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

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