Culinary Dictionary -W-

Waffle Iron:A device used to transform batter into crisp, golden waffles; available in electric or stove-top models.
Waffle:Batter cooked on a hot greased waffle iron.
Wagon jobber (food industry term):A wholesaler that sells a limited variety and quantity of products from a truck.
Waldorf Salad:The original Waldorf salad, created at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1890s, contained only apples, mayonnaise, and celery. It was later that walnuts became part of the dish.
Wall shelving (food industry term):Shelves attached to perimeter walls in a retail store.
Walnut Oil:The oil extracted from the walnut. It can be quite expensive and goes rancid quicker than most oils. However, it gives most foods a wonderful nutty flavor whether you cook with or drizzle it. Use it on greens, pasta, or vegetables.
Walnut or hazelnut oil:These highly flavorful oils should (almost) never be used for cooking, but are wonderful in salad dressing and drizzled over cooked foods. Always refrigerate, as nut oils go rancid more quickly than other oils.
Walnut:Native to Asia and grows on walnut trees inside green pods which turn brown and wood-like when dried.
Walnuts:Nuts with white flesh and a soft inner skin native to the Middle East, but commonly called English walnuts because they were first shipped from Britain, where they are considered a delicacy when eaten raw with cheese.
Wan (food industry term):Wide Area Network.
Wand (food industry term):A hand-held bar code reader used for ordering, price checking, etc.
Wand scan ordering (food industry term):The use of an electronic device (wand) to read shelf tickets, record quantities needed and thus prepare an order electronically.
Want book (food industry term):A preprinted order book at a retail store.
Warehouse (food industry term):A distribution center that orders, stores and ships products to retailers.
Warehouse buying account (food industry term):A direct account that buys full-case quantities of products directly from manufacturers to sell and ship to retail stores.
Warehouse club store (food industry term):See club store.
Warehouse receipt (food industry term):A list of products received and stored in a distribution center.
Warehouse slot (food industry term):Space allocated in a warehouse rack for a specific product. Also called a slot or bin.
Warehouse stock (food industry term):The amount of an item in a distribution center. See floor stock; floor stock protection.
Warehouse store (food industry term):A low-margin grocery store combining reduced variety, lower service levels, minimal decor and a streamlined merchandising presentation along with aggressive pricing. Generally has no specialty departments. This format attracts price-sensitive shoppers. Many warehouse stores mainly offer dry groceries.
Warehouse withdrawal (food industry term):The shipping of products to a retailer from a distribution center.
Warm:A temperature of 105 to 1150F (40 to 460C for liquid or food.
Warm:To heat a food using a very low temperature of approximately 1050F to 1150F.
Wasabi:Also called Japanese horseradish, a pungent green paste made from a rhizome of the watercress family.
Wasabi:Japanese green horseradish powder. Turn it into Wasabi Paste by stirring in water, drop by drop and used for dipping sauce with soy sauce when eating sushi and sashimi. Available in Asian markets in both powder and paste form.
Wash:To apply a liquid to the surface of an object to remove dirt; often a cleansing agent is added to the liquid; the process may not kill microorganisms.
Washed-rind:Frequently orange, rinds washed or rubbed with brine, wine, beer or brandy (pont l’eveque, tallegio, Spanish mahon).
Waste circulation (food industry term):Readers of publications who are not prospects for an advertised product. Also, circulation in an area where the advertiser’s product is not available.
Water Bath:To place a container of food in a large pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with heat. The water bath is used to cook custards, sauces, and mousses, and may be used to keep food warm.
Water bath:The French call this cooking technique “bain marie.” It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm.
Water buffalo:A buffalo native to the Old World tropics with large flattened horns. Also called “water ox.”
Water Chestnut:The fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.
Water chestnut:The tuber of a water plant known as the Chinese sedge, which has a crisp, nutty texture. Found sometimes fresh in Asian markets, canned water chestnuts are readily available in most supermarkets.
Watercress:A member of the mustard family that can often be found growing wild in and around streams and brooks. Watercress has small, crisp, dark-green leaves and a strong, peppery, slightly bitter flavor; available year-round and customarily sold in small bunches.
Watercress:A member of the mustard family, this crisp, leafy green has a piquant, peppery flavor.
Waterfall display (food industry term):A mass display that seems to flow from a case. Usually dummied and put up just prior to peak traffic periods to encourage sales.
Waterglass:Sodium silicate; used as a preservative for eggs
Watermelon:The fruit of a water plant (genus Trapa) native to Southeast Asia; has a brownish-black skin, ivory to tan flesh, crisp texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor; used in various Asian cuisines.
Waterzooi:A rich Flemish stew with chicken or fish and assorted vegetables. The sauce is enriched with a liaison of cream and egg yolks.
Wax Bean:A yellow version of the green bean; has a slightly waxier pod.
Wax Paper or Waxed Paper:A paper with a thin coating of wax on both sides. Wax paper is moistureproof and almost transparent, often used to cover foods and line baking pans.
Wax Paper, Waxed Paper:Translucent paper coated on both sides with a thin layer of wax. Though often replaced in recent years by plastic wrap and aluminum foil, wax paper is still a good choice for lining baking pans and covering food in the microwave.
Waxing (food industry term):Applying an edible wax to some fruits and vegetables to help maintain a fresh, bright appearance and to preserve product quality.
Waxy red or white potatoes:Sometimes sold as “new” potatoes when they are small, these are low-starch potatoes with thin red or white skins.
Way-bill (food industry term):A transportation company’s shipping document showing origin and destination of a shipment, contents, weight and dollar value.
Weakfish:Has a mouth that is easily torn by fishing hooks, hence its name. This unusual fish with delicate flesh flakes easily, making it quite difficult to handle. Has a soft white to rosy flesh.
Web site (food industry term):A document written in hypertext markup language (html) stored and retrieved on the Internet.
Wedge:A wedge-shaped cut of food, usually a section of a round or oval product such as an apple or lemon.
Weekend specials (food industry term):Products offered for sale at special prices during peak shopping periods, Thursday to Sunday.
Weekly sales chart (food industry term):A graphic representation of all weekly sales for the year and a description of the factors that affected them.
Weekly sales forecast (weekly sales estimates; sales plans) (food industry term):A projection of expected sales for a given week. Based on past sales performance. Estimates are made from past weekly sales charts, weekly sales index charts, and weekly sales logs.
Weekly sales log (food industry term):A record of sales, by department, along with a description of the factors affecting those sales.
Weeks-of-supply (wos) (food industry term):The number of weeks that a wholesaler will stock an item based on the product turns.
Weigh-out (food industry term):The act of reaching the limit on the amount of product that can be shipped in a truck because of weight. See cube-out.
Weight:The mass of heaviness of a substance; weight measurements are commonly expressed as grams (metric) ounces and pounds (U.S. and Imperial).
Welsh Rarebit:This is a cheese sauce made with ale and seasoned with dry mustard, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce that is often served over toast.
Welsh rarebit:Melted cheese, usually mixed with milk, ale, or beer, seasoned with dry mustard, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and served over toast or crackers.
Western union (food industry term):A telegram wire used to transfer funds between locations or parties.
Wet produce (food industry term):Vegetables requiring ice during shipment and display, e.g., lettuce, celery.
What if analysis (food industry term):Game-theory scenarios used by software to produce recommendations.
Wheat flour:Milled from soft (lower protein) red or white wheat for cakes, pastries, waffles, and other products, or hard white or red wheat for pizza crust, yeast breads, bagels, and some rolls or hearth breads. High-protein durum wheat will be used for flour or semolina for some specialty breads, but is primarily a pasta wheat. Home baking (called “family flour” in the milling industry) wheat flour may be Unbleached or bleached all-purpose, cake, pastry, whole-wheat or graham, and bread flour.
Wheat kernels:wheat berries.
Wheel cheese (food industry term):Round, uncut cheese.
Whelk:A large marine snail that belongs to the mollusk family. The flavorful foot:like muscle is rather tough and must be tenderized by pounding. Look for whelk in Chinese or Italian markets or specialty food stores.
Whelk:A small marine snail. Whelks are poached and served hot or cold.
Whey:The liquid which separates from the solids when cheese is made.
Whey:Liquid which separates from the curd when milk curdles. Used in cheese-making.
Whip:To beat rapidly to incorporate air and increase volume. Generally applied to cream, eggs, and gelatin dishes.
Whip:Beating a food lightly and rapidly with a mixer, whisk or beater to incorporate air and increase volume.
Whip:To beat an item to incorporate air, augment volume, and add substance. Also refers to a special tool for whipping, made of looped wire attached to a handle; most often a whisk can be substituted.
Whip:To beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites.
Whipping Cream:Consists of at least 35% milk fat content and is commercially produced by centrifugal separation. It is sometimes pasteurized but rarely homogenized. When whipped, it will double in volume and is not very likely to curdle. It is usually used to top desserts and piped over cakes.
Whisk:To mix to the specified state with a wire beater, also called a whisk. Whisking can refer to blending, beating, emulsifying, or whipping, depending on the recipe.
White chocolate:A mixture of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla. If cocoa butter is not mentioned, the product is confectionary or summer coating, not white chocolate. It is not a true chocolate due to no chocolate liquor present. Chips or pieces and coating chunks are popular home baking ingredients.
White Chocolate:A candy made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and flavoring; because it contains no chocolate liquor it is usually labeled white confectionary bar or coating; it can be eaten as a candy or used in confections and pastries.
WHITE chocolate:Not really a chocolate at all because it doesn’t contain chocolate liquor. It usually is made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla. It is used in candy making, baking, and desserts.
White chocolate:White chocolate does not contain any chocolate. It is derived from cocoa butter, which produces a faint chocolate flavor. The cocoa butter is blended with milk and sugar to form the creamy confection, which is used for both eating and cooking.
White Rice:Rice stripped of its husk, bran and germ. This process also removes most of the nutritional value. However, white rice labeled “enriched” has had some of the nutrition restored.
White sauce:A sauce whose base is butter, flour and a liquid such as stock, milk or water.
White space (food industry term):Blank space in a print ad that is not occupied by copy or an illustration.
White Truffles:Truffles are quite expensive. Available in most places only in the late fall, they come primarily from France, where they are sniffed out in forests by hunting pigs. But a little goes a long way, so don’t be shocked when you hear the price per pound. If you’ve never tried them, you must. There is no ordinary mushroom that can remotely approximate their flavor and aroma. White truffles are more delicate and are meant to be used right at the table. You can use either a grater or a truffle shaver to introduce their flavor immediately before serving. White truffles are most complementary to foods in butter and cream sauces such as risotto and other pastas. The shavings also work well on warm salads and certain delicate fishes.
White wheat:In the U.S., wheat is classified into six classes – three classes have a bran coat that is considered “white” or pale to amber in color. These classes are soft white wheat, hard white wheat, and durum wheat. Also, see Red wheat in the glossary listing.
Whitebait:Generic term for any tiny fish an inch or two in length that is of a white, shimmery, or transparent hue, rolled in flour and fried until crisp.
Whitebait:The young of the herring, very tiny, usually saut ed.
Whitefish:A high:fat, mild:flavored member of the salmon family with a firm white flesh. The whitefish can be poached, baked, broiled, grilled, pan fried, or stuffed. Its roe (eggs) can be cooked or made into caviar by adding salt.
Whiting:A small gray and white saltwater fish sometimes called the “silver hake.” This low:fat fish, which is related to both the “cod” and the “hake,” has a tender white fine:textured flesh and a flaky, delicate flavor.
Whole grain:Whole grain Using whole kernel or ground whole kernels of a grain (barley, corn, oats, wheat, soy, rye) in a food at 51% or more of the flour weight. There must be more flour than sugar and fat for the food to be a”grain food” product. 16 grams of whole grain flour or meal per serving is 1/3 of the daily need for whole grain in a diet.
Whole Wheat Flour:A coarse flour containing the bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat kernel, which give the flour a high fiber, nutrition and fat content.
Whole wheat flour:White flour has had the germ and bran removed; whole wheat flour contains both. It is nutritionally superior and has a stronger flavor. The ground germ contains oil which can grow rancid and bitter. Store carefully (in the freezer if you have room).
Wholesale broker (food industry term):A broker that stores, delivers and sells food products to a retailer or other wholesaler.
Wholesale club/membership warehouse (food industry term):A membership retail/wholesale hybrid store with a varied selection and limited variety of products presented in a warehouse-style atmosphere. These 90,000 plus square-foot stores have 60 to 70 percent GM/HBC and a grocery line dedicated to large sizes and bulk sales. Memberships include both business accounts and consumer groups. There are different membership policies for various member segments within clubs, as well as from one club to the next. These policies range from free membership to a surcharge.
Wholesale distributor (food industry term):A company that stores, delivers, and sells specialty products to a retailer, e.g., candy, tobacco. Also known as a Candy and Tobacco Jobber.
Wholesale membership club store (food industry term):See wholesale club.
Wholesaler (food industry term):A company that buys directly from a manufacturer and sells to retailers and is either affiliated (co-op or voluntary) or independent.
Whole-wheat flour:Flour produced from the whole kernel of wheat. Also called graham flour. It is usually produced in flour mills but may be ground in a mill using a stone grinding process.Whole-white wheat flourThe classes of U.S. wheat grown are red, white or durum (pasta) wheat. Any wheat can be used to produce a whole wheat flour. Whole white wheat flour is a flour produced from soft (lower protein) or hard (higher protein) varieties of white wheat.
Wic (food industry term):Women, Infants and Children.
Wide area network (wan) (food industry term):A network that connects computers over distances, not within a building.
Wiener Schnitzel:A thin slice of tenderized veal that’s dipped in egg, dredged through bread crumbs and quickly fried in butter.
Wiener schnitzel:[German] thin breaded veal or pork cutlet fried in butter. Traditional garnishes are lemon butter, anchovies, and capers.
Wiggle:“Wiggle” is applied to a variety of shrimp recipes that feature shrimp in a sauce, served on toast or crackers.
Wild Rice:The grain of a reed-like aquatic plant (Zizania aquatica) unrelated to rice; grown in the United States and Canada. The grains are long, slender and black, with a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor; available in three grades: giant (a very long grain and the best quality), fancy (a medium grain and of lesser quality) and select (a short grain).
Wild rice:A North American grass, cooked like rice and often served with game.
Window banner (food industry term):A point-of-sale sign hung in the window of a retail store.
Windows (food industry term):A computer operating system by Microsoft.
Wine Vinegar:Vinegar made from any wine (red or white). Wine vinegars have an acidity of approximately 6.5 percent.
Wine vinegar:Wine vinegar can be made from either red or white wine.
Wing display (food industry term):A display located at the end of a gondola that features extensions to merchandise products. See power wing.
Wins (food industry term):Warehouse information network standard.
Winter Squash:Harvested in autumn, winter squash has an orange or yellow flesh and should keep for months because of its hard, thick shell. The inedible shell is a primary distinction from summer squash. The flavor can be mild to very nutty, with varying degrees of sweetness.
Winter squash:These long-keeping squashes have much in common with with pumpkin and sweet potato: yellow to orange flesh, usually quite sweet and creamy when cooked. Look for firm squash with no soft spots or obvious damage, and store in a cool, dry place.
Wok:A round-bottomed pan popular in Asian cooking.
Wolf fish:A firm, white:fleshed saltwater fish with a large head, strong jaws, and sharp canine teeth and molars that can grind clams, whelks, and other mollusks. Sometimes sold in the U.S. under the confusing name of “ocean catfish.”
Women, infants and children (wic) (food industry term):A federal benefits program for families whose annual incomes are below poverty level.
Won ton:A ravioli-like Chinese dish of noodles folded around a filling of meat, fish or vegetables. They may be boiled, steamed, or deep-fried, and served with dipping sauce.
Wonton wrappers:These square sheets of fresh wheat-flour and egg dough can be used to make boiled, steamed or fried wontons, ravioli and other dumplings. They can also be cut into strips and fried to use as a garnish for salads and entrees.
Wool on a handle:A cowboy term for a lamb chop; generally greatly disliked by cattlemen.
Worcestershire Sauce:A condiment used to season meat, gravy, sauces, and other various dishes. Worcestershire sauce is thin and dark with a piquant flavor, named for Worcester, England, where it was originally bottled. Ingredients usually include vinegar, tamarind, onions, molasses, garlic, soy sauce, lime, anchovies, and seasonings.
Worcestershire Sauce:A condiment developed and first bottled in Worcestershire, England from flavors discovered in India. It is used as a sauce, a seasoning and a condiment. It is made of a very odd assortment of ingredients including anchovies, tamarind, soy sauce, onions, vinegar, molasses, lime and cloves. It is commonly used to season meat, gravy, soup and the Bloody Mary.
Work-back calculation (food industry term):The price point at which a product is sold by a manufacturer to a wholesaler or retailer. The cost does not include retail/warehousing markups. Calculated when a new product is offered or when there is a substantial price increase on an established product.
World wide web (food industry term):An information server on the Internet composed of interconnected files and sites, accessible from a computer using a browser.
Wos (food industry term):Weeks-of-supply.
Wrapper (food industry term):A machine used to wrap products.
Wreck pans:Cowboy term for pans filled with water to accept dirty dishes.
Wurst:[German] sausage.