Food Dictionary

Macadamia
A relatively expensive nut that is native to Australia. Its white kernel has a taste reminiscent of coconut. In Asia it is used in curries and stews; in the United States it is a flavouring for ices and cakes. Also known as "bush nut."
Macaire
A potato pancake made with seasoned potato puree.
Macaroni
A noodle made from semolina and water. Most are tube-shaped, but twists and ribbons are available too. Popular tube shapes are: elbow (short, curved), mostaccioli (large, diagonally cut), rigatoni (short, grooved), ziti (long, thin).
Macaroni and Cheese Loaf
Cooked meat specialty -- Made of finely ground pork and beef with generous quantities of Cheddar cheese and macaroni distributed throughout.
Macaroon
A small biscuit or cake, crunchy outside and soft inside, made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. Macaroons are sometimes flavoured with coffeee, chocolate, nuts, fruit etc.
Mace
A spice derived from the outer layer of nutmeg, mace is sold either in blades or ground. It adds a mild nutmeg flavour to soups and sauces as well as sausages, pates and fish dishes.
Macedoine
A mixture of fruit or vegetables. Vegetable macedoine are cut into small dice and used as a garnish to meats. Fruit macedoine are cut in larger pieces and often marinated in sugar syrup with liqueur.
Macerate
To soak raw, dried or preserved fruit or vegetables in liquid (usually alcohol, liqueur, wine, brandy or sugar syrup) to soften or take away bitterness and so that they absorb the flavour of the liquid. Dried fruits for winter compotes are often treated this way.
Mache
A wild lettuce with small round leaves that may be used for salads or cooked and used as you would spinach. The taste is a little less pronounced than spinach. Mache grows wild, and can be found in the fall. It is cultivated in France, Italy, and the US from September to April. It is also known as lamb's lettuce and field salad.
Mackerel
A firm-fleshed oil-rich fish, usually sold whole. Can be grilled, fried, barbecued or poached. It also suits being pickled, marinated, salted and smoked.
Mackerel, King
Also called the "kingfish," this is the most popular variety of mackerel. This fish has a firm, high-fat flesh with a savory flavor.
Mackerel, Pacific
Also called the "chub," this species of Pacific mackerel is also found in the Mediterranean. Like other mackerels, this fish is fatty and has a strong flavor.
Madeira
Madeira is a fortified wine that comes from the island of the same name. Drunk as an aperitif, especially served chilled, but also used in cooking where it is similar to a dry sherry.
Madeleine
French scallop-shaped cake, made with sugar, flour, melted butter and eggs, often flavoured with lemon or almonds.
Magret
The breast meat from a mallard or Barbary duck. These ducks are specially raised for foie gras. Their breasts are large and have a much thinner layer of fat than do the Peking or Long Island duckling.
Maguey
Cactus plant (Agave americana) from which tequila, mescal and pulque are made.
Mahi Mahi
Also called "dolphin fish." Although this fish is a dolphin, it is not a mammal. To avoid this confusion, the Hawaiian name "Mahi Mahi" is becoming prevalent. This fish is moderately fat with firm, flavorful flesh. Mahi-mahi is a great alternative to swordfish.
Mai Tai
An alcoholic beverage made from light and dark rums, orgeat syrup, curacao, and orange and lime juices. In Tahitian, "Mai Tai" means "out of this world."
Main Dish
The main food to be eaten, most often at dinner accompanied by one or more side dishes.
Mako shark
Fairly inexpensive fish with ivory-pink flesh that resembles swordfish in color and texture (but not in appearance). Other available shark includes dusky, black tip, silky, lemon, bull, tiger, or hammerhead shark.
Malanga
A tuber sold in all Latin American markets and some supermarkets; you might find it under the name "yautia." Raw, it has the texture of jimica, but it is not eaten raw. It's best boiled, fried, or included in stews - in short treated exactly as a potato. Peel and trim before cooking.
Maldon salt
An exceptional sea salt which comes from the Maldon area of Essex. Sea salt is produced as the sea washes over rocks and then recedes with the tide, leaving pools of water. The sun evaporates the water and leaves the salt in the form of crystals that can be used in cooking or preserving, as whole crystals or ground.
Malt
A powder made by germinating, drying, and grinding grains. Enzymes are added during the process to partially convert the starch to sugar. This creates the sweet-tasting malt used in brewing, distilling, yeast-making, and vinegar.
Mame-Kogi
Miso made from soy beans.
Manchego
A Spanish cheese made from ewe's milk which originated in La Mancha. The cheese is very fatty and firm to the touch.
Mandarin
A cooking style which, in Chinese, means "Chinese official." Mandarin cooking is an aristocratic cuisine that takes the very finest elements from all the Chinese regions.
Mandarin Orange
A category of thin-skinned citrus fruit that includes several varieties. The most common variety sold in the U.S. is the "tangerine." It has a delicate, somewhat spicy tart.
Mandoline
The original food processor, and still highly useful, the mandoline is the easiest way to cut thin slices of vegetables.
Mango
The fruit of the tropical mango tree. The flesh is very juicy and pleasantly acid. Used in snacks, jams, jellies, and desserts. Green mangos are used to make pickles and chutney.
Mangosteen
A tropical fruit from south-east Asia, the mangosteen is the size of a small peach with a leathery skin which, when peeled away, reveals five sweetly scented white segments.
Manhattan
An alcoholic beverage made with bourbon or blended whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth and garnished with a maraschino cherry.
Manicotti
A tube-shaped pasta noodle approximately 4 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Normally stuffed with a cheese or meat mixture, covered with a sauce, then baked before serving.
Manioc
A root with a crisp white flesh. There are two main categories of manioc: sweet and bitter. Bitter maniocs are toxic until cooked. Manioc is used to make "cassreep" and "tapioca." Also called "cassava."
Maple sugar
Sugar made from the sap of the sugar maple. It is sold loose or pressed into cakes or decorative molds.
Maple syrup
The boiled-down sap of the maple tree, this syrup is very popular in the United States and Canada. It is expensive; cheaper varieties are made from a mixture of maple syrup mixed with cane syrup.
Marchand de vin
A dark brown sauce made with meat and wine.
Marengo
A chicken or veal dish made with white wine, tomato and garlic. Chicken Marengo is said to have been served to Napoleon after his battle at the Italian town of the same name in 1800.
Margarine
Margarine was invented in the 1860s by a French chemist as a cheap replacement for butter. Nowadays it is bought as a product in its own right, frequently in the belief that it is a healthier option than butter. There are many types available using different fats and with differing flavours and uses. Some are purely vegetable-based, containing no animal products at all, and are labelled dairy-free or vegan. Others contain a mixture of animal and vegetable fats. Some are designed for spreading, and others are hard and designed for baking. All margarine contains as much fat as butter, but some are lower in cholesterol and saturated fats.
Margarita
An alcoholic beverage containing tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. A frozen margarita is blended with ice cubes.
Marguery
A Hollandaise sauce made with shellfish essence and wine.
Marinade
A highly seasoned liquid in which foods are soaked. Marinating foods permits them to absorb the flavor of the marinade. Most marinades contain a acid of some sort (lemon juice, vinegar, wine) which aid in tenderizing meats.
Marinara
A highly seasoned Italian tomato sauce used with pasta and some meats. Marinara is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and oregano.
Marinate
To steep fish, meat or vegetables in a flavoured liquid (the marinade) usually containing oil, wine or lemon juice, herbs and spices, in order to tenderise and add flavour.
Mariniere
(a la). A method of preparing shellfish or other seafood, especially mussels, by cooking them in white wine, usually with onions or shallots.
Marjoram
A culinary herb from the mint family with a mild, sweet sagelike flavor. Used to flavor meats and stews.
Marlin
Sport-fishermen of big-game fishing find catching the great marlin a challenge. Found in the waters off Hawaii, Florida, Venezuela and Australia, marlin is available in other parts of the world sold as steaks. These are best cooked under the grill, on a barbecue or as kebabs.
Marmalade
A preserve of citrus fruits (most commonly oranges) and sugar.
Marmalade Plum
Fruit of a tree, native to Mexico and Central America, also called the "marmalade tree" or "sapote." It offers a sweet, edible fruit.
Marmite
A rich meat soup or stock; an earthenware stock pot.
Marrons
Chestnuts.
Marrow
Bone substance and gut eaten by Native Americans and pioneers.
Marrow Bean
A type of white bean that is generally dried before use.
Marrow Squash
Also known as "vegetable marrow," this oval squash-like gourd, which is related to the zucchini, has a bland flavor and is often stuffed with a meat filling.
Marsala
This is Italy's most famous fortified wine. It features a rich, smoky flavor that ranges from sweet to dry. Sweet Marsala is used as a dessert wine. Dry Marsala is often used as an apertif (a light, alcoholic drink appetizer).
Marshmallow
An American confection made from sugar gelatin, corn syrup, gum arabic, and flavoring. Some add egg whites for additional fluffiness. Marshmallows used to be made from the sweetened extract of the roots of the marshmallow plant.
Martini
An alcoholic beverage made with gin and vermouth, then garnished with a green olive or a lemon twist. A "dry" martini contains less vermouth. A "vodka martini" uses vodka instead of gin.
Marzipan
Thick paste made from ground almonds, sugar and egg whites that is used in making cakes and pastries, especially as a topping for Simnel cake or as a base for the icing on a Christmas or wedding cake. It can be coloured and flavoured and used to make petits fours. It can be also be moulded into the shapes of fruits, vegetables etc.
Masa
Dough of ground dried corn and flour; usually refers to ground nixtamal; instant corn flour tortilla mix; cornmeal dough made from dried corn kernels that have been softened in a lime solution, then ground; fresh frozen masa is available in supermarkets throughout the Southwest; comes finely ground in a dehydrated form and can be used to make tortillas and tamales.
Mascarpone Cheese
Soft and delicate Italian cream-enriched cow's milk cheese with a high butter fat content. Sometimes blended with other flavors or sweetened with fruit.
Mask
To cover completely, as with mayonnaise, jelly, ganache, aspic, etc.
Mastic
a resin that gives a sour flavor to dishes. A shrub rarely growing higher than 12 feet, much branched, and found freely scattered over the Mediterranean region, in Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, the Canary Islands, and Tropical Africa. The best Mastic occurs in roundish tears about the size of a small pea, or in flattened, irregular pear-shape, or oblong pieces covered with a whitish powder. They are pale yellow in color, which darkens with age. The odor is agreeable and the taste mild and resinous, and when chewed it becomes soft, so that it can easily be masticated. This characteristic enables it to be distinguished from a resin called Sanderach, which it resembles, but which when bitten breaks to powder.
Mata pepper
Small; when fresh, extremely hot; use in fresh sauces or stir-fry into oil before adding vegetables; add to shaker jar with vinegar to make hot sauce.
Matafan
A thick pancake eaten sweet as a snack, or savory as an accompaniment to cheese. They are also made with bacon, spinach, and potatoes.
Matai
The nut-like kernel of a water plant that grows in southeast Asia. The flesh is white, crunchy, crisp, juicy and a somewhat sweet nutty flavor. More commonly known as "water chestnut."
Matelote
A fish stew made with wine. The Alsatian version of this dish is made with freshwater fish, Riesling wine, and thickened with cream and egg yolks. The Normandy version includes seafood and is flavored with cider and Calvados. These stews are normally embellished with pearl onions and mushrooms. Also, asauce made with court bouillon and red wine.
Matjes herring
A reddish herring that has been skinned and filleted before being cured in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine.
Matzo
A thin, crisp, unleavened bread that is traditionally eaten during the Jewish Passover. Tradition dictates that matzos be made only with water and flour, but moderns include certain flavors, such as onion.
Mayonnaise
A thick, creamy, cold sauce made by beating oil and egg yolks, usually with some wine vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard. Used to dress salads or mixed with other ingredients.
Meat
The part of the muscle of any cattle, sheep, swine, or goat that is skeletal or that is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus with or without the accompanying and overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the muscle tissue and which are not separated from it in the process of dressing.
Meat tenderizer
Most chemical meat tenderizers are a powder composed chiefly of "papain," an enzyme extracted from papayas. This enzyme is effective in breaking down the meat fibers.
Meatball
Chopped meat formed into balls and cooked. Additional ingredients are sometimes added to the meat.
Megrim
Flat fish from the brill and turbot family.
Melba
The name given to various dishes dedicated to Dame Nellie Melba, the famous 19th-century Australian opera singer. The best known is peach Melba, created by Escoffier when he was chef at the Savoy in London. The original was an elaborate dish of a swan of ice with peaches on top on a bed of ice-cream and topped with spun sugar. Today, the dessert consists of peach halves on a bed of vanilla ice-cream and coated with raspberry puree.
Melba Toast
This accompaniment to soups and salads is a very thin, dry toast. Created by Auguste Escoffier for opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.
Melon
There are three kinds of melons (aside from watermelon, a different species entirely). Small melons with ridged skin, such as the charentais, more common in Europe; and those with a meshed rind, such as cantaloupe; and those with a smooth rind, like the honeydew. When looking for ripe melons, an appetizing smell is a good sign. Shake the melon. Loose seeds are a fairly good indication of ripeness. Squeeze the ends, especially the one opposite the stem; it should be fairly tender, almost soft.
Menudo
Tripe and cow's foot soup or stew; fiery Mexican "hangover cure," traditionally eaten on Saturday and Sunday; traditional dish for New Year's Day; normally served with lime wedges, oregano, red pepper flakes and hot tortillas.
Meringue
A very light sweet confection made from stiffly whipped egg whites and sugar. When baked it becomes hard on the surface but remains soft inside. Used to cover pies and tarts or on its own with fruit.
Mesclun
A mixture of young shoots and leaves used in a salad. Mesclun usually contains various types of wild and cultivated chicory, lamb's lettuce and dandelion but may also include rocket, chervil, purslane and oak leaf lettuce.
Mesophilic
Cheesemaking term which describes the temperature at which the culture thrives. From the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate - and philic - which means loving. Mesophilic cultures thrive around room temperatures.These terms describes at the temperature the culture thrives at. Mesophilic (from the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate and philic - which means loving) cultures thrive around room temperatures. Mesophilic cultures require a temperature than thermophilic cultures.
Mesquite
A hardwood tree indigenous to the American Southwest. Mesquite it used in barbecuing and smoking foods. It imparts a slightly sweet flavor to the meats.
Metate
Old Native American utensil, made of volcanic rock; used for grinding corn, mesquite beans, etc.
Mettwurst
Uncooked, smoked sausage -- Cured beef and pork, ground and lightly spiced with allspice, ginger, mustard and coriander, smooth; spread-able consistency; cook before serving.
Meuniere
(a la). A method of cooking that can be used for all types of fish. The fish is coated in seasoned flour, fried in butter and served with some more melted butter with the addition of a squeeze of lemon juice and a few freshly chopped herbs. Traditionally, whole trout and fillets of sole are cooked in this manner.
Mexican chocolate
A mixture of chocolate, almonds, sugar and sometimes cinnamon and vanilla, ground together and formed into octagonal tablets; Ibarra is the most common brand in the United States; can be used in desserts, chocolate beverages and some mole sauces; the best substitute is to add a dash of cinnamon to bittersweet chocolate.
Mexican Garlic
Mexican garlic has a dark pink-blue hue to the husk and is sharper than white garlic; usually mashed or roasted for Southwestern cooking.
Mexican mint marigold
Also known as "sweet mace"; flavor of the leaves is similar to tarragon with a subtle anise flavor; both the leaves and petals can be used in sauces and relishes and as a garnish.
Mexican oregano
Much larger leaves and a different appearance from the oregano most commonly found in the United States; almost always sold dried in the United States; used in many traditional recipes for red sauces, moles and stews; should be toasted slightly before using to enhance the flavor.
Mexican Potato
Large bulbous root vegetable with a thin brown skin and a white crunchy flesh with a texture similar to water chestnut. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. Also called "Jicama."
Mexican strawberries
Cowboy term for red beans.
Migas
A dish made of eggs scrambled with chorizo, tortilla chips, onions, tomatoes, cheese and chiles, it is normally eaten for breakfast.
Mignon, Migonette
This is a term used to describe coarsely ground pepper used for au poivre preparations and in bouquet garni. This is also used to describe small round pieces of meat or poultry.
Milanese
Foods that are dipped in egg and bread crumbs, sometimes parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.
Mild chiles
New Mexico or Anaheim chiles.
Milk chocolate
Most popular form of eating chocolate in the United States due to its mild, mellow flavor. It has only 10% chocolate liquor and usually contains about 12% milk solids. Milk chocolate has a less robust flavor than sweet or semi-sweet chocolates.
Milkfish
An important food fish of the Indo-Pacific region that offers a tender, white flesh. Hawaiians use milkfish for making fish cakes and sashimi. Also called "awa."
Milkshake
An American beverage consisting blended milk, ice cream, and flavorings.
Mille-feuille
Pastry made of thin layers of puff pastry, whipped cream and jam or some other filling such as fresh fruit. Mille-feuilles are usually small rectangular pastries but can also be made as large gateaux. Literally means 'a thousand leaves'.
Millet
A bland flavored cereal grass used chiefly for forage in the U.S., but as a staple for one-third of the world's population. Millet can be boiled and used to make a hot cereal pilaf or ground and used as flour.
Mince
To finely chop food, resulting in tiny pieces.
Minced Luncheon Specialty
Sandwich spread; cooked meat specialty -- Made of lean beef and pork trimmings; cured; finely ground, spiced.
Mincemeat
A spicy preserve in English cookery that consists of a mixture of dried fruit, apple, suet, candied fruit and spices, steeped in rum or brandy. It is the traditional filling for individual mince pies, served warm at Christmas.
Minestrone
A thick Italian soup containing a mixture of vegetables and pasta or rice.
Mint
The two most popular types of the over 30 varieties of mint are peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint is more pungent. Mint is used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Mint Julep
A cocktail composed of fresh mint, bourbon, and crushed ice. Traditionally served in an iced pewter or silver mug at the running of the Kentucky Derby.
Mint sauce
A thin sauce made from chopped mint, vinegar and sugar, traditionally served in England as an accompaniment to roast lamb.
Minute steak
A tender and juicy very thin steak cut from the top round, which can be quickly sauteed, broiled or pan-broiled.
Mirabelle
Small yellow plum, used as tart filling; a liqueur made from small yellow plums.
Mirasol chiles
Mirasol means looking at the sun; also called chile travieso, or naughty chile; the dried pods are used like dried red New Mexican chiles in corn dishes, meat dishes, sauces and stews; when fresh and green, it can be substituted for the serrano chile mochomos - cooked or roasted meat, shredded and fried crisp.
Mirepoix
A mixture of diced vegetables, usually onion, leek, carrot and celery, that are sauteed in butter to form a base for many sauces, soups and stews.
Mirin
Mirin is sweetened sake (rice wine) used in Japanese cooking, especially for sauces.
Mirliton (vegetable pear)
A vegetable resembling a pale green squash. Mirlitons are also referred to as vegetable pears or chayote squash. You can find them on vines growing in Louisiana back yards. Their delicate flavor generally absorbs the taste of other foods they come in contact with. They are also used as an ingredient in Caribbean as well as Latin and Southwestern American dishes.
Miso
A paste made from soya beans, used in Japanese cookery. Popular when made into soup.
Mix
To combine ingredients until smooth and evenly distributed.
Mocha
A strong, slightly bitter coffee that originally referred only to a very fine coffee grown in Arabia and shipped from Yemen's port of Mocha. Mocha also refers, nowadays, to a hot coffee-and-chocolate beverage.
Mochi
A sweet, short-grained, Glutinous rice with a very high starch content that is used to make rice cakes.
Mojo
A spicy, rich sauce consisting of nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate, and peppers.
Molasses
A thick, dark, heavy syrup that is a by-product of sugar refining. It is far less sweet than syrup or honey and the darker the molasses, the less sugar it contains. Molasses has a slightly bitter flavour that is favoured in traditional North American recipes such as Boston baked beans and it also goes into the making of rich fruit cakes, gingerbread and treacle toffee.
Mole
A rich, dark reddish-brown Mexican sauce that is often served over poultry. Mole contains onion, garlic, chili peppers, ground seeds, and a small amount of Mexican chocolate.
Molinillo
A wooden whisk used to whip hot chocolate; the handle is rolled between the palms of the hands, whipping the mixture until it is frothy.
Molletes
Yeast rolls flavored with anise; toasted open-faced sandwich filled with refried beans and cheese.
Monk's beard
A vegetable grown in Tuscany, Italy, monk's beard is in season for only five weeks of the year. Similar in appearance to samphire, it is best prepared by light steaming and served with lemon or olive oil. It can also be added to risotto.
Monkfish
This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor similar to lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "Angler," "Lotte," "Belly-Fish," "frogfish," "Sea Devil," and "Goosefish."
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Additive made from sodium salt crystals and used to enhance the flavour of foods, especially in Oriental cuisine. MSG is much used by commercial manufacturers of foods such as soups and sauces. It has a unique taste, different to sweet, sour, bitter and salty, called umami. Some people have reactions to MSG that cause them to suffer from a variety of symptoms including dizziness, headache, flushing and burning sensations.
Mont blanc
A rich dessert of chestnut puree and whipped cream.
Monterey Jack Cheese
This semi-soft buttery ivory cheese is made from whole, partly skim, and skim milk. It hails from Monterey, California and is also called "California Jack" or "Jack." Somes contain jalapenos and other flavorings.
Montmorency
A sauce made with cherries; also, a garnish made with artichoke hearts.
Moochim
A Korean-style dried fish with soy sauce.
Mooli
Long white Japanese vegetable of the radish family. Also known as daikon, it is mild and crunchy and good in salads. Unlike other radishes it is as good cooked as raw.
Moose
A large member of the deer family with enormous palmate antlers. Moose meat is called "venison." Antelope, caribou, elk, deer, and reindeer meat is also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat in the U.S.
Mora and morita pepper
Dried red jalapeno, two or three inches long, red-brown; smoked flavor; medium hot; used in salsas, soups, etc. (Moritas are smaller.)
Morel
Morels are a highly prized wild fungus. They grow in dry, sandy areas and have a sponge-like cap so it is important to wash them well to get rid of any grit. They are often used dried and are excellent in all mushroom dishes and as additions to stews and casseroles.
Morello cherries
Pie cherries.
Mornay Sauce
A bechamel sauce enriched with egg yolks and flavoured with grated Gruyere cheese. It is used to coat dishes to be glazed under the grill or browned in the oven, including poached eggs, fish, shellfish, vegetables.
Mortadella
A large, lightly smoked Italian sausage flavoured with myrtle berries and studded with pistachios or green olives.
Mortadella, German-Style
Cooked meat specialty -- High grade, finely chopped bologna with cubes of fat pork and pistachio nuts added; smoked at high temperature.
Mortadella, Italian-style
Semi-dry sausage -- Italian-style sausage composed of very finely chopped, cured pork and beef with added cubes of white fat; delicately spiced with garlic and anise; smoked at high temperature; air dried.
Mostaccioli
A large, 2-inch macaroni tube cut on the diagonal. This noodle is available with both a ridged or a plain surface.
Moth Bean
A low, trailing Indian plant of the legume family. The edible beans are mottled grayish-yellow.
Moules mariniere
Mussels prepared a la mariniere, ie by cooking in white wine with chopped shallots, parsley, thyme and a bay leaf.
Mountain oysters
Roasted calf testes eaten as a between-meal snack.
Moussaka
A dish from Greece, Turkey and the Balkans, made of layers of lamb, slices of aubergine, potatoes and onions and covered with white sauce and cheese.
Mousse
A name describing either a sweet or savoury dish which is light and creamy. Sweet versions are made with beaten egg whites, savoury mousses use gelatine.
Mousseline
These are fine purees or forcemeats that have been lightened with whipped cream. The term is also used to describe a hollandaise sauce which has unsweetened whipped cream folded into it.
Mousseron mushroom
A wild mushroom with an off-white to beige color. The flavor is full-bodied and the texture is fleshy like bolets.
Mozzarella
An Italian fresh or unripened cheese made from the milk of the water-buffalo and sold swimming in whey; fans often prefer its soft sponge-like texture and mild creamy flavour to the alternative cow’s milk mozzarella which can be more rubbery and less flavoursome.
Muenster Cheese
The American of this has a light yellow interior and a bland taste that is different from the European originals, which are yellow, semi-soft and have flavors ranging from mild (when young) to very assertive (when aged).
Muesli
The German word for "mixture." Muesli was developed as a health food by a Swiss nutritionist near the end of the 19th century. Now a popular type of cereal. Often labeled "granola."
Mugi-Kogi
Miso made from wheat.
Mugwort
A dried green herb that rich in iron and calcium.
Mulato chile
A dried chile; in Mexican cooking it refers to the chile mulato, a dark black-brown dried chile famous for its use in Mole Poblano; tastes of licorice, chocolate and dried fruit; used in many dark moles; if unavailable, use anchos or pasillas.
Mulberry
A berry resembling a blackberry that comes in white, red and black varieties. Their flavor is sweet and somewhat bland. The leaves of the white mulberry are used in silkworm cultivation.
Mullangi
A type of radish with a sweet flavor and a crisp, juicy white flesh. Used raw, in salads, in stir-fries, and as a garnish. Also called "Oriental radish."
Mullet
This term is used to describe several families of important food fish. In general, they are saltwater fish with a moderate to high fat content and flesh that is tender, white, and firm textured. They have a sweet, nut-like flavor.
Mulligatawny
A spicy soup originally from India, adopted by the British and especially popular in Australia. It is a chicken consomme with stewed vegetables, highly seasoned with curry and spices.
Mung beans
A versatile tiny (about one-eighth inch in diameter), dried bean is common throughout Asia. The bean or pea is also the source of bean sprouts, also used to make bean-thread noodles.
Muscatel
A strong sweet wine made from the muscat grape. It is a rich, sweet dessert wine. Muscatel can be amber, golden, red, white. It is sometimes sparkling.
Mushroom
There are thousands of varieties of this fleshy fungus. The cultivated mushroom is commonly available, but other wild varieties include cepe, chanterelle, enokitake, morel, puffball, and shiitake. Many wild mushrooms are poisonous.
Music roots
sweet potatoes; so called because of the gaseous effect.
Muskellunge
A freshwater pike that averages between 10 and 30 pounds. Some specimens, however have reached 60 pounds and up to six feet in length. Muskellunge offers a lean, firm, low-fat flesh.
Muskmelon
Muskmelons are called "cantaloupes" in North America, but they are not actually cantaloupes. True cantaloupes are European and are not exported to the U.S. The light orange flesh is mild, sweet, and very juicy.
Muskrat
Also known as a "marsh rabbit" and "musquash," this animal is a large, aquatic, North American rodent with a red, gamey flesh. Muskrat has a lot of bones, but it makes a good stew.
Mussel
A bivalve mollusk with worldwide distribution. There are salt and freshwater varieties. The thin shell means there is more meat compared to the same weight of clams or oysters. The yellow meat has a sweet and delicate flavor.
Must
a sweet, viscous liquid that is red-yellow in color. It comes from fresh grape must, known as "stafilopat." In other parts of Greece it is known as "petmezi."
Mustard
A herbaceous plant whose seeds are used to prepare the condiment of the same name. There are three varieties: black mustard (spicy and piquant), brown mustard (less piquant), and white or yellow mustard (much less piquant but more pungent). Mustard seeds are sold whole, ground into powder or processed into prepared mustard. Mustard seeds can be stored for up to a year in a dry, dark place and powdered mustard for about 6 months. Whole seeds are used for pickling, flavouring cooked meats and vegetables. Powdered mustards and freshly ground seeds are used in sauces, as a seasoning in main dishes and as an ingredient in salad dressings. Different blends of made-up mustard include English, Dijon and French. It is often eaten with meats and can be used to add flavour and thickness to sauces.
Mustard Greens
The peppery leaves of the mustard plant. Mustard greens can be steamed, sauteed, or simmered.
Mustard Spinach
An herb of the mustard family whose leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach. Americans cultivate this plant for its leaves; Asians cultivate it also for its thick, tuberous crown, which they pickle. Also called "tendergreens."
Mutton
The flesh of sheep over one year old.
Muttonfish
A marine fish of the eelpout family found mainly in the Pacific. The flesh is sweet and white and contains very few bones. Also called "ocean pout."