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Bruising is an attribute of a food that many overlook. Learn about bruising and its meaning & different types of bruising with this insightful guide.
What Does Bruise Mean In Cooking

An Insight into Bruising Meaning in Different Types of Foods

Ever wondered about the bruising meaning in different types of foods? Learn more with this comprehensive guide to bruising and why it matters to cooking.

What Does Bruise Mean In Cooking

I always think of Bruising as a food preparation technique that means to partially crush an ingredient in order to release its flavours and aromatics.

I cover this further down the page discussing how bruising herbs and spices can turn ordinary dishes into scrumptious masterpieces!
This technique will make even non-cooks look like kitchen pros.

Next we’ve got bruised food, where bruising in food is an attribute that can often be overlooked, but it can have a significant impact on the flavor, texture, and shelf life of a dish.
In this section, we will explore what bruising means in food, why it happens, and how to prevent it from occurring.

What is Bruised Food?

Bruising occurs when a food is damaged from impact, such as from slicing or chopping the food too hard.

It can cause the outer layer of the food to tear and become discoloured, which is why it’s also often referred to as “traumatic discolouration.”
Bruised foods will eventually spoil faster since oxygen can enter through these tears and break down the food, leading to loss of flavour and nutrients.

Causes of Bruising in Food.

Bruising in foods is caused by physical force, typically from slicing, chopping, squeezing or otherwise pressing too hard against the surface of the food.
It can also occur from falls or being dropped.
Bruises may start off as small red or yellow spots that darken over time once exposed to oxygen, leading to discolouration in certain areas of the food.

The Effects of Bruising on Different Types of Foods.

Discordant to the belief, not all fruit and vegetables go bad once they are bruised.

While some foods such as apples and potatoes may lose vital nutrients from the broken cell walls caused by bruising, others like citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons gain more juice when cut.

In general, firm fruits and vegetables can be used if sliced around the bruise while soft fruits should not be used if they have a large bruise on them. Additionally, it is important to note that some canned varieties of tomatoes already include bruises on them as an integral part of their texture.

Preventing and Minimizing Bruising in Foods.

To avoid or reduce bruising in food, proper handling techniques need to be followed.

Produce should be tracked and managed carefully, avoiding any excess rubbing and contact between them if possible.
If storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, divide each type into separate compartments to prevent them from coming into contact with each other.

In addition, storing fruits and vegetables separately can also help to slow down the spread of infection if one of the products is already bruised and infected. By following these simple prevention methods, you can significantly extend the shelf life of your food while preserving its taste, texture, and nutritional value.

The Power of Bruising Herbs and Spices in Your Cooking

Don’t just spice up your cooking, take it to the next level with our guide on Bruising Herbs and Spices!
Impress family and friends with your expertly seasoned dishes.

Commonly the result is achieved by crushing the item gently using a heavy knife, pestle or rolling pin.
This releases the full flavours of spices, citrus peel, lemongrass, etc.
Here’s why you should bruise herbs and spices in your recipes;

  • Release aroma and flavour:
    Bruising release the essential oils of herbs and spices which contain their unique flavour and aroma.
    If you need to add more depth of flavour to a dish, bruising your herbs can infuse the ingredients with that extra burst of taste.
  • Enhance colour:
    Bruised herbs and spices will also help add another element of visual appeal to a dish.
    Fresh herbs such as parsley or oregano are vibrant when they are crushed, creating delightful flecks of green throughout the dish.

    Crushed red pepper flakes add fiery specs of colour to the plate, and paprika is an amazing garnish for giving traditional Spanish dishes a gentle orange shade that is pleasing to the eye as well as your taste buds.

  • Better texture:
    Bruising your herbs also helps keep them from becoming too stringy or chewy while cooking – particularly tough herbs like mint or sage leaves.

    By breaking down the fibrous stocks in each herb sprig before combining them with other food items such as marinades or hot pots.

    Even smaller spices like coriander seeds can be difficult to chew through if left whole, but crushing those into fine powders ensures smoother culinary outcomes with minimal loss of flavour.

  • Important for certain dishes:
    Some cuisines absolutely require bruised spices in order for its authentic flavours to stand out fully.

    Take Italian cuisine, for instance! For some Italian recipes such as fish soups, there needs to be an aromatic paste composed of bruised garlic, onion, cherry tomatoes and chili peppers that maintains its consistency even after being cooked for hours at a time.

    This gives those aromatic secrets a chance at being savored without any distractions from solid pieces getting in
    between people’s teeth unexpectedly!

How to Bruise Garlic Cloves Like a Professional Chef

How to bruise garlicA bruised clove of garlic is often included in roast or stewed dishes and is usually removed after cooking, so you can often leave the skin on.

When you want a garlic flavour to penetrate a shallow layer of cooking oil when pan-frying, it’s necessary to bruise the whole clove so its flavour can be released.

Garlic crushers are wasteful, so let’s show you how to bruise garlic by hand.

All you need is your clove of garlic, a knife and a bit of rock salt, which also adds great flavour!

  1. Place a garlic clove on a chopping board. Holding a cook’s knife horizontally, position the blade over the clove.
  2. With the heel of your free hand and fingers raised away from the sharp edge, give the knife a firm whack to split the garlic.
  3. Leave skin on to roast or peel skin when pan frying.

A clove done in a garlic crusher is more likely to burn when cooking in hot oil.

How to Bruise Lemongrass for Maximum Flavour

How to bruise lemongrassLemongrass is a versatile herb used in all kinds of Asian recipes.
By bruising lemongrass you will get the most flavour out of this citrusy stalk so it is ready for cooking.

Learn how to bruise lemongrass so it is ready for marinades, curries, cocktails, stir-fries, and countless other preparations.

To get the most flavour out of this citrusy stalk and ready for cooking;

  1. Remove and discard the spiky top and the base plus the first few outer layers.
  2. Bruise the lemongrass stalk by lightly crushing it with a large knife pestle, a meat mallet, rolling pin or cleaver.
  3. You want to use the the spine or back of the blade to lightly hammer the lemongrass.
    This will release even more flavours into your dish.
  4. Be careful not to go too hard here, as bruising too harshly may break open some skins on your pieces of lemongrass and cause them to expel too much liquid.

How to Easily Bruise Cardamom Pods In No Time

How to Bruise Cardamom PodsCardamom is an intensely aromatic spice widely used in Indian cooking.
When you bruise cardamom you are releasing it ‘s oils which helps it combine with other flavours.

Bruising enhances the flavour and aroma of the spice by allowing the flavours of the inner seed to work its magic.

When you bruise cardamom pods, or any spice, you only need to barely break the outer seed coat, or husk.

  1. Place a few pods on a flat surface, such as a cutting board.
  2. Gently push down with the flat side of a large knife, partially cracking open the pod.

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