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Culinary Dictionary
Cooking Glossary - Food Industry Terminology

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Ean (food industry term): European article number.

Early bird allowance (food industry term): A manufacturer's incentive offered to retailers who order seasonal or promotional items before the season or event begins.

Earnings before interest and taxes (ebit) (food industry term): A performance indicator.

Eas (food industry term): Electronic article surveillance.

Eatin' irons: An old Western term for utensils; fork, spoon and knife.

Eau-de-vie: [French] "water of life," describes any colorless brandy distilled from fermented fruit juice. Kirsch (cherry) and framboise (raspberry) are two popular varieties.

Ebit (food industry term): Earnings before interest and taxes.

Ebt (food industry term): Electronic benefits transfer.

Eccles Cake: a round flat cake made of pastry filled with currants etc. This cake originated in the two of Eccles, Lancashire, England.

Eclair: [French] a small finger-shaped bun made of puff paste with a glace icing, filled with custard or whipped cream.

Economy store (food industry term): A no-frills food store that features a limited selection of low-priced merchandise. High-volume sales and lower operating costs offset a smaller profit margin.

Ecr (food industry term): Efficient consumer response.

Ecrivisses: [French] crayfish.

Edam Cheese: A famous Dutch cheese exported in balls covered with bright-red- or yellow-paraffin-coated rinds; a good all-purpose cheese with a mellow flavor. Edam is second only to Gouda as Holland's most exported cheese.

Edi (food industry term): Electronic data interchange.

Edlc (food industry term): Everyday low cost.

Edlp (food industry term): Everyday low pricing.

Edp (food industry term): Electronic data processing.

Eel: A long snake:like fish with smooth scaleless skin and a rich, sweet, and firm flesh. Eels, which are considered a fatty fish, are very popular in Europe and Japan.

Eel: A variety of anadromous fish with a snakelike shape. Eels generally have firm, fatty flesh and are gray, olive or black in color.

Eeoc (food industry term): Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Efficient assortment (food industry term): An ECR method to maximize store volume and gross margins. Its key drivers are category and space allocation targeted by store, quicker adjustments of product in response to changes in customer purchases, identification and emphasis on higher volume/margin items, and improved pricing strategies to increase return on investment.

Efficient consumer response (ecr) (food industry term): A collaborative industry strategy to reduce the costs of goods throughout the system by automatic replenishment shipments to control inventories and better maintain store conditions. Distributors and suppliers work cooperatively with the goal of reducing retail prices and consumer choice of products.

Efficient product introductions (food industry term): An ECR initiative used to accurately time the introduction of new products. that are more directly related to consumer needs.

Efficient promotion (food industry term): An advertising strategy that causes an increase in sales and an improved competitive position for the retailer.

Efficient replenishment (food industry term): A core ECR strategy that integrates data throughout the food distribution system to automatically reorder, transport, and restock products.

Effiler: To remove the fibrous string from a string bean; to thinly slice almonds.

Eft (food industry term): Electronic funds transfer.

Egg Noodles: The most popular type of Asian noodle, these ribbons vary in length, width and thickness; made from a dough of wheat flour, water and eggs and usually boiled. Can be found fresh in some Asian supermarkets, and are readily available dried.

Egg roll: Usually served as an appetizer, this small, deep-fried Chinese pastry is filled with minced or shredded vegetable and often meat. Egg roll skins are available in Asian markets and most large supermarkets.

Egg thread: Lightly beaten eggs that are poured slowly into a hot broth, creating irregular shaped threads used to garnish soups.

Egg Threads: Lightly beaten eggs poured slowly into a hot broth or soup.

Egg wash (food industry term): An egg-based glaze brushed on bakery items to produce a gloss

Egg wash: A thoroughly combined mixture of 1 whole egg, egg yolk, or egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water or milk. This mixture is brushed on the unbaked surface of breads, pastries, or other baked goods just before baking to provide a rich color or gloss to the crust.

Egg Wash: A mixture of beaten eggs (yolks, whites, or whole eggs) with either milk or water, used to glaze baked goods.

Egg White Powder: Spray dried egg albumen, which can be used in most recipes requiring egg white. It produces an exceptionally high volume, stable egg white foam for use in angel food cakes, chiffon pies, meringues, and divinity. Use egg white powder for uncooked foods such as marzipan and buttercream icing, or foods which are lightly cooked (pie meringues), without the worries associated with fresh egg white, because it is heat treated to meet USDA standards for being salmonella negative.

Egg yolk: This part of the egg contains all of the fat in an egg. Yolks are a good source of protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, choline, and phosphorus. The egg white is a good source of protein and riboflavin.

Egg yolk: The yellow center portion of a whole egg; an emulsifier contaning lecithin, vitamins, lutein, fat and choline.

Egg: Most eggs come from hens, but duck, goose, and quail eggs are available too. Eggs should be refrigerated in the original container, large end up. Because the yolk is high in cholesterol, imitation eggs come from egg whites and additives.

Egg: The hard-shelled, ovoid reproductive body produced by a bird, consisting principally of a yolk and albumen.

Eggplant: Though usually thought of as a vegetable, the eggplant is actually a fruit related to the potato and tomato. There are many varieties of eggplant, with colors ranging from dark purple to white and sizes from 2 inches to 12 inches. An eggplant's shape can vary from oblong to round. The most common variety of fruit in the United States is large and pear-shaped, with a smooth, glossy deep-purple skin.

Eggplant: Eggplants are native to Africa and Asia, and in many parts of those continents, they have come to be regarded as a satisfying substitute for meat. Also known as an aubergine.

Eggs: In home baking, neither the shell color nor the grade of egg matter. The size standard recipes call for is large unless stated otherwise. Eggs perform many functions - leavening, binding, thickening, coating or glazing, emulsifying, moisturizing or drying, and adding color, flavor, and nutrients to the finished product. Eggs also may be used to retard crystallization in some frostings.

Eis (food industry term): Executive information system.

Ejotes: [Spanish] green beans; string beans.

Elasticity: Capable of recovering shape after stretching; developed gluten in dough is elastic.

Elderberries: The tart fruit of the elder tree found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The small, dark purple-black berry is very sour when eaten raw, but can be quite delicious when used in jellies, pies, tarts or syrups.

Electric jack (food industry term): A pallet jack, equipped with a battery that operates under its own power to move pallets within a warehouse or store.

Electrolyte: Dissolved compound capable of carrying an electric current and be broken down into elemental parts.

Electronic article surveillance (eas) (food industry term): An electronic loss-prevention system that signals if a product has not been de-activated at a cash register. Used on high-ticket items, such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Electronic benefits transfer (ebt) (food industry term): A system utilizing a debit card for food stamp recipients to use to purchase products in a retail supermarket.

Electronic cash register (ecr) (food industry term): A stand-alone, point-of-sale terminal used by a cashier to check or scan customer's orders.

Electronic coupon clearing (food industry term): Scanning coupons for faster processing and control.

Electronic data interchange (edi) (food industry term): The use of telecommunications to exchange business information between companies using standard formats.

Electronic data processing (edp) (food industry term): The use of computer and other peripheral equipment in all areas of the store and headquarters to assemble, calculate and store information. See buying, ordering; accounting and controls; checkout operations; electronic funds transfer system.

Electronic discounts (clipless coupons) (food industry term): A discount price for the future purchase of an item printed on a customer's receipt.

Electronic funds transfer (eft) (food industry term): The use of telecommunications systems and debit and credit cards to move funds. Paperless system used with credit and debit cards.

Electronic mail (e-mail) (food industry term): An electronic communications system using a computer that enables the user to generate and transmit messages to other locations/addresses via the internet.

Electronic marketing (food industry term): The use of shopper programs to reward frequent customers for their loyalty. Uses a scan card to monitor customer purchases and provide electronic discounts on special products.

Electronic shelf labels (esl) (food industry term): Liquid crystal display (LCD) shelf tags linked to a backroom computer and POS system that automatically display price changes.

Electronic shopping (food industry term): Digital shopping via the World Wide Web (WWW) on the Internet.

Electronic signature capture (food industry term): A liquid-crystal touch screen that records a signature as a digital image, which reduces paperwork.

Elephant garlic: Elephant garlic is not true garlic but a form of leek. Its white- or purple-skinned cloves are the size of Brazil nuts, and their flavor mild enough to not require cooking. Peel the cloves as you would an onion and use as you would garlic.

Elk: A large member of the deer family. Elk meat is called "venison." Antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose and reindeer meat is also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat in the U.S.

Elotes: [Spanish] fresh corn cut from the cob; ear of fresh corn.

Emmental Cheese: What most Americans know as Swiss cheese. Switzerland's oldest and most important cheese, Emmentaler has a distinctively nutty-sweet, mellow flavor. It was named for Switzerland's Emmental valley and is exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 pounds to 220 pounds each.

Emmental cheese: Named for Switzerland's Emmental valley, this mellow, sweet but nutty cheese is the best Swiss cheese you can buy. It has big holes and a natural, light-brown rind.

Empanada: A small, savory pie that are usually filled with meat, seafood or vegetables.

Empanada: A small savory pie from Spain and South America. Fillings may be made of meat, seafood, or vegetables. The fillings can be seasoned in many ways. Those from around Spain are flavored with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Those from South America have a sweet/sour undertone from the addition of raisins and green olives. Crusts may be made from bread dough or flaky dough like pate brisee and puff pastry. Baked or fried pastry turnovers; stuffed with sweet or savory fillings; a street food eaten throughout Latin America.

Empanaditas: Tiny turnovers; traditional New Mexican Christmas food when filled with a Southwestern version of mincemeat.

Emulsify, emulsifier: An ingredient such as an egg that, when beaten with two non-mixing ingredients like oil and vinegar, will hold them in a suspension so they do not separate.

Emulsify: To bind together liquid ingredients that do not dissolve into each other (like vinegar and oil).

Emulsion: A mixture of two or more liquids that don't easily combine. such as oil and vinegar.

En Brochette: To cook small pieces of food on skewers.

En crocite: [French] food encased in pastry.

En Croute: Food baked in a crust.

En Papillote: Enclosing foods (like fish) in parchment paper or foil and cooking in an oven or on a grill.

En Papilotte: [French] Food wrapped, cooked and served in oiled or buttered paper or foil.

Encebollada: [Spanish] a dish, often meat, covered with cooked onions.

Encharito: [Spanish] a huge enchilada made with a flour tortilla; a cross between a burrito and an enchilada.

Enchilada: Corn tortillas stuffed with meat, chicken, cheese (or a combination), rolled and topped with a red or green chile sauce.

Enchilada: [Spanish] the word comes from the way the dish is made, by drenching or dipping tortillas en chile; rolled or stacked corn tortillas filled with meat or cheese, covered with chile sauce, then baked.

Encurtido: [Spanish] pickled; preserved.

End aisle display, end cap, end display or ends (food industry term): A massive merchandise display at the end of an aisle which is a prime selling location for high margin, impulse items.

End of month (eom) (food industry term): An accounting term that designates the last calendar day of a month as the final date for payment of bills.

Endive: A plant with dark green, curly leaves and a slightly bitter flavor.

Endive: Closely related to and often confused with chicory, endive comes in two main varieties: Belgian and curly. Belgian endive is creamy white and oblong with pale yellow tips; it's grown completely in the dark to prevent it from turning green. Curly endive has prickly dark green leaves and a pleasantly bitter flavor.

Endosperm: The starch granules in grain embedded in gluten-forming proteins from which flour or meal is produced; 80-85% of a wheat kernel is endosperm.

Ends (food industry term): The last part of whole loaves of meat and cheese in the Deli Department.

Enebro: [Spanish] juniper.

Eneldo: [Spanish] dill.

Enfrijolada: [Spanish] a type of enchilada made with corn tortillas, refried beans and cheese.

English chop: A double-rib lamb chop.

English Pea: Common garden pea, also called green pea.

English Walnut: A nut with a wrinkled tan shell and a double lobed interior nut meat that has a sweet flavor. It can be eaten raw or used in baking and cooking.

Enoki Mushrooms: Small white mushrooms that grow in clumps with long, thin stems and a mild, almost fruity flavor. They have a crisp, crunchy texture when fresh, but tend to become tough when heated; also known as velvet stem, snow puff and golden mushrooms.

Enoki: A slender Asian mushroom sold in small packages; good raw in salads or cooked as a garnish. To use, just trim off the spongy base and separate the strands.

Enrich: To improve the nutritional value of an ingredient or food. Baked goods may be enriched by using milk, enriched flour, whole grain flours, eggs, soy protein or flour.

Enriched All-purpose Flour: Because all-purpose flour does not contain wheat germ, U.S. law requires iron, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin to be added. "Enriched" appears on the label of flour with added nutrients.

Enriched: Resupplied with vitamins and minerals lost or diminished during processing of food.

Ensalada: [Spanish] salad.

Entrecete: A steak cut from the rib section of beef. It is boneless and has a very thin layer of fat. Though steaks cut from the loin ends of the rib are a finer quality steak, the whole rib may be used for entrecete. The term is sometimes used referring to a strip steak. This is not an accurate description. This cut of beef is called the faux-filet or contre-filet. The same as Delmonico steak; a rib chop.

Entree: In the United States an entree is the main dish of a meal. The original French term referred to the first course of a meal, served after the soup and before the meat.

Entree: Originally, a meat of fish served before the main course; also used to designate the main dish of the meal.

Envinado/a: [Spanish] wine added.

Eom (food industry term): End of month.

Epazote: A pungent herb with a flavor similar to coriander. Epazote is often added to beans to reduce gas.

Epazote: Strong, bitter perennial herb used primarily to flavor beans; also known as Mexican tea, stinkweed, pigweed, wormseed or goosefoot; occasionally mistaken for lamb's lettuce; grows wild in the United States and Mexico; flavor is intense, reminiscent of eucalyptus; used for tea, stews, soups, green pipi ns and moles; cooked with all types of beans to reduce their gaseous qualities.

Epinards: [French] spinach.

Equal employment opportunity commission (eeoc) (food industry term): A U.S. government agency that enforces federal legislation, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace.

Equipment: Hand or electrical tools and appliances needed to accomplish a task, craft or job.

Equivalent: Equal or the same (Example, three teaspoons is equivalent to one tablespoon).

Escabeche: [Spanish] pickled; souse; vegetables, especially chiles, marinated or pickled in vinegar. A highly seasoned marinade used to flavor and preserve food. Fish and chicken are the most common foods used for escabeche. First the meat is fried and placed in a dish large enough to hold all of the food in one layer. Then a marinade made of onions, peppers, vinegar, and spices is poured over the food while hot. The whole dish is then allowed to rest overnight and served cold.

Escalope, Escallop: [Italian] a thinly sliced food similar to a scaloppini. This may consist of meat, fish, or vegetables; food baked in layers, covered with sauce and crumbs.

Escalope: Very thin slices of meat or fish containing absolutely no fat, skin, gristle or bones.

Escargot: French term for edible snails, either terrestrial, freshwater or marine.

Escargot: An edible snail. It is the common name for the land gastropod mollusk. The edible snails of France have a single shell that is tan and white, and 1 to 2 inches diameter.

Escarole: A broad-leafed, pale green, mild-flavored endive. Most often eaten raw in salads, escarole can be briefly cooked and used in soups; also known as Batavian endive.

Escarole: See Endive.

Esl (food industry term): Electronic shelf labels.

Espagnole Sauce: This is the foundation of all of the brown sauces. A number of modifications have been made of this sauce since its conception. The sauce is now made of a rich brown veal stock thickened with a brown roux. The sauce is then simmered with a mirepoix, bouquet garni, and wine. The long, slow cooking help to purify and concentrate its flavor. It is finally strained through very fine muslin. Demi-glace and glace de viande are all structured around a fine espagnole sauce.

Espinacas: [Spanish] spinach.

Espresso: This thick, strong coffee is made from French or Italian roast - beans with a shiny, dark oily surface.

Essence: Extract. While the words may be used interchangeably US-Great Britain, all essences are extracts, but extracts are not all essences. A stock is a water extract of food. Other solvents (edible) may be oil, ethyl alcohol, as in wine or whiskey, or water. Wine and beer are vegetable or fruit stocks. A common oil extract is of cayenne pepper, used in Asian cooking (yulada). Oils and water essences are becoming popular as sauce substitutes. A common water essence is vegetable stock. A broth is more concentrated, as in beef broth, or bouillon. Beef tea is shin beef cubes and water sealed in a jar and cooked in a water bath for 12 to 24 hours. Most common are alcohol extracts, like vanilla. Not possible to have a water extract of vanilla (natural bean) but vanillin (chemical synth) is water solution. There are also emulsions lemon pulp and lemon oil and purees (often made with sugar) Oils, such as orange or lemon rind (zest) oil, may be extracted by storing in sugar in seal ed container. Distilled oils are not extracts or essences. Attar of rose (for perfume) is lard extracted rose petal oil.

Estilo: [Spanish] "in the style of."

Estimated inventory (food industry term): A physical inventory method used to calculate the total cash value of a store's inventory. A product count is multiplied by the retail price. The estimated gross-profit margin is subtracted from that figure to get an estimate of the worth in dollars of items in a store.

Estofado: [Spanish] stew.

Estouffade: A beef stew made with red wine.

Ethernet (food industry term): A local area network (LAN) used to connect computers, in contrast to a network used to connect computers in a larger area, a wide area network (WAN).

Ethnic foods (food industry term): Products that a particular ethnic (racial, national) or cultural group favor, such as Mexican, Chinese or kosher foods.

Etouffee: The French term a l'etouffee, meaning "to smother or suffocate," refers to a method in which foods are cooked over low heat with a minimal amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan. Example

etouffee: French for smothered and refers to a stewed dish cooked little liquid in a tightly closed pot. Usually served over white rice.

Etuver: To braise with very little or no liquid.

Eulachon: A rich and oily mild:flavored variety of smelt fish. The eulachon is also called the "candlefish" because Indians sometimes run a wick through their high:fat flesh and use them for candles.

European article number (ean) (food industry term): A European, 13-digit bar code that identifies products and shipping containers, which is compatible with U.S. and Canadian UPCs, although there are differences in format.

European turbot: A highly prized flatfish found in European waters. This fish has a lean, firm white flesh and a mild flavor. Turbot is also the market name for several varieties of flounder fished from Pacific waters.

Evaporated Milk: Canned, unsweetened milk that is homogenized milk from which 60% of the water is removed. Available in whole evaporated milk: 7.9% butterfat and skim cotain s1/2% or less.

Evaporated milk: Preserved milk that has much of the water content removed through evaporation. Similar to condensed milk, but not nearly as sweet.

Event merchandising/event marketing (food industry term): A store or community wide promotion of targeted products through a series of related activities or using a particular theme.

Every day low cost (edlc) (food industry term): A manufacturer's pricing strategy in which the cost of goods is consistently low.

Every day low price (edlp) (food industry term): A retail pricing strategy in which the product prices are kept consistently low. See high-low pricing.

Exception count (food industry term): A physical inventory verification procedure to identify stock conditions outside predetermined limits. These limits generally relate to shelf capacity and back stock, i.e., too much, too little or out-of-stock.

Executive information system (eis) (food industry term): Computer software used to summarize operational data and prepare executive reports.

Exotic produce (food industry term): Fruits and vegetables not grown in North America and considered "exotic", such as, kiwi fruit and ugli fruit.

Exotic/ethnic sections (food industry term): Unique products from all over the world. Special sections may feature Asian, Spanish, Italian and other foods or products.

Expense (food industry term): Overhead costs that include salaries, supplies, advertising, depreciation, and maintenance.

Expert systems (food industry term): Software used to interpret data and highlight key events, enabling a category manager to focus on the most relevant problems.

Expiration date (food industry term): A manufacturer's "sell by" date stamped on products to indicate shelf life.

Express lane (food industry term): A lane used to check out customers with a limited number of items.

Extended dating or extended terms (food industry term): An accounting term that allows longer than usual payments for products.

Extenders (food industry term): Shelves, tables or baskets used along with permanent fixtures to increase display space in a department.

Extra Lean: Poultry, meat, seafood or game containing less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving (100 grams).

Extract (Essence): Flavors from various foods that have been concentrated by distillation or evaporation.

Extraordinary items (food industry term): All infrequent or unusual financial events, including net operating loss carryforwards to the current period.

Extra-virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil produced from the first cold-pressing, considered the finest and fruitiest, with only 1 percent acid. Its color can range from clear champagne to bright green.

Eye level (food industry term): A merchandising strategy to increase sales of a product by placing it at a customer's eye level.