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Indian Saffron Saffron - A spice made from the stigmas of the saffron crocus. It comes in either powder form or in dried stands. The best saffron probably comes form Valencia. Iran, Italy, Greece and South American countries also produce it. Saffron should be used carefully as it will give the dish a soapy and bitter flavour if used in excess, it is also the most expensive of all spices. Indian Saffron (not to be confused with tumeric) is redder in colour is considerably cheaper but much less pungent.

Sausage - Basically, sausage is ground meat with fat, salt, seasonings, preservatives, and sometimes fillers. They may be smoked, fresh, dry or semi-dry, uncooked, partially cooked, or fully cooked. There are thousands of variations of sausage.

Salami - Originally an Italian sausage variety. Now any of a family of boldly seasoned sausages similar to "cervelats," except that they tend to contain more garlic and are coarser and drier. Salamis are rarely smoked. "Pepperoni" is a popular type of salami. Milano is one of the best Salamis available. Milano

Salisbury Steak - A ground beef patty seasoned with onions and seasonings before it is broiled or fried and served with gravy. Named after Dr. J. H. Salisbury who recommended eating a lot of beef for a wide variety of ailments.

Salmis - a game stew. usually made with feathered game - abbreviated from salmigondis.

Saltpetre - the common name for potassium nitrate. It is used to preserve food especially meat in which it produces a characteristic bright pink colour. It is used to make brine in combination with salt and sugar. Numerous meat products are cured using saltpetre including pastrami and knackwurst

Sauté - To brown or toss food in a small amount of oil. see Shallow Frying Scald - To heat a liquid just below the boiling point. Tiny bubbles should form around the edge of the pan.

Sear - To brown the surface of food quickly using high heat.

Serrano Serrano Ham - A Spanish ham air dried often with paprika and oil. Served in thin slices, it makes an excellent snack; and small amounts add a distinctive flavor to a wide variety of dishes such as soups, vegetables, or pasta. Serrano means "from the mountains", as the dry mountain air offers the ideal conditions for the curing process. more on Serrano Ham

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Shallot - A member of the onion family shallots often have a pinkish tinge and are more delicate in flavour than some onions when cooked. Shaped like cloves of garlic.

Shred - To slice finely.

Simmer - To cook liquid below or just at the boiling point. The bubbles should rise slowly to the surface.

Snail - Popular since prehistoric times the "escargot", was eaten by ancient Romans who set aside special vineyards where snails could feed and fatten. Now a national dish of France but available worldwide. Usually served with garlic butter and in the shells.

Slice - To cut food into similar size flat pieces.

Slow Cooker - Am electric duck oven or casserole used to cook stews and soups slowly. Also known as a crock pot.

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Smoke point - The point at which fat breaks down, starts to smoke and gives off an odor. Different fats have different smoke points. The smoking point of animal fats is about 190¼C/375¼C, vegetable fats tend to be about 200¼C/400¼F, peanut and corn oils tend to have a higher smoke point at around 220¼C/425¼F. Take care as fat burst into flames easily if overheated.If it does turn off the heat and cover with a lid,a baking sheet, a fire blanket or a damp teatowel. DO NOT attempt to move the pan or fryer or use water to extinguish.

Souse Loaf - Well-cooked pig's head and feet that are chopped into small pieces, marinated in lime juice, chili pepper and salt, then pressed into a loaf.

Soya - the soya bean is very versatile and nutritious. When milled, becomes very high in protein. Typical Soy Products include:

Edamame- The Japanese name for fresh soybeans. The soybeans (either fresh or frozen) are boiled in their pods with salt then chilled and served as an appetizer.

Soy Flour - Dried and ground soybeans. This product can be difficult to digest. 

Soy Milk - Soy milk is made simply from dried soybeans and water.  It is an excellent replacement for milk.  Use it fresh to drink, or pour over cereal, or in most recipes that require milk. This is a great, easily digestible way to increase your soy intake.

Soy Sauce - Soy sauce and Tamari are made of soybeans, salt and water. Soy sauce contains a wheat product called koji. Tamari contains no wheat. Soy sauce is used as a flavor enhancer. For the best flavor purchase a high quality soy sauce or Tamari product which has been well aged. Some of the very inexpensive brands may have a very harsh flavor.

Dried & Roasted Soybeans - Soybeans can be dried and roasted and used as a snack food. These can be very difficult to digest.

Spätzle - A form of pasta/noodle paste formed into irregular strips or dumplings which are served as a garnish or as a main dish. The word means "little sparrow". see Recipe

Spelt - An ancient variety of wheat. It has small brown grains that adhere strongly to the chaff. Used in some special bread varieties and broths.

Spice - An aromatic substance used to season food.

Squirrel - An abundant, largely tree based rodent. Red and gray squirrels are commonly eaten in the U.S. The gray squirrel is fatter and has a flavor considered by many as superior to the red squirrel. Contrary to popular belief Squirrels only have a strong "gamey" taste if "hung".

Stew - A slow, moist heat cooking method using a pot with a tight-fitting lid. The meat should be completely covered in liquid. Used for less tender cuts.

Stir-fry - A quick, dry-heat cooking method using a lightly oiled skillet or wok. Use high heat while continuously tossing ingredients. Any cut can be used as long as it is cut into thin, uniform strips.

Stock - A liquid produced when water, seasonings, bones and/vegetables have been slowly simmered. None is French as fond (meaning foundation)or fumet (fish stock)they are the basis of many soups, sauces and stews.

Stroganov - A dish of thinly sliced beef (usually fillet, sirloin, tenderloin or top loin), onions, and mushrooms sautéed with a cream based sauce and garnished with sautéed mushrooms. Often served with a rice pilaf. Invented by the chef of Count Paul Stroganoff in the 19th century.

Strudel - A very thin pastry filled and rolled - either sweet or savoury. Originally from Vienna it was reputedly invented by a Hungarian chef who based it on Phyllo pastry. Classically filled with Apples and raisins many other variants are now coomonly used. Recipe

Sugar Granulated sugar is the most common type of white sugar,it is crystaline and pours easily. British granulated is coarser than American granulated. It is used for making syrups and other heated mixtures, including adding to tea and coffee. Castor or caster sugar is the British name for a fine granulated sugar used in desserts and baking similar to the French "sucre en poudre" or the American superfine. Icing sugar is a powdered sugar mixed with cornflour to prevent it from caking.

Swedish Meatballs - A combination of ground meat (often a combination of beef, pork, or veal), sautéed onions, milk-soaked breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, and seasonings. The mixture is formed into small balls, then sautéed until brown.

Swiss Steak - Round or chuck steak that has been tenderized by pounding, coated with flour, and browned on both sides. The meat is then covered in chopped tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, broth, and seasonings, and baked for approximately two hours.

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Tabasco - an american sauce consisting of chilli peppers marinated in spirit vinegar and salt.

Tabbouleh - a Lebanese salad of bulgur (cracked) wheat, mint, tomatoes, onions and parsley - sometimes with peppers and onions. It is traditionally wrapped in cos lettuce and eaten with the hands.

Tagine - a spicy vegetable or meat stew. The traditional method of cooking in North Africa-- Tagine--has been used for centuries to slow cook with these spices. Very little water is needed to keep foods moist, and the unique design of the Tagine lid locks in the combination of flavors. The base in this model, made of cast iron, works with any heat source: gas, electric radiant or solid plates, ceramic, halogen, induction, and Aga-Rayburn-type stoves. The tall, inverted cone shape keeps the top far from the heat source and from absorbing the heat, and thus stays cool to the touch.

Tahini - a paste made from sesame seeds used in Hummus and also in Middle Eastern sweets. Can be light or dark if toasted.

Tapenade - a condiment originally from Provence made with capers, stoned black pitted olives, and desalted anchovies pounded in a mortar with lemon juice and herbs. There are numerous variations but the name comes from tapeno which means caper! Used as accompaniment to grilled fish, meat or served with cruditées or on toast.

Texas Toast - Thickly sliced (1-inch) French/Italian bread spread with butter on both sides and browned under broiler or on the grill.

Toss - To mix ingredients lightly.

Tronçon - A slice of a large flat fish cut through the bone.

Tripe - The stomach tissue of ruminant (chewing animals) usually beef. There are two main types of tripe: "blanket" or ridged from the first stomach and "honeycomb" from the second stomach.

Truffle - An edible fungus which is found underground. It is round and can be black, white, dark brown or grey in color. The scarcity and decline in truffles has led this once widely used item becoming an expensive garnish. Probably the best and most expensive truffle is the black Périgord truffle. There are some 70 varieties of truffle. Truffles are also sold in jars and cans, truffle oil can also be bought and used to finish dishes with.

Tumeric - A spice made from the powdered stem of a plant, it is an yellow/orange coloured powder that imparts a bright yellow color to food and has a distinctive yet delicate flavour. Known as Haldi in Indian Cookery. It is used in American Mustard, in Picalilli and in many curries to give colour and flavour. Turkey - A farm bird raised for its delicate flesh. Originally an American game bird from the pheasant family that has been domesticated. The flesh of turkey cocks is drier and requires barding and basting. See also tips on Cooking Turkey

Turning - Cutting a vegetable into barrel shapes see also turning knives

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Vanilla is a bean from the pod of a tropical climbing orchid. It can also be obtained as Vanilla extract or as Vanilla essence, these should be used sparingly as the flavour can be acrid if used in excess. Vanilla sugar is made by leaving one or two vanilla pods in a Jar of sugar . This gives a hint of vanilla flavour to the sugar. It can been made by mixing in a bit of vanilla essence and then drying out the sugar , but the result is less satisfactory. Use in place of ordinary sugar to give a hint of flavour.

Velouté - A white stock thickened with a blond roux. Velouté is the basis of many classic sauces and soups.

Veal - The meat of a calf up to one year old reared for slaughter when weaned. "Milk-fed" veal are unweaned calves. "Bob veal" is under a month old; "baby beef" is 6 - 12 months old. To keep their flesh from darkening, these animals are not fed grains or grasses.

Venison - Deer Meat. The term Venison covers the meat from any laege game animal such as antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose, and reindeer. Venison is probably the most popular large game meat eaten today. The term comes from the latin"venatio" to hunt.

Vienna Sausage - A small frankfurter, often served as an hors d'oeuvre.

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Water Buffalo - A buffalo native to the Old World tropics with large flattened horns. Also called "water ox."

Wild Boar - is the ancestor of the domestic big but its meat is richer, leaner and stronger tasting than pork. It can be found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America for more info see Game.

Wok - A round bottom pan used for stir fry and other cooking methods using high heat.

Wonton skins - A thin noodle dough that is used in Oriental recipes. Often available in the produce area of the grocery store.

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Yankee Pot Roast - A "pot roast" is a piece of chuck or round cut that is browned, then braised very slowly in a covered pot with a little liquid. A "Yankee pot roast" includes vegetables that are added part way through the cooking process. York Ham - A classic british Ham with a mild and sweetish flavor. York Ham

Yorkshire Pudding- A batter based pudding traditionally served with Roast Beef. Recipe

Z Zest - To remove, in fine strips, the outermost peel of citrus fruits. Be careful not to include the bitter, inner white pith.

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