On National Cheese Souffle Day, observed May 18, we can all enjoy a little of this French delight. The word souffle is the past participle of the French verb, souffler, which means “to blow up” or “puff up.” Combine egg whites with custard, and it will puff up into a fine, golden souffle when baked.
Egg yolks and beaten egg whites, mixed with various other ingredients make up a souffle. It can be served as a tasty main course dish, or it can be sweetened for a dessert.
The base provides the flavor, and the egg whites provide the lift. The base is commonly made up of cheese, jam, fruits, berries, chocolate, and lemon. This day is dedicated to the cheese based souffle.
- Savory souffles are often too light for a main course, but the addition of chicken and spinach here bolsters this into a substantial main course. When you break into it with your fork, the seductive aroma of cheese, chicken and spinach pours out. It’s elegant, airy and fluffy.
- The secret to success is making sure your timing is just right. So plan ahead carefully; figure out what you will be serving first — such as a salad or soup — and time the souffle to go into the oven as you sit down for your first course.
- You can wait for a souffle, but a souffle waits for no one. You don’t want to serve a deflated souffle.
- The first recipe for soufflé appeared in Vincent La Chapelle’s Le Cuisinier Moderne in 1742.
- The word soufflé first appeared in English in Louis Ude’s The French Cook, 1813, and by 1845 was so commonly accepted that in Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery a recipe for soufflé was included as just another recipe.
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