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Blanching

Blanching is a cooking technique where food is scalded briefly in water. The food is then rinsed in cold water to refresh it. This process sets the colour of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved. Blanching neutralizes bacteria and enzymes present in foods, thus delaying spoilage. This is often done as a preparatory step for freezing and refrigerating vegetables Blanching can also describe deep frying in oil at a lower temperature as with the initial cooking of chips.

Cold water blanching

Starting the blanching process from cold water causes the cells of the food to open and release impurities.

  • The following are good applications for cold water blanching.

    • To rid rice and potatoes of excess starch.

    • Whitening meats such as bacon.

    • Removing excess salt from meat that has been kept in a brine solution.

    • Reducing and enhancing the strong flavour of vegetables such as turnips, swedes and broccoli, by releasing bitter acids stored in the food.

    • Removing blood and impurities from bones.

Hot water blanching

Starting to blanch with hot water causes the cells to close and seal in the flavour and natural juices of food.

  • The following are good applications for hot water blanching.

    • To remove the skin from fruits or vegetables, such as tomatoes, plums, peaches, or almonds.

    • To enhance the colour of green vegetables by releasing gases trapped in the food that obscure the greenness of the chlorophyll.

Category: Cooking Techniques

Sub Category: Blanching

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