The last time I dealt with chemistry, or rather; He should have stayed in high school. One of my sisters is a chemistry professor and I thought at the time that the talent for that would be hereditary, so I picked it up with confidence – then dropped it ASAP. I still feel feverish when I see the chemical formulas.
I noticed it when I Flavor comparison Written by Indian-American molecular biologist and culinary writer Nick Sharma. The book explores the science behind cooking and to illustrate its interpretations, it uses chemical graphics. When I saw it, I wanted to put the book aside, because my mind immediately freezes at the sight of those formulas.
But I encouraged. Once I started the recipes and turned those formulas into sentences with words, I not only got them but took what he wrote for granted: the corn in bread, for example, adds a layer of sweet flavor.
This is correct Flavor comparison It’s about: how the different components come together or not and what effect you get when you combine them. Sharma explains that taste is determined by six components: experience, vision, hearing, feeling, smell, and taste.
The composition of the components affects the taste and structure. In India, for example, raw papaya is used in meat marinades. Raw papaya contains protease, “an enzyme that breaks proteins into smaller pieces.” This sounds complicated, doesn’t it, but it simply means that the meat gets more tender.
Cooking is a science. In our home kitchens where we make recipes out of habit or try new things, certainly in gastronomic kitchens where they experiment to a high standard and make real edible sugar balloons, like in the American restaurant Alinea.
The book consists of seven chapters: sour, bitter, salty, sweet, salty, fiery, fat. In between, Sharma not only gives plenty of explanation about the ingredients, how they are built and the structure they serve, but also the right words to describe experiences and tastes. This is often forgotten, but turning food into words, explaining how something tastes like, is a serious profession.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of September 13, 2021
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