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Mirepoix or aromatics are cubed mixed vegetables sautéed in fat. Usually half or more of the mirepoix is onions or shallots. The rest consists of root vegetables, mostly equal parts of carrots, root celery, and leeks. Sometimes parsley roots, parsnips and mushroom stems or trimmings are added.

The cubes may be 1 cm long or bigger. The smaller the cubes are the bigger the surface of a certain amount of mirepoix gets. The bigger the surface the more roasting flavours develop during sautéing. Those roasting flavours get more obvious and may cover the aromas of the vegetables.

Roasting flavours develop during the so-called Maillard reaction. They may improve the flavour of sauces and soups.

Expert opinions differ about the size of the cubes and the vegetable mixture. The size depends on the cooking time and desired intensity of the roasting flavours. In general can be said: the smaller the cubes, the shorter the cooking time.


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