or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Definitions, Please
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Definitions, Please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just made a leek tian from Paula Wolfert's new book. Which leads me to a terminology question:

What, if anything, is the difference between a tian and a gratin? And, indeed, how do they differ from a casserole?

And, btw, the leek dish was terrific!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #2 of 9
From my understanding, Gratin refers to the cheese/crumb/butter crust and a Tian is a red clay cooking dish.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
post #3 of 9
Gratin means a dish that was finished under a broiler. Like we gratinee onion soup.
post #4 of 9
A gratin is both a type of dish and a way of preparing things in a gratin which includes bread crumbs, cheese, or something else to bind it. Not necessarily but sometimes just on the top, as crust. When, as usual, a crumb and/or cheese crust is made and browned -- than it's au gratin, or gratinee. FWIW, I gratinee with a torch and not the broiler. Works better. More fun.

A tian is a more or less provencal specific style, layered vegetable preparation, also made in a shallow dish but without any bread crumbs or cheese. Anywhere. In other words, it's just loose. Alas, no torch.

BDL

PS. If you haven't bought a torch yet, you're missing out.
post #5 of 9
You can add to this the tiella. That's a baking vessel and dishes that come out of it are usually called a tiella. But again, it's usually a layered vegetable dish.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #6 of 9
And sometimes a hot oven works fine to gratinee, especially if it's cheese like in a dauphinoise.

To me at least, if you say gratin you're referring to a preparation method, if you say gratin dish then you're referring to the actual vessel.
post #7 of 9
Just to confuse the issue :)....I found this link:

Aubergine Gratin (Tian d'aubergines) - Recipes, Food & Drink - The Independent

And this definition that doesn't really help!
tian definition - Dictionary - MSN Encarta

...and then there are recipes for tian's done in rings.

My assumption until now has been that a gratin has been a dish described as many above. And a tian was a layered dish, not dependent on the serving vessel.

I'm confused too. Some definitions say a gratin dish is the same as a tian dish (the actual serving vessels), but now I've also found definitions that say a tian dish may also be square, or do it in a ring.

Maybe gratinee has been shortened to gratin to simplify it.

To top it all, there's this:
tian Definition in the Food Dictionary at Epicurious.com

Clear as mud
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
and a Tian is a red clay cooking dish----- A gratin is both a type of dish and a way of preparing things----- You can add to this the tiella

And several others, with tagine coming immediately to mind.

It always adds to the confusion when both the cooking vessel and the dish made in it bear the same name. But even the vessels can get confusing. The only tian I've ever seen was oval, glazed on the outside but unglazed on the inside. That's the opposite of a cazuela, for instance, which is glazed inside and raw outside. Meanwhile, every casserole dish I've ever seen was glazed inside and out.

Open question: could that be contributing to the final dish? Not to engage in circular argument, but could the basic difference be that a tian (the dish) is something cooked in a tian, which effects the final form and flavor?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Adding to the confusion---to mine at any rate. Paula Wolfert apparently uses them as synonyms. The leek dish, for instance, is titled "Gratin of..." But in the directions she refers to it as a tian.

Curiouser and curiouser.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Definitions, Please