boiling


boiling
boilingly, adv.
/boy"ling/, adj.
1. having reached the boiling point; steaming or bubbling up under the action of heat: boiling water.
2. fiercely churning or swirling: the boiling seas.
3. (of anger, rage, etc.) intense; fierce; heated.
adv.
4. to an extreme extent; very: August is usually boiling hot; boiling mad.
[1250-1300; ME. See BOIL1, -ING2]

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Cooking of food by immersion in water, stock, or other liquid heated to its boiling point.

Boiling is used to cook meats, vegetables, and some grain foods (pasta, for example). Scalding, accomplished by heating to about 185 °F (85 °C), is commonly used to prepare milk to be used as an ingredient in various dishes. At just above the scalding temperature, fish and eggs may be poached. At the simmering point, just below that of boiling, soups, stews, and pot roasts may be prepared. Many foods, especially vegetables, are steamed in a rack placed above boiling water.

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      the cooking of food by immersion in water that has been heated to near its boiling point (212° F [100° C] at sea level; at higher altitudes water boils at lower temperatures, the decrease in boiling temperature being approximately one degree centigrade for each 1,000 ft [300 m]). Water-soluble substances, such as sugar and salt, raise the boiling point of the water).

      Boiling is used primarily to cook meats and vegetables. The extent of cooking varies according to individual taste and regional or traditional dictum; in the cookery of the U.S. South, for example, the boiling of vegetables is usually protracted, with a soft consistency and a blend of flavours in combined ingredients considered desirable. In the nouvelle cuisine of France, on the other hand, Chinese influence dictates minimal boiling or steaming to preserve fresh colour, texture, and flavour.

      A number of specific terms apply to methods of cooking with hot water. Scalding is accomplished in water heated to around 185° F (85° C), usually in a double boiler, which conducts the heat of the water, contained in a bigger pan, to a smaller pan containing the food, thus avoiding contact between food and water. This technique is commonly used to prepare milk for breads and custards. At just above the scalding temperature, water begins to circulate visibly and to shiver; at this point, foods, notably eggs and fish, may be poached. At the simmering point, variously specified but generally approaching the boiling temperature, the surface of the water breaks into small bubbles; simmering, in a covered or open pan, is commonly used to prepare soups, stews, and pot roasts. In blanching, boiling water is poured over vegetables, fruits, or nutmeats in order to loosen the outer skin. Parblanching or parboiling consists in immersing the food in cold water and then bringing it slowly to a simmer or boil.

      Steaming comprises two related techniques, both used primarily for the cooking of vegetables. In the first, the food is placed on a rack above a shallow portion of water, heated to the boil, in a covered pan; this method is valued for its preservation of colour, texture, flavour, and nutrients. The second technique, called pressure (pressure cooker) cooking, requires a tightly sealed, often latched, vessel, in which characteristically tough or long-cooking foods may be subjected to steam cooking under high pressure. The classic New England boiled dinner, consisting of corned beef cooked with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions, is traditionally boiled in the conventional manner but may be adapted readily to pressure cooking.

      in the history of punishment, a method of execution commonly involving a large container of heated liquid such as water, oil, molten lead, wax, tallow, or wine, into which a convicted prisoner was placed until he died.

      During the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, thousands of Christians were boiled in oil. In the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London (1852), a history of London from the late 12th to the mid-16th century, a poisoner is said to have met his death by being lowered on a chain into boiling water at Smithfield in 1522. However, the only extant legislative notice of boiling in England occurred in an Act passed in 1531 during the reign of Henry VIII, the preamble of which made poisoning a form of petty treason (i.e., killing one's husband or master), the penalty for which would be boiling to death. The statute also named Richard Rouse (or Cook), a cook who, by putting poisoned yeast in porridge prepared for the household of the Bishop of Rochester and the poor of Lambeth parish, sickened 17 people and killed a man and a woman. He was found guilty of petty treason and publicly boiled at Smithfield. Some months later a maidservant was boiled at King's Lynn for poisoning her mistress, and in 1542 Margaret Davy or Dawes, a servant, was boiled at Smithfield for poisoning her employer.

      That method of execution was also imposed in France and Germany from the 13th to the 16th century for “coining” or “clipping” (the scraping of fragments from coins that were then melted and cast into new coins). The practice ceased when authorities minted coins (coin) with milled edges, thereby making any damaged coin immediately evident.

Geoffrey Abbott
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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