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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with

"A"


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Albumin - a protein found in egg white, milk, green plants, seeds, and animal blood.

Ale - a fermented drink; the original term for beer.

Almond Extract - a concentrated flavoring made from bitter-almond oil and alcohol, widely used in pastries and baked goods.

All-Purpose Flour - is made from a blend of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. It's a fine-textured flour milled from the inner part of the wheat kernel and contains neither the germ (the sprouting part) nor the bran (the outer coating). U.S. law requires that all flours not containing wheat germ must have niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and iron added. These flours are labeled "enriched." All-purpose flour comes in two basic forms — bleached and unbleached — that can be used interchangeably. Flour can be bleached either naturally, as it ages, or chemically. Most flour on the market today is presifted, requiring only that it be stirred, then spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off.

Allspice - a member of the pimento family and native to tropical regions in the western hemisphere; has leathery leaves, white flowers and small, brown berries, has a flavor reminiscent of a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pepper; also known as Jamaican pepper.

Allumettes - cut into matchstick sizes and shapes. Also, a puff pastry used for hors d’oeuvres.

Aluminum Foil - a thin pliable sheet of aluminum; easily molded, conducts heat well, can withstand temperature extremes and is impervious to odors, moisture and air; used to cover foods for cooking and storage.

Almond Paste - a mixture of sugar, almonds, and rose water traditional among Christmas foods in Europe. Used to make marzipan and for decorations.

Altitude (High) Cooking & Baking - Simply put, the weight of air on any surface it comes in contact with is called air (or atmospheric) pressure. There's less (or lower) air pressure at high altitudes because the blanket of air above is thinner than it would be at sea level. As a result, at sea level water boils at 212°F; at an altitude of 7,500 feet, however, it boils at about 198°F because there's not as much air pressure to inhibit the boiling action. This also means that because at high altitudes boiling water is 14 degrees cooler than at sea level, foods will take longer to cook because they're heating at a lower temperature. Lower air pressure also causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in a high altitude. This decreased air pressure means that adjustments in some ingredients and cooking time and temperature will have to be made for high-altitude baking, as well as some cooking techniques such as candy making, deep-fat frying and canning. In general, no recipe adjustment is necessary for yeast-risen baked goods, although allowing the dough or batter to rise twice before the final pan rising develops a better flavor.

Source: © Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Amaretto - liqueur with the flavor of almonds although it is often made with the kernels of apricot pits. The original liqueur, Amaretto di Saronno, is from Saronno, Italy.

Amandine - a dish garnished with sautéed almonds.

American Cheese, Processed - any of the group of U.S. cheeses made with emulsifiers to increase smoothness and pasteurized milk to increase storage life; 51% of the final weight must be cheese.

Anadama Bread - yeast bread made of cornmeal and white flour with molasses.

Anchovy - a small fish usually stored in olive oil or salt. Anchovy is sold for flavoring.

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