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Culinary Dictionary
Cooking Glossary - Food Industry Terminology

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Vaca: [Spanish] beef.

Vacherin: A crisp, sweet meringue shell used as a serving vessel for fruit and ice cream. A dessert of ice cream and raspberry sherbet. A chestnut dessert.

Vacuum packaging (food industry term): A packaging process in which air is removed from a package as it is sealed.

Vainas de maiz seca: [Spanish] dried corn husks.

Vainilla: [Spanish] vanilla; it was cultivated by the Aztecs and is native to the New World; the intensely fragrant bean from a variety of orchid native to Mexico; used to flavor desserts, ice cream and beverages; do not purchase the inexpensive imitations which are made from the tonka bean because it may be a carcinogen.

Valencienne: A sauce for rice containing tomatoes, mushrooms, meat strips, and grated cheese.

Value added network (van) (food industry term): A company that acts as a clearinghouse for electronic transactions between trading partners.

Value-added reseller (var) (food industry term): A reseller of computer equipment whose services frequently include software integration

Vampiro: [Spanish] drink made with Sangrita and tequila.

Van (food industry term): Value added network.

Vaniglia: [Italian] vanilla.

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.

Vanilla sugar: Granulated sugar flavored with vanilla by enclosing it with a vanilla pod in an airtight jar.

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: A plant native to Mexico now common in areas throughout the West Indies and Indian Ocean. The pod is used to make extracts which we use in cooking. The whole pod may also be purchased and used as a fragrance or split and scraped to allow the tiny seeds to flavor the dish. The split pods are often placed in granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar. Also comes in a liquid extract form, which is made by processing vanilla beans in an alcohol-water solution. Make sure the extract you buy contains vanilla and alcohol only, and not vanillin, for best flavor. Vanillin, is an artificial ingredient made from wood.

Var (food industry term): Value-added reseller.

Variable cost (food industry term): Cost, Variable.

Variable expense (food industry term): An expense that is proportional to the amount of merchandise sold. Includes equipment and supplies used to price merchandise, as well as any special packages that customers need to take merchandise home.

Variety (food industry term): The practice of carrying a complete line of a brand and several different brands, so that customers will have the widest possible choice.

Variety checklist (food industry term): A list used by supervisors to ensure the store is carrying a complete variety of products.

Variety Meats: Also known as "offal," variety meats are usually organ meats, such as brains, heart, kidneys, liver, etc.

Variety/general merchandise stores (food industry term): Stores that carry a diverse line of variety goods, usually at the low end of the price scale.

Vdu (food industry term): Video display unit.

Veal: Calves that are slaughtered from 1:

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.

Veal: meat from a calf no older than eight weeks.

Veau: [French] veal.

Vegetable marrow: A tender egg-shaped gourd, usually served stuffed.

Vegetable oil: See oil.

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 oils.

Vegetable shortening: Vegetable oil (soybean or cottonseed) that is hydrogenated so it will be a solid fat. It is 100 percent fat with no water, milk fat, or other solids added. It is nearly flavorless and is used for imparting flakiness and tenderness.

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.

Vehicle scheduling (food industry term): A transportation routing plan designed to maximize fleet utilization.

Velocity (food industry term): The sales movement of a product measured against the category.

Veloute: (French) A sauce made with veal stock, cream, and tightened with a white roux.

Veloute: [French] an extremely smooth creamy sauce of various stock bases thickened with a roux. This is used as a base for other more complex sauces, though it may be used alone.

Velveting: [Asian] A Chinese cooking technique used in stir-frying. The chicken breast is coated in a mixture of egg white and cornstarch (rice wine or dry sherry and salt are frequently added), marinated for up to 30 minutes, and then cooked very briefly in hot oil until the color turns to white. After velveting, the chicken is added to the stir-fry, to finish cooking with the other ingredients.

Venado: [Spanish] venison; antelope or deer meat; a lean meat, it needs moist heat to keep it tender.

Vendor (food industry term): A person or company that sells or delivers goods or services. See supplier.

Vendor coupon (food industry term): A coupon initiated and refunded by a supplier or vendor.

Vendor managed quick/continuous replenishment (vmqr) (food industry term): See continuous replenishment.

Vendor-managed inventory (vmi) (food industry term): A manufacturer's management of the inventories inside a retailer's store, including sales forecasting, promotional adjustment/ allowances, ordering and delivery.

Venison: This term covers the meat from antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose, and reindeer. Venison is probably the most popular large game meat eaten today.

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.

Venison: The flesh of the deer.

Vent: To allow the circulation or escape of a liquid or gas.

Verde: [Spanish] green.

Verdolagas: [Spanish] purslane (greens).

Verdura: [Italian] vegetables.

Verduras: [Spanish] vegetables.

Vermicelli: Italian for little worms; used to describe very thin spaghetti; available in straight rods or twisted into a cluster.

Vermicelli: [Italian] a very fine round noodle which means "small worms". These are thinner than spaghetti and thicker than capellini.

Veronique: [French] containing or garnished with green grapes.

Version a upc (food industry term): A U.S standard bar code system (11 digits) that identifies products.

Version e upc (food industry term): A standardized bar code containing only seven digits, the zero is suppressed.

Vertical arrangement (food industry term): The merchandising practice of displaying a brand of products directly above and below each other, e.g., canned vegetables or soups. Also called a ribbon arrangement. See horizontal arrangement.

Vertical case (food industry term): An upright refrigerated display case with doors for selling frozen products.

Vertical display (food industry term): See ribbon.

Vertical selling (food industry term): A wholesaler marketing policy of soliciting only one segment of the trade, e.g., restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, institutional buyers. See horizontal selling.

Very small aperture terminal (vsat) (food industry term): Networks designed for satellite communication.

Vexar (food industry term): A red screenlike, plastic sheet placed on top of a rack in refrigerated cases, which allows cold air to flow through to products on top of the vexar sheet. Vexar also aids in housekeeping.

Vichyssoise: A cold potato and leek soup thickened with cream and garnished with chives. The term is now applied to many other tuber-based soups.

Vichyssoise: [French] thick cold smooth soup of potatoes and leeks. Other versions now use zucchini, apples, and carrots.

Vics (food industry term): Voluntary inter-industry communication standard.

Victual: Food or other provisions.

Vidalia Onion: A Georgia-grown onion hybrid known for its sweet, distinctively mild flavor; has an international reputation as the "world's sweetest onion."

Video conferencing (food industry term): Communication between two or more parties that involves both a video and an audio link.

Video display unit (vdu) (food industry term): A computer terminal.

Vienna sausage: A small frankfurter, often served as an hors d'oeuvre.

Vigo Coloring: Common substitute for the yellow color of saffron. Can be found in small envelopes in any Latin American, Mexican, or Cuban market.

Vinagre: [Spanish] vinegar.

Vinagreta: [Spanish] vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette: An oil and vinegar sauce usually used on salad greens or other vegetables. Vinaigrette may contain other seasonings, shallots, onions, mustard, etc.

Vinaigrette: [French] a sauce commonly used to dress salads, comprised of oil and acid, such s vinegar or citrus juice. Emulsified vinaigrettes use egg and/or mustard to stabilize the dressing. Other combinations using acids other than vinegar, such as wine or citrus juice, are also called vinaigrettes.

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.

Vinegar: A clear liquid, consisting of chiefly acetic acid, obtained by the fermentation of wine, cider or malt beer.

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.

Vital Gluten: See "Gluten."

Vitello Tonnato: Thinly sliced roast or braised veal, served cold with a creamy, piquant tuna sauce. This combination may sound a bit unusual, but is surprisingly delicious.

Vitello: [Italian] veal.

Void (food industry term): The process of removing an item after an order is rung on a register.

Vol-au-Vent: [French] a large round pastry case which is filled with a sauced mixture of meat, seafood, or vegetables then topped with a pastry lid. A small puff paste shell with various fillings.

Volume (food industry term): The amount of product sales by brand, category, department or store.

Volume: The measurement typically used to measure liquids; volume measurements are commonly expressed as liters, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, pints, gallons, fluid ounces and bushels.

Voluntary group (food industry term): A group of individually owned retail stores that buy from the same wholesaler and achieve economies of scale, e.g., store name, private label brand, advertising, merchandising.

Voluntary inter-industry communication standard (vics) (food industry term): The electronic data interchange (EDI) standards for marking products and shipping containers in the mass merchandising, apparel and department store industries. VICS EDI is maintained by the UCC.

Voluntary store (food industry term): An independent retailer operating a store and achieving economies of scale, i.e., advertising, buying and merchandising patterns.

Voluntary wholesaler (food industry term): A wholesaler serving single or multi-unit retailers, often under a common program name, providing buying and retailing services.

Vorspeisen: [German] appetizers.

Vsat (food industry term): Very Small Aperture Terminal.


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