Quick Recipes and Easy

The Language Of Cooking Lessons

Is puree a verb or a noun?

Does sauté mean pan-frying or preparing food in a skillet with oil?

Do you know the difference between fillet and filet?

If you’re not sure about the answers to the questions above, well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people are not so sure about the meaning of different terms. In fact, two years ago, manufacturers of your simple cake-mix chose to have box directions rewritten to make them simple enough for those who are not familiar with basic terms used by another generation.

The insertion of French words to the English language made cooking terms more complicated. With the dominance of these French people in the area of fine cuisine (another French term!), it is not so surprising that numerous terms have been included now in the language of cooking.

It is because of this that chefs need to study French in many culinary institutions and cooks at homes need to at least have some kind of acquaintance with a few of them.

Puree, for example, is a common term now and surprise! It is a verb, but as well as a noun. As a verb, in English, it means several things: mash, pulverize, and grind. Well, we’ve got the French to thank for the coining of the more elegant term puree.

Sauté is another French term, which refers to pan-frying; but, the word has become so common place that it is also used to refer to preparing food in a skillet with oil. It is no wonder that some refer to skillets as sauté pans.

Fillet and filet are also two terms that many people, even writers of menu, get confused about. Fillet is only the spelling in English, filet the term in French – a piece of boneless fish or meat. For beef tenderloin, it’s filet mignon. This French word became so familiar that Webster’s New World Culinary Arts Dictionary defines filet as the fabrication of a boneless piece of meat, as well as a term for the production of the action mentioned above. Fillet, on the other hand, refers to the act of fish filleting and the side of fish without bones.

Cooking is fun, and learning how to cook is even more fun. The experience of cooking can be a fantastic source of enjoyment and relaxation for many who like it, learn about



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