We've put together a handy glossary of cooking terms and ingredients. Click the letters below to view the glossary of terms.
Labna: A yogurt cheese ball.
Lactic acid: A by-product of bacterial fermentation, used in the making of Sauerkraut, yoghurt and cheese.
Lactose: The sugar found in milk, or the by products of milk.
Ladies fingers: Another term for Okra.
Ladle: A kitchen utensil and an ideal tool for portion control for service of food.
Laksa: A classic, spicy Malaysian soup, containing rice and/or egg noodles, with a broth flavoured with coconut milk.
Lamb: A sheep, under 12 months of age, with flesh that is finely grained and light red in colour.
Lamb's lettuce or Corn Salad: A leafy green winter vegetable. Also, referred to as Corn salad.
Lancashire cheese: A semi-hard Cow's milk cheese with excellent melting properties. Lancashire cheese has a white-colour, mild flavour and loose texture. Also, referred to as Leigh toaster.
Land cress: A leafy vegetable with a light, peppery taste. Also, referred to as Watercress.
Langue de chat: Flat finger shaped crisp biscuits served with cold desserts.
Lard: Pork fat that has been melted and clarified. Its texture is softer than butter or margarine, yet has a high smoke point when used for frying.
Lasagne: Wide, flat pasta sheets that can be smooth, ridged or ruffled used for making lasagne.
Lasagnette: A thin, ruffled-edged version of lasagna, approximately 18 mm in length.
Lassi: A traditional Indian yoghurt drink, available sweet or salty, and commonly flavoured with pistachios, cardamom, cumin or rose water.
Latkes: Small potato cakes, common to Jewish cookery.
Lavash or Lavosh: Unleavened bread made from white flour, salt and water. Commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Lavender: A herb with aromatic grey leaves and spikes of mauve-coloured flowers, often used in conserves, vinegars and salads.
Layer: A cocktail mixing term, meaning 'To pour the ingredients into a glass so that they remain in distinct layers, and do not mix'.
Lebanese cucumber: A small long cucumber.
Leek: With a distinct, mild onion flavour, Leeks are a popular vegetable. The lower part of the leave is white, turning to light and dark green toward the end of the leave.
Legumes or Pulses: Members of the legume family include red kidney beans, cannelloni beans, aduko beans, black beans, borlotti beans, black-eyed beans, butter beans, ful Mesdames, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, flagolet beans, fava beans, haricot beans, lentils, lima beans, lupins, navy beans, mung beans, dried peas, pinto beans, soya beans. Legumes are available dried or canned.
Leicester cheese: A semi-hard, cow's milk cheese with a mild, distinctive flavour. May also be referred to as Red Leicester.
Lemon: A member of the citrus fruit family, Lemons are bright yellow, have thick skin and segmented flesh. Varieties include Lisbon, Eureka, Meyer and Villa Franca.
Lemon aspen: A native Australian food, Lemon aspen is a tart, yellow citrus-flavoured fruit.
Lemon grass: An essential ingredient in Thai cuisine, Lemon grass is available in stem form, or sold frozen and grated in Asian grocery shops. Only the tender inside part is used.
Lemon myrtle: A native Australian herb, whose leaves contain a flavour that ranges between lemon, lime and lemon grass.
Lemon oil: An infusion of lemon rind in oil.
Lentil: A dried legume or pea, available in brown, red, yellow or green varieties. May also be called Continental lentil, Red lentil or Masoor dal.
Lettuce: A green leaf vegetable, whose varieties include cos, or romaine, green coral, red coral, oak leaf, iceberg, butter head and crisp head.
Leyden or Leiden cheese: A semi-hard cheese from Holland made with whole or skimmed milk. Often flavoured with herbs and spices, and sold with a dark yellow rind that has been coated in red wax. Also referred to as Leiden.
Ligurian olive: A small black olive grown in the Ligurian province in Italy.
Lillypilly: A variety of tree with small pink-coloured berries that are crisp and used to flavour desserts, jams and vinegars.
Lima bean: A kidney shaped, flat bean, either green or white in colour, with a sweet flavour and floury texture.
Limburger or Limbourg cheese: A soft, uncooked curd cheese from Belgium, with a yellow colour, pungent smell and flavour and irregular holes appearing in the cheese.
Lime: This citrus fruit is usually lime green in colour, and affords a sharper flavour than lemon. Varieties of lemon include Persian or Tahiti, Mexican or West Indian.
Lime leaves: Often sold dried, lime leaves add a refreshing lemon-lime flavour to dishes.
Limousin Beef: A breed of cattle, with a flesh that is naturally lower in fat.
Ling or Rockling: A fish May also be called kingclip, pinkling or rockling.
Linguini: Long, thin strips of pasta that have been cut square at either end.
Liqueur: A spirit or wine based liquor, sweetened and flavoured with aromatic substances. Historically, liqueurs have been consumed at the end of a meal. This term is also used to describe old brandies, ports and Muscat’s with moist flesh.
Lisbon lemon: A variety of Lemon.
Listeria monocytogenes: A food poisoning bacterium that can only be killed by high temperatures (pasteurisation levels are best).
Liver: A form of offal.
Liverwurst: A soft sausage made from pork, liver, onions and seasoning. May also be called Latin liverwurst.
Lobster: A crustacean with the majority of its meat located within the tail section.
Loganberry: A burgundy coloured fruit, and a hybrid of black blackberry and raspberry.
Loin or Longe: a). the large fillet from fish like tuna and swordfish. B). A tender cut of meat from veal, pork or lamb, either on or off bone.
Longan: Similar to the lychee, but with a dull, cream-coloured, translucent flesh. May also be called Lungan or Dragon's eyes.
Long-grain rice: A variety of Rice.
Long rice noodle or Rice Noodle or Asian noodle: A variety of rice noodle, similar in appearance to fettuccini.
Loquat: A stone fruit with a stubby, bottle shaped appearance, yellow orange skin and yellow orange flesh. Also known as Japanese medler.
Lotus root and Lotus flour: A root vegetable that can be steamed, pickled or made into a starch or flour. May also be called root starch and au far.
Low-fat milk: Regular milk with the fat content reduced.
Lucerne sprouts or Alfalfa sprouts: Fine, hair like sprouts with a yellow green stalk and small deep, green leaf top. May also be called Alfalfa sprouts.
Lychee: A tropical stone fruit with a tough, spiky red skin and firm, translucent, creamy-pink flesh. May also be called a Chinese cherry, lichee, litchee, litchi or litchie.
Lyonnaise: A classic sauce containing onions, and sometimes potatoes.