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The Kitchen as LaboratoryReflections on the Science of Food and Cooking$
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César Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153454

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153454.001.0001

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Playing with Sound

Playing with Sound

Crispy Crusts

(p.155) Twenty-one Playing with Sound
The Kitchen as Laboratory

Paula Varela

Susana Fiszman

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes how crispness is achieved, perceived, and analyzed in foods with a crispy crust and a soft, moist interior. All products with a crust commonly have a mixed structure of high-water-content, a soft and deformable interior, surrounded by or attached to a dry, firm, and brittle crust. The key issue in these kinds of products is how to maintain the crispy character after preparation; in general, the loss of crispness is due to the diffusion of water from the high-water-content part to the low-water-content, crispy part. Tempura or battered-and-breaded fried foods—like fish, seafood, poultry, cheese, and vegetables—are good examples of foods with crisp external crusts. Frying is the most common method for cooking or reheating tempura or battered-and-breaded food. But one problem associated with the consumption of battered-and-breaded deep-fried foods is the great amount of oil absorbed during the frying process. Baking is increasingly used as an alternative to avoid the excessive absorption of fat that occurs in deep frying. The remainder of the chapter discusses a case study of prefried chicken nuggets cooked by classical and new methods (deep frying, electric oven, microwave oven).

Keywords:   baking, baked products, crust, crispness, coatings, batters, cooking

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