baba - A rich, light yeast cake with currants or raisins and soaked in rum or kirsch syrup.
bagel - A type of chewy bread with a round shape, 3-4 inches in diameter, and a hole in the middle. The dough is boiled then baked. It can have toppings such as onion, garlic, poppy seeds.. Flavors and other ingredients, such as cinnamon or raisins, can also be kneaded into the dough. On the USA east coast, usually used as a breakfast bread but can also be used as a sandwich bread. Bagels are of Russian-Jewish origin.
baking powder - A leavening agent which combines an acid with bicarbonate of soda. The chemical reaction between the acid and the soda produces carbon dioxide, a gas which enables baked products to rise. The most common form of baking powder has a double action, producing gas upon mixing and again at high temperatures. Always store baking pwoder tightly covered in a dry, cool place.
balsamic vinegar - A type of vinegar produced in Modena, Italy, from the white Trebbianno grape. Use it to dress salads and enrich stews, soups and sauces. During the Middle Ages, the sugar-rich Trebbiano grape was used primarily for wine, but its high acidity made it better suited for producing vinegar. Balsamic vinegar gets its pungent sweetness from aging for several years in wood barrels. The vinegar matures in a series of barrels made from a variety of woods and and the process can last from 6 to 25 years. Store balsamic in a cool, dark cupboard. With balsamic vinegar, the more aged, the better; and usually the more expensive as well. However, cheap bottles may contain only colored red wine vinegar with a drop or two of 6 year-old balsamic vinegar added.
banquet room - an extra-large room to serve elaborate meals to a large number of people. Normally used for a especial celebration and more commonly found in a hotel or a restaurant than a private home.
barista - Professional maker of coffee drinks.
basquaise - Food prepared in the style of the Basque country, usually including tomatoes and red peppers, sweet or hot.
beans - Members of the legume family which are plants that carry seeds in a pod. Beans can be found fresh or dried. Dried beans are an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron.
beard - The hair-like extensions mussels use to attach themselves to rocks and hard surfaces. Their name is bissal threads or byssus.
beet or beetroot - A deep red, succulent root of a beta vulgaris plant - a biennial. Full of sugars, beets can be eaten raw or cooked, usually boiled or roasted.
beurre manie - French term. It is a mixture of flour and butter used in small quantities to thicken soups and sauces. Once added, the sauce or soup should boil for 8-10 minutes to remove any raw flavor.
biscotti - Dry Italian cookies flavored with almonds, chocolate, or anise seed. Dunk biscotti in coffee or sweet dessert wine.
biscuits - In the US, biscuits are a type of non-yeast bread made of flour, milk, and shortening - similar to English scones - usually served with breakfast and often with white gravy. In the UK, biscuits are small, round cakes, the equivalent of USA cookies.
blinis - Small Russian pancakes made of buckwheat flour and leavened with yeast. These pancakes are often brushed with sour cream.
bloom - Appearance of a white moldy looking film, or patches, on certain foods, particularly chocolate. In the case of chocolate, bloom is the result of storing in a too warm place as cocoa butter separates and crystallizes. This does not affect flavor or cooking properties.
board - name - daily meals, especially when obtained in return for payment - verb - either accommodate and feed or receive accommodation and food, often for payment; lodge.
room and board - expresion - receiving or giving accomodation and meals, keep.
boarding house - place- a house where people can get room and board; a home converted to rooms for rent, with food often included for lodgers.; the building where staying students eat and sleep in a boarding school.
boletus - A type of edible mushroom. It is also known as porcini mushroom, cep, or cepe.
bolt - eating verb - means to eat in a hurry, swallow your food and drink fast, gulp down in haste the food in front of you.
borscht - A rich soup from Eastern Europe containing beets and cabbage. It may also contain other ingredients, including potatoes, beans, meat or sausage. It can be served hot or cold, althught the best known of these soups is a cold version served with sour cream.
bouchee - A small puff pastry case served with a savory filling as appetizer. Sweet fillings are also used.
bouquet garni - A sachet of herbs, usually containing parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, used to flavor stock and sauces and then removed, Other variations may include rosemary, marjoram, fennel and black peppercorns.
Bourguignonne - Foods cooked in the style of Burgundy, which usually includes red wine, mushrooms, and pearl onions.
braising - verb - is the cooking method of frying food lightly and then stewing in a closed container.
break bread - eating verb - eat a meal, especially in company. Usually break bread with: as in come and break bread with us.
breakfast - meal - the first meal of the day - eating verb - to eat breakfast, to eat the morning meal.
bed & breakfast - a home converted to rooms for rent offering only beds to sleep and breakfast, guest often need to leave after breakfast.
brunoise - A way to cut vegetables, finely diced.
bruschetta - Grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil, rubbed with fresh garlic and with a sprinkle of salt. In Spain, there is a similar recipe known as pan con ajo (garlic bread) where the bread is usually toasted.
buffet - A variety of hot and cold dishes displayed on a large table or counter. People usually serve themselves, as opposite to seat at the table and wait to be served.
buttery - adjective - something that has the texture or taste of butter - name - a side room to the kitchen, used as pantry or to store liquors