So ladies & gentlemen, it’s time for some candid admission. I’m sitting down at this nice cafe and staring at the menu card trying to figure out what a Raclette is, when a skillet pops up on the other side of the page. Unable to decode Da Vinci’s world I decide upon a Four Seasons Pizza thinking the name sounds fancy and it turns out to be a pizza that is three-quarters vegetarian!
So here is a glossary of food terms every foodie should know…
Cheese and lots more of it! This Swiss offering, pronounced as ruck-lett is a treat for cheese lovers and is typically a family dish. Considered as a cheese & meal dish, a Raclette is a winter time staple in Switzerland, France & Germany. So it’s melted cheese, served over boiled potatoes with lots of ground black pepper. Pickled onions and gherkins to accompany. Going by tradition, your Raclette will be served with a machine to melt the cheese. So potatoes boiled with the skin are brought to the table along with meats and pickles. Put out your thick cheese slab on the machine; takes about five minutes to start melting and bubbling. Scrape it off using a wooden spatula and pour over the potatoes. Dip in your meats and pickles and you are good to go. Raclettes are best enjoyed when you are in a big group or with family.
This one was easier to understand…simply because it means exactly what its name means. So a skillet meal is actually your meal in a skillet (a frying pan with legs). Skillet meals are prepared & served in the skillet itself. So the range can be hugely varied…form a chicken pot pie to crispy pepper thighs with pepper & salsa verde. From skillet scalloped potatoes to Cajun style hash browns to even buffalo chicken & potato skillet! Anything & everything…can be cooked in a skillet and it requires ample skill to create a great dish on a skillet…that’s why the name perhaps!
This is the Italian word for snacks & starters served before a meal. Interestingly, they are made using ingredients that perk up your appetite, not dowse it. Usual antipasti dishes include cured meats, olives, marinated vegetables & cheese. So if you have to order the antipasti…look out for starters!
Ah! The sweet tooth! So this is a layered dessert, served in tall, narrow-footed ‘parfait glasses’ (simply put, stemmed wine glasses). Traditionally, this French dessert consists of layers of frozen custard or ice cream and fresh fruit & syrup. However, these days your parfait can mean anything layered; pudding, mousse, custard etc, usually accompanied with fruits. This one is sinful!
No more staring at the menu card! Go ahead and order.