A

Acidulation

To make something sour or acidic by adding vinegar, wine, lemon or lime juice. This process can aid in enhancing the flavor or preserving the ingredients.

Aerate

To mix air into dry ingredients and changing the composition of the material. Sifting flour to remove clumps is an example of this.

Agrodolce

Produced by reducing sweet and sour elements, agrodolce is a traditional Chinese sauce. The name is derived from the Italian words “agro” and “dolce”.

Aiguillette

The fine, thin slices of meat cut from the most tender part of the duck or chicken breast. Also refers to cuts from the rump or flank of beef.

Al dente

An Italian term that refers to pasta or rice that is being cooked to the point where it is still fairly firm.

Allumettes

Vegetables cut into small matchstick shapes – this helps the vegetable to cook evenly and quickly.

A point

Cooking a piece of meat to the ideal degree.

Arroser

To use a vegetable or animal fat to baste something.

Aspic

A savory meat gelatin in which ingredients are set. It’s made from meat stock or consommé.

Au gratin

Using seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese, au gratin is the process of grilling a dish until it’s golden brown on top.

Au sec

In French, au sec means “nearly dry”, and in cooking, this refers to reducing a liquid to the point where it’s almost dry.