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FP36 – Vegetables

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					FP36 – Vegetables

Question 1
How we define the broad category of vegetables?
     Mildly flavoured vegetables with a high water content, e.g.
      celery, spinach, green peas, green beans, carrots and gem squash.
     Strongly flavoured vegetables with a high water content, e.g.
      the cabbage family, turnips and onions.
     Starchy vegetables with a fairly high water content, e.g. sweet
      potatoes and potatoes; and
     Dry, starchy vegetables, which may include other starches, such
      as pasta and rice.

Question 2
What quality points should be looked for when purchasing
vegetables?

Refer to section on quality:
Fresh vegetables should be:

    Crisp and firm in texture and to the feel.
    Free from any defects: bruises, decay, or damage.
    Fresh in appearance with a bright colour.
    Not wilted or shrivelled up.



Question 3
How do we prevent the loss of nutrients when cooking vegetables?
To prevent loss of nutrients these rules should be followed:
1.    Use vegetables as soon as possible after picking. Store for the
      minimum time under the best conditions.
2.    Avoid bruising the vegetables. Use a really sharp knife when
      cutting vegetables. A blunt knife bruises the tissues.
3.    Whenever possible serve the vegetables raw.
4.    Wash as necessary but do not soak for any longer than necessary
      to remove dirt.
5.   Shred green vegetables. Cut up other vegetables in small pieces.
     This will cut down the time needed for cooking.
6.   Use as little boiling water as possible. Keep the cooking time to
     the minimum.
7.   Drain the vegetables and serve immediately. Foods kept hot or
     reheated lose most of their vitamin content.
8.   The cooking water will contain dissolved vitamins and mineral
     salts. Save this and use it as soon as possible for soup, gravy or
     sauces.




Question 4
How do we prevent each of the different vegetables colour groups
from discolouring during cooking?
    Green vegetables. These vegetables get their colour from
     the green pigment chlorophyll. Heat makes chlorophyll fade.
     Overcooked green vegetables lose their bright colour and turn a
     dull, brownish green. Cook green vegetables only until tender but
     still a bright green.
    Yellow, vegetables. Carotene, a source of vitamin A, gives
     the characteristic colour to yellow and orange vegetables, such
     as sweet potatoes and winter squash. Heat does not destroy
     carotene. However, if you overcook the vegetable, the cellular
     structure breaks down. Carotene escapes into the cooking water
     and is lost. You can see this happening because the cooking water
     turns a pale yellow or orange.
    White vegetables. What makes white vegetables, such as
     cauliflower and cabbage, darken during cooking? They contain
     flavones - pigments that are soluble in water. If the vegetables
     are overcooked, they turn yellow or dark grey from the action of
     the flavones in the water.
    Red vegetables. In hard-water areas, cooking can change the
     colour of red vegetables, such as red cabbage, to purple or
     purplish green. How can you prevent this undesirable colour
     change? Add a small amount of acid, such as vinegar or lemon
     juice, to the cooking water. Tomatoes retain their colour when
     cooking because nature has provided them with acid.
Question 5
How do we assess the quality of cooked vegetables?
The following features are studied when the quality of cooked
vegetables are assessed:


Colour: The colour of cooked vegetables should resemble the colour
of raw vegetables as closely as possible. The colour of green
vegetables is especially important and must be bright green and not
dull brownish or olive green.


Flavour: The flavour of the raw vegetables should be recognisable.
If herbs and spices are used, they should improve the flavour of the
product and never spoil or dominate the product's natural taste. No
unpleasant odours should prevail.


Texture:      Vegetables, which grow above the ground, should
preferably have a crisp texture. Vegetables such as potatoes,
beetroot, sweet potatoes and pumpkin can be soft-and smooth but
should never be mushy. Vegetables should neither be tough or woody.


Appearance on the plate: Vegetables must be uniform and
arranged attractively without looking over-handled. They should not
be broken up or swimming in cooking liquid.         Imaginative and
interesting garnishes are always indicated. When vegetables that
require different cooking times are combined, they should be cooked
separately to ensure that each type is prepared to its own specific
standard for quality before they are combined. When vegetables that
are fairly acid is combined with green vegetables they may discolour
them therefore acid vegetables should be added just before serving
or should not be combined with certain green vegetables.


Taste:     Like the flavour, the taste should correspond with the
natural taste of the raw product where applicable. The product
should be so tasty that it won't be necessary to add additional spices
in order to improve the taste. This does not mean that no flavouring
should be used, but rather that it should be used to improve the
natural taste, or to give a specific character to the cooked product.
Sauces and flavourings should be piquant and used carefully.
Seasonings should be appropriate and must never be too strong.

				
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Description: FP36 – Vegetables