Andrea Morgan Winter 2017 Blog

by Andrea Morgan, March 24, 2017

Have you heard of the word “tourner” before?  It is pronounced “toor-nay”, and according to our textbooks in school, it means “to cut into football-shaped pieces with seven equal sides and blunt ends.”  Some people might see that definition and think they have a cute project for their Super bowl Sunday party, which to me sounds like one of those projects where you are really excited about it until about four hours later when your hands and furniture are burned and covered in hot glue.

There are two recognized truths about tourners.  The (book-approved) truth about the tourner knife cut, usually applied to the most humble of vegetables like potatoes, turnips, and carrots, is that while it makes the vegetables visually appealing, it also creates a shape that easily rolls around in a pan and creates even caramelization on all sides of the little football.  The (REAL, culinary student-approved) truth about the tourner cut is that unless you have the magic hands of Jacques Pepin, your tourners will end up being way too small, you now have to make some kind of mashed vegetable to recover the waste it created, and you will be one step closer to having carpel-tunnel syndrome.

Even though the tourner cut is really the culinary student’s favorite cut to complain about, I am glad that we were forced to complete so many of them in order to at least come out with something that kind of looks like a good tourner.  For one, you never know when a restaurant or client is going to want a complete throwback into classic French cuisine, so you may just need to know how to do it at some point.  Also, the tourner makes a great party trick and will make your guests believe that you have the knife skills of a skilled French line cook.  If you would like to try the tourner, I wish you luck and admire your courage.  Now get your protractor and get ready to make those 51.2 degree turns.

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