Simmering is a food preparation technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just below the normal 212°F boiling point of water. Simmering provides for a milder action than boiling to prevent foods from breaking apart or toughening up. Simmering is usually a rapid and efficient method of cooking. The technique of simmering is frequently used when making stocks or soups, and starchy items like potatoes or pastas. Food that has simmered in milk or cream instead of water is referred to as creamed. Allowing sauces and soups to simmer even for a short time helps flavors to fully unite before being served.