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Food Dictionary

Did you know that you don’t have to eat “street food“ off the floor or that there is nothing sleazy about “grab & go“? In the international food business, a whole new English-based terminology has come up. But don’t panic if you find yourself getting the terms all mixed up. 

Our glossary presents the most important of them:

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  Q  |  R  |  S  |  T


Starters and small dishes, generally served as finger food.

Purred for guacamole. Discolours quickly – this can be prevented with the addition of lime and avocado oil.

Baging Scoop
Scoop for filling French fries bags to allow exact portion control.

Everything needed as “carrier material” for trendy meals, snacks or hand-held food: tortillas, pita pockets, flatbread, ciabatta, pizza, baguettes, etc..

Beer On Tap
Beer straight from the barrel.

Blue Corn/Blue corn tortillas
Tortillas made of blue-dyed corn (natural dye!). Particularly tasty and expensive type of corn – considered “chic” in the USA.

Bombay Duck
The bombay duck or bummalo, despite its name, is in fact a fish. It is at home in the waters between Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and Kutch in the Arabian Sea. The tender meat of the fish is particularly prized by connoisseurs of Indian cuisine. Freshly caught, the fish tastes best when fried in a batter of beaten egg; in its dry form, the fish is generally contained in curry.

Serves for overbaking and grilling (burgers).

Filled wheat tortilla, steamed. Filling: meat/poultry, vegetables, salad.

Name of a dish which includes beans, beef or minced meat, chilli pepper, a classic item.

Similar to burrito, large wheat flatbread filled with meat/poultry, vegetables, salad, deep-fried.

Chutney is a spicy sauce familiar from Indian cuisine, often sweet-and-sour but sometimes also sharply zesty. The sauce has the consistency of paste. In India, many types of chutney are prepared fresh for every meal and add a further taste component to the generally very hot curries. Chutney consists of vegetables or fruit. Chutneys go particularly well with fried meat, fish, cold roast meat and cheese.

Cilantro, fresh coriander
Essential ingredient of the Southern kitchen.

Club Steak

Cole Slaw
White cabbage salad, almost everywhere accompanying burgers and French fries.

Convenience Basics
Everything needed as “carrier material” for trendy meals, snacks or hand-held food: tortillas, pita pockets, flatbread, ciabatta, pizza, baguettes, etc..

Convenience Food
Industrially prepared food which reduces the work in the kitchen.

Corn tortilla
Flatbread made of corn mash or corn flour. Diameter up to max. 15 cm. For tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, nachos.

Cumin, also known as Kumin or Cummin, is a spice made from the dried and ground fruit of an Asian flowering plant of the Apiaceae family. The German term for the spice, “Kreuzkümmel” refers to the cruciform shape of the plant’s leaves which look very like a dried fruit. Frequently found in Garam masala and in curry powder.

Curcuma is one of the ginger plants and is found primarily in East India, South-East India and Australia. It has a spicy, slightly bitter hotness with an identifiable flavour. The ginger plant curcuma is what gives curry its yellow colour. Curry is a blend of spices referred to in India as masala. It has an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory effect and aids digestion.

A blend of spices originating from Indian cuisine, containing between six and fifteen tropical spices. The palette ranges from pepper to ginger and from coriander to nutmeg blossom. One spice which is always present is curcuma - tumeric - which lends the curry its yellow colour. It is used in Asian dishes, in rice dishes, with fish, meat, poultry and in various sauces.

Dal Bati Churma
There is hardly a meal served in India that does not feature pulses. Lentils, peas and beans all come under the collective heading dal and are generally served peeled and halved. But Dalalso stands for a dish – a thin stew made of pulses.

50s-style restaurant featuring lots of chrome and neon and a long bar behind which the food is prepared.

Eat on the move
Food that can be eaten “on the go”, directly on the street. This can take the form of sandwiches, Hot Dogs, French Fries, pizza segments, finger food, etc.

Deep-fried pastry pouches found in South American cuisine (Argentina/Colombia). Often incorrectly associated with TexMex cuisine.

Dish made with corn tortillas, marinated, filled, rolled, sprinkled with cheese and grilled.

Ethno Food
Dishes from various areas of local cuisine, for example Asia or Mexico, with a certain ethnic flair.

Happening or special event, often used as an attraction in theme gastronomy.

Popular Tex-Mex dish: Meat cut into strips, steamed or fried, seasoned, served on a hot pan, with extras for filling ca. 15 cm wheat tortillas.

Fast Food
Preparation, service and consumption all happen at more or less the same time, often while standing or walking.

Finger Food
A constantly growing trend which is percolating through all ethnic spheres – whether Spanish tapas, American appetizers or Asian dim sum. These little snacks are characterised by the fact that they can be eaten casually in 2-3 bites straight out of your fingers.

Fenugreek seeds lend Indian dishes an exotic aroma and are an essential ingredient in curry. The seeds have been proven to lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol.

Tortilla filled, rolled up tight and then deep-fried.

Flour tortilla
Flatbread made of wheat flour, sizes ca. 15 cm (fajitas) or 25-30 cm (burrito, chimichanga).

Food to go
Every type of ready-to-go food – entire menus or menu components as well as snacks and salads – for carrying out to eat at home or in the office. They are provided by restaurants, bakeries, butchers, snack bars, etc.

Free Refill
Free top-up, often applies to coffee.

Fun Food and Fancy Food
When the chef or food designer gives free rein to his imagination.

Functional Food
Food with effective active ingredients, e.g. vitamins, which promise an additional health benefit.

Fusion Food (frz. cuisine éclectiquu)
(Known in French as cuisine éclectique): Far-eastern, Mediterranean, Mexican or French cuisine blended with the help of traditional methods of preparation.

Garam Masala
Every region of India has its own recipes for the traditional blend of seasoning. Classic ingredients are cloves, cinnamon and green cardamom as well as bay leaves, occasionally complemented by cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper, nutmeg and many others. Ready-prepared garam masala is available in most Asian shops.

Ghee (clarified butter) keeps very well when refrigerated and can be heated to high temperatures without burning. Suitable for cooking, frying, steaming (preserves the vitamins!) and deep-frying. It is also ideal for frying spices and seasoning cooked foods, e.g. vegetables, rice or grain.

Grab & Go
As the name says, grab and go is the concept. In sandwich shops without seating the customer serves himself, selecting from pre-prepared dishes, salads, sandwiches or desserts and carries his purchase out to be eaten at home or in the office, cold or warm.

Gram flour or besan
Chickpea flour is used as a binding agent in Indian cuisine, for example for onion bhajis and pakoras. It makes fried food crispy without absorbing too much fat.

Large frying pan, at the heart of US cuisine. Offers an even temperature and is easy to keep clean

Dip made of avocado puree.

Handheld food
General term for all basics and toppings from which tasty hand-held snacks are made.

Handheld snacks
Generic term for every type of snack food, that can be eaten directly out of the hand without cutlery, e.g. pizza slices, wraps, pita pockets, etc.

Instincto food
Unprocessed foods which is assessed by aroma and instinctively selected according to physical requirements.

Mexican chilli pods, 5-8 cm long, medium hot, most common chilli in the USA for Mexican dishes.

The dried nutmeg blossom, which sheathes the nut, is honey yellow in colour. Its fine slightly sweet aroma makes it a more interesting spice than normal nutmeg.

Junk food
Fatty, sugary food with no nutritional value.

The deep cast-iron pan with handles on both sides has a curved base like a Chinese wok.

Kala Namak
In contrast to sea salt, this mineral salt is mined underground and is also known as “stone salt “ or “black salt “. It has a distinctive flavour and is added as seasoning to many Indian dishes, for example, chutneys, raitas and many others besides.

Lemon-like citrus fruit, very aromatic.

Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potato.

Restaurant or pub centred around a cinema with elaborate furnishings and special attractions such as open-air cinema or star guests.

Tortilla chips cut from corn tortilla. Deep-fried nacho quarters are used for meals, sixths as a snack for nibbling.

"Bedtime drink" or last order.

Everything outside of the edible. In the bulk consumer area, it includes, for example, crockery, cleaning agents, etc.

Novel Food
"Innovative food" containing raw materials which are either not familiar in our diet or not produced in the conventional manner.

The green hexagonal pods are low in calories and rich in Vitamin C and E.

Onion Bloomer
Device for cutting large Spanish onions to form an onion blossom.

Commercial weight 1 ounce=28.35 g.

A mild cream cheese, which can be easily prepared: paneer tastes very neutral and is suitable for both sweet dishes and savoury ones, e.g. palak paneer, a dish of spinach with cream cheese.

The thin wafers made of lentil flour can be bought ready-made, either neutral in flavour or seasoned with chillies, cumin or pepper. However, they often have to be baked or deep-fried. They are eaten crisply spicy with sauces and chutneys.

Open glass jug for beverages, generally beer, which is poured into glasses at the table.

Corn tortilla filled with cheese and deep-fried.

Quick Casual Dining 
The “premium edition” of restaurant chains which has developed from the established concept of the “quick service restaurants“ (Burger King, Mc Donalds, etc) and the “casual dining restaurants“ (Applebee´s, Chillies, Olive Garden, etc). Quick casual dining involves ordering the meal at the counter and then -  when it has been prepared freshly for the guest – picking it up from there and eating it on location in an attractive restaurant atmosphere. The best-known example is the American chain “Panera Bread“.

Raita oder Pachadi
Raita or pachadi is an Asian condiment, refined with yoghurt (dahi) and used as a dip or sauce. Yoghurt is blended with cilantro , cumin , mint, cayenne pepper and other herbs and spices. Raita is served chilled and is never missing from the Indian plate.

Refried beans
Preparation of pinto beans: boiled, enhanced with lard or vegetable fat and pureed, is mixed with other ingredients during the meal.

Literally: Sauce. Attractive, seasoned, vegetable-based sauces found in TexMex cuisine. The classic items: red salsa (also known as salsa cruda) based on tomatoes, green salsa based on tomatillo. Important ingredient: fresh coriander.

Service. In the USA it is defined by such terms as open, helpful and friendly.

Individual orders on the side.

Sirloin Steak
Loin steak.

Slow Food
Producers and restaurants that have come together in a European association as a counter-movement to fast food.

Restaurant or pub with many TV sets and sports-centred decorations.

Bread or sandwich spread consisting of a number of blended components. In contrast to butter or margarine, spread has a strong taste of its own and is generally somewhat lumpy. Can be prepared quite easily at home. For example, mango dip mixed with yoghurt. Ideally suited to transporting ethnic worlds of taste.

Steamer for cooking with heat and steam.

Street Food
Modern trend world for a small, generally warm meal bought in snack bars and then eaten outside in the street or in the lunch break, for example on a park bench. This is a small “all-in-one” meal served in a practical transport container. The current top favourite is Asian noodle dishes.

Soft steamed or crisply baked/deep-fried corn tortilla (fried in a V shape), filled with chicken or minced meat and vegetables/salsa plus salad, Mexican fast food classic!

Taco Beef
Minced meat, pre-cooked, seasoned, for sprinkling. For taco-shell fillings and as a cover for an overbaked nacho platter.

Tamarinds, also known as “dates from India“, are 5-20 cm long. finger thick, greyish brown to cinnamon coloured and slightly curved. The shell breaks open to reveal the brownish to blackish red pulp which is embedded in dark, 10 mm seeds. In Asia the ready-to-use tamarind paste is as readily available as lemon juice in Europe.

Tandoor, is a cylindrical earthen oven, which originates in the Punjab region, in Northern India and in Pakistan. The food is cooked over a hot charcoal fire which can reached temperatures of up to 480 degrees. The tandoor is a very important element in many Indian restaurants. Dishes cooked in a tandoor remain nice and juicy and the special, earthy flavour permeates the meat. Modern day tandoors use electricity or gas instead of charcoal.

Tandoori Masala
Tandoori masala: Mixed with yoghurt, tandoori masala is used to marinate meat or vegetables and is also the flavour-provider for one of the best-known Indian dishes, tandoori chicken. Tandoori masala is low in calories and aids digestion.

In Mexico: soft tortilla, filled, folded and lightly fried, similar to chimichanga.

Light green to yellowish vegetable from the gooseberry family. In botanical terms it is not related to the tomato, but is prepared in a similar manner. Commonly used in green salsa. Difficult to obtain in Germany. Tinned tomatillos are not to be recommended.

These are creative “interiors” or the “top layer” for the basic products such as pita pockets, wraps, pizza & co. Delicious examples from SALOMON® are the chicken, beef, vegetarian and sauce toppings from the SALOMON® Creativ System for hand held snacks.

Literally: small tart. Mexican bread. Thin flat bread made of corn or wheat flour , in TexMex cuisine it serves as the plate, the wrap and the coating for many dishes.

Flat deep-fried corn tortillas (in special basket holders) as the base for dishes.


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