[kom-poht; Fr. kawn-pawt]

Compote is used in a number of cultures to define different dishes. Common preparation of a compote is a cooked dish of fresh or dried fruits, simmered whole or in pieces in a sugar syrup. A compote can also refer to a game meat dish containing rabbit, pigeon or partridge, cooked in a roux for a long time over low heat with bacon, and pearl onions until the meat has completely cooked to a fine texture.

As a dish

A compote is made of whole or pieces of fruit simmered in a sugar syrup. As whole fruit, the fruit is simmered in the syrup over gentle heat. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder, cloves, ground almonds, grated coconut, candied fruit, or raisins. The whole fruit is then served either warm or chilled arranged in a large fruit bowl or single-serve bowl for individual presentation. The dish is then potentially topped with whipped cream, cinnamon, or vanilla sugar. Other preparations consist of using dried fruits which have been soaked in water in which alcohol can be added, for example kirsch, rum, or Frontignan. Dried fruit compote is a common passover food.

In France compote may also refer to a fine puree of cooked fruit made usually with a base of apple, with the possible addition of apricot, pear or various other fruits. This may be purchased from a supermarket in small single-serving containers or in larger glass jars. It has a similar consistency to baby food and may be eaten served cold as a breakfast product, dessert or simply as a snack. Compote such as this may also be used as a base for other desserts, such as French apple tart.

Compote can also be used to refer to a dish made from game meats. Examples of game meats used are rabbit, partridge and pigeon. The meats are cooked in a roux for a long time over low heat along with pearl onions and bacon added at the end. The dish is cooked until the meat has completely fallen from the bones and shredded into fine fibers.

As a drink

Compote is a traditional drink in Eastern European countries, especially in Bosnia, where it has been a tradition since Ottoman times. It is a light refreshing drink most often made of dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots, etc.) boiled in water with sugar and left to cool and infuse. In the mid-1980s, 60 percent of beverages consumed by an average Pole consisted of compote and other homemade drinks, where the beverage is called kompot. In recent years, that number has dropped to 30%, while fruit juices and tea served with lemon have replaced the consumption of compote. Compote is found more often in the home than in restaurants in Poland.

Naming of compote in Eastern Europe

Compote is known in Europe in different languages as:


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