julienneJulienne or french cut, is a technique in which the food item is cut into long thin strips. This technique is also known as allumette which is the french word for match as the julienned strips resemble square matches.

By trimming the edges and the ends of vegetables to make four straight sides, it’s much easier to produce a consistent sized cut. The trimmings can then be used to make soups or stocks where uniform size doesn’t matter. In this way, no food gets wasted.

Some common foods that can be julienned are celery for céleri rémoulade, potatoes for julienne fries, carrots, zucchini, and even different meats and fish, especially for stir fry dishes.

The measurements for julienne should be 2-3 mm wide, 2-3 mm thick, and 4-5 cm long. If that’s confusing for all the American cooks out there, it means the measurements are roughly 1/8 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick, and 2 inches long. If you want to get even more accurate, you could take all those imperial measurements that I just mentioned, and julienne your food just a slight bit smaller.

After being julienned, you can turn the sliced food 90 degrees or a quarter turn, and dice again to produce brunoise. The diced pieces should measure about 3 mm (1/8 inch) or a little less on all sides.

If you know and understand how to julienne your food, you’ve got a leg up on some other competitors. The more French culinary techniques that one can internalize the better cook that individual will become. Besides, it just sounds fancy.