This multipurpose word has many meanings, including the hardened outer layer of a cooked food such as bread; a thin layer of pastry covering or encasing a pie, pâté, etc.; and the sediment of organic salts deposited in a bottle of aged red wine.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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