Everyone is aware of the fact how much people who love cooking are obsessed with watching cookery shows. Well, if you don't love cooking, then you'll probably watch these shows for "FOOD" (duh!). And, when it comes to Indian families, the scenario reaches another level.
Tbh, we also have an addiction for cookery shows and MasterChef is something that has always topped our watchlist. Every episode featured a new food ingredient, technique or apparatus, and we soon realized how "BAD" our food vocabulary was.
So, just to boost up our knowledge, enlisted below are some food-related terms that might have made you sit with a blank face while watching the show.
Flambé means 'flamed' in French, which is a cooking procedure where a dish is prepared by adding alcohol to a hot pan to create bursts of flames. Some of the dishes prepared using this technique are Crêpes Suzette, Banana Foster, Cherries Jubilee.
2. Molecular Gastronomy
I bet you'd have been fascinated after seeing the white gas emitting out of a utensil in most of the episodes of MasterChef. Well, if you're still unaware, then that gas is Liquid Nitrogen and is one of the parts of Molecular Gastronomy.
Molecular gastronomy is simply combining food with tools from science labs. Some of the other forms of this culinary art are spherification, powdered food, edible paper, faux caviar, etc.
No doubt why Molecular Gastronomy is called the "modern cuisine".
3. Egg Wash
Ever wondered how your favorite pie or puff-pastry gets that crisp and shine? The secret behind this is egg wash.
Temper is a process closely associated with chocolates. Tempering involves heating chocolates to a certain temperature and then cooling it down. This ensures that the chocolate gets a shiny and smooth texture and also, increases its durability.
Tempered chocolate is used for dipping strawberries, creating decorative designs to put on cakes, pastries and other baked items.
Zest is the grated outer skin of citrus fruits such as lime, orange, lemon, etc. The main purpose of zest is to add flavor to foods.
According to the dictionary, foam is simply any liquid or solid that has a gas suspended in it. Foam has been present in the culinary history for a long time (factually speaking, since 1700- YES! It's that old). You might have seen foam in the form of cappuccino, souffles, breads and sponge cakes. But, with the introduction of molecular gastronomy, foam has started to evolve.
Chefs started using foam as a technique to give the dishes a different flavor with the help of ingredients like stock, fruit juices, vegetable purees and soups. Foaming requires stabilizers ranging from natural plant and animal derivatives. Some of the commonly used stabilizers are agar agar and lecithin.
Deglazing is a technique where the residue of fat, carbohydrate or protein of sautéed or roasted food (mostly meat and fish) is added to a liquid and then heated to make a sauce or gravy.
The sauce can be served with vegetables like onion and carrots or as a base for soup. Caramelized onions is a common form of deglazing.
The word "Deconstruction" was coined by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. In food terminology, this term refers to breaking down the elements of traditionally combined dish and presenting it separately. Deconstructed food has been a special form of plating a dish, lately.
Blanching is a process where the food (vegetable or fruit) is put into boiling water for a fixed interval of time and is then, plunged into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
Blanch means "to whiten", but is mostly used to cook food partly or completely or remove the strong taste of some food like cabbage and onion. This process is used to blanch pistachios, almonds for desserts; green beans, etc.
Meringue is a dessert of French, Swiss and Italian cuisine made from whipped egg whites and sugar. An acidic ingredient (lemon or vinegar) is often added to increase the flavor of the dessert.
11. Sous vide
Sous vide is a French word meaning ''under vacuum''. Under this cooking technique, the food (mostly vegetables and meat) is sealed-packed in a vacuum plastic bag and is cooked in a water bath or steam controlled environment for 1-6 hours (time is usually longer than normal cooking time).
The main focus is on evenly cooking the food from inside without overcooking the outside, but at the same time retaining its moisture.Check out the Tandoori Chicken recipe cooked using sous vide.
We hope now you're ready to flaunt your food vocabulary amongst your peers.
This article has been written with crucial inputs in the form of graphics from Nikita Gupta.