On Croutons

I would like to say a few things about Croutons.  What is a crouton?  Some say it is the cornerstone of any salad.  Others say it is a suitable construction material for use as a building cornerstone.  I’m somewhere in-between.  Unsure of what to think, I asked google, who then asked WikiPedia, which is the apparent result of the world asking the same question: saaaay…. what is a crouton?  Quote the Wiki:

A crouton/ˈkrtɒn/ is a piece of sautéed or rebaked bread, often cubed and seasoned, that is used to add texture and flavor to salads,[1] notably the Caesar salad,[2] as an accompaniment to soups and stews,[1] or eaten as a snack food. The word crouton is derived from the French croûton,[2] itself derived from croûte, meaning “crust”. Most people consider croutons to come invariably in the shape of small cubes, but they can actually be of any size and shape, up to a very large slice. A croûton (crouton) is a diminutive form of a croûte (croute), much like a cigarette is a diminutive form of a cigar.

Being the novice expositor I am, I would like to break this down phrase by phrase.

A crouton/ˈkrtɒn/ is a piece of sautéed or rebaked bread,

I love that someone decided “this bread is so delicious — let’s bake it again!”  That doesn’t work with many things in life, except for refried beans.

…often cubed and seasoned

How many foods are cubed?  Ice cubes, SPAM™, and unserved ice cream.  How many foods are seasoned?  Many foods are seasoned, excluding ice cubes, SPAM™, and ice cream.  Giving this a lot of thought (about 7 seconds-worth) led me to conclude that croutons are truly one of a kind.

…used to add texture and flavor to salads,[1] notably the Caesar salad,

It makes sense to pair lettuce, one of the healthiest foods, with sauteed bread.  Caloric cancellation = I ate nothing!

…as an accompaniment to soups and stews,[1] or eaten as a snack food.

Move over, Oyster Crackers!  There’s a new accompanist in town!  I must confess a sheltered life, though, to say that I’ve never known anyone to snack on croutons.  I’m sure it happens, because I know people eat SPAM™, though I’ve never personally witnessed it.

The word crouton is derived from the French croûton,[2] itself derived from croûte, meaning “crust”.

knew it had to be French.  Part of me wonders if the joke’s on us.  Croutons?  Well… ok.  Escargot?  Hmm…. can I top it with some croutons?   These creatures that I’m about to eat need more “crust”.

Most people consider croutons to come invariably in the shape of small cubes, but they can actually be of any size and shape, up to a very large slice.

The primary risk in crouton slices is in getting mixed up with Biscotti.  My dad taught me about drinking coffee, including the important instruction to never get mixed up with Biscotti.

A croûton (crouton) is a diminutive form of a croûte (croute), much like a cigarette is a diminutive form of a cigar.

I think they knew exactly what they were doing when they used this simile.  I cannot discern what, exactly.

Why am I blogging about this?  This post was conceived while I was on a mission to buy some croutons from the grocery store last week.  Finding them proved quite difficult.  Which aisle?  Baking needs?  Cleaning?  Diminutives?  Fried Bread?  Cubed Foods?  Crust Options?

When I finally found the croutons (next to the salad dressing — smart), I couldn’t tell the difference between croutons and organic croutons.  Then I saw the obvious difference: $1.48.  Emily had her croutons and didn’t even ask if they were organic.  I know they were crusty, though.  I could hear them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About radamdavidson

I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on facebook.com/radamdavidson. about.me/radamdavidson
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