FOOD GLOSSARY - Wintergreen to Yohourt

WINTERGREEN:  An evergreen shrub with egg-shaped leaves, white bell-shaped flowers, and red berries. An oil is made from the leaves of this plant and used as a flavoring, and in medicine. The leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for tea, then known as mountain tea.

WOODCHUCK:  This is another name for the weather-prophesying ground hog, a rather common burrowing and hibernating marmot with coarse red-brown fur. To use as a game food, they are at their best shot in the autumn when they are well fattened in preparation for the winter hibernation. They may be cooked like rabbit, except that under the front legs and in the small of the back of the woodchuck there are seven to nine white musclelike sacs, or kernels. These must be cut out, or the meat will be too strong. Woodchuck meat is preferably soaked overnight in salted water before cooking.

WOODCOCK and SNIPE:  These are small game birds, highly treasured by gourmets for their unusual flavor. They are dark-fleshed, highly flavored, and are cooked and eaten by epicures entrails and all. The intestines of the woodcock are considered the most delicate part. Woodcock can be wrapped in larding pork and roasted in 10 to 15 minutes, and served on toast with a gravy made of the pan juices. Snipe roasts in even less time. Allowing for the difference in size, woodcock and snipe may be substituted for quail, grouse, or partridge in recipes for these game birds. Unlike quail and grouse, however, they must first be hung for three or four days.

WOODRUFF, SWEET:  A European herb used to flavor May wine. Called waldmeister in Germany.

WON TONS (Chinese):  Small pieces of noodle dough stuffed with various mixtures and cooked in chicken broth or fried in deep fat. First cousins to the Italian ravioli and the Jewish kreplach, which they resemble.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE:  A dark-colored seasoning sauce made originally in Worcester, England. The composition varies but usually contains soy sauce, vinegar, onion juice, lime juice, chili, and spices.

WURST (German):  Sausage.

YANKEE POT ROAST:  Braised beef served with fresh vegetables and corn fritters.

YAM:  The true yam is not the southern sweet potato, but a related vegetable which grows in huge sizes (30 pounds or more is not uncommon). It is a dietary staple in the West Indies and in some Central and South American countries. It is also grown to a limited extent in Florida and Louisiana. The "yam" of the South is usually a large sweet potato.

YEAST:  Yeast in compressed or dry form is a microscopic living plant that produces a gas (carbon dioxide) from sugar when temperature and moisture are favorable for its growth. Compressed yeast is a perishable moist mixture of yeast and starch which must be kept in the refrigerator. To use, soften compressed yeast in luke-warm water or milk (85-95°F.) for 5 to 10 minutes. Dry yeast is similar to compressed yeast except that the yeast-and-filler mixture has been dried and is then packaged in granular form. Before you use dry yeast, soften it in warm water (105-110°F.) for 5 to 10 minutes.

YOGURT, YOGHURT, YOHOURT:  A thick semisolid food (like a custard) made from whole or skimmed milk fermented by a specific bacterium, originating in Turkey, Bulgaria, etc. It is believed to have a beneficial effect on the intestines and is now sometimes prescribed dietetically.


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