Thursday, 26 July 2007

Culinary Chemistry

Although I had originally intended to post about science on this blog, it wasn't long before I digressed to posting recipes. I enjoy cooking, especially desserts (as you can see), and when you think about it, there is actually a lot of science in cooking. In salad dressing, oil droplets are dispersed in water to form an emulsion. Marinating meat in an acid (fruit juice, wine or vinegar) breaks down the proteins, making the meat more tender. When boiling an egg, the protein molecules interact with one another (coagulate) to form a gel. Jan Groenewold, a physical chemist and former colleague of mine, has recently released a book with chef, Eke Marien, called 'Cook and Chemist'. They explain the scientific principles behind cooking techniques and how they influence texture and taste. Admittedly, it does take away some of the mysticism of cooking, but definitely intrigues the scientist in me. But can science help me to make the perfect souffle? Well, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

1 comment:

ellen said...

Good post - sounds like an interesting book! I was just thinking about your leaning towards receipes (after reading the post above) when I scrolled down to this post!