Knowing how to use the knife and choosing the right type of cut is not a habit, but a necessity.
To make an informed choice we must:

Consider that the intensity of the taste of fruit and vegetables can be accentuated by the degree of freshness and the choice to consume them raw or cooked.

These fresh vegetables have a flavor that intensifies as the days go by:

  • beetroot leaves, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, green cabbage, curly endive, rocket, spinach.

These vegetables have a less intense taste after cooking:

  • coast, green cabbage, onion, daikon, pepper, turnip, radishes.

But also by the type of cut

The cut changes the taste: the cellular structure of fruit and vegetables is broken in different points and on their surface enzymatic reactions are activated that release liquids containing vitamins and precious minerals responsible for the taste. Some peculiarities such as the pungent taste of onion, garlic, leek and shallot intensify.

Combine the ingredients in the right doses and sizes respecting the essence that it includes:

Seasonality and regionality.

Density and fullness of taste:

  • these vegetables have a more intense taste: algae: dulse, hiziki and kombu, beetroot, capers, artichokes, turnip greens, okra, olives, nettles, green pepper, rhubarb, radicchio, endive, dandelion
  • these types of fruit have a flavor that can predominate over the others: orange, persimmon, coconut, lemon, mango, passion fruit, grapefruit.


  • bitter foods: they are refreshing stimulate the appetite they balance sweetness play a key role in reducing the richness of a dish. For example, the bitterness of oily fruit balances the sweetness of a beet salad, reducing the richness of goat’s cheese that often accompanies them. The bitterness of chocolate is a counter balance born in rich desserts. While bitterness is more important for some people than others, some chefs see an indispensable “cleansing” of taste, which makes you want to take the next bite, and the next.
  • sweet foods: they are refreshing satiate the appetite give roundness to savory dishes, highlight the flavor of the other ingredients. The temperature influences this property, the colder the food or drink, the less intense the perception of sweetness.
  • sour foods: they are warming stimulate the appetite they increase the thirst it tends to refine the other flavors sapori In small quantities the acid notes improve bitterness; in large quantities, they suppress bitterness. 
  • hot foods: they are warming stimulate the appetite improve the other flavors (for example, salty, acidic)
  • salty foods: they are heating they stimulate salivation they enhance the taste of food. The addition of salinity decreases the effect of bitter, sour and sweet flavors.
  • foods with a umami taste (flavor): the umami taste is often described as the “enveloping” salty or meaty taste found in ingredients such as aged cheeses (blue, parmesan), but also in veg foods: mushrooms and algae, and in some fermented aromas for example, miso, sauerkraut.

Keep in mind that the consistency depends on the part of the vegetable that we have to cut

The consistency changes because with the breaking of the fabric the fiber is softened, an extremely positive effect that allows us to use even the most fibrous parts of fruit and vegetables.
Each part must be valued and treated as an ingredient in itself.

valuate the ingredients that can affect the consistency of fruit and vegetables especially during cooking

The fibers are made even more compact by:

  • Acids: lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes, when added during cooking they tend to prolong cooking times.
  • Sugary foods: sugars strengthen cell walls. However, this principle can be positively exploited in fruit cooking. Apples and pears remain cooking sodas using when a sugary ingredient is added. On the contrary, for a soft apple sauce, add the sugary part only after cooking.

The fibers are softened by:

  • Alkali like baking soda which added to the cooking of leafy vegetables not only destroys the vitamins but makes the vegetables unpleasantly soggy.

Know that there are many cuts defined with different terms depending on the size, the direction of the cut or the type of food to be cut.

Often some cuts derive from others, they are an evolution, here are the simplest:

Cutting in rings, the most used cut especially on fruit and vegetables that have a long and narrow shape like zucchini a simple circle.

Cutting in half ring, the ring are divided into two giving a crescent shape.

Cutting in transversal. The technique is identical to the one we use to slice the salami slices, obtaining oval slices.

Cutting in slice. t is generally used to cut vegetables such as aubergines and courgettes when they are grilled, a cut that is made following the length of the vegetables.

Cutting in stick. Named in different ways depending on the size of the sticks: matchstick, julienne, gardener.

Cutting in cubes. Change name based on the size of the cubes: brunoise, fruit salad.

Cutting in clove. Defined peasant or paysanne, matignon and mirepoix, depending on size.
Cutting in chiffonade. Suitable for leafy vegetables, which are cut into more or less thin strips.

Cutting in concasser or concassea. Used for tomatoes cutting them into cubes after blanching them, peeling them and depriving them of their seeds and their vegetation water. In this way the tomato is used raw. I recommend you don’t throw away the seeds and the vegetation water, if you don’t know how to use them look at my two posts dedicated to the various parts of the vegetables “Pods, bowls, coasts and leaves” e “Stems, hazels, petioles, roots, seeds and cores”

Choose cuts against fiber when we want to keep the shape of fruit and vegetable crunch.

Choose the fiber cuts when we want to emphasize the succulence of fruit and vegetables.

At this point we just have to learn more about each cut, I will try to describe them in the best post in the next post.


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