Garnish is an ingredient which is used to enhance the flavor, texture, color and appearance of the dish. It is a part of food plating and presentation. Cucumber spirals are used as a popular garnish for salads. Mashed potatoes are sprinkled with parsley and chives to add flavor as well as the fresh appearance to the dish.
Simple Kitchen Tools Used For Garnishing
- Apple cutter / corer – It is used to make carrot flowers.
- Butter curler / candy moulds – It is used to shape butter and form delicate butter curls.
- Citrus stripper – It is used to cut thin citrus peel strips which can be candied.
- Melon baller – watermelon, cantaloupes and muskmelon balls can be scooped to make attractive garnishes.
- Hand grater – It is used to grate ingredients like cheese, chocolates, etc.
- Wire strainer – Cocoa powder, coffee powder, icing sugar are dusted on sweet and baked goods using a wire strainer.
Types of Garnish
Candied citrus peel can be made using lemon and orange. Citrus peel strips are cut and put into boiling sugar syrup and then dried. These candied peels are used to garnish desserts.
Lemon and orange slices are used to garnish cocktails and mocktails. It is also used to decorate fruit salads and traditional Indian dishes like biryani, dum aloo, etc.
Chocolate curls are made using a paring knife or a peeler. Chocolate cut outs are used making cookie cutters and different shapes. Chocolate dipped fruits are made by dipping strawberries, apricots, cashew, almonds or walnuts in melted chocolate. These decorations are usually used to garnish desserts like cakes, mousse, cheesecakes, trifles, etc.
Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and sliced zucchini are used to garnish curries. Carrot bundles are made by tying julienned carrots with spring onion. They are served along with pasta and even appetizers. Carrot flowers are made by cutting carrot slices into a flower shape. Cucumber ribbons are made using a peeler. Zucchini flowers are also made and used as garnishes.
Cheese is grated over salads, pasta, casseroles, etc.
Cherry is most popularly used to garnish sundaes and desserts. Strawberry, kiwi, peach, and pineapple slices are used to garnish cakes and mousses.
Sauces and curries are topped on dishes to make them look appealing. Alfredo sauce is used over pasta.
Simple ingredients like parsley, paprika powder, black pepper powder, coriander leaves, grated coconut, ginger and beetroot juliennes are commonly used savoury garnishes.
Fruits, whipped cream and chocolate decorations are used to garnish desserts.
Many books have been written on techniques and easy tips on garnishing. A few of them are –
· Food Art: Garnishing made easy by John Gorgone
· Working the plate – Christopher Styler