The vacuum technique revolutionizes macerations

Marinating consists of leaving a food product submerged in a liquid so that both interact. Formerly it was used as a method of conservation. Acidic aqueous products, alcoholic distillates, oils or other fats were used. During the process there are exchanges of aromas and modifications in textures. Hence, cooks have used the maceration technique to aromatize liquids and to flavor or soften solids.

In the gastronomic field, this operation receives various nicknames and sometimes with nuances that only professionals know. Thus, they are called brines when it comes to salt water baths (although, in exceptional cases, they may contain sugar). There is talk of pickling when the bath contains some acid, although it can also be pickled with an increase in temperature. The terms marinate and marinate are used when vegetables, fish or meat are submerged in a mixture of oil, salt, an acid or an alcoholic product and aromatic herbs. Sometimes there is even a difference between the two: vegetables and fish are marinated, while meat is marinated. In our culinary tradition, it is customary to marinate game meats with different products, including wines, to give them flavor and, above all, soften them.

A special case corresponds to the cebiche. Coming from Latin America, it is a maceration of fish and/or shellfish in a citrus medium, with other ingredients, which vary according to the country. From the hand of Gastón Acurio, it has been Peruvian cuisine that has made the most of this preparation. In recent years, cebicherías have been opened all over the world (it is estimated that an average of one has been inaugurated per day), amplifying the fashion of Peruvian cuisine. In this elaboration, a denaturation of the proteins of the solid occurs due to the acid medium —even when cold—, together with the corresponding changes in texture and appearance.

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