Your Friday French Fundamentals: Un Bain-Marie
bain ma·rie [bE~ maR\i]
The mix-up: Literally, Mary’s bath; considering the modern sanitation standards, it might seem odd to hear the word “bath” in a culinary setting.
Actual meaning: A large pan containing hot water in which smaller pans are set before being placed in the oven. Gently simmering water helps the food in the smaller pans cook slowly and evenly, by protecting it from the direct heat of the oven.
Food for thought: Could you imagine baking a pâté or a delicate custard in anything less than a gentle bath?
Have you come across some unruly French words? Please share them in the comments or send us an email and we’ll feature them in later posts.