Nuts, flour, cereal flakes: roasting or grilling your food, we don't think about it enough and yet...

Roasting, what is it?

According to Larousse, roasting is an “operation which consists of treating certain food products (coffee, cocoa), tobacco by heat, in contact with air, to dehydrate them, develop certain aromatic qualities and reveal the color Brown “.

If someone says “roasting” to you, you immediately think of coffee and that’s normal. This is probably the food most commonly associated with this action. In fact, each grain of grain is roasted before being ground. It is this essential cooking which gives, depending on its duration, the taste of the coffee, dense or tangy.

But coffee is not the only ingredient that is roasted, far from it. Oilseeds, seeds, cereal flakes, and even flours can be roasted. An action which intensifies the flavor – more intense and “toasty” – thanks to the evaporation of water which allows the sugars and amino acids of the ingredient to caramelize, the famous “Maillard reaction”. But this evaporation also generates another addictive result: crunch. Indeed, roasting is above all a way of “drying” the ingredients to preserve them longer.

Why is this important?

In cooking, it is necessary to distinguish the actions essential to the smooth running/result of the recipe – for example: you have to beat the eggs to prepare an omelette or add sugar to caramelize a crème brûlée – from the “optional” steps. These actions are specified by the chefs or authors of said recipes to provide a variation, a little extra, or an additional taste.

Take the case of praline. You can easily make hazelnut praline by coating the oilseeds with caramel, before mixing everything together. But you also have the choice of roasting your hazelnuts beforehand for more flavor. Visually, the two products will be identical, but when tasting, the roasting gives a lot of depth of taste.

In short, roasting brings this magnificent “come back” taste to the food. But if you are asked the question, say that the secret ingredient is love! We promise, we won't say anything.

Even clearer case: granola. If you roast the oilseeds at the same time as the cereal flakes, the result will not be at all the same as if you add hazelnuts or almonds post-cooking. Uncooked oilseeds are softer than those that have been roasted.

Roasting and grilling are the same thing!

Yes and no. In itself, food is exposed to heat and it changes state. But in fact, the action of grilling will be done over high heat quickly on the surface of the food – for example, skewers on a barbecue – while roasting is done “at the core”, uniformly, with a constant heat. less, over a longer period. In the case of our hazelnuts, once roasted, open one in half and you will see that the center of the hazelnut has browned.

What do I roast? In what cases?

Overall, the ingredients can be roasted in advance without worry, look at the coffee. Then simply store them in good conditions, away from air, heat and humidity.

Flour : why not roast your buckwheat flour before making tasty savory blinis? Or buckwheat pancakes, or blinis, or rolls, or…

The gears : with their small size, you can easily roast or dry toast – without fat – pine nuts in a pan over high heat. Be careful not to be surprised though, they are so small that they are quickly roasted, and burned even more quickly!

Cereal flakes : oats, rice, spelt, buckwheat, do you love cereal flakes in your muesli? Perfect, why not roast them lightly to get closer to the toasted taste of granola without any other added ingredients, sugar or fat?

You know everything.
Well, roast now!

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