Here’s a little piece of trivia for you. You know how some recipes say to deglaze the pan with wine to pick up the yummy brown bits at the bottom of the pan (like my Whole Wheat Penne with Turkey Sausage and Roasted Vegetables and my Butternut Squash Soup)? Know what those bits are called?
Fond. They’re called fond. Weird, right? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about fond and deglazing:
Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving caramelized bits of food from a pan to make a pan sauce.
When a piece of meat is roasted, pan fried or prepared in a pan with another form of dry heat, a deposit of caramelized sugars, carbohydrates, and/or proteins forms on the bottom of the pan, along with any rendered fat. The French culinary term for these deposits is sucs,pronounced: [syk] ( listen)), from the French word sucre (sugar).
Usually, the meat is removed and the majority of the fat is poured off, leaving a small amount with the dried and caramelized meat juices. The pan is returned to the heat, and a liquid such as vegetable or meat stock, a spirit, some wine, or verjuice is added to act as a solvent. This allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan and dissolve them, creating a basic sauce. The culinary term fond, French for “base” or “foundation”, refers to this sauce, although it is also sometimes used to describe the caramelized food bits instead (commonly in America).
Now you can sleep tonight. You’re welcome.