A bouillon cube [ˈbuːjɒn kjuːb] (US) or stock cube (Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, UK) is dehydrated bouillon
Bouillon, in French cuisine, is simply a broth. This name comes from the verb bouillir, meaning to boil. It is usually made by the simmering of mirepoix and aromatic herbs with either beef, veal, or poultry bones and/or with shrimp, or vegetables in boiling water.This is not to be confused with...
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish...
) or stock
Stock is a flavoured water preparation. It forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups and sauces.- Preparation :Stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water, including some or all of the following...
formed into a small cube
In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube can also be called a regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids. It is a special kind of square prism, of rectangular parallelepiped and...
about 15 mm wide. It is made by dehydrating vegetables, meat stock, a small portion of fat, salt and seasonings and shaping them into a small cube. Dehydrated broth is also available in granular form.
Broth made from rehydrated cubes is different in taste from fresh broth because of its higher salt content and flavours changed by the boiling process. Bouillon cubes are convenient and inexpensive but have little nutritive value. The cubes are widely used in English cooking to add flavour, particularly in soups, stews and casseroles, as it often contains flavour enhancer
Flavour enhancers are food additives commonly added to food and designed to enhance the existing flavours of products. In western cultures, the 5th taste or umami went unrecognized for a long time. It was believed that flavour enhancers did not add any new taste of their own...
, be it as monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids....
or disguised as "yeast extract
Yeast extract is the common name for various forms of processed yeast products made by extracting the cell contents ; they are used as food additives or flavourings, or as nutrients for bacterial culture media. They are often used to create savory flavors and umami taste sensations. Monosodium...
Bouillon cubes were commercialised by Maggi
Maggi is a Nestlé brand of instant soups, stocks, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. The original company came into existence in 1872 in Switzerland, when Julius Maggi took over his father's mill. It quickly became a pioneer of industrial food production, aiming at...
in 1908 and by Oxo
Oxo is a range of food products, consisting of stock cubes, herbs and spices, dried gravy, and yeast extract. In the United Kingdom, Oxo products are manufactured by Premier Foods...
in 1910 as a cheaper version of meat extract
Meat extract is highly concentrated meat stock, usually made from beef. It is used to add meat flavor in cooking, and to make broth for drinking....
. By 1913, there were at least 10 brands available, with salt contents of 59–72%.
Its invention is attributed to Nicolas Appert
Nicolas Appert , was the French inventor of airtight food preservation. Appert, known as the "father of canning", was a confectioner.-Biography:...
in 1831, but the principle was known long before and called portable soup
Portable soup was a kind of dehydrated food used in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a precursor of the later meat extract and bouillon cubes, and of industrially dehydrated food. It is also known as pocket soop or veal glew. It is a cousin of the glace de viande of French cooking...
Common brands include Oxo, Knorr, Rose Hill, Jumbo brand (Gallina Blanca), Maggi, Hormel
Hormel Foods Corporation is a food company based in southeastern Minnesota , perhaps best known as the producer of Spam luncheon meat. The company was founded as George A. Hormel & Company in Austin, Minnesota, U.S., by George A. Hormel in 1891. The company changed its name to Hormel Foods...
's Herb-Ox, Wyler's
Wyler's is a brand of food used by Heinz for bouillon and soup, and Jel Sert for soft drinks.Heinz uses it for Wyler's Instant Bouillon, a brand of bouillon cube, and Wyler's Mrs...
Goya Foods, Inc. is the manufacturer or distributor of a brand of foods sold in the United States and many Latin American countries, with company headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey....
, Mazola and Kallo
Kallo is a brand name, owned by Kallo Foods located in Godalming, in the United Kingdom. Its range is notable for containing the UK market leader of rice cracker, marketed as Kallo Rice Cakes. However more notable is its substantial range of organic foods.There is also a Kallo range of dehydrated...