Aspics

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by loomchick, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. loomchick

    loomchick

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    I remember as a child helping my mother make aspics. Does anyone do this any more? I'm still not sure what the purpose of an aspic was/is.
     
  2. dogfood

    dogfood Banned

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    Essentially a gelatin lined meat/pate`.. in a terrine/mold.
    Was a yesteryear "in thing/fancy" presentation.. doubt it's terribly popular lately..
    Made one many years ago for a holiday dinner, tasted nice, but went over like a lead balloon.
     
  3. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hi loomchick!

    In Europe they still use aspic to seal fruit desserts.

    Beyond that application there is always the use of good old---------

    J - E - L - L - O!
     
  4. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Back in the day.....

    An aspic was a labour of love. It wasn't jello (the history on jello is nothing short of surprising, check it out) nor did aspic come out of a container in granular form with a fancy German name.

    Instead it was a clarified meat broth, enriched with gelatinous cuts-- veal or pork trotters, or chicken wings and feet. It takes a bit of skill and a fair bit of effort to do it this way, and tastes nothing at all like the commercial variety.

    Both aspic and melted fat were also used to seal containers--terrines or jars, for example, or poured through the vent chimneys of dough encrusted pates (pate en croute) to keep air out, preventing oxidation and retarding spoilage.
     
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  5. chefross

    chefross

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    Remember it well. I worked Garde Manger for Hyatt in Chicago O'Hare back in the late 70's. Aspics and chaud-froid work were regular items on Sunday buffets. I did a turkey, 2 hens, and a salmon all draped in a creamy off white aspic then decorated, then sprayed with a white wine aspic to give it a golden hue. The mirrors they were displayed on also had golden aspic squares (very tiny). They were beautiful and time consuming. I usually started on Thursday for Sunday brunch. It WAS a labor of love.
     
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  6. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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  7. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I was working at a hotel, in New Orleans, in the early 90s and it was my job, as culinary intern, to do the Aspic and chaud-froid work for Easter and Mother's Day brunch buffets. Most of the pieces weren't "edible" but were for show although, technically they could have been eaten. I would do a couple of hams and couple of whole turkeys for display but also had to create the smoked salmon displays, using Aspic also.
     
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  8. eastshores

    eastshores

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  9. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    The western palette is really averse to things gelatinous or chewy. The concept of eating something just for texture is totally foreign here.

    IMO an aspic restaurant would be a hit in China.
     
  10. doraima3875

    doraima3875

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    Back in the days, aspic was considered fancy. In the East Coast, ladies who knew how to cook and provide recipes to their friends at church. Some of the women who cooked for the crowd opened their own kitchen to provide lunch boxes for a community. Sally Belle's Kitchen, is an old fixture of Virginia food history and cooking. It is a bakery and they provide lunch boxes with nostalgic food items that are reminiscent of customers old and new. They also serve Tomato aspic as an appetizer or aperitif.
    Nowadays, aspic is used in hotels and cruise lines for presentation purposes. Although it can be time-consuming to make, makes presentations of terrines, meat and poultry looked so elegant. It is also used in clear stocks and consommes. Even in canapes and appetizers too. So most of these foods are coming from the Garde Manger department.
    The purpose of aspic is to preserve the freshness and hinders the drying out of a food for longer periods of time. Chefs who have worked in the industry for more than 20 years will know the purpose and still apply it if it is needed. But in today's food industry, aspic isn't used anymore because of new health and food safety laws. So this is my opinion.
    I have seen aspic used from old food establishments especially restaurants, old-school bakeries and hotels still use it today.
     
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Uhhh.... Jello? Wasn't that kinda popular?
     
  12. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Jello shots are still popular.
    I used to add enough gelatin to soups so when they chilled they solidified. Slowed down the spoilage process tremendously. Agar agar for vegetarian soups.
    I think gelatin will regain its' popularity when someone comes up with something more modern to do with it.
     
  13. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Ferran Adrià developed hot jellies, which many others have since used, but I think the Anglo-American palate is as resistant to gel as it is to most offal. It's a pity, as gels are easier to make now than they've ever been.
     
  14. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Like I said before, Jello is still pretty much accepted in the N.American diet. One of the first people to start the Jello saga along was Peter Cooper ( of the Price, Waterhouse & Cooper fame) an American who started his venture with a glue factory. (Hide glue and gelatin are virtually identical, with the only exception that gelatin is deemed edible, and glue not)

    Jello is still very popular in the state of Utah,( and has been since the early 1920's when it was first introduced)where it seems it has been "adopted" by the Mormons.

    So no, I'm not buying that Schtick about N.americans finding gelatin dishes "weird" or Un acceptable.
     
  15. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Savory gels are still pretty much beyond the pale....
     
  16. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Like that old staple from the 60's, 70's and 80's menus, tomato aspic?
     
  17. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Good point. But, really the 80s? I can't recall actually ever seeing that dish in person. I thought it had vanished in the late 60s, maybe 70s.

    Hmm. Maybe it'll come back, then. But somehow I feel like something has changed, but I'm not sure what.
     
  18. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Of course it came back! Remember all those " pearls" in the early 2000's, the spherification stuff, molecular gastronomy?