In this breading preparation the spiciness and exoticness given by the paprika and turmeric combines with the flavor of the olives, the result is a rather tasty breading, good when you want to enrich a gratin dish of any kind: vegetables, meat or fish.

Breading and gratin

Breading and gratin are two food preparation and cooking techniques that have points in common and differences in the final result, but the underlying chemical reaction is the same and being aware of which one it is can avoid causing disaster if you are experimenting instead of following a step-by-step recipe. Notoriously, breading consists of entirely covering what is going to be cooked with a layer of breadcrumbs or flour, once cooked the dish will be covered entirely with a crunchy golden crust, whilst gratin is a cooking technique which aims at the formation of a crust crunchy on the surface while the heart will remain softer and moister. If you have at least the basic knowledge of these cooking techniques you will know that in the case of breading after the passage in the breadcrumbs there is that in the egg, while in the case of the gratin the recipes (at least those of vegetable gratins) in addition to the breadcrumbs prescribe also cover the dish with grated cheese or something similar. Do you know the real reason why you do it? Because the much desired golden crust is the result of a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction (from the name of Louis Camille Maillard, French doctor and chemist), it is the reaction of proteins with sugars (to be precise Maillard, interested in the synthesis of proteins described how amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, interacted with sugars). Notoriously, the basic ingredient of breading (flour or breadcrumbs) is carbohydrates, i.e. complex sugars, while egg or grated cheese provide proteins. Why did I point out that in vegetable gratin recipes you will always find it and in meat or fish gratin recipes you might not find it? Because by using some precautions in cooking, the proteins of the basic dish could be enough to obtain the reaction, but obviously this will not happen if you are gratinating vegetables.

Recommendations for using the ready mix for breading gratin with olives

As anticipated in the introduction, this is a breading with a strong flavor that you could use in any type of dish. We find olives both in recipes in which the main dish is other vegetables and in recipes where there is fish (pairing meat and olives, at least in gratin dishes, is less common in Italian recipes but no one forbids experimenting). Just to give a few examples: there are various versions of the cod gratin recipe which also include olives among the ingredients, but in the case of the olive gratin made with mussels in which after having opened the mussels from the heat the half mussel is filled with a mixture of breadcrumbs and chopped olives and you put it on the grill, it is clear that this ready-made olive breading is perfect and saves a lot of time.


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