falafel – (Arabic) Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, chick pea or broad bean patty usually served in or with warm bread and various accompaniments.
faraona – (Italian) guinea fowl
farce – (French) stuffing or forcemeat
fatoush or fattoush – (Arabic) Middle Eastern salad made with pieces of fried pitta bread and salad vegetables with a mint and parsley dressing
fenugreek – plant of which the seeds are ground and used as a spice in curries and chutneys
feather ice – decorating technique of using a skewer or cocktail stick to drag a contrasting colour of icing or sauce through the base colour
fennel – aniseed-flavoured herb and vegetable. The bulb can be used as a vegetable, finely sliced in salads or braised, often served in a pastis and cream sauce. The leaves can be used in cooking to add flavour and the seeds, from which the herb is grown, are also a popular addition to some dishes, eg curries.
feta – creamy soft white cheese which, because of protected origin, can now only be produced in Greece.
feuillantine – (French) puff pastry strips brushed with egg, sprinkled with sugar and baked
feuilletage – (French) for flaky or puff pastry
fig – luscious but not juicy fruit. Originates in Asia but now widely grown in the Mediterranean.
filbert – (cobnut or hazelnut) – see hazelnut
firm ball – the stage when a small amount of boiled sugar syrup will form a firm ball when dropped into cold water
fish – A fish is any member of a paraphyletic group of organisms that consists of all gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits.
fish sauce (nam pla) – Thai fermented fish sauce. Essential flavouring ingredient in many Thai dishes. Also used in dipping sauces.
fleur de sel – (French: “flower of salt”). It’s a flaky, hand-harvested sea salt with large crystals. (Also called “flor de sal” in Spanish and Catalan)
fèves – French, called broad beans in Britain, fava beans in the USA.
flageolet – small, pale-green kidney bean
flambé – technique of flaming food by pouring over alcohol and igniting
flor de sal – (Spanish, Catalan) See “fleur de sel”
Florentine – an Italian biscuit made with nuts and fruit
Florentine – a term used for a dish made with spinach
flour – a powder-like substance usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. Probably the most used ingredient in the world.
foie gras – (French: “fatty liver”) fattened (enlarged) liver of force-fed duck or goose. The method of production is controversial.
focaccia – flat, round, flavoured Italian bread. Often flavoured with rosemary or olives.
fold – cooking technique used to gently combine a light, airy ingredient with a heavier one. Stirring would not allow the lighter ingredient to retain so much air.
fontina – type of Italian cheese made with cow’s milk.
forestière – (French) garnished with mushrooms
fraiser – (French) baking technique of mixing a dough of butter, eggs and flour together using a cutting and smearing motion. Used in French pastry making.
frangipane – mixture of ground almonds, sugar, eggs and butter. Used in desserts.
freekeh – (Arabic) processed durum wheat
freezer burn – dryness or discolouration of food due to incorrect storage in the freezer
fricassée – (French) white meat or poultry cut into chunks and casseroled.
frisée – (French) curly, frilly variety of chicory. Used as salad leaves. (Also known as “curly endive”)
frittata – Italian flat, unfolded omelette, like a crustless quiche
fruits de mer – (French) seafood dish of raw and cooked shellfish served cold on a platter, usually on a bed of ice. French Christmas classic.
fumé(e) – (French) smoked
funghi – (Italian) mushrooms
fusilli – (Italian) long, thick, corkscrew-shaped pasta