Cooking Jargon For Advanced Cooks

In today's article we look under the lid of the language of cooking. Confit, Flambé or en papillote . . . not ringing any bells? Then read further down to master the cooking terminology that will make you a pro.


A technique of processing the juices of fruits, vegetables, or nuts by short infusion in hot water followed by sudden cooling. Spinach, for example, remains green while the excess folic acid is taken care of. In other foods, such as tomatoes, peaches, or almonds, it helps to remove the skin. 

Blanched Almonds

Blanched Tomatoes 

Blanched Spinach


A process using a small amount of aromatic, high-proof alcohol to prepare certain foods.  The fumes of the alcoholic beverage are set on fire until they burn out, making the dish much tastier. 

Process of Flambé 

Flambe bananas


Preparing a dish in the oven to create a crust, usually by using cheese or bechamel sauce, or cream… 

Gratin potatoes


A basic way to prepare meat in a mixture based on oil, milk, or yoghurt, to which other ingredients are added (usually herbs, spices, chillies, or lemon).  The meat is left in the mixture for a certain period of time, which makes it more delicate after cooking. Basic for grilling. 

Marinated Beef

Marinating is essential for grilling


A proces which uses particularly fatty meat like goose or duck. The meat is wrapped in salt and spices and cooked slowly in its own fat and juices.  This is also a natural preservation technique. 


Duck confit


Poached eggs probably explain the process. Poaching refers to slow cooking at a heat below boiling, which helps to make food juicier. 

Poached Egg

En papillote 

Preparing food in a paper pocket – the raw food is wrapped in a pocket and cooked in a hot air oven. The steam blows on the pocket and helps to cook the food inside. Opening of the pocket allows the diner to experience the food through many senses (including the aroma while opening the pocket).

Cod fillets baked in En papillote 

Photos: Shutterstock

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