To make shallow cuts (usually in a diamond pattern) in the surface of certain foods, such as meat or fish. This is done for several reasons: as a decoration on some foods (breads and meats); as a means of assisting flavor absorption (as with marinated foods); to tenderize less tender cuts of meat; and to allow excess fat to drain during cooking.
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.
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