Glossary

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Bain-Marie

Method employed to heat a substance slowly and gently by immersing one recipient in another with hot water and thus distributing the heat uniformly. The name comes from Marie, the French chemist who invented this technique. This method is much used in food preparation, in laboratories and is often employed for distilling essential oils or hydrolats from delicate organics such as flower petals. The distillation of fruits with high sugar content in an alembic using this technique is more advantageous as the organic compounds do not suffer alterations or burn from direct contact with the heat source.