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Old 02-15-2012, 03:21 PM   #31
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Boy, we spend a lot of time on DC arguing over minutia.

Bake and Roast are two words that mean essentially the same thing these days, but that have different origins. "Roast" comes from the old French "rostir". Bake comes from the Germanic "bahhan".

There are a lot of words in our language that are like this. For example, "Dine" comes from the French. "Eat" comes from the Germans. They both mean the same thing. In general, the French word is used to denote a fancier way of doing things.

One school of thought (and the one that makes the most sense to me) says that "roast", in the middle ages, was the term used to describe cooking food on a spit over an open flame. You would normally do this with the entire animal. Thus, Andy's interpretation is correct. "Bake", on the other hand, meant cooking in an enclosed (or partially enclosed) area, such as a brick or clay oven. It also was used to describe food cooked in a pot with a cover (think Dutch oven).

Since most of us don't have spits and open flames in our homes these days, we now tend to do most of our roasting in the oven. Old terms linger on, despite changes in technology. Maybe we should just refer to everything as "oven cooked".
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #32
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Well, dang. If you don't argue about minutiae, what else is there? The big things are usually pretty obvious. It's hard to argue whether pizza should be flat. It's much easier to argue about whether it should be square or round.

(Besides. We don't argue. It's just those of us who are right improving the lives of others who are wrong.)

(Right?)

(Must be. Otherwise I'd be wrong.)

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Old 02-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
One school of thought (and the one that makes the most sense to me) says that "roast", in the middle ages, was the term used to describe cooking food on a spit over an open flame. You would normally do this with the entire animal. Thus, Andy's interpretation is correct. "Bake", on the other hand, meant cooking in an enclosed (or partially enclosed) area, such as a brick or clay oven. It also was used to describe food cooked in a pot with a cover (think Dutch oven).

Since most of us don't have spits and open flames in our homes these days, we now tend to do most of our roasting in the oven. Old terms linger on, despite changes in technology. Maybe we should just refer to everything as "oven cooked".
That's a pretty plausible reason that explains why roasting is more often applied to meats, while baking is more often applied to bread and other bakery goods.

"Roasted on a spit over an open fire" is pretty evocative. That must have been the original convection & infrared cooker. Evenness is achieved by rearranging or rotating the spit. Yet it's still dry heat and in that respect resembles modern ovens.

Bread seems to require some sort of enclosed space perhaps to keep the heat evenly distributed because bread would probably not do well cooked on only one side. That may seem contradictory of cooking in an old fashioned iron dutch oven over a fire, but in fact the massiveness of the iron and coals usually placed on top ensure even heat.

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Boy, we spend a lot of time on DC arguing over minutia.
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Well, dang. If you don't argue about minutiae, what else is there?
We don't argue. We discuss! Hence the name of the forum.

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(Besides. We don't argue. It's just those of us who are right improving the lives of others who are wrong.)
Those of us who are right are on a mission to strike out wrongness!
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #34
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roasting/baking

that's what some one pointed out to me ....the roast split. That does make sense.But then came up with the question to me and I didn't know because too new to cooking. Why is it we say baked chicken,....(meat so should .be roasted) (smaller peices ?),then what about potatoes cut up and they are roasted not baked (smaller peices). Not saying this to start this all over again,but this also got me started on asking the question of roasting and baking.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:51 PM   #35
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The answer is...there is no answer. It's a matter of where you grew up and personal preference. There is no right or wrong, it just is.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:15 AM   #36
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roasting/baking

just curious.... Hasn't any one else questioned this? (Honestly).I read my post from yesterday, just that one would make you ask wouldn't it? Not trying to start anything up ....just want to know if any one else questions this? THX.
(Curious since I was asked why I asked.)
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #37
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We had this discussion on this site some time ago. I believe the conclusion was the same as this discussion. They are the same method with differences based on culinary convention rather than concrete differences.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:03 PM   #38
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In Danish, the word "kiks" means cracker or biscuit. That seems closer.
That makes sense. Must not have been an English usage for very long.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:07 PM   #39
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Boy, we spend a lot of time on DC arguing over minutia.

.
That's what makes us true "food geeks"
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