When chefs create a recipe, they include elements of salt, acid, fat and heat (and sometimes, a pinch of sweetness).

It’s all about flavor: Salt enhances flavor; acid balances flavor; fat delivers flavor and mouthfeel; and heat (pepper, chiles, etc.) is a counterpoint.

But what about texture?

Good recipes take time to add texture as well: crunchy vegetables as well as leafy ones in a salad, meat in soup or croutons on top, nuts or brittle atop ice cream or a cookie alongside. It’s all about the crunch.

We all love to crunch, hence the popularity of chips and pretzels and other crunchy munchies (here’s why humans like crunchy foods).

You can crunchify foods at every meal of the day. For example, at breakfast alone, nuts and seeds can be added to:

  • Breads and muffins
  • Oatmeal and other hot cereal
  • Cottage cheese and yogurt
  •  
    At other meals of the day:

  • Sandwiches with spicy radish slices or crushed chips instead of bland iceberg lettuce
  • Soups and salads, with crackers, croutons, nuts and/or seeds
  • Chicken and fish, breaded with panko crumbs, Corn Flakes, crushed pretzels
  • Plate garnishes, such as vegetable chips
  • Desserts with crunchy toppings
  •  
    WAYS TO ADD CRUNCH TO YOUR MEALS

    Savory Crunch

  • Asian accents: Chinese fried noodles, Japanese arare* (Oriental rice crackers mix), roasted edamame, wasabi peas
  • Chips and crisps, any kind, including pita chips
  • Corn nuts, soy nuts, roasted chickpeas
  • Crackers, including cheesy crackers
  • Croutons or panko bread crumbs
  • Fried pork cracklings/rinds (chicharrones)
  • Pretzels, mini or sticks
  • Raw veggies: bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, fennel, jicama, radishes, sugar snap peas, etc.
  • Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, etc.
  • Nuts, toasted
  •  
    Sweet Crunch

  • Banana chips
  • Biscotti
  • Caramel corn
  • Crushed hard peppermints
  • Diced apples
  • Dry cereal: Frosted Flakes, etc.
  • Graham crackers and other cookies
  • Pocky sticks
  • Toffee chips, crushed brittle
  •  
    So plan ahead for a trip to the market, or just search the cupboards, for crunch. As one of our colleagues says, “Crunchiness is next to godliness.” (She’s referring to the god of cuisine.)

     

    Jumbo Croutons
    [1] Salad croutons the size of biscotti. Here’s the recipe from Morningstar Farms.

    Panko Baked Fish
    [2] Panko, Japanese breadcrumbs, add crunch to chicken and fish. Here’s the recipe from Martha Stewart.

    Gazpacho Garnish
    [3] Gazpacho with crunchy cucumber garnish (plus chiles and peaches), from Botanica Restaurant | L.A.

     
    ________________

    *Arare are a classic Japanese bar snack: crunchy, seasoned mini rice crackers, some wrapped with nori; wasabi peas and nuts (photo). The crackers are made in different sizes, colors, and shapes: a fun and tasty snack!

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

    Related Posts

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pick A Better Cheese For Your Cheeseburger

    RECIPE: Apple Dumplings For National Apple Dumpling Day

    FOOD 101: The History Of Peanuts For National Peanut Day

    TIP OF THE DAY: Beyond Ants On A Log

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Grass-Fed Beef From Pre Brand

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fried Potato Peels (Save Potato Peels For A Snack Or Garnish)

    Comments

    Reply comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *