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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with

"W"



Wafer - a thin, sweet biscuit.

Waffle - a light, thin batter cake baked in a special grill called a waffle iron. Basic batter is the same as for pancakes. This crisp, quick bread has a honeycombed surface of pockets that ideally hold puddles of syrup. Waffle irons can be electric or designed for use on the stovetop. They are available in different shapes including round, rectangular and heart-shaped. The basic difference between a waffle and a Belgian waffle is the size. Belgian waffles are made on special waffle irons with larger and deeper grids than the average waffle iron and are often served topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, whereas the waffle is traditionally served with butter and maple syrup. Although a popular item for breakfast, waffles are also used for desserts and main dishes depending on the toppings used which can be sweet or savory.

Warm - to heat a food using a very low temperature of approximately 105°F to 115°F (40°C to 45°C).

Wash - to apply a liquid to the surface of an object to remove dirt; often a cleansing agent is added to the liquid; the process may not kill microorganisms.

Wassail - is a festive drink consisting of wine (or ale) sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices. This spirited brew is traditionally served in a large "wassail bowl," garnished with small roasted apples and ladled into serving cups.

Water Bath - The French call this cooking technique bain-marie . It consists of placing a container (baking pan, bowl, soufflé dish, etc.) of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep cooked foods warm.

Water Biscuit - a crisp cracker that is unseasoned and goes well with cheese and butter and consommé.

Water Chestnut - the fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.

Watercress - a green leafy little plant that grows only in running water, and has peppery leaves prized by epicures for salads and garnishes.

Watermelon - the fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.

Waterzooi - a rich Belgian chicken or fish soup made with wine.

Wax Bean - a yellow version of the green bean; has a slightly waxier pod.

Weight - the mass of heaviness of a substance; weight measurements are commonly expressed as grams (metric) ounces and pounds (U.S. and Imperial).

Whip - to mix ingredients quickly and vigorously using a beater or whisk to incorporate air, to increase volume and to lighten the mixture.

Whisk - in cooking, a tool made of wire loops used for beating.

White Chocolate - a candy made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and flavoring; because it contains no chocolate liquor it is usually labeled white confectionary bar or coating; it can be eaten as a candy or used in confections and pastries.

Wild Rice - the grain of a reed-like aquatic plant (Zizania aquatica) unrelated to rice; grown in the United States and Canada. The grains are long, slender and black, with a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor; available in three grades: giant (a very long grain and the best quality), fancy (a medium grain and of lesser quality) and select (a short grain).

Wok - a round bowl-shaped metal cooking utensil of Chinese origin used for stir-frying and steaming (with rack inserted) of various foods.

Work - in cooking, this means to knead or mix gently with the fingers.


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