Speaking of Food – Technique

So talking with some strangers about the subject of food while I was out led me to realize something. When it comes to terms of food some people do not know their marinara from their Monte Cristo. For those who don’t know the difference one is a sauce and the other is a sandwich. Being new to all the terms may find in a cookbook may think that cooking is some form of magic and despite the language being a bit odd at first here are some words that may describe techniques. You never know when one of these will be a jeopardy answer so off we go.

Blanch and Shock – This is a technique that simply means that it was boiled just long enough to heat through (seconds to a minute usually) before dumping the food items in to ice water to manipulate the color and texture. This is normally done for very small pieces of red meat or vegetables.

Whipping – This just means putting a lot of air in to. This is normally done with mixes like cream or egg whites. This can be done usually with a reference of some kind of custard.

Creaming – If you ask a baker and a line cook what this word is then they will give you two different answers. Both are correct, but we will start with the one appropriate to baking. Creaming when your baking something means to mix the butter and sugar in to a paste. On the culinary side, creaming something is something usually cooked in heavy cream.

Chiffonade – This a fancy term that means to cut something to small strips after rolling them up.

Flambe – When you add enough of a high proof alcohol to a pan before lighting it with a match, spark, or lighter. This is often done to add an extra layer of flavor to something as it cooks down. Bananas Foster uses this technique.

After some classes a couple things made something apparent. When anyone learns a new school one of the biggest hurdles is to learn to language associated with the skill. So in hopes that more people cook more their will be various posts to go over some terms. Cooking is something that every person on this planet does. We can communicate through it and learn about culture from it. Before I break my harp on this subject, and I will if this goes much longer from me harping on the subject.

I just love using bad jokes.

Enjoy the day.


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