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Glossary - Y

Yakitori - A Japanese dish of grilled skewered chicken. They may also include vegetables, chicken livers, or ginkgo nuts. They are first marinated in teriyaki sauce, a sweetened version of soy sauce with the addition of sake, honey and ginger.

Yam - Sweet root vegetable similar in appearance to the sweet potato, but with pointed ends and a subdued yellow-orange color; a darker variety called yampee or cush-cush grows in the Southern United States and Mexico and produces clusters of smaller, tastier yams; often candied; should be firm, unwithered and unblemished when purchased. The true yam, also called name, is not the same as a sweet potato (although since there are hundreds of species, some are similar). It is very bland and, when cooked, very, very dry.

Yautia - [Spanish] sweet potato

Yeast - A living organism used in the production of bread and beer. Yeast, in the environment of sugar, produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. This process is called fermentation. Bread yeast comes in dry granulated and fresh cakes. A new form of yeast, called instant yeast, has been developed which allows the user to mix the yeast directly into the flour without dissolving it first in water.

Yema - [Spanish] yolk.

Yerba - [Spanish] herb.

Yerba buena - [Spanish] good herb; wild mint; cilantro is an acceptable substitute.

Yogurt - A thick, custard-like, mildly acid preparation. Usually made by fermenting partly skim or skim milk with a special culture. Fruit of other flavorings may be added. In the Middle East it is served as a sauce with meat, fruit and vegetables.

Yorkshire pudding - A baked batter of flour, milk and eggs, commonly with the addition of meat juices.

Yuca - [Spanish] cassava; manioc; dark-skinned fleshy starchy root of a tropical plant used in many Hispanic dishes; soft white flesh; cooked and mashed for side dishes, sweetened and fried for desserts or cooked into soups and stews to serve as a thickener; can also be thinly sliced and fried into chips; it is the root from which tapioca is made.

Yucca - Plant native to Latin America and the Southwest; petals, fruit and root can all be eaten; root is also used as a thickener for soups and stews.

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