#AtoZChallenge: #Cooking Terms – F is for Frying

It just dawned on me that I failed to include my sources  of information in this post:

What is Frying?

FFrying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat.  Foods can be fried in a variety of fats, including lard, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil.  Foods that are fried are cooked quickly and can have the distinct characteristic  of being crisp.

There are a  variety of foods that can be fried, such as  potatoes, bread, eggs and foods made from eggs, such as omelettes or pancakes.

Before going further, let’s discuss the dangers of frying

  • Cooking oil is flammable, and fires may be caused by it igniting at too high a temperature. Further, attempts to extinguish an oil fire with water cause an extremely dangerous condition.
  • Spilled hot cooking oil can also cause severe, even fatal, burns. The higher temperatures and tendency of oil to stick to the skin make spilled hot cooking oil far more dangerous than spilled hot water

Another disadvantage to frying is the tendency of oils to splatter and oil vapors condensing on more distant surfaces.  In addition, more detergent is also needed to clean cooking pots and utensils coated in oil.

There are different forms of frying:  Pan Frying, Shallow Frying, and Deep Frying.

Pan Frying, as well as sautéing and stir-frying, involves cooking foods in a thin layer of fat on a hot surface, such as a frying pan, griddle, or wok.  In Pan-Frying, Sauteing, and Stir-Frying food is cooked at a High heat and stirring frequently.

Like Pan Frying, Shallow Frying also uses a minimal amount of fat or oil.  However; In shallow frying, enough oil is used to cover approx 1/3 to 1/2 of the item being fried.  Foods that are cooked in this way must be flipped in order to cover both sides.  It is recommended that you cook the “presentation” side first as this side will be better browned.

In Deep Frying, food is cooked in enough oil to submerse the item in question. It is classified as a dry cooking method as no water is used.  Food cooked in this method are generally not excessively greasy, if cooked properly since moisture in the foods repel the oil.  Deep-Frying is generally done in a deep fryer or a “chip pan”.  Industrially, a pressure fryer or vacuum fryer may be used.

While the exact temperature used in deep-frying varies depending on the thickness and type of food, In most cases foods are best fried between 347 and 374 degrees Fahrenheit.

Etymology (or where did the word originate from)

The word Fry is a Middle English Word coming from the Old French word “frire”, originating from the Latin word  “frigere”

Some Interesting Historical Facts

  • 16th Century  Tempura is first introduced in Japan.
  • 1830s  Fried potatoes (French fries) become popular in France and Belgium.
  • 1890  Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken is born, setting in motion a series of events that will eventually result in the Double Down.
  • 1930s  Fried Turkeys are first reported in Louisiana and Kentucky, setting in motion a culinary trend that will eventually burn down as much as 500 houses with home deep-fryers in 1998 (as reported by the National Fire Protection Association).
  • 1945  Ed Waldmire Jr. creates the “Crusty Cur,” the very first corn dog.
  • 1976  The first Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles opens in Los Angeles, popularizing the Harlem-based dish.
  • 1983  The first Hooters opens in Clearwater, Florida, in all its winged glory.
  • 2006  Fried Coca Cola wins “Most Creative” at the State Fair of Texas.

Frying is thought to have been invented in ancient Egypt around 2500 BCE.  And Deep-Frying is thought to have been used  European and Arabic cultures during ancient times and in the Middle Ages. (500 to 1500 AD).

The term “Stir-Frying” (as a translation for the chinese word “chao”) was first introduced to the United States in 1945 in Buwei Yang Chao‘s book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese.   Stir-Frying originally became a popular cooking method in china during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).


Join me on an A to Z Journey of Cooking Terms throughout the month of April.


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