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From Barbara’s Kitchen Flambé food to add drama, enhance sauces

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Barbara Spitzer

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011 8:08 am

Dear Barbara: What is the purpose in flambéing foods? Does it change the flavor? — Celia from Lodi

Dear Celia: Restaurants will flambé a dessert like baked Alaska or cherries Jubilee, which have been around for years. Bananas foster is another one. This is done mostly for the drama. They pour liquor such as rum or brandy over the top of the dessert and light it. Since it only needs to flame for a minute or so, very little liquor is used. If the chef flames a sauce, usually more liquor is used and flamed to burn off most of the alcohol but leave the flavor of the liquor, such as brandy, to enhance the sauce. 

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