Julienne is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks. Sometimes called 'shoe string', e.g. shoestring fries. Common items to be julienned are carrots for carrots julienne, celery for céléris remoulade or potatoes for Julienne Fries.
With a sharp knife the raw vegetable is sliced to length and trimmed on four sides to create a thick rectangular stick 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in), then cut lengthwise into thin 1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in) slices. Stacking these slices and again cutting lengthwise into thin (1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in), equal to the thickness) strips creates thin uniform square sticks. Julienne usually applies to vegetables prepared in this way but it can also be applied to the preparation of meat or fish, especially in stir fry techniques.
Once julienned, turning the subject 90 degrees and dicing finely (again 1-2 mm, equal to other dimensions) will produce brunoise.
The first known use of the term in print is in François Massialot's Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois (1722 edition). The origin of the term is uncertain, but may derive from the proper name Jules or Julien. A potage julienne is composed of carrots, beets, leeks, celery, lettuce, sorrel, and chervil cut in strips a half-ligne in thickness and about eight or ten lignes in length. The onions are cut in half and sliced thinly to give curved sections, the lettuce and sorrel minced, in what a modern recipe would term en chiffonade. The root vegetables are briefly sauteed, then all are simmered in stock and the julienne is ladled out over a slice of bread.
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