Eat Your Words: Foil and Brulee
Devouring books and crafting meals is great--but sounding smart while you do it is even better. That’s why we’re teaching you to eat your words. In this weekly guide, we bring you literary devices and culinary terms everyone should know.
Foil (noun): a device in which the author writes a character primarily intended to contradict another character by drawing attention to specific traits or characteristics of the latter.
Example: In In the Shadow of the Banyan, sweet, wise Raami is a foil to the evil, tyrannical Organization and Khmer Rouge as a whole. As she suffers greater and greater pain and loses contact with her heart, the Khmer Rouge's lack of compassion and love becomes all the more clear. In this case, the contradiction between the two parties is striking and undeniable.
Brulee (verb): to burn; in French, brulee literally means "burnt."
Example: In my cardamom creme brulee, I bruleed the sugary tops of my pudding desserts. I ran a torch over the sugar for a few seconds to caramelize it, but if you don't have a torch, placing your ramekins under a broiler and watching until the tops melt and turn golden brown achieves the same effect. By burning the sugar crystals, they turn into a thin layer of caramel and, after hardening, allow you to break through the shell with the sharp crack that is the first step of enjoying a great creme brulee.