A Brownie is a Brownie ..what's a Souffle?

September 29, 2011 2 min read

I get a little annoyed when food terms are used loosely, particularly if that food is one that requires time, craftsmanship and skill. Today in our endeavours to eat all things chocolate, we were out at a cafe and ordered a chocolate souffle.  After a rather prolonged wait we were eventually served not a  chocolate souffle but rather a chocolate pudding! A chocolate pudding that was cold in the centre.

Now as many of you know a souffle requires at the very least some time and effort. According to Wikipedia

"A soufflé (French:[su.fle]) is a light baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savoury main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or more loosely "puff up"—an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites.

A chocolate soufflé

Every soufflé is made from two basic components:

  1. a French crème pâtissière base/flavoured cream sauce or purée
  2. egg whites beaten to a soft peak meringue

The base provides the flavour and the whites provide the "lift". Foods commonly used for the base in a soufflé include jam, fruits, berries, chocolate, banana and lemon (the last three are used for desserts, often with a good deal of sugar).

When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does)." reference Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of  Wikipedia

Now as I think back today about our chocolate experience,  I wondered whether the spelling of Souffle was different on the menu? Does that matter ?  The fact was that we thought we would get a chocolate souffle and instead we got a chocolate pudding which had been prepared without any attempted aeration.

I've felt similar rage to the use of terms like sour dough bread which is so often incrorectly used. It seems to me that we will loose the greatness of many of these dishes unless we stop using names for items that are in fact frauds.

What do you think? Had any experiences of great food names being passed off for something else? Love to hear from you. In the mean time I am going to enjoy a brownie!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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