Words Beginning with the Letter V



A sweet made either with round layers of meringue, cream and fresh fruit or meringue and crème chantilly.



Vanilla pods, about 5 inches long, grow on the orchid called Vanilla aromatica and contain small black seeds. When the choco­late-brown pod is dried the seeds are easily shelled. Pods give a particularly delicate fla­vour to custards and creams and can be used several times over. The seeds hold most of the flavour, so it is best to split the pod and extract a few to use with it. Once used, rinse pod in warm water, allow to dry before putting away in a small jar of caster sugar. Sugar thus treated is called vanilla sugar and can be used for flavouring cakes and custards.



Calf meat, should have little or no fat and be pink with a greenish tinge. Imported contin­ental veal, particularly from Holland, is usually the best. Veal kidneys make an excellent sauté and the sweetbreads and liver are considered better than from lamb.


Vegetable marrow [See Marrow]



One of the basic 'mother' sauces (sauces mères): flour is added to melted butter and allowed to cook until pale brown or straw colour before white stock, preferably in jelly form, is added. After being well boiled, and when syrupy, the sauce is finished with a liaison of cream and egg yolk (care must be taken not to boil sauce after liaison is added).



The meat of deer, usually red, roe and fallow deer. See Game. Venison should be well hung but, with some exceptions ac­cording to taste, should be cooked before it acquires a ‘gamey’ taste. Fallow deer is regarded as having the best flavour. Venison can be cooked without marinating, but this will help if the meat is dry. The joints cut from a side of venison are leg, loin, shoulder and best end of neck; the haunch consists of the loin and leg together. Other parts are used only for soup.



One of the Italian pastas, used mainly in soups, shaped like a very fine spaghetti.



A wine apéritif used sometimes in place of white wine, particularly in chicken dishes. After grapes have been pressed for wine, the skins are used in making vermouth.



Means that a dish is made or served with white grapes: eg. chicken Véronique, sole Véronique (cooked chicken or fish in a white wine sauce with grapes).



A gelatinous substance used in Russian cookery, particularly coulibiaca; made by drying the cartilage from the backbone of the sturgeon.



Carrots grown in the Vichy region are renowned in France; the town is also well-known for its medicinal waters.



Chicken stock, cream and leek stems made into a soup and generally served iced. Origin is American.


Victoria sponge

Cake mixture used for castle puddings, jam sponges, etc., made of equal parts of butter, flour, eggs and sugar.


Vienna flour

A fine white flour used for special baking purposes such as pastries, rolls and Vienna bread, which is very light and shaped like a long twist or roll. The flour is made by a special process from Italian wheat.



A French dressing with herbs added; for instance, oil, vinegar and seasoning with chopped shallots, parsley, capers, gherkins and vegetables. Served with salads and some meats and fish.


Vine leaf

In wine-growing countries particularly, vine leaves are used in cookery. Some are cooked and served with strong tomato purée as an hors d'oeuvre; others are wrapped round minced meat and baked, then served with a sauce. See also Dolmas.



The commonest types of vinegar are malt, wine and cider. That made from white or red wine or cider, is preferred for salad dressings and general cookery while the former, from fermentation of malt, should be used for pickling, bottled sauces and chutneys. A fungus like vinegar 'plant' put into sweetened water will turn it into a mild vinegar.



A white grain spirit traditionally drunk with zakouska and with caviar in Russia.



A puff pastry case specially shaped so that, after being baked, the lid can be removed and the centre filled with some sort of chicken, mushroom or shellfish fricassée or other filling and the lid placed in position again. See Bouchée.