A crouton is a piece of toasted or fried bread, normally cubed and seasoned. Croutons are used to add texture and flavor to salads - notably the Caesar salad - as an accompaniment to soups and stews, or eaten as a snack food.

Croutons are small, toasted or fried pieces of bread that are commonly used as a topping or accompaniment in various dishes. They add texture, flavor, and crunch to salads, soups, and other savory dishes. Croutons are particularly popular in Western cuisines, where they are often made from stale bread that is seasoned and then toasted or fried until crispy.

Here are some examples of how croutons are used in the food context:

1. Salads:
Croutons are a classic addition to salads, such as Caesar salad or Greek salad. They provide a crunchy contrast to the fresh vegetables and dressing, making each bite more enjoyable. In Caesar salad, the croutons are typically made from white bread and seasoned with garlic, herbs, and Parmesan cheese.

2. Soups:
Croutons are often added to soups, such as tomato soup or French onion soup. They float on the surface of the soup and absorb the flavors, becoming soft on the inside while retaining their crispy texture on the outside. In French onion soup, croutons are traditionally topped with melted cheese.

3. Stuffing:
Croutons are a key ingredient in stuffing or dressing, which is commonly served alongside roasted poultry or as a side dish during holiday meals. The croutons provide texture and absorb the flavors of the herbs, spices, and other ingredients used in the stuffing.

4. Casseroles:
Croutons can be used as a topping for casseroles, adding a crispy and golden layer to the dish. They are often used in dishes like baked macaroni and cheese or chicken and broccoli casserole.

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