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    [wah-HOO; WAH-hoo]
    A Pacific fish with a flavor often compared to that of albacore, the wahoo’s moderate- to high-fat flesh is fine, white (with a little red) and slightly sweet. In fact, Hawaiians call this fish ono, which means “sweet.”
    Wahoo may be baked, broiled or grilled.

    A deep green, edible seaweed popular in Japan and other Asian countries. It’s used like a vegetable in soups and simmered dishes, as well as occasionally in salads. The browner versions are more strongly flavored. Wakame is available both in fresh and dried forms in Asian markets.

    Waldorf salad
    Created at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, the original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became an integral part of the dish. Waldorf salad is usually served on top of a bed of lettuce.

    wasabi; wasabe
    This Japanese version of HORSERADISH comes from the root of an Asian plant. It’s used to make into a green-colored CONDIMENT that has a sharp, pungent, fiery flavor. Wasabi, which is also called Japanese horseradish , is available in specialty and Asian markets in both paste and powder form.

    [WAHS-uhl, WAHS-ayl]
    Ves heill, Norse for “be in good health,” is an old toast and the origin of this word. Wassail is a drink consisting of ALE or wine sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices. This brew is traditionally served in a large “wassail bowl,” garnished with small roasted apples and ladled into serving cups.

    water bath

    water biscuit
    A bland, crisp cracker that’s often served with cheese and wine. The fact that the cracker is almost flavorless makes it a perfect foil for most foods because it allows their natural flavor to be appreciated.

    Cool running water is the growing ground for this member of the mustard family, which can often be found in the wild in and around streams and brooks. Watercress has small, crisp, dark green leaves. Its pungent flavor is slightly bitter and has a peppery snap.

    This classic Belgian dish is a creamy-rich fish stew that can be made with either fresh- or saltwater fish. A chicken rendition is also popular. All versions include a variety of vegetables and herbs, and are enriched with egg yolks, cream and butter.

    whiskey; whisky
    [HWIHSK-ee, WIHSK-ee]

    white lightning

    white mustard cabbage
    see BOK CHOY

    A round-bottomed cooking utensil popular in Asian cooking, where its uses include stir-frying, steaming, braising, stewing and even deep-frying. Woks are traditionally made of rolled steel, which provides excellent heat control, but they can also be made of sheet iron, anodized aluminum and stainless steel. They come in various sizes, usually have two handles and are generally accompanied by a ring-shaped stand for use on a gas stovetop. Special flat-bottom woks are also available for use on electric stoves. Electric woks (usually with a NONSTICK FINISH) are also available.


    [YAR-oh, YEHR-oh]
    Any of several very pungent, aromatic herbs found in Europe and North America. Known as milfoil in Europe, yarrow has a very strong aroma and flavor and is therefore used sparingly to flavor salads, soups and occasionally egg dishes

    yellow-eyed pea


    2. A variety of SNAPPER

    yogurt; yoghurt

    Yogurt-making is thought to have been originated by nomadic Balkan tribes thousands of years ago, probably first by accident and then as a means of preserving milk.

    Yorkshire pudding
    [YORK-sheer, YORK-shuhr]

    Soybean milk “skin” that forms on soy milk when it is heated. The delicate milk skin is carefully removed and usually dried in sheets or folded and dried in sticks. Yuba sheets are rehydrated by covering with a wet towel; yuba sticks are soaked in water. Yuba, with its creamy, nutlike flavor, is often used in vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute. It can be found in most Asian markets.

    One of Italy’s great gifts to the rest of the world, zabaglione is an ethereal dessert made by whisking together egg yolks, wine (traditionally MARSALA) and sugar. This beating is done over simmering water so that the egg yolks cook as they thicken into a light, foamy custard. Traditional zabaglione must be made just before serving. (There is also a frozen version.) The warm froth can be served either as a dessert by itself or as a sauce over cake, fruit, ice cream or pastry. In France it’s called sabayon or sabayon sauce.

    The perfumy outermost skin layer of citrus fruit (usually oranges or lemons), which is removed with the aid of a CITRUS ZESTER, paring knife or VEGETABLE PEELER. Only the colored portion of the skin (and not the white pith) is considered the zest. The aromatic oils in citrus zest are what add so much flavor to food

    This French phrase translates to “gypsy style” and refers to a garnish consisting of chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and TRUFFLES combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes MADEIRA. This garnish is served with meat, poultry and sometimes eggs.

    The Italian word for “soup.”

    [ZWI-bak, ZWI-bahk, SWI-bak, SWI-bahk]
    This German word translates to “twice baked” and refers to bread that is baked, cut into slices and then returned to the oven until very crisp and dry. Zwieback, which has a hint of sweetness to it, is popular for its digestibility and is often served to younger children or to people who have digestive problems. It is commercially available in most stores


    xanthan gum
    Produced from the fermentation of corn sugar, xanthan gum is used as a thickener, EMULSIFIER and STABILIZER in foods such as dairy products and salad dressings.

    Label symbols used for confectioners’ sugar.

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