“Fork it Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater” by Alan Richman
I am on page 47 and am finding it quite entertaining to read about food and restaurants from a critic’s point of view. I’m also picking up on new vocabulary that will be fun to use while I’m cooking…or posting…or trying to impress…to be ridiculous…The applications are endless!
“When they are not blanching, the French seem always to be deglazing. This is a fancy word for removing the cruddy stuff that sticks to the bottom of a roasting pan. Voila! The cruddy stuff is the basis for all those rich sauces Americans pay so much for in restaurants, not realizing what they are made from. The French so admire the cruddy stuff that they even have a name for it, “le suc.” I’m not saying that American chefs don’t deglaze, but you’ve got to admit that giving the cruddy stuff its very own name demonstrates an unnatural degree of affection.”
So there you have it, le suc! It definitely sounds much better than referring to the ‘grunginess at the bottom of the pan‘ or even ‘the leftover bits‘.
“Let’s gather up le suc. Next we’ll make the sauce.” (Hmmmm, sounds yummy! )
“Let’s scrape up all the grungy stuff, oh and the bits stuck to the side there!” (Well, why don’t we just add these bits that I found on the floor too while we’re at it?)
Now that I have a name for it, I should learn how to use ‘le suc’ properly. (I’d also love to have some images of it but for some reason googling neither ‘le suc’ or ‘the crud at the bottom of a fry pan’ resulted in anything usable. Go figure! lol)
Here’s how I understand ‘le suc’. It often contains the core essence of the flavour in your dish and is not to be discarded lightly. It’s the juice leftover from your roasted chicken, the carmelized bits of garlic and onions clinging to bottom of your fry pan after a quick sauté.
You know that moment when someone arrives at your home as you’re prepping a meal? They walk in the door and pause to take a deep breath, usually (hopefully) followed by a sigh and something like “Wow, that smells amazing!”
Experiencing the aroma of ‘le suc’ can smell as though all those aromas have coalesced into one concentrated stream of scent. The closest you come to actually breathing in the food itself. No wonder it is used in sauces and other types of garnish!
I recently began making an effort to use as much of an ingredient as I can before deciding to head towards my green bin. For example, I made beet salad and also cooked up the greens, the leafy bits that, previously, I would’ve thrown out. It would now appear that even the tiniest bits and pieces can add so much more to your cooking, if you know how to use them!
I have so much to learn!