Confit, Compote & Comfit!
Fil: Hey do you know what a Confit is?
Bil: Yes! Confit refers to a French style of meat preparation; it involves slow cooking to preserve meat, right?!
Fil: You are close buddy; Let me make this clear to you. Confit; the word comes from the French verb confire which means to preserve, The French verb was first applied in medieval times to fruits cooked and preserved in sugar.
Bil: Fruits cooked and preserved in sugar is known as candied fruits!
Fil: You are right Bil, hence confit refers to any food that is slowly cooked as a means of preserving it.
Bil: What will be the cooking medium?
Fil: The cooking medium can be fat, oil or sugar syrup.
Bil: You said, confits are slow cooked to preserve, can you please elaborate.
Fil: Sure! Slow cooked refers to cooking for a long duration of time, at a temperature lower than boiling point/ smoke point. The heat is maintained at approximately 90° C or less.
Bil: Oh! I see; it is similar to poaching.
Bil: Confit du Canard, Confit d’oie are familiar to me, hence I was under the impression that, confit refers to meat preparations. Now I understand that candied fruits also come under the ambit of confit. I still have a doubt, isn’t candied fruit a confectionary?
Fil: Yes, of course, it is a confectionary. Fruit confits are of two types; Compote & Comfit.
Bil: Comfit! anyone can easily confuse those terms, confit & comfit. Here, confit is a slow cooked and preserved meat, whereas comfit is a slow cooked and preserved fruit, right?
Fil: Yes, that’s right. Comfits are confectionery consisting of dried fruits, nuts, seeds or spices coated with sugar candy, often through sugar panning.
Bil: What is sugar panning?
Fil: Sugar panning, or simply panning, is a method for adding a candy “shell” to candy or nuts.
Bil: I get it! So comfit is the cumin candy, almond candy we have!
Fil: Yes any fruit, nut or spice that is encased in a shell of sugar is called a comfit.
Bil: Great! so tell me about compote.
Fil: Compote is a dessert originating from medieval Europe, made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are cooked in water with sugar and spices. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder, cloves, other spices, ground almonds, grated coconut, candied fruit, or raisins. The compote is served either warm or cold.
Bil: I love apple compote! Fil, do you know that there is a meat preparation too named compote.
Fil: Really, I didn’t know. Tell me more
Bil: Compote also refers to a dish made from game meat. Some examples of the game meat used are rabbit, partridg, and pigeon. The meat is cooked in a roux for a long time over low heat along with pearl onions and bacon added at the end. The dish is cooked until the meat has a fine texture and has completely fallen from the bones.
Fil: Great! we had a fruitful conversation today!
Bil: Certainly! We now know the meaning of confit, comfit & compote. How they are similar and different.