Blanching is a culinary process that involves briefly immersing food items in boiling water or steam, followed by an immediate plunge into ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. This technique has several key purposes:
Preservation: Blanching helps to destroy enzymes present in fruits and vegetables, which can cause them to ripen or spoil. By deactivating these enzymes, blanching extends the shelf life of the produce.
Texture Retention: Blanching helps maintain the texture, color, and crispness of vegetables. It sets the vibrant color and prevents the loss of vital nutrients.
Cleanliness: It also serves as a method of cleansing food items, removing surface dirt, and reducing microbial contamination.
Peel Removal: In some cases, blanching is used to facilitate the removal of the skin or outer layers of certain foods.