|NutriBase Glossary: Fish, Poultry, and Meats|
Abalone - This gastropod can be found along the coasts of California, Mexico and Japan. The edible portion is the "adductor muscle" (false foot) by which it clings to rocks. Its iridescent ear-shaped shell is the source of mother-of-pearl.
Ahi - These tuna reach about 300 pounds in weight. They feature a pale pink flesh that is relatively mild. Also called "Yellowfin tuna."
Aku - This small tuna (6 to 8 pounds) has a light-colored meat similar to yellowfin. The Japanese call this fish "Katsuo."
Akule - This marine fish, found near Hawaii, is normally served salted and dried. Also known as "Bigeye Scad."
Alaskan Cod - This saltwater fish, which is not a true cod, has a soft textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good fish for smoking. Also called "Sablefish."
Albacore - A highly prized, mild-flavored tuna that weighs between 10 and 60 pounds. This high-fat fish is the only tuna that can honestly be called "white." It is the most expensive variety of canned tuna.
Alewife - One of the most popular members of the herring family, the alewife is anadromous (it spawns in fresh water). This fish provides high-fat flesh with a fine, soft, texture.
Alligator - A large aquatic reptile that grows up to 19 feet in length. The meat is generally only available in its native regions--Louisiana and the Gulf States. Alligators feature meat ranging from white to dark--mild to strongly flavored.
Amberjack - A lean, mild fish found along the South Atlantic coast. Difficult to find in markets; usually sold whole.
American Buffalo - American Buffalos are presently raised on game farms. The meat is very tender and tastes quite a bit like lean beef. It has no pronounced gamey flavor. Also called "bison."
Anchovy - There are many species of small, silvery fish known as "anchovies," but the true anchovy comes from the Mediterranean and southern European coastlines. Often filleted, salt-cured, and canned in oil. Used sparingly to flavor foods.
Angler Fish - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "Monkfish," and "goose-fish."
Antelope - A large, deer-like animal that inhabits Asia, Africa, and Europe. Their meat is called "venison" and may be cooked by roasting. Plenty of fat is recommended to prevent the meat from becoming too dry.
Arctic 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."
Awa - An important food fish of the Indo-Pacific region that offers a tender, white flesh. Hawaiians use Awa for making fish cakes and sashimi. Also called "Milkfish."
Bacon - A smoked and cured product made from the meat taken from the back, sides, and belly of pigs. Fat, which gives bacon its sweet flavor and tender crispness should be half to two-thirds of the total weight.
Barracuda - A pike-like sea fish with long pointed jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth. It is a firm-textured fish with moderate fat content. The type most commonly found in the U.S. is the Pacific barracuda (also called the California barracuda).
Bass - A term that refers to numerous and often unrelated freshwater and saltwater fish. True basses include groupers, black sea bass, and the striped bass. Largemouth, redeye, rock, smallmouth and the spotted bass, are actually sunfish.
Bear - A large, partly carnivorous quadruped found in America, the Arctic, and in Europe. Bear steaks should be cooked like beef, except that they are generally marinated for a couple of days in oil and vinegar or wine to help tenderize the meat.
Beaver - A semi-aquatic animal of the rodent family. The tail is considered the best part to eat. Care must be taken when skinning to avoid severing the musk gland, which will permeate the entire flesh when cut.
Beef Tartare - A dish of coarsely ground beef. The meat is normally high-quality, lean, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and seasonings. Beef tartar is often served with a raw egg placed on top, along with capers, parsley, and onions.
Beef - The meat from cows, steers (males castrated when very young), heifers (females that have never borne a calf) and bulls under 2 years old. The eight USDA grades are Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner.
Beefalo - A cross between the American bison (commonly called buffalo) and cattle, the beef strain being dominant. The dark red meat of beefalo is very lean and has a somewhat stronger flavor than beef.
Beerwurst - A German cooked sausage with a garlic flavor and a dark red color. Normally used as lunch meat. Also know as "Bierwurst."
Belly-Fish - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "angler fish," "monkfish," and "goosefish."
Bison - Also know as the "American Buffalo," bison is presently raised on game farms. The meat is very tender and tastes quite a bit like lean beef. It has no pronounced gamey flavor.
Black Pudding - This large link sausage is made of pig's blood, suet, bread crumbs, and oatmeal. It is generally sold precooked. Also known as "blood sausage."
Black Cod - This saltwater fish, which is not a true cod, has a soft textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good fish for smoking. Also called "sablefish."
Blackfish - A lean, delicately flavored Pacific Ocean fish that is popular in Chinese cookery. Also called "Black Trout" and "Chinese Steelhead."
Blood Sausage - Also known as "blood pudding" and "black pudding" in Ireland. This large link sausage is made of pig's blood, suet, bread crumbs, and oatmeal. It is generally sold precooked.
Blue Crab - Named after its blue claws and dark blue-green shell, this crab is found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. It is sold in both its soft and hard-shell stages. The "soft-shell crab" is simply a blue crab caught just after molting.
Bluefin Tuna - Among the largest of tuna, the bluefin can weigh over 1,000 pounds. As bluefin age, their flesh turns from light to dark red and takes on a stronger flavor.
Bluefish - A fatty, fine-textured fish that is also known as "bulldog of the ocean" because of its tenacity. Found in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Discard the dark oily strip that runs down its center to prevent a strong, fishy flavor.
Bluegill - One of a large number of North American freshwater fish closely related to the perch. Known for their bright, sunny colors, bluegill are also known as "sunfish."
Boar - An uncastrated male swine. In culinary terms, it is the male of a wild boar species found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and the U.S. Young boar is the best eating and is often prepared roasted, grilled, braised, or smoked like ham.
Bobwhite - A small game bird of the partridge family that resembles a small, plump chicken. The flesh is white and delicately flavored. Most of these birds are raised on bird farms today. Known also as "quail."
Bockwurst - A German ground-veal sausage that is flavored with chopped parsley and chives. This sausage is normally sold raw. Bockwurst is traditionally served with bock beer, particularly during the Bavarian bock beer festivals.
Bologna - Also known as "baloney." This is a highly seasoned sausage meat that takes its name from the Italian city of Bologna. True Italian sausage is called "mortadella."
Bonito - This variety of tuna is the smallest of the tuna family, rarely weighing over 25 pounds. They range from moderate to high fat and are the most strongly flavored of the tunas. Many Japanese recipes call for dried bonito ("dashi").
Brains - Gourmets say that sheep's brains are best, followed by calves, then pigs. Often boiled with salted water and a dash of vinegar, then reheated with butter and capers or deep fried in egg and bread crumb batter.
Bratwurst - A German sausage made of pork and veal and seasoned with ginger, nutmeg, and coriander or caraway. Each German district has its own special variety of this sausage. Also called "brotwurst."
Braunschweiger - A smoked German liver sausage made with eggs and milk. It is soft enough to spread and is usually served at room temperature.
Buffalo - Also know as the "bison," buffalo is presently raised on game farms. Buffalo meat is very tender and tastes somewhat like lean beef. It has no pronounced gamey flavor.
Buffalo Fish - This freshwater fish, which belongs to the sucker family, is similar to carp. It offers a coarse but sweet, low-fat flesh that lends itself to a variety of cooking methods.
Bullhead - A small, freshwater catfish that usually weighs in at under a pound. Its flesh is lean and mild in flavor.
Burbot - A freshwater cod with a lean white flesh and a delicate flavor. It is normally poached, baked, broiled or sautéed.
Butterfish - This small, high-fat fish has a tender texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Found off the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, this fish is also called the "dollarfish," "Pacific pompano," and "pomfret."
Calamari - This ten-armed cephalopod, commonly known as "squid," is related to the octopus. They vary in size from 1 inch to 80 feet in length. The meat is firm and chewy, with a somewhat sweet flavor. Over-cooking can lead to a rubbery texture.
Calico Bass - One of a large number of North American freshwater fish closely related to the perch. Known for their bright, sunny colors, calico bass are also known as "sunfish."
California Sheepshead - A saltwater fish belonging to the wrasse family. Also called "sheepshead," "fathead," and "redhead." Its meat is white, tender, and lean.
Canadian Bacon - A lean, smoked meat that is closer to ham than to bacon. It comes from the lean tender eye of the loin, located in the middle of the back. It is called "back bacon" in Canada.
Candlefish - A rich and oily mild-flavored fish. This variety of smelt is so named because Indians sometimes run a wick through their high-fat flesh and use them for candles. Also known as the "Eulachon."
Capocollo - An Italian sausage made from pork shoulder and flavored with sweet red peppers. It is pressed (rather than chopped), put into casings, and air dried. It is a specialty of the Parma region of Italy.
Capon - The culinary term for castrated chicken that is fed on a special diet until it is slaughtered at the age of 6 to 9 months. Considered by most to be the best eating chicken available.
Caribou - Any of several large North American deer which are related to Old World reindeer. Caribou meat is called "venison." Antelope, elk, deer, moose, and reindeer meat are also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat.
Carp - This freshwater fish ranges from 2 to 7 pounds and has a lean white flesh. It is the primary ingredient for the Jewish dish called "gefilte fish."
Catfish - This fish is firm, low in fat, and has a mild flavor. Most catfish are fresh water varieties, but there is a salt water variety that called the "hogfish." The channel catfish is considered the best for eating.
Chicken - This bird, taken from the jungles of southeastern Asia around 1400 B.C., has become a popular food fowl throughout the world. Boiler-fryers are 2.5 months old; roasters are 8 months old; stewing chickens are 10 to 18 months old.
Chikuwa - A variety of Japanese fish paste cake.
Chinook Salmon - Considered the finest Pacific salmon. This high-fat, soft textured fish can reach up to 120 pounds. Also called the "king salmon."
Chitterlings - The small intestines of animals, usually pigs. They are cleaned, simmered, then served with a sauce or used as a sausage casing. Chitterlings are also added to soups or battered and fried.
Chorizo - A spicy, highly seasoned, coarsely ground pork sausage flavored with garlic, chili, and other spices. Widely used in Mexican and Spanish cooking.
Chub - One of the most prized whitefish found in the Great Lakes and in Canada. May be prepared in any manner suitable for salmon. Also called "?Lake Herring" and "Cisco."
Chum Salmon - This, the smallest and most delicate flavored of the salmons, has the lightest color and the lowest fat content of the various salmon varieties. Also called the "dog salmon."
Cisco - One of the most prized whitefish found in the Great Lakes and in Canada. May be prepared in any manner suitable for salmon. Also called "lake herring" and "chub."
Clam - These bivalve mollusks come in two varieties. Hard-shell clams include littleneck, cherrystone, and chowder clams. The soft-shelled clams, such as steamer, razor, and geoduck clams, have thin brittle shells that can't completely close.
Cod - A popular lean, firm, white meat fish from the Pacific and the North Atlantic. "Scrod" is the name for young cod (and haddock) that weight less that 2.5 pounds. "Haddock," "Hake," and "Pollock" are close relatives of the cod.
Coho Salmon - This high-fat variety of salmon provides a firm-textured, pink to orange-red flesh. Also called the "silver salmon."
Corn Dog - A frankfurter or other sausage that has been dipped into a heavy cornbread batter, impaled onto a smooth round stick, then deep-fried and often served with mustard. Created in 1942 by Neil Fletcher for the Texas State Fair.
Corned Beef - Beef brisket (or round) cured in a seasoned brine. Old-fashioned corned beef is grayish-pink and is very salty; the newer style is bright reddish and less salty. Most corned beef today is free of nitrites (alleged carcinogens).
Cornish Game Hen - Also called "Rock Cornish game hen." This is a hybrid of Cornish and White Rock chickens. These miniature chickens are about 4 to 6 weeks old and weigh about 2.5 pounds... usually enough for one serving.
Crab - Any of a large variety of 10-legged crustaceans (shelled animals). There are freshwater and salt water varieties. It is the second most popular shellfish. (Shrimp is the most popular.)
Crappie - One of a large number of North American freshwater fish closely related to the perch. Known for their bright, sunny colors, crappie are also known as "sunfish."
Crayfish - Also called "Crawfish" and "crawdads." Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans that look like tiny lobsters. Crayfish can be prepared in any manner appropriate to a lobster.
Croaker - Any of a variety of fish named for the peculiar drumming or deep croaking noise they make. These fish are firm and low in fat. The croaker family includes the black croaker, black drum, hardhead, kingfish, and redfish.
Cusk - A large saltwater fish related to the cod. It has a firm, lean flesh. Also called "tusk" or "torsk."
Cuttlefish - A relative of the squid and octopus, the cuttlefish has ten arms that can reach up to 16 inches in length. "Sarume," which is available in ethnic stores, is cuttlefish that has been seasoned and roasted.
Dab - This flatfish is variety of flounder that features a sweet, firm flesh.
Dollarfish - This small, high-fat fish has a tender texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Found off the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, this fish is also called the "butterfish."
Dolphin Fish - Also called "Mahi Mahi" and "Dorado." Although this fish is a dolphin, it is not a mammal. To avoid confusion, the Hawaiian name "Mahi Mahi" is becoming prevalent. This fish is moderately fat with firm, flavorful flesh.
Domestic Turbot - A highly prized flatfish with a lean, firm white flesh and a mild flavor. Turbot is also the market name for several varieties of flounder fished from Pacific waters.
Drum - Any of a variety of fish named for the drumming or deep croaking noise they make. These fish are firm and low in fat. The drum family include the black croaker, black drum, hardhead, kingfish, and queenfish.
Duck - Any of a variety of species of wild or domestic web-footed birds. Broilers and fryers are under 8 weeks old, roasters are no more than 16 weeks old. Duck is generally higher in fat than other domestic birds.
Eel - A long snake-like fish with smooth scaleless skin and a rich, sweet, and firm flesh. Eels, which are considered a fatty fish, are very popular in Europe and Japan.
Egg Yolk - This part of the egg contains all of the fat in an egg. Yolks are a good source of protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, choline, and phosphorus. The egg white is a good source of protein and riboflavin.
Egg - Most eggs come from hens, but duck, goose, and quail eggs are available too. Eggs should be refrigerated in the original container, large end up. Because the yolk is high in cholesterol, imitation eggs come from egg whites and additives.
Elk - A large member of the deer family. Elk meat is called "venison." Antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose and reindeer meat is also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat in the U.S.
Eulachon - A rich and oily mild-flavored variety of smelt fish. The eulachon is also called the "candlefish" because Indians sometimes run a wick through their high-fat flesh and use them for candles.
European Turbot - A highly prized flatfish found in European waters. This fish has a lean, firm white flesh and a mild flavor. Turbot is also the market name for several varieties of flounder fished from Pacific waters.
Fathead - A saltwater fish belonging to the wrasse family. Also called "California sheepshead." Its meat is white, tender, and lean.
Filet Mignon - An expensive and very tender cut of beef that is taken from the small end of Tenderloin.
Finnan Haddie - A world-famous smoked haddock from Scotland.
Flatfish - Fish that have a flat body with both eyes located on the upper side. Flatfish swim "sideways" and include "flounder," "halibut," and "sole."
Flounder - A fine-textured flatfish prized for its delicate flavor. Some of the more popular varieties include "Fab," "English Sole," and "Plaice."
Flying Fish - This fish, a delicacy in the West Indies and Japan, gains speed underwater then leaves the water except for the lower lobe of its tail. It then vigorously beats its tail, extends its ventral fins and can fly a 1,000 feet or more.
Frankfurter - A smoked and seasoned precooked sausage that is also called the "hot dog," "wiener," and "frank." These sausages, which can be made from beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, are America's most popular sausage.
Frog's Legs - The tender, faintly sweet white meat from the hind legs of frogs. Because of their delicate flavor, they should be cooked briefly without too many seasonings.
Frogfish - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Also called "angler fish," "monkfish," or "goosefish."
Gefilte Fish - This popular Jewish dish consists of ground fish mixed with eggs, matzo meal, and seasonings that have been formed into balls or patties then simmered in vegetable or fish stock. The fish used is usually carp, pike, or whitefish.
Giblet - "Giblets" usually refers to the heart, liver, gizzard, and sometimes the neck of poultry. All of these except for the liver are normally used to flavor stocks, soups, and gravies.
Goat - Goat meat has been eaten in other countries for centuries, but it never got very popular in the U.S. Most goat meat comes from kids--goats under 6 months old. Kid meat is as tender and delicate as lamb.
Goatfish - Goatfish is so named because of its two long "whiskers" that resemble a goat's whiskers. The meat is firm and lean. This fish is normally available only on the East Coast and through the Florida Keys.
Goose - Any of many species of fatty, web-footed wild or domesticated birds that are larger than ducks. The female is the "goose," the male is called the "gander." Roasted goose is traditional holiday fare in many European countries.
Goosefish - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Also called "angler fish," and "monkfish."
Ground Beef, Extra Lean - Also called "ground round" or "ground sirloin, this type of ground beef contains approximately 11% fat.
Ground Beef, Lean - Also called "ground chuck." The fat content is approximately 15% to 20%. This form of ground beef is flavorful, yet doesn't shrink excessively--it's the favorite choice for making hamburgers.
Ground Beef, Regular - This form of ground beef is usually made from the lower cost cuts such as brisket or shank. The fat content is up to 30%.
Grouper - This true sea bass, found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, has a lean firm flesh. Its skin has a strong flavor and should be removed prior to cooking. Groupers have the ability to change to the color of their surroundings.
Grouse - A small, low-fat game bird. Quality birds should have no odor.
Guinea Fowl - A relative to the chicken and partridge, the female (hen) makes better eating than the male. The taste has been described as "pleasantly gamey." Guinea fowl were raised and eaten by the Greeks and Romans.
Haddock - A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white flesh that is mild in flavor. Smoked haddock is called "finnan."
Hake - This low-fat saltwater fish, related to the cod, is found in the Atlantic and North Pacific. It's flesh features a white, delicate flavor.
Halibut - A low-fat, firm white and mild-flavored fish from the flatfish family. Resembles a gigantic flounder. "Chicken Halibuts" weigh up to ten pounds and are considered the finest halibut.
Ham - The hind leg of a hog. The taste of ham is affected by the age and breed of the hog, as well as by the food that the hog was fed. The unprocessed meat is called "fresh ham," but most ham is cured.
Hamburger - Ground beef formed into a patty for use in a hamburger sandwich. The best type of ground beef to use for this purpose is lean ground beef, which contains about 15% to 20% fat.
Head Cheese - This is not a cheese, but a sausage made from the edible parts of a calf's or pig's head that are combined with a gelatinous meat broth. Ingredients include cheeks, snouts, underlips and sometimes brains, hearts, tongues, and feet.
Heart - The heart of most animals and birds are used in cooking. Some say that the best hearts are calf's or lamb's hearts. Hearts are sometimes stuffed with breadcrumbs and herbs or used in making gravies.
Herring - A small salt-water fish related to the shad, alewife, sardine, and the freshwater cisco. Herring is often pickled, smoked, and dressed in numerous sauces.
Hog Maws - A pig's stomach, often stuffed with a sausage mixture, simmered, then baked.
Horse Meat - Taboo for Jews, horse meat is eaten in many parts of the world, particularly France and Belgium. The flesh is on the sweet side and can be mistaken for beef if flavored with garlic or some other strong herb. May be cooked like beef.
Italian Sausage - A popular pizza topping consisting of pork flavored with garlic and fennel. Available in sweet and hot styles, the latter of which contains hot peppers.
Jerky - Meat that is cut into long, narrow, strips then dried. Beef is the most commonly used meat for jerky. Also known as "Jerked Meat."
Kamoboko - A variety of Japanese fish paste cake.
Katsuo - This small tuna (6 to 8 pounds) has a light-colored meat similar to yellowfin. "Katsuo" is the Japanese name for this fish. The Hawaiians call it "aku."
Kidney - The kidneys are a pair of glandular organs in the abdominal cavities of mammals and reptiles. Calf's and lamb's kidneys are amongst the most delicate. Pig's kidneys are larger and coarser and make good pâtés.
Kielbasa - A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot.
King Crab - A giant crab that can grow up to 10 feet, claw-to-claw. It has snowy white meat edged in red. Because their numbers are rapidly decreasing, the catch is rigidly quota-controlled.
King Salmon - Considered the finest Pacific salmon. This high-fat, soft textured fish can reach up to 120 pounds. Also called the "Chinook Salmon."
Kingfish - Any of several varieties of drum found along the Atlantic coast.
Kippered Snack - Herring that is split, cured by salting, drying, and cold-smoking. Also called "Kippered Herring" and "Kippers."
Knackwurst - A smoked and cooked sausage made from beef and/or pork. It is shorter and larger in diameter than a frank and is strongly seasoned with garlic.
Kolbassy - A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot. Also called "polish sausage" or "Kielbassa."
Lake Herring - One of the most prized whitefish found in the Great Lakes and in Canada. May be prepared in any manner suitable for salmon. Also called "cisco" and "chub."
Lamb - A sheep under 1 year old. "Baby lamb" in slaughtered at between 6 - 8 weeks of age, "spring lamb" at 3 - 5 months, "regular lamb" at under one year. Lamb over 1 year old is "mutton" and is less tender and has a stronger flavor than lamb.
Langostino - The Spanish word for "prawn."
Lingcod - A North American Pacific coast fish with a mildly sweet flavor and a firm, lean texture.
Liver - This nutritious organ meat filters toxins from the blood. Select the youngest liver you can find. Poultry generally offers the mildest flavored and most tender livers; pork has the strongest and toughest liver of those commonly available.
Liverwurst - German for "liver sausage." Liverwurst is a ready-to-eat sausage of at least 30% ground pork liver plus other meats combined with spices and seasonings. The most famous liverwurst is called "Braunschweiger."
Lobster - This crustacean was used as bait until around 1880. Because dead lobsters spoil quickly, they should be cooked live if possible. (Live lobsters curl their tails under when picked up.) Look for curled tails on precooked lobsters.
London Broil - A flank steak that has been cut into large pieces, tenderized by marinating, broiled or grilled, then sliced into thin strips across the grain before it is served.
Lotte - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "angler fish," "monkfish," and "goosefish."
Mackerel - A long, slender saltwater fish. The flesh is firm and fatty, with a distinctive savory flavor. The most popular mackerel is the king mackerel, also known as the "kingfish."
Mackerel, Pacific - Also called the "chub," this species of Pacific mackerel is also found in the Mediterranean. Like other mackerels, this fish is fatty and has a strong flavor.
Mackerel, King - Also called the "kingfish," this is the most popular variety of mackerel. This fish has a firm, high-fat flesh with a savory flavor.
Mahi Mahi - Also called "dolphin fish." Although this fish is a dolphin, it is not a mammal. To avoid this confusion, the Hawaiian name "Mahi Mahi" is becoming prevalent. This fish is moderately fat with firm, flavorful flesh.
Meatball - Chopped meat formed into balls and cooked. Additional ingredients are sometimes added to the meat.
Milkfish - An important food fish of the Indo-Pacific region that offers a tender, white flesh. Hawaiians use milkfish for making fish cakes and sashimi. Also called "awa."
Monkfish - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor similar to lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "Angler," "Lotte," "Belly-Fish," "frogfish," "Sea Devil," and "Goosefish."
Moochim - A Korean-style dried fish with soy sauce.
Moose - A large member of the deer family with enormous palmate antlers. Moose meat is called "venison." Antelope, caribou, elk, deer, and reindeer meat is also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat in the U.S.
Mortadella - A smoked sausage from Bologna, Italy, the city that brought us "bologna" sausage. Made from finely ground beef, pork, cubes of pork fat, and seasonings.
Mullet - This term is used to describe several families of important food fish. In general, they are saltwater fish with a moderate to high fat content and flesh that is tender, white, and firm textured. They have a sweet, nut-like flavor.
Muskellunge - A freshwater pike that averages between 10 and 30 pounds. Some specimens, however have reached 60 pounds and up to six feet in length. Muskellunge offers a lean, firm, low-fat flesh.
Muskrat - Also known as a "marsh rabbit" and "musquash," this animal is a large, aquatic, North American rodent with a red, gamey flesh. Muskrat has a lot of bones, but it makes a good stew.
Mussel - A bivalve mollusk with worldwide distribution. There are salt and freshwater varieties. The thin shell means there is more meat compared to the same weight of clams or oysters. The yellow meat has a sweet and delicate flavor.
Muttonfish - A marine fish of the eelpout family found mainly in the Pacific. The flesh is sweet and white and contains very few bones. Also called "ocean pout."
Norway Haddock - This important commercial fish is a member of the rockfish group. Also known as "ocean perch," although it is not a true 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."
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."
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."
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, sautéed, and fried.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Parrot Fish - Any of various chiefly tropical marine fish, especially those of the family Scaridae. These fish are called parrot fish because of the brilliant coloring and the shape of their jaws. "Also called "Pollyfish."
Pastrami - A highly seasoned preserved meat made from beef dry-cured with salt or saltpeter. The seasonings include garlic, ground pepper, cinnamon, red peppers, cloves, allspice and coriander seeds. Commonly served as a sandwich on rye bread.
Pâté - A well-seasoned French preparation using a meat or fish paste filling. Sometimes a fruit or vegetable mixture is used. Can be smooth or coarsely textured. Pâtés may be served hot or cold, usually as a first course or appetizer.
Pepper Steak - A beefsteak sprinkled with black pepper, sautéed in butter and served with a sauce made from the drippings, stock, wine, and cream. Also refers to a Chinese stir-fry of steak strips, green peppers, and onion cooked in soy sauce.
Pepperoni - A highly spiced dry sausage made of pork and beef. Seasoned with salt, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic. Often thin sliced and served as an appetizer or as a topping for pizzas.
Perch - Any of a number of spiny-finned freshwater fish found in North America and Europe. The best known U.S. perch is the "yellow perch." Perch have a mild, firm, low-fat flesh. The saltwater white perch and ocean perch are not true perches.
Pheasant - A medium-sized game bird related to the partridge and the quail. The female's flesh is plumper, juicier, and more tender. Farm-raised birds have a somewhat milder flavor than wild varieties.
Pickerel - A small (between two and three pound) variety of the freshwater pike. Pickerel are know for their lean, firm flesh.
Pig's Feet - The feet and ankles of a pig. Available fresh, pickled, and smoked. Fresh and smoked pig's feet are used in sauces, soups, and stews. Pig's feet are called "trotters" in England.
Pigeon - A widely distributed bird that is normally eaten only when young. Squabs are young pigeons that have never flown are therefore very tender. Squabs are normally under a pound and about 4 weeks old. May be prepared like chicken.
Pike - A family of fish that includes the pike, pickerel, and the muskellunge. These freshwater fish have long bodies, pointed heads, vicious teeth, and provide a lean, firm, bony flesh. Used in French "quenelles" and the Jewish "gefilte fish."
Pink Salmon - A lower fat variety of salmon. Also called the "humpback salmon."
Polish Sausage - Also called "kielbasa," this is a highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic an other spices. It can be served cold or hot.
Pollack - This low to moderate fat fish has firm, white, flesh with a delicate, somewhat sweet flavor. Pollack is often used to make imitation crab meat. Also known as "Coalfish" or "Saithe," this saltwater fish is a member of the cod family.
Pollyfish - Any of various chiefly tropical marine fish, especially those of the family Scaridae. These fish are called parrot fish because of the brilliant coloring and the shape of their jaws. "Also called "parrot fish."
Pomfret - This small, high-fat fish has a tender texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Found off the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, this fish is also called the "butterfish."
Pompano - This saltwater fish is a succulent, fine-textured fish with a mild delicate flavor. This expensive, moderately fat fish is considered by many experts as America's finest fish.
Porgy - Also know as "Scup" or "Porgie." These saltwater fish are generally lean, and coarse-grained. Porgy is often grilled, poached, and pan-fried.
Pork Chitterlings - The small intestines of freshly slaughtered pigs. They are cleaned and simmered until tender. Chitterlings are served with sauce, added to soups, battered and fried, and used as sausage casings.
Pork - The flesh of domestic swine. Today's pork is leaner (1/3 fewer calories) and higher in protein than a decade ago. And with improved feeding techniques, trichinosis has become extremely rare. Most pork is slaughtered at 6 to 9 months.
Potted Meat - A meat that has been cooked and ground to a fine paste, lightly seasoned, and packed.
Prosciutto - An unsmoked, seasoned, salt-cured, and air-dried ham. The meat is pressed to produce a firm texture, then sliced very thin. "Parma ham" is the true prosciutto. "Prosciutto cotto" is cooked ham, "Prosciutto crudo" is raw.
Quail - A small game bird of the partridge family that resembles a small, plump chicken. Known also as "bobwhites" and "partridges." The flesh is white and delicately flavored. Most quail today are raised on bird farms.
Rabbit - Rabbit meat is mostly white, fine textured and mildly flavored. Domesticated rabbit is generally plumper and less strongly flavored that wild rabbits. Rabbit can be prepared in any manner suitable for chicken.
Raccoon - A North American mammal that served as an important food source for pioneers. The flesh is mostly dark meat, and the fat is strong in flavor and aroma. Young raccoons are usually roasted; older raccoons should be braised or stewed.
Ray - This kite-shaped fish features edible fins. The fish is firm, white, and sweet; similar to the texture and taste of scallop. Also known as a "Ray."
Red Snapper - This is the most popular of a few hundred species of snapper. This is a lean, firm-textured saltwater fish. Some species of rockfish and tilefish are also called snappers, but are not.
Red Perch - This important commercial fish is a member of the rockfish group. Also known as "ocean perch," although it is not a true perch.
Redeye Salmon - Prized for canning, the sockeye salmon has a firm, red flesh. Also known as the "sockeye salmon."
Redfish - This important commercial fish is a member of the rockfish group. Also known as "ocean perch," although it is not a true perch.
Redhead - A saltwater fish belonging to the wrasse family. Also called "California Sheesphead." Its meat is white, tender, and lean.
Ribeye Steak - A tender, flavorful beef steak that comes from the rib section between the chuck and the short loin.
Rockfish - A low-fat fish of the Pacific Coast. There are two categories: the elongated varieties are milder and softer, and include Yellowtail and Goldeneye. The more full-flavored deep-bodied types include Bocaccio, Chilipepper, and Shortbelly.
Roe - A seafood delicacy with two varieties: "Hard roe" is the female fish's eggs. "Soft roe" (also called "white roe") is the milt (male reproductive glands filled with seminal fluid) of the male fish. Salted roe is called "caviar."
Rosefish - This important commercial fish is a member of the rockfish group. Also known as "ocean perch," although it is not a true perch.
Sablefish - This saltwater fish has a soft-textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good fish for smoking. Called "Alaskan cod," "Black Cod," "Butterfish," and "Skil," although it is neither a cod nor a butterfish.
Salami - Any of a family of boldly seasoned sausages similar to "cervelats," except that they tend to contain more garlic and are coarser and drier than cervelats. Salamis are rarely smoked. "Pepperoni" is a popular type of salami.
Salisbury Steak - A ground beef patty seasoned with onions and seasonings before it is broiled or fried and served with gravy. Named after Dr. J. H. Salisbury who recommended eating a lot of beef for a wide variety of ailments.
Salmon - Perhaps the best-known of all fish, pictures of salmon from 12,000 B.C. have been found. Salmon migrate from the seas into freshwater to spawn. Over the years, some varieties have become landlocked in lakes.
Sardine - The name describing several varieties of weak-boned fish including the Alewife, French Sardine, Herring, and Sprat. Named after the French island of Sardina. Often salted, smoked, or canned and packed in oil, tomato, or mustard sauce.
Sausage - Basically, sausage is ground meat with fat, salt, seasonings, preservatives, and sometimes fillers. They may be smoked, fresh, dry or semi-dry, uncooked, partially cooked, or fully cooked. There are thousands of variations of sausage.
Scallop - A bivalve mollusk with a ribbed, fan-shaped shell. In U.S. markets, only the adductor muscle, which opens and closes the shell is available. The Bay scallop is smaller, sweeter and a bit more succulent that their deep sea counterparts.
Scampi - The Italian name for the tail portion of any of several varieties of miniature lobsters. In the U.S., the term refers to large shrimp that are split and brushed in a garlic oil or butter, then broiled. "Scampo" is the singular form.
Scrod - Scrod is the name for young cod (and haddock) that weight less that 2.5 pounds. It is a popular fish from the Pacific and the North Atlantic with a lean, firm, white flesh. "Haddock," "hake," and "pollock" are close relatives of the cod.
Scup - Also know as "porgie" or "sea bream." These fish are generally lean, and coarse-grained. Scup is often grilled, poached, and pan-fried.
Sea Trout - An anadromous (spawns in fresh water) brown trout that spends part to its life cycle in the sea. Sea trout have meat that is pink to red in color and is very comparable to salmon. May be prepared any way appropriate for salmon.
Sea Perch - This important commercial fish is a member of the rockfish group. Also known as "ocean perch," although it is not a true perch.
Sea Devil - This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Also called "angler fish" "monkfish," and "goosefish."
Sea Bream - Also know as "scup." These marine fish are generally lean, and coarse-grained. Sea bream is often grilled, poached, and pan-fried.
Sea Bass - A term used to describe a number of lean to moderately fat marine fish, most of which aren't actually members of the bass family. "Striped bass" and "Black Sea bass" are true bass. The "white sea bass" is a member of the drum family.
Shad - Small, delicate saltwater fish related to the alewife, herring, and sardine. They are larger than herrings and spawn in fresh water. Some species of shad have been landlocked and live in freshwater lakes.
Shark - A flavorful, low-fat fish that includes varieties such as Leopard, Mako, Spiny Dogfish, Soupfin and Thresher. Shark meat tends to have an ammonia-like smell that can be eliminated by soaking the flesh in milk or acidulated water.
Sheepshead - A saltwater fish belonging to the wrasse family. Also called "California Sheephead," "Fathead," and "Redhead." Its meat is white, tender, and lean.
Shrimp - American's most valuable and popular shellfish. This ten-legged crustacean got its name from English word "shrimpe," which means "puny person."
Silver Salmon - This high-fat variety of salmon provides a firm-textured, pink to orange-red flesh. Also called the "coho salmon."
Silver Hake - A small gray and white saltwater fish that is also called the "whiting." 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.
Sirloin - A cut of beef that lies between the Short Loin (very tender) and the Round (much tougher).
Skate - This kite-shaped fish features edible fins. The flesh is firm, white, and sweet, similar to the texture and taste of scallop. Also called "Skate."
Skil - This saltwater fish has a soft-textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good fish for smoking. Also "black cod" and "sablefish," although it is not a cod.
Skipjack Tuna - Also called the "oceanic bonito," "watermelon," and "Arctic 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."
Smelt - A rich and oily mild-flavored fish. Popular varieties of smelt include "Eulachon" and "Whitebait." The eulachon is called the "candlefish" because Indians sometimes run a wick through their high-fat flesh and use them for candles.
Snail - Popular since prehistoric times, the snail was greatly favored by ancient Romans who set aside special vineyards where snails could feed and fatten.
Snapper - There are a few hundred species of this lean, firm-textured saltwater fish, 15 or so which are available in the U.S. The most popular snapper is the "red snapper." Some species of rockfish and tilefish are called snappers, but are not.
Sockeye Salmon - Prized for canning, the sockeye salmon has a firm, red flesh. Also known as the "redeye salmon."
Softshell Crab - The "soft-shell crab" is actually the blue crab caught just after molting (discarding its shell). This crab is found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. It is sold in both its soft and hard-shell stages.
Sole - A popular flatfish with a delicate flesh with a firm, fine texture. The best-known variety is "Dover sole" (also called "channel sole)." Much of what is sold as "sole" in the U.S. is actually a variety of flounder, which isn't a true sole.
Souse Loaf - Well-cooked pig's head and feet that are chopped into small pieces, marinated in lime juice, chili pepper and salt, then pressed into a loaf.
Spot - A small fish (approximately 1.5 pounds) belonging to the drum family. In 1925, these fish appeared in New York harbor in such vast numbers that they clogged the condenser pumps of the electric company and caused a blackout.
Squab - A young domesticated pigeon that has never flown and is therefore very tender. Squabs are normally under a pound and about 4 weeks old. May be prepared in any manner suitable for chicken.
Squid - This ten-armed cephalopod is related to the octopus and the cuttlefish. Squid varies in size from 1 inch to 80 feet in length. The meat is firm and chewy, with a somewhat sweet flavor. Over-cooking can lead to a rubbery texture.
Squirrel - An abundant, largely arboreal rodent. Red and gray squirrels are commonly eaten in the U.S. The gray squirrel is fatter and has a flavor considered by many as superior to the red squirrel. Squirrels do not have a strong "gamey" taste.
Striped Bass - This true bass is found along the Atlantic coast. It features six to eight horizontal stripes and provides a moderately fat, firm flesh with a mild, sweet flavor.
Stroganoff - A dish of thinly sliced beef (usually tenderloin or top loin), onions, and mushrooms sautéed in a combination of butter and sour-cream sauce. Often served with a rice pilaf. Invented by Count Paul Stroganoff in the 19th century.
Sturgeon - A name for various migratory species of fish know for its rich, high-fat flavor, firm texture, and excellent roe. Their average weight is 60 pounds, but one freshwater "Beluga" sturgeon was 26 feet long and weighed 3,221 pounds.
Sucker - A name popularly applied to various types of freshwater fish closely related to carp. Suckers live and feed near the bottoms of streams. They may be cooked in any way appropriate for other fish.
Sunfish - Any of a number of North American freshwater fish closely related to the perch. Known for their bright, sunny colors and interesting shapes, popular varieties include "Bluegill," "Crappie," and "Calico Bass," commonly called "Sunnies."
Surimi - Imitation crab meat processed from fish.
Swedish Meatballs - A combination of ground meat (often a combination of beef, pork, or veal), sautéed onions, milk-soaked breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, and seasonings. The mixture is formed into small balls, then sautéed until brown.
Swiss Steak - Round or chuck steak that has been tenderized by pounding, coated with flour, and browned on both sides. The meat is then smothered in chopped tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, broth, and seasonings, then baked for about two hours.
Swordfish - A saltwater food and sport fish with mild-flavored, moderately fat flesh. The flesh is red, dense, and meat-like. Thanks to its firmness, swordfish can be prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, or sautéing.
Tarpon - A large, powerful game fish from the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Terrapin - This eight-inch long freshwater turtle is considered by many to have the best meat among turtles. Its flesh is often pounded and served like steak.
Thuringer Cervelat - A fresh, smoked sausage named after the former German region of Thuringia. Coriander (also called "cilantro") is an important spice used in this variety of sausage.
Tilefish - This low-fat Atlantic fish is delicately flavored and has a flesh that is firm yet tender. Available fresh and frozen, in steaks and fillets. Suitable for just about any cooking method.
Torsk - A large saltwater fish related to the cod. It has a firm, lean flesh. Also called "cusk."
Tripe - The stomach lining of beef, pork, or sheep. Beef tripe is the most commonly available. Tripe is tough and requires long cooking. It is the prime ingredient for menudo (tripe soup).
Trout - A delicately flavored fish that belongs to the same family as salmon and whitefish. Most are freshwater, but some are marine (sea trout). The very popular "rainbow trout" has been transplanted from California to many different countries.
Tuna - A saltwater fish related to the mackerel. Probably the most popular fish used in canning today. Tunas have a distinctive rich-flavored flesh that is moderately high in fat and has a firmly textured flaky but tender flesh.
Turkey - An American game bird from the pheasant family that has been domesticated. Self-basting turkeys have been injected with butter or vegetable oil. "Roaster-fryers" (6 - 8 lb. birds), are becoming more popular for everyday fare.
Turtle - Any of several varieties of shelled reptiles that live on land, in freshwater, or in the sea. Turtles can weigh over 1,000 pounds. Sea or Green Turtles are best known as food.
Tusk - A large saltwater fish related to the cod. It has a firm, lean flesh. Also called "cusk."
Veal - Calves that are slaughtered from 1 - 3 months of age. "Milk-fed" veal are unweaned calves. "Bob veal" is under a month old; "baby beef" is 6 - 12 months old. To keep their flesh from darkening, these animals are not fed grains or grasses.
Venison - This term covers the meat from antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose, and reindeer. Venison is probably the most popular large game meat eaten today.
Vienna Sausage - A small frankfurter, often served as an hors d'oeuvre.
Water Buffalo - A buffalo native to the Old World tropics with large flattened horns. Also called "water ox."
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.
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.
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."
Yankee Pot Roast - A "pot roast" is a piece of chuck or round cut that is browned, then braised very slowly in a covered pot with a little liquid. A "Yankee pot roast" includes vegetables that are added part way through the cooking process.
Yellowfin Tuna - These tuna reach about 300 pounds in weight. They feature a pale pink flesh that is relatively mild. Also called "ahi."
Yellowtail - A large game fish (up to 100 pounds) from the jack family with a flavor and texture resembling tuna. May be prepared in any manner suitable for tuna.