FOOD GLOSSARY - Margarine to Filet or Fillet

Margarine:  Most of today's margarine is made from refined food fats other than butter fat (primarily cotton and soybean oils). Like butter, it is 80 percent fat. Skim milk used in the manufacturing process is largely responsible for its appetizing flavor. Since margarine is fortified with vitamin A, it is nutritionally comparable to butter and is uniform in food value throughout the year. It makes a fine table spread, and is also used extensively in cooking and baking.

Oils:  Cooking oils are made from cottonseed, corn, peanuts, and soya, or from olives. Some may be a blend of two or more oils. Cooking oils are purchased for salad dressing bases, for frying (pan-frying, deep, or shallow frying), for preparing dishes. calling for melted fat, and are now used frequently (except olive oil) in pastry, cakes and quick breads. You'll find cooking oils (except olive oil) ideal for deep fat frying because they can be heated to a high temperature without smoking and can be used over and over again. Olive oil, with its unique flavor, is popular for salad dressings, in Italian-style dishes, etc.; however it is too unstable for deep fat frying.

Hydrogenated All-Vegetable Shortening:  The shortenings, which are sold under various trade names, are made of vegetable oils refined and chemically treated with hydrogen to make them solid fats. They may also be treated in various other ways such as by homogenization or with emulsifying agents. Although especially adapted for use in quick-method cakes, as most labels indicate, they are used with equal success in other types of cakes, baking, frying, deep fat cookery.

Combination Meat Fat and Vegetable Shortening:  These shortenings are similar in appearance to all-vegetable types and are used in exactly the same ways.

Lard:  Lard is the rendered fat of hogs. Most lard is steam rendered. Leaf lard, of which only a small amount is made, is kettle rendered. It has a characteristic flavor which some people prefer. Dry rendering is a third method of preparing lard. Lard may be stabilized by the addition of an anti-oxidant, by hydrogenation or treated by other methods to give it improved flavor and cooking and keeping qualities. Lard has excellent shortening qualities. It is also used for pan-frying, shallow and deep fat frying, baking breads, etc.

Poultry Fat:  This is the rendered fat from chicken, duck, goose, or turkey. It is sold in specialty shops in jars or cans but mainly rendered at home. Used in cooking, baking, frying.

Suet:  This is the rather stiff white fat stripped from beef. Sold by the pound in meat markets. Used for larding lean meat and also as an ingredient in steamed puddings.

Drippings:  These are fats usually rendered in the process of cooking fat meats, such as bacon, salt pork, ham, beef, or lamb. Drippings are sometimes home-rendered from meat scraps.

FELL:  A thin papery substance over the outside of lamb or mutton. Should not be removed.

FENNEL:  This refers to (1) an herb cultivated for its ferny leaves and tender stems which are good in salads or as a vegetable, and for its seed, used to flavor soups, stews, fish; and (2) Florence fennel (finocchio), a vegetable with bulbous lower stalks and may be eaten raw like celery. All fennel has a licorice flavor.

FILBERT:  Also known as Hazelnut, these small round nuts from the Pacific Northwest are sweet-meated and increasing in popularity. They are much used in cooking, especially for cookies and candy.

FILET or FILLET:  Either spelling is correct and they generally refer to a boneless lean piece of meat or fish; filet is the French spelling. To fishermen and fish dealers, the flat, boneless pieces of fish are referred to as fillets, spelled with two "l's," pronounced with no hint of French accent. In animals, it always refers to the cut from the tenderloin or undercut from the loin. In poultry and game birds, it is applied to the meat cut from the breast.

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