A small piece or cube of bread that has been browned, either by sautéing or baking. Croutons are used to garnish soups, salads and other dishes. They're available packaged either plain or seasoned with herbs, cheese, garlic and so on.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.