Food Science


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A few weeks ago, I revealed one of my shortcomings on this very blog: traditional grade school science. I like to tell myself that my unparalleled wit makes up for it.

Anywho, since that post, I’ve explored the kind of science that actually interests me, in the form of anything and everything dining-related (is anyone surprised?). Case in point, Joanne Chang’s installment of Harvard’s Science of Cooking lecture series.

As I sat in the audience in her lesson on the science of sugar, I realized that maybe this science thing isn’t so bad after all. The takeaway? Sugar does a lot. It fluffs things up, sweetens them, makes cookies crispy and lowers the freezing point of popsicles. Hold the presses… I get that.

Hallelujah, I am a science wiz!

Since then, the science of pizza holding has also been revealed and guess what? I get that too. According to Wired, mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauss discovered that the key to picking up a sturdy slice is the theorem egregium, Gauss’ discovery that curved surfaces prevent a slice from dangling limply in your fingers. U-shaped surfaces stay straight. I love science!

This whole food science thing has me inspired. I may just have to recreate my second grade science fair project of removing one cooking ingredient at a time (butter and sugar excluded – nobody wants to eat butterless/sugarless cookies, am I right?), baking and observing (read: tasting) the results. Genius, I know.

Posted by Mary

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