Saturday, August 30, 2008

Molecular gastronomy

Discover has an excellent article on how cutting-edge science is an integral part of modern cheffery. Here are some hors d'oeuvres...

"Molecular gastronomy aims to apply the piercing clarity of science to the culinary arts. Already in France, which takes the pleasures of the table seriously, molecular gastronomy is an officially recognized, government-funded science."

"Writing in 1825, Brillat-Savarin envisaged a discipline that would meld the physics and chemistry of food and cookery with the physiology of eating and especially with the glorious, sensual world of taste."

"The standard way to hard-boil eggs in Europe and America - 10 minutes in boiling water - is not ideal... the trouble... 212 degrees Fahrenheit is far higher than the temperature at which the egg whites and the yolks coagulate."

"Egg whites are made up of protein and water (yolks contain fat as well). As eggs cook, their balled-up proteins uncoil into strands, and the strands bind together to form an intricate mesh that traps water. In essence, the proteins form a gel, a liquid dispersed in a solid. Boiling causes too many egg proteins to bind and form dense meshes, so there is less sensation of water in the mouth... VoilĂ : rubbery egg whites and sandy, grayish yolks."

"Cook meat at high temperature to seal in the juices?'s not true. Use only eggs at room temperature for making mayonnaise? Not true either. Season steak with salt before cooking, or salt it afterward? Makes no difference, as the salt doesn't penetrate the meat."

via kottke

1 comment:

adn@n said...

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