There are a wide variety of ways to thicken liquids. In Western cooking flour or another starch has traditionally been used, especially to make gravies. Reducing the liquid over heat is another common technique. Many of the modernist ingredients allow you thicken liquids more efficiently and without changing the flavor.
Thickening is a cooking technique which dates back to history and plays a significant role in the creation of sauces and various dishes. This method of cooking is characteristic of French cuisine; however it has been adopted into many other culinary arenas and has undergone a transformation. The earliest form of thickening was achieved through reduction. Later on the use of food additives was employed. Today, in modern cuisine a number of thickening agents are used in order to achieve this.
Thickening agents work to augment the viscosity of a liquid substance without significantly affecting its taste and various properties. More often than not, thickeners are dispersed in water and other polar solvents due to their hydrophilic nature. Most thickening agents are also temperature sensitive and require care when cooking. Too much heat exposure may cause a breakdown as well as burning and too little heat may result in an unpleasant taste together with the lack of ability to firm. Generally, thickening brings about certain characteristics in food. read more