The Know-It-All's Guide to Caramelization

To those who have been to bistros and pubs in the United States, you probably have noticed the word “caramelized” on their menus. And today, we’re about to give you “The Know-It-All's Guide to Caramelization.” It’s a whole new art and science in the area of gourmet food. When we hear the word “caramel,” we all know that it’s going to be sweet like candy and that is right. Although it won’t be exactly like candy, but it does resemble its sweetness. But to be more accurate, this process involves applying high temperatures to a particular food. When that happens, you will notice that the sugars from that food will then become brown and will eventually give you that sweet and nutty taste.

Among the best examples of food that has caramelization going on is the crème brûlée. It is impossible to miss the caramel part of its brown and crunchy surface. Banana Foster is another example and by now you know that you can absolutely do this to fruits, so it’s a must that you are aware of the process on how to do it properly in order to take your work to the next level. The learning curve could be a tough one, but it's all worth it once you have nailed it not just on the way it looks but the taste as well.

Some people are so focused on how their caramelized food would look like that they to do a lot of things to make it extra appealing. But the saddest part is that they forget that it has to taste good as well. Some would just end up tasting bitter, than sweet and balanced. There are still a lot of secrets that you must know to perfect this area of cooking.

Once you know a bit more about the things you can caramelize, you will want to master it. Did you know that if you take any vegetable and fruit, and due to the sugars that already exist in them, they will actually caramelize when exposed to higher temperatures? Fruits that are especially sweet like peaches, figs, bananas and pineapples are good examples of fruits that will caramelize. Caramelized fruit can be served on its own for dessert, without anything added, a tasty and healthy dessert recipe the kids will also enjoy. Once your kids try grilled pineapple on the barbecue they are sure to want more. To caramelize fruit quickly, you need to remember to have high heat, direct flame also helps. You might even opt to use a kitchen torch to achieve the right results, its a great way to bring out the flavor in fruits and desserts.

Onions are another popular vegetable that you can achieve good caramelization results. They are a great addition to lots of recipes from quiches to burgers and more. Onions are inexpensive and good for you, and a good way to add lots of flavor to a recipe with little work. You can even prepare big batches of caramelized onions ahead of time to save you time later on. Caramelized onions are also great on salads, with other vegetables, served with meat and added into tarts. Some tips for achieving good results when caramelizing onions are to make sure to buy sweet onions, or your onions may taste just browned and not have the sweet flavor you are going for. Another tip is to be sure and not cut your onions too ahead of time. When onions are cut up in advance they lose a lot of their water and will lose flavor when you try to caramelize them. Also a trick to reduce your time when caramelizing the onions is to raise their pH level. All you have to do is add some baking soda to the onions, you don't even need a lot just about 1/4 teaspoon per pound of onions will be enough.

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