Episode 4. Preparing the ingredients. Cold method – Apples & Berries
Food Culture

Episode 4. Preparing the ingredients. Cold method


Main point

During the process of preparing foodstuff or ingredients in order to make food the main point is to keep and save nutrients that provide nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth and right combination of different ingredients between each other when cooking a particular dish. You get a good taste quality as a result of applying different methods and techniques.
Foodstuff are substances suitable for consumption as food.
Ingredients are the things that are used to make different foods when cooking a particular dish.

Cold and hot methods

The main methods that are used in home culinary are cold and hot methods of making foodstuff and ingredients ready for use.
Cold method demands certain amount of workload. The point of cold method is to remove inedible parts of foodstuff that not fit for eating. It can be done by sorting the food stuff, separating it according to type, washing out with a continuous flow of water. So these are the initial steps that make the foodstuff and ingredients ready for hot method actions. These steps also include cutting into pieces; crushing into a powder or paste (minced meat); the use of grater as a kitchen tool which has a rough surface that you use for cutting food into very small pieces; blending; breading.


Foodstuff and ingredients must be washed well before you start making dish. Sorrel, spinach, verdure, spring onions have to be sorted in order to remove parts unfit for eating and then wash out properly. Potato, edible roots as underground parts of a plant (carrot, beetroot, turnip, celery, black radish), cucumbers have to be washed before and after peeling or removing the outer skin from the vegetable.
Beetroot a dark red root that is eaten as a vegetable. It is often preserved in vinegar.
Turnip a round root with white or cream flesh which is eaten as a vegetable and also has edible leaves.
Celery a cultivated plant of the parsley family, with closely packed succulent leaf stalks which are used as a salad or cooked vegetable.
Foodstuff and ingredients have to be washed in cold water. Try to leave them in cold water for few hours in order to get rid of pesticides and insecticide that are used during land cultivation though they lose some nutrients and vitamins.
It is better to wash potato and edible roots with the brush. Spinach, sorrel, salad and other lush green vegetation are better to wash with plenty of water changing the water few times.
It is recommended to keep cabbage in salt water for 5 minutes. It prevents food from getting insects into the food.
When peeling off potatoes there is an advice to remove only thin upper layer of potato. This advice is valuable because potato has more vitamins under the upper layer than in pulp as soft fleshy part of a vegetable or fruit. However, sprout potato that put out shoots and started growing and also old potatoes should be peeled by removing more of the upper layer, because poison substance called solanine is produced on the surface. For the same reason there is a need to remove green part of the potato. Asparagus is peeled with sharp knife from top to bottom, trying not to chip or break head of the plant.
All the foodstuff and ingredients should be placed on the cutting board and cut with sharp knife made of stainless steel as a metal made from steel and chromium which does not rust. It is recommended to have separate wooden or plastic boards that you chop meat, fish and vegetables on. The process of making foodstuff and ingredients ready for cooking should not be done beforehand. Do this right before cooking.
Following these recommendations reduce the risk of losing vitamins and nutrients when making foodstuff and ingredients ready for dish. If for some reason there is a need to keep ready for cooking foodstuff and ingredients cover them with a lid and store in cold place or room. Raw vegetables that have being cut into pieces for the salad should be sprinkled with vinegar, lemon juice or tartaric acid to prevent vitamin C from destructive effect made by oxygen.
Tartaric acid is a crystalline organic acid which is present especially in unripe grapes and is used in baking powders and as a food additive.
To sprinkle means to cover an object with small drops or particles of a substance.
Frozen meat, fish thaw should be slow. Foodstuff and ingredients become soft as a result of gradual warming up and try not to cut them into pieces when stuff is frozen. Thus products stay succulent, tender and juicy.
There is no need to warm up quick-frozen vegetables. They are placed in the boiling water straight away or in the appropriate dish.
For efficient foodstuff and ingredients use it is necessary to select or carefully choose appropriate vegetables and meat beforehand. Sweet pepper pods with right form and size, red tomatoes, big potatoes are used for stuffing as filling food with savoury mixture, especially before cooking. Solid, well formed tomatoes are selected for salads; cucumbers and pepper that are crushed and overripe in other words develop too much for eating can be used for making puree food, soups and sauces that are served with food to add moistness and flavor.

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