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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Lemon - a citrus fruit (Citrus limon) with a bright yellow skin, and an ovoid shape with a bulge at the blossom end, juicy yellow flesh and a very tart, distinctive flavor.

Lemon Sole - a particularly delicate flounder taken in the waters of Georges Bank, Cape Cod and Massachusetts.

Lentils - the small flat seeds of a variety of legumes (Lens esculenta); sold shelled, dried or cooked.

Lettuce - any of a variety of plants of the genus Lactuca, probably native to the Mediterranean and now grown worldwide; their leaves are generally consumed fresh in salads or used as a garnish. There are three principal types of lettuces: butterhead, crisp head and leaf.

Liaison - a thickening or binding agent for soups, sauces, stuffings and so on. Examples are flour, beurre manié (see above), cornstarch, eggs, arrowroot, etc.

Light - the FDA-approved food-labeling term used to describe a nutritionally altered food with at least 33% less calories, 50% less fat or 50% less sodium than the regular or reference (i.e. FDA standard) food.

Lights - the lungs of an animal.

Lime - an ovoid citrus fruit (Citrus aurantifolia) with a thin, green skin; smaller than a lemon, it has a juicy, pale green pulp and a very tart flavor.

Linguine - Italian for small tongue and used to describe long, narrow, slightly flattened strands of pasta.

Linzer Torte - a double hazelnut cookie filled with jam and made famous in Vienna, Austria.

Liqueur - a sweet alcoholic drink also known as a cordial and as a digestif, to be drunk after meals and served in small glasses. Also used to flavor desserts and in pastry making.

Littleneck Clams - clams 1 1/2 inches long.

Lo Mein - 1. Fresh Chinese egg noodles. 2. A Chinese-American dish of poultry, shrimp and/or meat with vegetables such as bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and green onions served over soft noodles.

Loquat - a small citrus fruit that sweetens as it ripens. It is good peeled, stewed with sugar, and served with cream or combined with other fruits.

Lotus Root - a water lily whose root is used as a vegetable. It is crisp when fresh. Sold dried, cut into rounds in Oriental markets.

Lotus Seeds - small and nutlike, these can be eaten raw or cooked into a stuffing.

Luau - a traditional Hawaiian feast featuring roast pig.

Lychee - a small fruit native to South China. It has a sweet-sour flavor and is considered as good canned as fresh.

Lyonnaise, à la - “in the style of Lyons”, literally, and usually featuring shredded fried onions as a garnish. Lyons is a city in central France famous for its cuisine.

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