Culinary Dictionary -O-

Oat bran:The outer layers of the oat kernel that are particularly high in soluble fiber; good added to baked goods.
Oat Bran:The outer casing of the oat, often used as a high-fiber nutrient supplement. Thought to fight against high cholesterol, oat bran is high in vitamin B-1 and contains a good amount of vitamins B-2 and E. It is available in health-food stores and some supermarkets.
Oat flour:Groats or rolled oats ground into flour.
Oatcake:A flaky, flat Scottish biscuit made with oatmeal.
Oatmeal:Oats that have been cleaned, toasted, hulled and cleaned again; most often cooked and served as cereal. There are several varieties of oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats (also called regular rolled oats) have been steamed and flattened by huge rollers and take about 15 minutes to cook. The quick-cooking variety of rolled oats (they cook in about five minutes) are groats that have been cut into pieces before being steamed and rolled into thinner flakes.
Oats:A grain that is toasted, hulled, cleaned, and cooked whole (groats), or the groats are steamed, steel-cut, or flattened (rolled). Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, may be cut further making them quick-cooking. They may be used interchangeably in baking and are whole grain. Instant oats may not be used interchangeably in baking due to finer cutting and further cooking of the starch.
O’Brien Potatoes:A dish of diced potatoes, onions, and sweet peppers or pimientos, fried until browned and crisp.
Occupancy (food industry term):The costs associated with a building (either a distribution center or store), including lease payments or amortized capital outlay, plus all maintenance and utilities.
Occupational safety and health administration (osha) (food industry term):A federal agency that sets workplace safety standards and inspects facilities for safe working conditions.
Ocean perch:This important commercial fish is not a true perch, but is rather a member of the rockfish group. Also known as “sea perch.”
Ocean pout:A marine fish of the eelpout family found mainly in the Pacific. The flesh is sweet and white and contains very few bones. Sometimes called a “muttonfish.”
Oceanic bonito:This small tuna (6 to 8 pounds) has a light:colored meat similar to yellowfin. The Japanese call this fish “katsuo” and the Hawaiians call it “aku.”
Ocote:[Spanish] small strips of pine used to kindle a fire.
Octopus:This cephalapod, related to the squid and the cuttlefish, can reach 50 feet in length. It features a highly flavorful meat that tends to be a bit on the rubbery side. Octopus is eaten raw, boiled, pickled, sauteed, and fried.
Oeuf a la Neige:Sweet meringue puffs that are poached in milk and chilled. When served, these puffs are drizzled with caramel and served with creme anglaise.
Oeuf:The French word for “egg.”
Oeuf:[French] egg.
Offal:Edible internal organs of meat, poultry and game.
Off-invoice (oi) (food industry term):A method of payment for a manufacturer’s trade deal or promotion where the amount of the allowance for merchandise is deducted from the manufacturer’s invoice.
Off-label (food industry term):A special label affixed to a package or can that indicates a lower-grade of product.
Off-line (food industry term):A condition when the computerized system goes down and the back up system is utilized to continue processing data, e.g., register system, printing invoices.
Off-shelf (food industry term):A special product display that is not part of the regular store set, e.g., seasonal merchandise or promotion items.
Oi (food industry term):Off-invoice.
Oie:[French] goose.
Oignon:[French] onion.
Oils:The liquid fat pressed from plants and their nuts or seeds. The oil is extracted either by solvent-extraction or cold-pressed. Common types used in home baking are soybean, safflower, corn, sunflower, canola, and olive oils. No oil derived from a plant contains cholesterol, but they will vary in amounts of poly- and mono-unsaturates and saturated fat.
Ojt (food industry term):On-the-job training.
Okra:A vegetable brought to the U.S. South by African slaves. Okra pods are green and ridged. When cooked, okra gives off a viscous substance which may serve as a thickener in some dishes.
Okra:Introduced from Africa by slaves; resembles a large green chile with longitudinal ribs outside and many round, slimy, but edible seeds inside; okra should be small, not over two or three inches long. Pods should be firm, undamaged, and not at all mushy. Use small unblemished okra for soups and stews and to thicken gumbos.
Olio:[Italian] oil.
Olive Oil:An oil obtained by pressing tree-ripened olives; has a distinctive fruity, olive flavor and is graded according to its degree of acidity; used as a cooking medium, flavoring and ingredient.
Olive Oil:Olive oil has a very distinctive flavor, and has become more prominent in American cooking today. Grades of olive oils are determined by the methods of extraction and the acid content of the resulting oil. Virgin oils are those obtained from the first pressing of the olive without further refinement. The finest olive oil is extra virgin, with an acid content of 1%. Following this are superfine at 1.5%, fine at 3%, and virgin at 4%. Pure olive oils are those which have been extracted by heat. These are of 100% olive oil, but their flavor can result in a harsh, bitter aftertaste. Pomace olive oil is refined from the final pressings and under heat and pressure. The taste is inferior to other olive oils and should never be substituted for them. Olive oil becomes rancid very easily, more so when exposed to heat or light. Always store tightly sealed in a cool, dark place.
Olive:The small fruit of a tree native to the Mediterranean region; has a single pit, high oil content, green color before ripening and green or black color after ripening and an inedibly bitter flavor when raw; eaten on its own after washing, soaking and pickling, or pressed for oil; available in a range of sizes (from smallest to largest): medium, colossal, supercolossal and jumbo.
Olives:This is the edible fruit of the olive tree. Found in both green (unripe) and black (ripe) forms, each must undergo a process to remove the bitterness found in them. This curing process is done with brine solutions, salt curing, and drying.
Olla podrida:[Spanish] stew.
Olla:Common Mexican pot which is tall and tapered inward on the top; it is shaped especially for cooking beans; stockpots and saucepans are good substitutes.
Oloroso:[Spanish] a type of sherry. Oloroso means fragrant in Spanish and this sherry has an intense bouquet.
Omega-3 Oils:A classification of fatty acids found in some plants and in all sea creatures; found to be beneficial to coronary health (purportedly lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and raising the good HDL) as well as to brain growth and development.
Omelet Pan:A shallow pan with sloping sides, a flat bottom and long handle.
Omelet:Seasoned eggs that are beaten and fried. The eggs will puff up at which time, they are rolled or folded over.
On sale items (food industry term):An item that is temporarily reduced in price, advertised or not advertised, and marked by in-store signs.
On the Half Shell:This phrase usually describes oysters served on the bottom shell, either raw on a bed of crushed ice or cooked on a bed of rock salt.
One-stop shopping (food industry term):A store that provides a wide variety of products and services at one location.
Onion:Bulb vegetables related to the lily, with a characteristic strong flavor and odor.
Online debit (food industry term):Accessing a customer’s checking account for payment in real-time.
Ono:The Hawaiian name for “Wahoo,” a marine fish whose flesh compares favorably with Albacore. It provides a moderate to high:fat flesh that is white and slightly sweet. In Hawaii, “Ono” means “sweet.”
On-pack promotion (food industry term):A coupon or premium attached to a product.
On-premises bakery (food industry term):An in-store bakery that produces a variety of baked goods from scratch or by bake-off procedures.
Ontario food processors association (food industry term):6533 Unit C, Mississauga Rd. Mississauga, Ontario Canada L5N 1A6 (416) 821-2321
On-the-job-training (ojt) (food industry term):An instructional method to teach employees skills as they work.
O-o-s (food industry term):See out-of-stock.
Opakapaka:Pink snapper. A Hawaiian favorite, especially around the holidays.
Open account (food industry term):A business or person with a line of credit that is not backed by collateral.
Open dating (food industry term):A date stamped or printed on the label of perishable items to indicate a pull date (a date by which the item must be sold or removed from the shelf) or pack date (the date the item was packaged). Clear, readable dates that are printed on labels, telling t
Open stock (food industry term):A product offered in a normal case or pack that is purchased and sold at regular price; a product that is not bought in a special pack or as part of a manufacturer’s production.
Open-faced:A sandwich prepared with just one piece of bread and topped with a wide variety of meats, vegetables or cheeses; the sandwich can be served hot or cold.
Opening funds (food industry term):The money on hand the first day of a week or at the start of a cashier’s shift.
Operating expenses (food industry term):The costs of operating a business.
Operating income (food industry term):Net sales minus all direct and indirect operating costs and before deducting the cost of capital, extraordinary items and taxes.
Operating statement (food industry term):An accounting statement that itemizes revenues, expenses and profits of a department, store, division, company or other business unit. Also referred to as a P&L statement or income statement.
Operations (food industry term):A division responsible for overall store operations and performance, including personnel, finance, warehousing and distribution.
Operator (food industry term):A retailer who owns and operates a grocery store.
Oporto:[Portuguese] sweet dessert port wines named after Oporto, Portugal, on the Douro river.
Opossum:A cat:sized marsupial with a prehensile tail native to the Southern and Midwestern U.S. Opossum, which has a flavor resembling young pig, can be prepared in the same manner suitable for a roast suckling pig.
Opportunity cost of capital (food industry term):A possible rate of return on the next best use of dollars invested by a company.
Optical fiber (food industry term):(fiber-optic cable). A tiny (smaller than a hair) cable made of glass and plastic.
Opuntia:Prickly pear cactus.
Or gano:Mexican oregano; wild marjoram; also called wild, bastard or dwarf marjoram; used to season many foods, particularly sauces and soups; plants grow wild in the Southwest; best substitute is marjoram or sage.
Orange blossom water (orange water):Orange blossom extract can be found in fancier food shops. Common in the Middle East.
Orange roughy:A New Zealand area fish with lean, white flesh that is firm and mild. Also called “Slimeheads” (by fishermen::not by fish vendors). This popular fish can be poached, baked, broiled, or fried.
Orange Roughy:A mild flavored New Zealand fish with white flesh, orange roughy is also low in fat.
Orange roughy:Ocean perch-like fish from New Zealand. Often substituted for cod. Can be used in any recipe calling for white-fleshed fish.
Orange:Any of a variety of citrus (Citrus sinensis) with juicy, orange-colored segmented flesh, a thin to moderately thick orange-colored rind and a flavor ranging from bitter to tart to sweet; depending on the variety, an orange can be eaten fresh, cooked in sweet or savory dishes, juiced or used as a flavoring or aromatic.
Order book (food industry term):A printed catalog of products in stock and a price listing used to place orders with a wholesaler and distributor.
Order code (food industry term):A product’s number used to order items from a warehouse.
Order fill rate (food industry term):The rate per hour that a selector or a shift of selectors assembles orders in a warehouse.
Order form (food industry term):A form used to list products to be ordered, along with sizes, quantities and prices.
Order lead time (food industry term):The time lag between receipt of a retailer’s order by a wholesaler or vendor and delivery of the products to the store; the time needed to process, select, load and transport. See lead time.
Order padding (food industry term):An increase in a retailer’s order without his/her permission, approval, or confirmation.
Order picking (food industry term):Selecting and assembling an order at the warehouse or distribution center for loading.
Order point (food industry term):The amount of inventory on hand in a warehouse or store used to determine when to purchase replacement stock.
Ordering number (food industry term):See code number.
Order-to-order credit (food industry term):A transaction term that means that payment in full is required before a second order can be placed.
Oregano:An herb (Origanum vulgare) and the wild form of marjoram; has a woody stalk with clumps of tiny, dark green leaves that have a pungent, peppery flavor and are used fresh or dried, principally in Italian and Greek cuisines; also known as wild marjoram.
Orehones:[Spanish] dried fruits.
Organic Food:Food grown without the use of any chemicals, including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. No artificial coloring or flavoring or other additives can be used in processing foods labeled organic. Specifics vary from state to state.
Organically grown (food industry term):An imprecise term that means a grower did not use chemicals or that a processor did not use preservatives in a product.
Orgeat Syrup:A sweet syrup used in cocktails, orgeat syrup is made with almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange-flower water.
Orientale:An Am ricaine sauce with added cream and curry powder.
Orientation (food industry term):In electronic space management, product placement and positioning on the shelf.
Orrechietti:Pasta shaped by pressing the point of a knife into a small slice of dough, resulting in a shape similar to a small ear.
Ortolans:Tiny game birds (buntings).
Orzo:Italian for barley and used to describe rice-like pasta.
Orzo:Small rice shaped pasta.
Os&ds (food industry term):Overs, shorts and damages.
Os/2 (food industry term):An IBM operating system for computers.
Oseille:[French] sorrel.
Osha (food industry term):Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Osso Buco:An Italian dish comprised of crosscut slices of the veal shank braised with vegetables, aromatics and stock. Milanese style is served with saffron risotto and gremolata.
Ostiones:[Spanish] oysters.
O-t-c (food industry term):Over-the-counter.
Other assets (food industry term):All assets except property and equipment with a life exceeding one year, e.g., investment in other companies, long-term receivables.
Other current assets (food industry term):Assets with a life of less than one year, e.g., cash accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and short-term investments.
Other income (food industry term):All non-operating income, e.g., interest income, gain on sales of securities.
Out of code (food industry term):A product with an expired code date.
Outbound (food industry term):The direction and flow of customer traffic just prior to entering the checkout aisles and leaving the store. Also, the flow of products out of a warehouse after order selection.
Out-of-stock (o-o-s) (food industry term):A product temporarily oversold and unavailable in a retail store. Also, product not in supply in the warehouse. In wholesaling, it is a customer service standard used and measured as a percentage of orders placed that cannot be filled. Also known as Outs.
Outside salesperson (food industry term):A wholesaler’s marketing employee who visits retailers to order products and services, to provide management reports and to do merchandise displays.
Ouzo:A clear anise-flavored liqueur from Greece.
Ouzo:A clear anise-flavored liqueur from Greece. It is generally mixed with water which turns it whitish and opaque.
Oven Bag:A heat-resistant nylon bag for cooking meals without basting or tending.
Oven mitt:Thickly padded or heat-insulated large mittens worn to load or remove baked goods from oven.
Oven slide:Cookie sheet.
Oven:An oven may be defined as an enclosed area with parts which supply heat and air flow in order to cook food. Conventional/thermal ovens use electric elements or gas burners to bake, roast, or broil; convention ovens use electric elements or gas burners plus the addition of a fan to circulate heated air over, under, and around the food. Most electric ovens have controls which cycle the lower and upper elements for consistent temperatures. Recently, ovens have been introduced which also use halogen lights and/or microwave energy to increase the cooking speed. Ovens may vary in width from 20 inches to 36 inches and may be in a free-standing, slide-in, drop-in, or wall oven configuration. Ovens can have cleaning options of standard clean (clean by hand), self-clean, or continuous clean.
Ovenable (food industry term):A food ready to be heated, either in an oven or microwave.
Over & under (food industry term):A management standard for cash-register receipts and for inventory discrepancies, e.g., breakage, price adjustments.
Overhead (food industry term):The basic direct and indirect costs of a business operation, such as labor, rent, utilities and insurance. Total operating costs, including fixed and variable expenses.
Overland trout:An old Western term for pigs and hogs; sometimes bacon.
Override (food industry term):The management authorization needed to continue operating a cash register once preset HALO or LALO levels are exceeded. Usually done by inserting a key and entering code numbers.
Over-ring (food industry term):The ringing or scanning of the price of a product higher than its shelf price.
Overs, shorts, damages (osds) (food industry term):A discrepancy between products ordered and those received.
Overstock (food industry term):An excessive amount of product purchased in anticipation of increased sales volume.
Overstoring (food industry term):A concentration of too many retail stores that saturates a market and cuts into the profits of each store.
Overwire hanger (food industry term):Hanging signs visible on both sides to customers.
Over-wrap (food industry term):To wrap a plastic container in cellophane to prevent tampering.
Oxalic Acid:Oxalic acid is found naturally in many plants, but is poisonous in excessive amounts. Spinach, rhubarb, sorrel all contain measurable amounts of oxalic acid. It actually forms insoluble compounds with calcium and iron which inhibit their absorption by the human body, thus diminishing the purported nutritional value of some vegetables, particularly spinach.
Oxidized:Wine that has been in contact with air too long, causing it to darken and smell stale.
Oyster Mushroom:A smooth-capped mushroom with a fan shape and mild oyster-like flavor. They’re found dried or fresh in many supermarkets and most oriental markets.
Oyster mushroom:A fan-shaped wild mushroom with a grayish cap, that grows in clusters on the side of trees. It is off-white to grayish in color and has a soft texture. These mushrooms have a very subtle flavor. They are also being cultivated in the US, making them readily available in markets and moderately priced.
Oyster plant:An edible root, known also as vegetable oyster, or salsify. It is prepared like parsnips.
Oyster Sauce:A bottled all-purpose Chinese seasoning made from oysters, water, salt,cornstarch, and caramel coloring.
Oyster sauce:Classic cooking sauce from China. Also used in other Asian cuisines. Originally made from oysters, water and salt only, oyster sauce now contains added cornstarch and caramel color, to improve its appearance and also to thicken liquids in stir-fries. Surprisingly it has no fishy taste. Found in large supermarkets and Oriental markets. Oyster sauce is a molasses-colored, reddish, dark brown sauce consisting of oysters, brine and soy sauce cooked until thick and concentrated.
Oyster:A bivalve mollusk with a rough gray shell. The flesh varies from creamy beige to pale gray; the flavor from salty to bland; the texture from tender to firm. The Atlantic or Eastern oysters are considered superior to Pacific varieties.
Oyster:Bivalve mollusks with a hard, rough gray shell and creamy-beige to pale-gray meat.
Oyster:Four major species in the United States are: Atlantic, found along the East and Gulf coasts; the European, a flat-shelled, round oyster of the Northwest and Maine; the Olympia, the half-dollar-sized oyster grown in the Northwest; and the fruit-flavored Pacific oyster, known for its wildly scalloped shell.
Oysters Rockefeller:This creation was born in New Orleans in the late 1890s, and was reportedly named for John D. Rockefeller because of how rich it is. The dish is composed of oysters on the half-shell baked with a mixture of spinach, shallots and celery then topped with bread crumbs.