit; Kiwifruit: A small ovoid shaped fruit with a greenish-brown skin covered with fuzz, lime green flesh that becomes more yellow toward the center, many small, edible black seeds and a sweet-tart flavor.

Knackwurst: A smoked and cooked sausage made from beef and/or pork. It is shorter and larger in diameter than a frank and is strongly seasoned with garlic.

Knackwurst; Knockwurst: A plump German sausage made from beef and pork and seasoned with garlic; can be boiled, broiled or grilled and is traditionally served with sauerkraut. The name resulted from the cracking sound the casing makes when first bitten into: "knack" is the German word for crack.

Knead Working dough by hand or in a mixer to combine ingredients and develop proper consistency

Knead: To manipulate with a pressing motion accompanied by folding and stretching.

Knead: To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Knead: To work dough with the hands, folding over, pressing down and turning repeatedly.

Kneading: Working with dough with the heels of your hands by pressing and folding it and turning the dough a quarter turn after each press and fold.

Knives: Knives come in many shapes and sizes, but all have at least one thing in common. A knife, by definition, is a sharp-edged cutting instrument with a handle.

Knudel: [German] dumpling.

Kohlrabi: A hybrid of cabbage and turnips; the pale green or pale purple bulbous stem is mild and sweet when young. The bulb tastes like a mild, sweet turnip. Kohlrabi is available from midspring to midfall.

Kohlrabi: A bulbous member of the cabbage family that resembles a turnip in appearance and flavor, and can be treated as such.

Kolbassy: A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot. Also called "polish sausage" or "Kielbassa."

Kombu (Konbu): A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking.

Kombu: A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking.

Korean Pickling Salt: A coarse salt used in making Korean delicacies like Kimchee. Substitute kosher salt if necessary.

Kosher (food industry term): Items prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law under the guidance of a Rabbi.

Kosher salt: A coarse-flake salt used for koshering meats, for topping baked goods, or where a coarse salt is preferred. It is not iodized, but may contain an anti-caking agent.

Kosher Salt: urified, refined rock salt approved for use on kosher meats. It is also used for pickling because it contains no magnesium carbonate and will not cloud brine solutions. Also known as coarse salt or pickling salt.

Kosher salt: Coarse-grained salt that is easy to handle; keep a container near the stove and use it while you cook.

Kosher: Food prepared according to Jewish dietary laws. Kosher dietary laws identify three classifications of foods: meat, dairy and pareve. Pareve (parve) refers to a neutral food that can be used with either meat or dairy.

Kosher: Ritually fit for use in accordance with Orthodox Jewish law.

Krusten: [German] pastries.

Kuchen: [German] cake, usually yeast cake.

Kugelhopf: A Central European yeast cake filled with raisins (or currants), nuts and candied fruit and baked in a special fluted tube pan.

Kugelhopf: A yeast cake from Alsace baked in a large crown-like earthenware dish. It is similar to brioche, though less rich, and flavored with currants or golden raisins and almonds. This is mainly eaten for breakfast.

Kuminost Cheese; Kumminost: Danish semifirm cheese made from whole or skimmed cow's milk, having either a natural or waxed rind and a pale yellow to orange interior; flavored with cumin, caraway seed and clove. Kuminost is excellent in casseroles and for snacks and sandwiches. Also known as nokkelost.

Kumquat: A fruit which looks like a tiny orange. The rind is sweet and the flesh is tart. The fruit can be eaten rind and all. Usually found pickled, candied or in preserves or marmalade.

Kumquat: A very small citrus-like fruit (it actually isn't one although it looks and acts like one) with the unique quality of having a sweet skin and bitter flesh. These are used in pastry making, preserves and chutneys.

Kwik-indexes (food industry term): A list of the leading 200 supermarket operators and the top 50 convenience store companies, ranked by sales volume.


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