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    Oaxaca cheese

    O’Brien potatoes
    Although the origin of the name is vague, it seems to come from the longtime association between the Irish and potatoes. The dish consists of diced potatoes (sometimes precooked) that are fried with chopped onions and PIMIENTOS until the potatoes are crisp and brown. Some variations use sweet red or green peppers instead of pimientos.

    The French word for “egg.”

    [OH-fuhl, OFF-uhl]


    Parmesan cheese
    This hard, dry cheese is made from skimmed or partially skimmed cow’s milk. It has a hard, pale-golden rind and a straw-colored interior with a rich, sharp flavor. There are Parmesan cheeses made in Argentina, Australia and the United States, but none compares with Italy’s preeminent Parmigiano-Reggiano, with its granular texture that melts in the mouth. Whereas the U.S. renditions are aged 14 months, Parmigiano-Reggianos are more often aged 2 years. Those labeled stravecchio have been aged 3 years, while stravecchiones are 4 years old

    Though many pundits claim that Marco Polo brought the idea of noodles back with him to Italy from China, the truth is that this food form existed in both places independently long before Polo’s expeditions. In fact, archaeological documentation now points to the fact that noodles probably originated in central Asia, possibly dating back to at least 1000 b.c. Almost every country has a form of pasta.

    pastry wheel
    A small utensil consisting of a sharp cutting wheel attached to a handle. Small pastry wheels with plain cutting edges are used to mark and cut rolled-out pastry or cookie dough. Larger, plain-edged wheels are used to cut pizza. Jagging wheels or pastry jaggers have fluted cutting edges that make a decorative design in pastry doughs

    pea bean
    The smallest of the dried white beans, the others being NAVY, GREAT NORTHERN and MARROW BEANS (in order of ascending size). Pea beans are very popular in the Northeast and are the first choice for BOSTON BAKED BEANS.

    Though today peanuts are considered a rather common nut, ancient Peruvians held them in such high esteem that they buried pots of peanuts with their mummified dead to nourish them during their long journey to the hereafter. Peanuts are widely grown throughout the southern United States and about half the national crop is used to make PEANUT BUTTER.

    French for parsley, also refers to a mixture of parsley and garlic that is often sprinkled on a dish as flavoring or garnish towards the end of its preparation.

    pico de gallo
    [PEE-koh day GI-yoh]



    Pleasantly pungent or tart in taste; spicy.

    French for “in the manner of Poland,” generally referring to cooked vegetables (most often cauliflower or asparagus) that are sprinkled with chopped hard-cooked egg, bread crumbs, parsley and melted butter.

    Any DOMESTICATED bird used as food. Centuries ago the Chinese began raising a variety of birds that were gradually brought to the West via Asia, Greece and Rome. Today there are many domesticated varieties of poultry including CHICKEN, TURKEY, DUCK, GOOSE, Rock Cornish hen, GUINEA FOWL and PHEASANT. All poultry ranks high nutritionally. It’s classified as a complete protein, is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and iron and contains riboflavin, thiamine and niacin

    n. A term used to indicate the amount of alcohol in LIQUOR or other spirits. In the United States, proof is exactly twice the percentage of alcohol. Therefore, a bottle of liquor labeled “86 Proof” contains 43 percent alcohol.
    v. To dissolve YEAST in a warm liquid (sometimes with a small amount of sugar) and set it aside in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes until it swells and becomes bubbly. This technique proves that the yeast is alive and active and therefore capable of LEAVENING a bread or other baked good.

    1. A dried plum. Prunes can be traced back to Roman times and have long been a popular northern European winter fruit because they could be stored without problem. Although any plum can be made into a prune, those with the greatest flavor, sweetness and firmness are best suited for that use. Commercial dehydration has replaced sun-drying as the primary method of producing prunes
    2. A variety of Italian plum.
    3. In French, the word prune means “plum,” while pruneau means “prune.”


    A young hen, less than 1 year old.

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