Molecular Gastronomy

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  • Topic: Cooking, Molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adrià
  • Pages : 17 (5618 words )
  • Download(s) : 74
  • Published : March 7, 2013
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There are many branches of food science, all of which study different aspects of food such as safety, microbiology, preservation, chemistry, engineering, physics and the like. Until the advent of molecular gastronomy, there was no formal scientific discipline dedicated to studying the processes in regular cooking as done in the home or in a restaurant. The aforementioned have mostly been concerned with industrial food production and while the disciplines may overlap with each other to varying degrees, they are considered separate areas of investigation. Though many disparate examples of the scientific investigation of cooking exist throughout history, the creation of the discipline of molecular gastronomy was intended to bring together what had previously been fragmented and isolated investigation into the chemical and physical processes of cooking into an organized discipline within food science to address what the other disciplines within food science either do not cover, or cover in a manner intended for scientists rather than cooks. These mere investigations into the scientific process of cooking have unintentionally evolved into a revolutionary practice that is now prominent in today's culinary world. The term "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" was coined in 1992 by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French physical chemist Hervé This. It became the title for a set of workshops held in Erice, Italy (originally titled "Science and Gastronomy")[5] that brought together scientists and professional cooks for discussions on the science behind traditional cooking preparations. Eventually, the shortened term "Molecular Gastronomy" also became the name of the scientific discipline co-created by Kurti and This to be based on exploring the science behind traditional cooking methods.[5][9][10] Kurti and This had been the co-directors of the "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" meetings in Erice, along with the American food science writer Harold McGee,[5] and had considered the creation of a formal discipline around the subjects discussed in the meetings.[10] After Kurti's death in 1998, the name of the Erice workshops was also changed by This to "The International Workshop on Molecular Gastronomy 'N. Kurti'". This remained the sole director of the subsequent workshops from 1999 through 2004 and continues his research in the field of Molecular Gastronomy today. University of Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti was an enthusiastic advocate of applying scientific knowledge to culinary problems. He was one of the first television cooks in the UK, hosting a black and white television show in 1969 entitled "The Physicist in the Kitchen" where he demonstrated techniques such as using a syringe to inject hot mince pies with brandy in order to avoid disturbing the crust.[11] That same year, he held a presentation for the Royal Society of London (also entitled "The Physicist in the Kitchen") in which he is often quoted to have stated:[12] I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés. —Nicholas Kurti During the presentation Kurti demonstrated making meringue in a vacuum chamber, the cooking of sausages by connecting them across a car battery, the digestion of protein by fresh pineapple juice, and a reverse baked alaska - hot inside, cold outside - cooked in a microwave oven.[12][13] Kurti was also an advocate of low temperature cooking, repeating 18th century experiments by the English scientist Benjamin Thompson by leaving a 2 kg (4.40 lbs) lamb joint in an oven at 80 °C (176 °F). After 8.5 hours, both the inside and outside temperature of the lamb joint were around 75 °C (167 °F), and the meat was tender and juicy.[12] Together with his wife, Giana Kurti, Nicholas Kurti edited an anthology on food and science by fellows and foreign members of the Royal Society. Hervé This started collecting "culinary...
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