Utilization of Leftovers
The thought of leftover food makes everyone associate with staleness, unwholesomeness, digestive difficulty and unsound nutrition. Leftover food can be thought of positively if they are stored as ingredients at the right temperature for a short period of time.
The ultimate use of leftovers depends on where the meal was eaten, preferences of the diner, and the prevailing social culture. People often save home cooking leftovers to eat later. This is facilitated by the private environment and convenience of airtight containers and refrigeration. People may eat some leftover food cold from the refrigerator,or reheated it in a microwave or conventional oven, or mix it with additional ingredients and recooked to make a new dish. Types of Leftover Foods There are three classes into which leftover food can be divided in catering establishments.
a. Raw foods
Raw foods are perishable and semi perishable that are supplied to the kitchens for preparation. The fresh forms of foods are also considered as leftovers when the quantities are not enough for serving single portion.
b. Partly cooked food
These include marinated meats, paneer, unserved salads in refrigeration, juices, boiled eggs, fermented mixtures as dough and batter. These can be creatively used as barbecued meats with vegetables added on before cooking. Small amount of juices can be used as toppings for fruit pies, custards, shakes, puddings and cakes.
c. Cooked Foods
When cooked food remains in large quantities it usually gets pilfered or wasted though mishandling and spoilage unless it is reused in some way and presented to customers again soon after.
Since cooked food cannot be stored for too long without its quality deteriorating, it is important to devise ways of incorporating it as soon as possible into new dishes or into dishes in which the food is unrecognizable. Yet there must be no relaxation in terms of the standards of quality food offered to customers.
Common Leftover Foods and its Utilization
The possibilities of using leftovers still maintaining the high standards of quality in terms of freshness,the appearance, colour, texture and the acceptability is very important. Utilization of leftover foods require creative and careful regarding methods of storage.In large food service operations leftovers are served to inmates of social institutions, like homes for the handicapped and orphanages. So food wastage can be prevented.