gailan – (Cantonese) leafy green vegetable. Also known as “Chinese broccoli” or “Chinese kale”
galangal – rhizome (root) from the ginger family, often used in Thai cooking
galette – (French) flat, round, sweet or savoury cake or pancake. A Breton galette is a pancake made with buckwheat flour, usually with a savoury filling.
gallimaufry – ragout, originally any kind of hotchpotch, potpourri, or jumble of things
Gamay – red grape variety, commonly used in Beaujolais wine
ganache – cake topping or filling made from couverture (chocolate) and double cream
garam masala – (Hindi: “hot spice mix”) spice mixture which originated in Northern India
garlic – one of the allium family, as is the onion. Used to flavour many Mediterranean and Asian dishes.
gastrique – (French: “gastric”) caramelised sugar deglazed with vinegar, used as a flavouring for sauces.
gazpacho – Spanish cold thick broth of tomatoes, garlic, onion etc
gelatine – colourless, tasteless and odourless setting agent made from the boiled bones, skins and tendons of animals
gelato – (Italian) ice cream
Gewürztraminer – white grape variety common in Alsatian wines
ghee – (Hindi) clarified butter often used in Indian cooking
gin – distilled spirit flavoured with juniper
ginger – flowering plant of which the rhizome (root) is widely used as a spice
girolle – meaty, yellow, funnel-shaped mushroom, similar to chanterelles but usually picked smaller
glacé – (French) iced or glazed
glaze – to create a glossy surface on food to avoid discolouration and to improve its appearance
globe artichoke – bud of a large member of the thistle family. The heart and the tender ends of the leaves are edible. (The Jerusalem artichoke is unrelated.)
gluten – the protein in wheat which allows the flour of yeast-raised baking to keep its shape when rising. Kneading is often used to promote this effect.
gnocchi – (Italian: “knuckles”) small Italian dumplings (often made from potato) cooked in boiling water and served with sauce
gochujang – (Korean) a savoury, spicy and pungent fermented condiment made from red chilli, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt.
gosht – originally a Persian word for meat. Several other Asian languages have adopted the word.
goji berries – bright red berries, often hailed as a ‘super food’ because of their nutritional content.
goose – waterfowl, traditional at Christmas in the UK instead of turkey
gooseberry – large green berry, related to the blackcurrant
Gorgonzola – cow’s milk cheese with blue veins, originally from the Milan area
gougère – (French) ring of choux pastry with savoury filling, often cheese
goulash – (Hungarian: gulyás – “cowherd”) soup or stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices
grana – (Italian) a class of hard cheese
grape – berry fruit that can be eaten unprocessed, also used in the production of wine
grapefruit – large citrus fruit, like an orange but more tart
grate – to reduce solid food into threads or powder by rubbing it over the surface of a grater or zester
gratin or au gratin – (French) dish which is topped by a browned crust, could be achieved by breadcrumbs or cheese browned under a grill
gravlax or gravadlax – Nordic dish of raw salmon cured in sugar, salt, pepper and dill
gravy – thickened sauce made from meat and/or vegetable juices
Greek salad – salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, olives and feta cheese
gremolata – (Italian) mixture of parsley, garlic and lemon zest, used to garnish osso bucco
Grenache – red grape variety, often used to make rosé wine
gribiche – (French) sauce of mayonnaise, capers, gherkins, herbs and hard-boiled egg whites
grill – to cook or brown food quickly using the intense heat of an electric element or gas flame
griottines – morello cherries macerated in kirsch or other alcohol
grissini – (Italian) bread sticks
grouse – highly prized game bird
Gruyère – nutty-flavoured traditional Swiss cheese
guinea fowl – small domesticated fowl with a slightly gamey taste
gurnard – small, round sea fish, white-fleshed but rather bony