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|Main ingredients||Water of flavoured stock; any of bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables|
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish. If other ingredients are used, such as rice, pearl barley or oats, it is then generally called soup.
Commercially prepared liquid broths are available, typically for chicken broth, beef broth, and vegetable broth. Dehydrated meat stock, in the form of tablets, is called a bouillon cube. Industrially produced bouillon cubes were commercialised by Maggi in 1908 and by Oxo in 1910. Using commercially-prepared broths allows cooks to save time in the kitchen.
Broth has been made for many years using the animal bones which, traditionally, are boiled in a cooking pot for long periods to extract the flavor and nutrients. The bones may or may not have meat still on them.
Egg whites may be added during simmering when it is necessary to clarify (i.e., purify, or refine a broth for a cleaner presentation). The egg whites will coagulate, trapping sediment and turbidity into a readily strained mass. Not allowing the original preparation to boil will increase the clarity.
Roasted bones will add a rich flavor to the broth but also a dark color.
In Britain, a broth is defined as a soup in which there are solid pieces of meat or fish, along with some vegetables. A broth is usually made with a stock or plain water as its base, with meat or fish added while being brought to a boil, and vegetables added later. Being a thin and watery soup, broth is frequently made more substantial by adding rice, barley or pulses. Broth is distinct from stock, which is a thin liquid made by simmering raw ingredients until all the taste has been retrieved from them, then sieving the resulting liquid.
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- Rombauer, Irma S.; Marion Rombauer Becker; Ethan Becker (1997). Joy of Cooking. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020: Scribner. p. 42. ISBN 0-684-81870-1.
- Spaull, Susan; Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne (2003). Leith's Techniques Bible. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 38 Soho Square, london W1D 3 HB: Bloomsbury. p. 661. ISBN 0-7475-6046-3.
- Barham, Peter (2001). The Science of Cooking. Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer. p. 127. ISBN 3-540-67466-7.
- Xavier Romero-Frias, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5
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