Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

browning of foods is a familiar occurrence in the kitchen, and often a welcome one. People prefer loaves to be brown outside, and like a slice of bread to be browned when toasted. Grilled or roasted meat should have a brown exterior. On the other hand, no one likes to see cut fruits or vegetables turning brown, as many will if remedial action is not taken.

Some compounds formed during browning have distinctive flavours, often ones which are liked, such as that of caramel, but sometimes stale and even repulsive. An understanding of the different ways in which browning occurs will help to illuminate these contrasts.