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BOU 101: So, What Exactly is Bouillon?

At BOU (pronounced “boo” like a ghost, like your boyfriend, like when a baby gets a boo boo), our quest to create clean, convenient, and flavorful food all starts with one timeless staple: the bouillon cube. Yes, that bouillon cube. Commonly used as a base in your grandmother’s soup, stews, and gravies, bouillon cubes have not seen true innovation for decades.

Let’s break it down. Bouillon is the French word for broth, which comes from the verb bouillir, meaning to boil. Bouillon cubes go way back in culinary history. One of the first written descriptions comes from Vincent La Chapelle’s book, “The Modern Cook" (1735), in which he explains what some might call a bit of an old-school recipe:

First make a stock from half a large bull, a whole calf, two sheep, two dozen chickens, and twelve to fifteen pounds of staghorn, then reduce the stock into a demi-glace with a honey-like consistency, and finally dry that out in the oven.

While this recipe has become quite antiquated, the rationale remains the same – to create a cube, “perfect for busy cooks who have neither time nor convenience of getting the necessary ingredients.”

Historically, bouillon cubes are made from dehydrated vegetables, meat stock, a small amount of fat, MSG, salt and seasonings. And that’s exactly why we’re here. Our cubes pack all of the flavor and convenience of a traditional cube, but using only clean and natural ingredients and no unhealthy additives. BOU is gluten free, non GMO, and contains 30% less salt than leading brands. Our flavorful cubes (which come in vegetable, chicken, and beef) are the perfect addition to any dish, or can simply be added to hot water to create a savory, on-the-go broth. Need some inspo? Check out some “How to BOU” recipes on our blog!

By Carlyn Shear, Editorial Manager