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glossary of ingredients and terms of Italian to English
ACETO BALSAMICO: Balsamic vinegar is sweet and tart with a flavor all its own.
AMARETTI: Crisp almond macaroons sprinkled with coarse sugar.
AMARETTO: Almond liquer.
ANTIPASTO: Hor d'oeuvre.
APERTIVO: a beverage designed to awaken the palate and perk up the appetite.
BACCALA': Salt cod, Cod that has been preserved with salt. It is sold in Italian markets in slabs. It takes several soakings to remove the salt. Dry it will keep indefinitely.
GRAPPA: A strong, clear Italian brandy made from the distilled remainsof pressed grapes.
OLIO d'OLIVA: Olive oil.
PASTA: In Italian the word pasta means "paste," and refers to the dough made by combining duram wheat flour called "semolina" with a liquid, usually water or milk. The term "pasta" is used broadly and generically to describe a wide variety of noodles made from this type of dough.
POLENTA: Originated in Venice when maize was imported from America. Polenta is made from coarsely ground cornmeal and is used in a variety of Northern Italian dishes.
PORCINI: Are the same wild mushrooms known as Cepes in French and Boletus Edulis in Latin. Fresh Porcini are fleshy, velvety, and earthy in flavor; the dried porcini are highly aromatic, with an intense woodsy flavor.
RISOTTO: Arborio rice, Stubby, short grain polished rice grown in Italy's Po valley. Its particular starch composition makes it the prefered rice for Italian Risotto. This short grain rice is perfect for dishes which are expected to absorb the flavor of the liquid in the recipe. Risottos take more careful cooking than other rice dishes as the liquid is usually added gradually as the dish is cooking on the stove. Risotto rice should be cooked al dente. The rice should be slightly moist and never sticky, each grain should be separate.
SEMOLINA: A yellow flour ground from high protein Durum wheat. Semolina is used in many brands of dried pasta because of its ability to stand up to kneading and molding. Semolina is also used to make Gnocchi.
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