180px, Cauliflower purée.
180px, Cauliflower purée.
A purée (or mash) is cooked food, usually
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems ...
fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosperms disseminate seeds. Edible fruits, in particular, have propa ...
s or
legume A legume () is a plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, thr ...
s, that has been ground, pressed, blended or
sieve The fine mesh strainer, also known as the sift, commonly known as sieve, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, typically using a woven screen such as ...
d to the consistency of a creamy paste or liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g., applesauce or hummus. The term is of French origin, where it meant in
Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or language, language, Old French was really a Linkage (linguistics), ...
(13th century) ''purified'' or ''refined''. Purées overlap with other dishes with similar consistency, such as thick
soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force. Fluids are a Phase ...
cream Cream is a dairy product composed of the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces m ...
s (''crèmes'') and gravies—although these terms often imply more complex recipes and cooking processes. ''
Coulis A coulis ( ) is a form of thin sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to a ...
'' (French for "strained") is a similar but broader term, more commonly used for fruit purées. The term is not commonly used for paste-like foods prepared from cereal flours, such as
gruel Gruel is a food consisting of some type of cereal—such as ground oats, wheat, rye or rice—boiled in water or milk. It is a thinner version of porridge that may be more often drunk rather than eaten and may not need to be cooked. Historically, g ...
; nor with oily nut pastes, such as peanut butter. The term "paste" is often used for purées intended to be used as an ingredient, rather than eaten. Purées can be made in a blender, or with special implements such as a
potato masher
potato masher
, or by forcing the food through a strainer, or simply by crushing the food in a pot. Purées generally must be cooked, either before or after grinding, in order to improve flavour and texture, remove toxic substances, and/or reduce their water content. It is common to purée entire meals (without use of
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Sa ...
or other additives) to be served to toddlers, babies, and those unable to chew as sufficient, nutritious meals.


The word ''purée'' in English is a loanword borrowed from the French purée, descendant from the
Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or language, language, Old French was really a Linkage (linguistics), ...
puree, meaning "made pure." The word can further be traced to the Latin ''pūrō.''

Common purées

Common purées include apples, plums, and other fruits smashed or mashed for their juice content. * Baba ghanoush (eggplant) * Bisque (food), Bisque (shellfish) * Ful medames (fava beans) * Hummus (chickpea) * Legume soups such as pea soup, bean soup, lentil soup * Purée Mongole (a mixed pea soup, pea and tomato soup, tomato soup) * Pimento (olives) These fruits and vegetables are often served as purées: * Apple * Arracacha * Carrot * Cassava * Cauliflower * Pea * Potato * Pumpkin * Rutabaga * Squash (fruit), Squash, buttersquash, etc. * Sweet corn * Taro purée, called 芋泥 in Teochew cuisine * Tomato * Pickled cucumber * Mango * Pineapple * Avocado

See also

* Gruel * Guacamole * Mashing * Muesli * Peanut butter * Pesto * Polenta * Potato masher * Red bean paste * Saag


{{DEFAULTSORT:Puree Cooking techniques Culinary terminology