AskDefine | Define blanched

Dictionary Definition

blanched adj
1 ash-colored or anemic looking from illness or emotion; "a face turned ashen"; "the invalid's blanched cheeks"; "tried to speak with bloodless lips"; "a face livid with shock"; "lips...livid with the hue of death"- Mary W. Shelley; "lips white with terror"; "a face white with rage" [syn: ashen, bloodless, livid, white]
2 (especially of plants) developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light; "etiolated celery" [syn: etiolate, etiolated]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. lacking complexion or color
  2. bleached


  1. past of blanch

Extensive Definition

For the term used in coinage, see Blanching (coinage).
Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food preparation wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.
Uses of blanching
  • Peeling Blanching loosens the skin on some fruits or nuts, such as onions, tomatoes, plums, peaches, or almonds.
  • Flavor Blanching enhances the flavor of some vegetables, such as broccoli, by releasing bitter acids stored in the cellular structure of the food.
  • Appearance Blanching enhances the color of some (particularly green) vegetables by releasing gases trapped in the cellular material that obscure the greenness of the chlorophyll. Since blanching is done - and halted - quickly, the heat does not have time to break down chlorophyll as well.
  • Shelf life Blanching neutralizes bacteria and enzymes present in foods, thus delaying spoilage. This is often done as a preparatory step for freezing and refrigerating vegetables.
Blanching can also describe deep frying in oil at a lower temperature as with the initial cooking of chips.
Blanching also weakens the structure of vegetables rendering them softer than fresh, this is beneficial for canning vegetables where the air in vegetables needs to be minimal.


  • Desrossier, NW, The technology of food preservation, The AVI Publishing Company, 1965, p. 150-151

See also

blanched in Belarusian: Бланшыраванне
blanched in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Бланшыраваньне
blanched in Bulgarian: Бланширане
blanched in German: Blanchieren
blanched in Estonian: Blanšeerimine
blanched in Spanish: Escaldado
blanched in Hebrew: בישול לבן
blanched in Malay (macrolanguage): Celur
blanched in Dutch: Blancheren
blanched in Russian: Бланширование
blanched in Finnish: Kalttaus
blanched in Swedish: Blanchering

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aghast, appalled, ashen, ashy, astounded, awed, awestricken, awestruck, bleached, bleached white, colorless, cowed, deadly pale, decolored, decolorized, doughy, drained, drained of color, eroded, faded, frozen, gray with fear, horrified, horror-struck, intimidated, lightened, livid, pale as death, pallid, paralyzed, petrified, scared stiff, scared to death, stunned, stupefied, terrified, terror-crazed, terror-haunted, terror-ridden, terror-riven, terror-shaken, terror-smitten, terror-struck, terror-troubled, undone, unmanned, unnerved, unstrung, wan, washed-out, waxen, weather-battered, weather-beaten, weather-bitten, weather-eaten, weather-wasted, weathered, weatherworn, whitened
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