A crouton is a piece of sautéed or rebaked bread cubed and seasoned, used to add texture and flavor to salads—notably the Caesar salad—as an accompaniment to soups and stews, or eaten as a snack food. The word crouton is derived from the French croûton, itself a diminutive of croûte, meaning "crust". Croutons are seen in the shape of small cubes, but they can be of any size and shape, up to a large slice. Many people now use crouton for croute, so the usage has changed. However, a croute was a slice of a baguette brushed with oil or clarified butter and baked. In French cooking, croûte is not only a noun but has a verb form which describes the cooking process that transforms the bread into the crust; the preparation of croutons is simple. The cubes of bread are coated in oil or butter and baked; some commercial preparations use machinery to sprinkle various seasonings on them. Alternatively, they may be fried in butter or vegetable oil, until crisp and brown, to give them a buttery flavor and crunchy texture.
Some croutons are prepared with the addition of cheese. Nearly any type of bread—in a loaf or pre-sliced, with or without crust—may be used to make croutons. Dry or stale bread or leftover bread is used instead of fresh bread. Once prepared, the croutons will remain fresh far longer than unprepared bread. A dish prepared à la Grenobloise has a garnish of small croutons along with brown butter, capers and lemon. Dried and cubed bread is sold in large bags in North America to make Thanksgiving holiday stuffing or dressing, although these are different from salad croutons, being only dry bread instead of buttered or oiled and with different seasonings, if any
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made from the Palomino grape, ranging from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been allowed to oxidise as they age in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are made from Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes, are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries; the word "Sherry" is an anglicisation of Xeres. Sherry was known as sack, from the Spanish saca, meaning "extraction" from the solera. In Europe, "Sherry" has protected designation of origin status, under Spanish law, all wine labelled as "Sherry" must come from the Sherry Triangle, an area in the province of Cádiz between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, El Puerto de Santa María. In 1933 the Jerez Denominación de Origen was the first Spanish denominación to be recognised in this way named D.
O. Jerez-Xeres-Sherry and sharing the same governing council as D. O. Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda. After fermentation is complete, the base wines are fortified with grape spirit in order to increase their final alcohol content. Wines classified as suitable for aging as Fino and Manzanilla are fortified until they reach a total alcohol content of 15.5 per cent by volume. As they age in barrel, they develop a layer of flor—a yeast-like growth that helps protect the wine from excessive oxidation; those wines that are classified to undergo aging as Oloroso are fortified to reach an alcohol content of at least 17 per cent. They do not develop flor and so oxidise as they age, giving them a darker colour; because the fortification takes place after fermentation, most sherries are dry, with any sweetness being added later. In contrast, port wine is fortified halfway through its fermentation, which stops the process so that not all of the sugar is turned into alcohol. Wines from different years are aged and blended using a solera system before bottling, so that bottles of sherry will not carry a specific vintage year and can contain a small proportion of old wine.
Sherry is regarded by many wine writers as "underappreciated" and a "neglected wine treasure". Jerez has been a centre of viniculture since wine-making was introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC; the practice was carried on by the Romans when they took control of Iberia around 200 BC. The Moors conquered the region in AD 711 and introduced distillation, which led to the development of brandy and fortified wine. During the Moorish period, the town was called Sherish, from which both Sherry and Jerez are derived. Wines similar in style to Sherry have traditionally been made in the city of Shiraz in mid-southern Iran, but it is thought unlikely that the name derives from there. Wine production continued through five centuries of Muslim rule. In 966, Al-Hakam II, the second Caliph of Córdoba, ordered the destruction of the vineyards, but the inhabitants of Jerez appealed on the grounds that the vineyards produced raisins to feed the empire's soldiers, the Caliph spared two-thirds of the vineyards.
In 1264 Alfonso X of Castile took the city. From this point on, the production of sherry and its export throughout Europe increased significantly. By the end of the 16th century, sherry had a reputation in Europe as the world's finest wine. Christopher Columbus brought sherry on his voyage to the New World and when Ferdinand Magellan prepared to sail around the world in 1519, he spent more on sherry than on weapons. Sherry became popular in Great Britain after Francis Drake sacked Cadiz in 1587. At that time Cadiz was one of the most important Spanish seaports, Spain was preparing an armada there to invade England. Among the spoils Drake brought back after destroying the fleet were 2,900 barrels of sherry, waiting to be loaded aboard Spanish ships; this helped to popularize Sherry in the British Isles. Because sherry was a major wine export to the United Kingdom, many English companies and styles developed. Many of the Jerez cellars were founded by British families. In 1894 the Jerez region was devastated by the insect phylloxera.
Whereas larger vineyards were replanted with resistant vines, most smaller producers were unable to fight the infestation and abandoned their vineyards entirely. Fino is the palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry; the wine is aged in barrels under a cap of flor yeast to prevent contact with the air. Manzanilla is an light variety of Fino Sherry made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Manzanilla Pasada is a Manzanilla that has undergone extended aging or has been oxidised, giving a richer, nuttier flavour. Amontillado is a variety of Sherry, first aged under flor and exposed to oxygen, producing a sherry, darker than a Fino but lighter than an Oloroso. Dry, they are sometimes sold to medium sweetened but these can no longer be labelled as Amontillado. Oloroso is a variety of sherry aged oxidatively for a longer time than a Fino or Amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine. With alcohol levels between 18 and 20%, Olorosos are the most alcoholic sherries. Like Amontillado dry, they are also sold in sweetened versions called Cream sherry.
Palo Cortado is a variety of Sherry, aged like an Amontillado for three or four years, but which subsequently develops a character closer to an Oloroso. This either happens by
La bonne cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange
La bonne cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange is a French cookbook written by Marie Ébrard under the name E. Saint-Ange and published in 1927 by Larousse. A "classic text of French home cooking", it is a detailed work documenting the cuisine bourgeoise of early 20th century France, including technical descriptions of the kitchen equipment of the day. Before writing La bonne cuisine, the author had written a cooking column in her husband's magazine Le Pot au Feu for twenty years, much of the content is drawn from that magazine; the book was published as Le livre de cuisine de Madame Saint-Ange: recettes et méthodes de la bonne cuisine française. Other editions use the title La cuisine de Madame Saint-Ange. Many American chefs and cooking teachers working in French cuisine have cited it as a significant influence, including Madeleine Kamman, Julia Child, Chez Panisse co-founder Paul Aratow, the last of whom translated it into English. Though the book reflects the equipment and the tastes of 100 years ago, reviewers have found it useful for cooking today: Its recipes work.
A sop is a piece of bread or toast, drenched in liquid and eaten. In medieval cuisine, sops were common. At elaborate feasts, bread was pre-cut into finger-sized pieces rather than broken off by the diners themselves; the bread or croutons traditionally served with French onion soup, which took its current form in the 18th century, can be considered modern-day sops. The word soup is a cognate of sop, both stemming from the same Germanic source; the word is mentioned prominently in the Bible, King James Version: When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, testified, said, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. The disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, he lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, it? Jesus answered, He it is, when I have dipped it, and when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. In 19th century Australia, sop referred to a dish consisting of stale damper, soaked in cold tea and served with a dollop of jam on top for taste.
This was used in prisons and poor-houses, as well as institutions such as asylums. Sop colloquially was not a desirable dish to be served. In Portuguese, the word sopa, among other meanings, can refer to soup or in Alentejo, to a piece of dry or stale bread, part of the traditional fish broth; the sopa is eaten. The expression milksop describes a person as indecisive, its connotation is similar to that of "milquetoast". The term supper derives from sop, the expression toast of the town derives from the practices of dipping spiced toasted bread into liquid, of honoring a dinner guest by referring to him or her by that term, which implies he or she adds spice to the dinner party. Fondue Migas Canas Milk toast Sopa de Gato Adamson, Melitta Weiss. Food in Medieval Times. ISBN 0-313-32147-7; the dictionary definition of sop at Wiktionary
French onion dip
French onion dip or California dip is an American dip made with a base of sour cream and flavored with minced onion, served with potato chips as chips and dip. French onion dip, made of sour cream and instant onion soup, was created by an unknown French cook in Los Angeles in 1954; the recipe spread and was printed in a local newspaper. The Lipton company promoted this mixture on the television show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1955, early on, it was known as "Lipton California Dip", but soon as "California Dip". A Lipton advertising campaign promoted it in supermarkets; the recipe was added to the Lipton instant onion soup package in 1958. About the same time, a similar recipe, but made with reduced cream, was created in New Zealand and became popular; the name "French onion dip" began to be used in the 1960s, became more popular than "California dip" in the 1990s. The original recipe dehydrated onion soup mix. There are now many mass-produced, pre-mixed versions, such as Ruffles French Onion Dip and Frito-Lay French Onion Dip.
Commercially prepared products include additional ingredients to thicken and preserve the mixture. Home-made versions may use caramelized onions. French onion dip is served at parties and as a "classic holiday party offering", it has been described as "an American classic". It may be used on other foods, such as hamburgers and tacos. Alternative bases include cream cheese. Common flavorings are salt, onion powder, garlic powder, chives, Worcestershire sauce and others. Clam dip French onion soup List of dips Julian, Sheryl. "Recipe for French onion dip". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 August 2014. Saretsky, Kerry. "Franglais: French Onion Dip". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 August 2014
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Comté is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk in the Franche-Comté traditional province of eastern France. Comté has the highest production of all French AOC cheeses, at around 64,000 tonnes annually; the cheese is made in discs, each between 40 cm and 70 cm in diameter, around 10 cm in height. Each disc weighs up to 50 kg with an FDM around 45%; the rind is a dusty-brown colour, the internal paste, pâte, is a pale creamy yellow. The texture is hard and flexible, the taste is mild and sweet. Fresh from the farm, milk is poured into large copper vats where it is warmed; each cheese requires up to 600 litres of milk. Rennet is added; the curds are cut into tiny white grains that are the size of rice or wheat which are stirred before being heated again for around 30 minutes. The contents are placed into moulds and the whey is pressed out. After several hours the mould is opened and left to mature in cellars, first for a few weeks at the dairy, over several months elsewhere; the manufacture of Comté has been controlled by AOC regulations since it became one of the first cheeses to receive AOC recognition in 1958, with full regulations introduced in 1976.
The AOC regulations for Comté prescribe: Only milk from Montbéliarde or French Simmental cows is permitted. There must be no more than 1.3 cows per hectare of pasture. Fertilization of pasture is limited, cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage; the milk must be transported to the site of production after milking. Renneting must be carried out within a stipulated time after milking, according to the storage temperature of the milk; the milk must be used raw. Only one heating of the milk may occur, that must be during renneting; the milk may be heated up to 56C / 133F. Salt may only be applied directly to the surface of the cheese. A casein label containing the date of production must be attached to the side of the cheese, maturing must continue for at least four months. No grated cheese could be sold under the Comté name between 1979 and 2007. In 2005 the French Government registered 188 affineurs in France; each cheese is awarded a score out of 20 by inspectors, according to'overall appearance','quality of rind','internal appearance','texture', taste.
Those scoring >15 points, called Comté Extra, are given a green casein label with the recognizable logo of a green bell. Those cheeses scoring 12-14 points are given a brown label and are called Comté. Any cheese scoring 1-2 points for taste, or <12 overall is prohibited from being named Comté and is sold for other purposes. Comté is well known for its distinct terroir; the term "terroir" refers to a particular smell and taste, derived from the immediate local environment and its traditional methods of production. Therefore, no two wheels of Comté taste alike, its terroir has several causative factors including: having been made in 160 village-based fruitières in their specific region, owned by farmers who bring their own milk from their cows. Because of its uniqueness and unfamiliarity, Comté cheeses go through the process of "jury terroir," where panels of trained volunteer tasters from Comté supply chain and from the region discuss and publish bi-monthly in the newsletter Les Nouvelles de Comté about the taste and their results.
This jury terroir was created by Florence Bérodier, the food scientist, to elaborate in response to a set of formidable challenges that Comté cheese underwent in the beginning for its unfamiliar taste and smell. "The jury terroir is there to speak of all the richness in the tastes of a Comté…" – original member confirmed. For Comté cheese to be worldly renowned, the quality improved, but the challenge stand still to create a uniform taste, impossible to achieve since there were 160 different fruitières specializing, but through the process of jury terroir, people came to focus on communication among the tasters, which improved their ability to perceive and gained in value. They acquired a general culture that enabled to exchange about the taste of Comtés. Media related to Comté at Wikimedia Commons