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Glossary - Z

Zabaglione - An Italian custard made with egg yolks and wine or juices, which are beaten vigorously over hot water to form a rich, creamy dessert. The custard can then be poured into glasses and chilled to be eaten later, or eaten warm with fresh fruit. Marsala is the most common wine used, though any sweet wine such as Madeira, Champagne, or Sauterne may be used.

Zakuski - A Russian tradition dating from Tolstoy's time, is food made for drinkers, although teetotalers would have a hard time resisting temptation. The usual array laid out to pick and choose from includes savory, salty or highly seasoned snacks such as smoked salmon, stuffed eggs, meatballs, vegetable "caviars," small servings of salad or big wedges of hot cheese or mushroom pie. The flavors are always dramatic but complementary, and the contrasting textures only amplify the experience of playing with food. Russians eat Zakusi while drinking vodka.

Zakuski translates as "small bites," and the mix of one- or two-morsel choices on a single table or tray - hot and cold, homemade and store bought, aggressively seasoned and totally mellow.

Zampone - A specialty of the town of Modena in northern Italy, this consists of a hollowed and stuffed pig trotter which is poached and served as a part of a traditional Bollito Misto.

Zanahoria - [Spanish] carrot.

Zartar Blend - From Lebanon. Find in Middle Eastern markets. A blend of zaatar (a marjoramlike herb), sumac bark and chick peas or sesame seeds. Common in foods from the Middle East.

Zarzamora - [Spanish] wild blackberry.

Zest - Grated rind of a citrus peel, used as a flavoring.

Zester - Small tool for scraping off zest.

Zingara - A sauce made with white wine, meat glaze, mushrooms, ham and tongue, finely chopped and peppered.

Zita - Wide tubular macaroni.

Zucca - [Italian] squash

Zucchini - The fastest growing of the summer fruits, treated as a vegetable in our kitchens. Look for very firm specimens.

Zuccotto - This is an Italian form of Charlotte Royale. In this dessert, triangles of sponge cake are placed in a bowl to form a shell for the filling. The filling consists of stiffly whipped cream which is studded with toasted almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate chips and candied fruit. A final layer of cake is placed over this, and when well set, the dessert is inverted onto a platter to form a large dome, reminiscent of Florence Duomo.

Zunge - [German] tongue.

Zuppa - [Italian] soup.

Zuppa Inglese - A refrigerated dessert similar to the British favorite, trifle (Tipsy cake or Tipsy pudding). It is made with rum sprinkled slices of sponge cake layered with a rich custard or whipped cream (or both) and candied fruit or toasted almonds (or both).

Zwieback - A sweet, dry toast - also known as rusks.

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