The Science of Cooking

Cooking with physics and chemistry is what molecular gastronomy is all about. Through the marvels of modern science, food will never again be the same. What hasn’t science touched? From medicine to meditation, the world has undergone a revolution in methodology producing results heretofore unforeseen. Pretty exciting times we are in! Tastes and textures of food are now manmade. There is a new cuisine with a unique style behind it taking its cue from the technology of various scientific disciplines. To put it in clear and simple terms, you can digest protein better with pineapple juice or enjoy a cocktail in an ice sphere.

While some kitchen appliances used may look the same for the new food preparation, the rest is quite different. As an offshoot of science, molecular cooking is advanced and advantageous. Early practitioners made merengue in a vacuum chamber and injected pies with syringes filled with brandy. There are certainly no home bread machines like these ones in these food labs. Things have gotten more interesting as knowledge has grown. What was once an art is now a science in every sense of the word. Experimentation reigns supreme as do technological innovations. Lab denizens with a bent for the culinary are at the top of the heap. Chemical reactions engender gustatory reactions; so if you are a chef on the move, take that night course now! I hear in France you can get a PhD in molecular gastronomy.

The practice involves the physiology of flavor and an analysis of food structure. Cutting edge tools are borrowed from the science lab like Ph meters, evaporators, and distilleries and as such have become updated appliances, giving the concept a whole new twist. It is not dehumanizing, but mind-expanding, and it all has a biological origin. It is easier now to maintain temperature and extract flavors. Give me more of those transparent ravioli and liquid pea spheres. Faux caviar anyone. Yes, it is perfectly safe and very edible. The experience of eating involves new brain stimuli on taste sensors you never knew existed.

We are way beyond explaining why a soufflé rises and falls. You now literally known the exact nature of baking, chilling, curing, and more in detail. It is all meant to improve cooking, not burst your bubble with new knowledge. Throw rules and dicta to the wind as you embrace the biology of food.

If you are a logical, analytical type who likes a bit of intrigue on the side, you will be the first to jump on board where other more timid souls fear to tread. You can get both sides of your brain involved. You can use your intuition, creativity, and artistry all at the same time to explore ingredients and techniques under the light of scientific inquiry about temperature and pressure. Did you know that spherification bursts in your mouth? Or that you can have tastes in sequence in a given dish? They say the potential of molecular gastronomy or cuisine is wide open and up for grabs to daring takers. It remains to be seen how much it will catch on, but we predict a great future ahead.