Curdling. The breaking down of a sauce or other liquid so that it is no longer one smooth, homogenous mass. Curdling will occur, for example, if the heat is too high when egg yolks are stirred into a sauce, because the egg in effect goes beyond the thickening point and cooks as though it is scrambled. If too much oil is added to yolks while making mayonnaise, or if the oil is added too rapidly in the beginning, the mayonnaise will curdle.

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