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Culinary Dictionary
Cooking Glossary - Food Industry Terminology

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Jaban: [Spanish] wild boar.

Jack (food industry term): A wheeled device with lifting capabilities, used to move pallets or heavy loads of product (often onto skids or pallets).

Jackfruit: A very large (up to 100 pounds) tree-borne fruit from East India. Related to the breadfruit in the mulberry family, it has thick flesh with a flavor suggestive of a pineapple and banana with edible seeds. Can be used as a starchy vegetable when green; once ripe, used as a dessert or dried.

Jackrabbit: A hare native to North America; originally called "jackass rabbit" because of its long ears; five-pound jackrabbits are about one year old and are best for roasting; the meat is dark, rich and more gamey than rabbit.

Jaggery: Coarse brown sugar made from the sap of the palmyra palm. Also known as palm sugar. It can be found in East Indian markets.

Jaiba: [Spanish] small, hard-shelled crab.

Jalapeno cheese: Asadero cheese blended and molded with jalapeno chiles; jalapeno jack may be substituted.

Jalapeno peppers, fresh: The dark green jalapeno is the unripe version of the red which often ships with white veins on the outer skin. This does not affect the flavor or quality. They are about 3 inches long, with a rounded tip. They ripen to red and range from hot to very hot, the smallest being the hottest; they take their name from Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz, Mexico; sold fresh, canned or pickled; when dried and smoked, they are called chipotle peppers. Delicious when roasted, stewed or pickled; both are a delight stuffed with cheese or peanut butter and grilled. Jalapeno Poppers became popular in the 90s. Heat ranges from hot to very hot.

Jalapeno Peppers: A short, dark green, tapered chile pepper with thick flesh. It is moderately hot and available fresh or canned. Dry, smoked jalapenos are known as chipolte peppers.

Jalapenos en escabeche: [Spanish] pickled jalapenos.

Jam: A thick, cooked mixture of fruit, sugar, and usually pectin.

Jam: Thick syrupy mixture of fruit and sugar.

Jamaica: [Spanish] hibiscus; deep red calyxes that cover the blossoms before the flowers open; used to flavor beverages; commonly labeled sorrel in markets.

Jambalaya: A Creole dish of ham, shrimp, crayfish and or sausage cooked with rice, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and seasonings.

Jambalaya: The Cajun-Creole version of paella, though more highly spiced. The only consistent ingredients among all of the jambalaya recipes are rice, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Ingredients used for jambalaya are ham, oysters, chicken, Andouille sausage, duck, shrimp and game birds.

Jambolan: Also known as the Java plum, this fruit is native to India and parts of southeast Asia. It is known for its pear-like shape and purple skin. The flesh can be slightly purple or white with a tart flavor.

Jambon: [French] ham.

Jamon: [Spanish] ham.

Jarabe: [Spanish] syrup.

Jardiniere (a la): Garden vegetables used as a garnish, usually carrots, green beans, onions and turnips.

Jardiniere: Garnished or served with diced vegetables.

Jarlsberg Cheese: A Norwegian cow's milk cheese, similar to Swiss cheese, that is firm in texture and nutty in flavor.

Jarlsberg cheese: [Norwegian] cow's milk cheese that is firm in texture and nutty in flavor. Similar to Swiss cheese.

Jarros: [Spanish] pitchers.

Jasmine Rice: An aromatic long-grain rice from Thailand that is soft and sticky when cooked.

Jasmine rice: Fragrant long grain rice from Thailand that is distinctly aromatic when cooked. The length of each grain is four to five times its width.

Javelina: Collared peccary; small wild pig found in the Southwest.

Jell: To congeal

Jelly Roll Pan: A 1-inch-deep rectangular baking sheet used for making the thin sponge cakes used for jelly rolls.

Jelly Roll: A cake made of a layer of sponge cake spread with jelly or other filling then rolled up.

Jelly: A clear, cooked mixture of fruit juice, sugar, and usually pectin.

Jelly-roll pan: A rectangular baking pan that features a 1-inch edge and is usually 18 x 13 inches in size - commercially known as a "half-sheet pan." In home baking, sizes vary; a common size listed in recipes is 15½ x 10½ x 1 inch. It is preferred for baking sheet cakes, sponge cakes, or bars. (It gets its name because the sponge cake for a jelly roll cake is baked in this pan.)

Jengibre: [Spanish] ginger.

Jerk: A Jamaican process where meat and poultry are marinated in herbs and spices, then cooked over a pimento (allspice) wood fire. Jerk spices are available commercially.

Jerky: Meat that is cut into long, narrow, strips then dried. Beef is the most commonly used meat for jerky. Also known as "Jerked Meat."

Jerky: Thin strips of dried meat. Jerky is traditionally made from beef and dried in the sun, but can be made from other meats and prepared in an oven; it has a salty flavor and tough, chewy consistency.

Jerky: highly seasoned dried meat in strips.

Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke): Knobby root (tuber) which keeps well under refrigeration; they discolor after peeling, so dip them in lemon water as the flesh is exposed. They have a very firm flesh and a flavor reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads.

Jerusalem Artichoke: A tuber, also called sunchoke, with a very firm flesh and a flavour reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads.

J-hook (food industry term): A wire clip-on hook that attaches to the front edge of a grocery gondola and is used to display high-impulse products and gadgets, usually packaged on punched cards. Also called profit hooks or profit pegs.

Jicama: A brown-skinned root vegetable with a crunchy white flesh and mildly sweet flavor, jicama is good both raw and cooked. Also referred to as the Mexican potato.

Jicama: Nicknamed yam bean and Mexican potato; a low-calorie thick brown-skinned root vegetable with white crunchy flesh that tastes like a cross between a water chestnut and a potato; after the fibrous skin has been pared away, jicama flesh will not discolor; primarily used in salads; when eaten raw, it is usually sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder; the smaller jicama are the most sweet and moist. Its flavor is mild and sweet. It is a fair source for vitamin C and potassium.

Jigger: A liquid measure equal to 1 1/2 fluid ounces.

J-i-t (food industry term): Just-in-time delivery.

Jitomate: [Spanish] word for the tomato most commonly used in Mexico's interior.

Job description (food industry term): A written statement communicating an employee's function within the workplace. It specifies the job duties or assignments for a position and the standards by which the employee will be judged.

Jobber (food industry term): A full-line wholesaler capable of providing a variety of retail services including product distribution, ordering, stocking, advertising, financial information and reporting. See rack jobber.

Jocoque: [Mexican] sour cream that has equal or less fat content than American sour cream. Also referred to as salted buttermilk, although thicker. Its flavors range from mildly tangy to refreshingly sharp.

Johnny cakes: See "Hoe Cakes."

Johnnycake, Johnny Cake, Hoe Cake: A mixture of cornmeal, salt, and boiling water or cold milk that is shaped into a large patty shape and fried like a griddlecake.

Joint: Prime cut of meat for roasting; to divide meat, game or poultry into individual pieces.

Journal (food industry term): A printed tape inside a cash register that records all ongoing customer transactions. Also known as Journal Tape.

Jugged: Meat or wild game dishes, such as jugged hare, which is stewed in a covered pot.

Jugo: [Spanish] juice.

Juice: The liquid extracted from any raw food, usually fruit.

Jujube: A datelike fruit, most often red with yellow flesh, whose taste resembles that of a prune. Originally from China, jujube is now also cultivated in California.

Julep: A sweet alcoholic drink flavored with the leaves of an aromatic plant; from the Arab "julab," for rosewater. The most famous julep is the American mint julep.

Julienne: To cut food, usually vegetables, into thin stick:shaped pieces.

Julienne: To cut into slivers resembling matchsticks.

Julienne: To cut into long thin match-size strips, approximately 1/8-inch wide and 2-inches long.

Julienne: To cut into thin match-like, narrow strips. The term is usually associated with vegetables, but may be applied to cooked meat or fish.

Jumble display (food industry term): A dump display of a variety of similarly priced products. See dump display; mass display.

Jumble: An rich old-fashioned sugar cookie.

Juniper berries: Strong, piney, and slightly sweet berries from an evergreen tree. Most often used in making gin, the berries are good in making marinade for poultry, game and fish, or added to sauerkraut. The blue-green berries can be purchased dried. Sold as a bottled spice in most supermarkets.

Juniper Berry: Aromatic blue-black berry of an evergreen bush native to Europe and America. Juniper berries are most often found dried, as they are too bitter to eat raw, and are used to flavor meats (especially game), sauces, stews, and gin. Crushing before use helps release their flavor. This fruit is also known as a box huckleberry.

Junket: Sweetened milk, thickened with rennin and used as a cream substitute or dessert. Junket is usually served cold and can be accompanied by fruit.

Jus, au: [French] meat served with its natural juices.

Jus: Natural juices released by roasting meats.

Jus: [French] a rich, lightly reduced stock used as a sauce for roasted meats. Many of these are started by deglazing the roasting pan, then reduced to achieve the rich flavor desired.

Just-in-time delivery (j-i-t) (food industry term): An inventory control system that replenishes and delivers products to a retailer just as a current supply is depleted.