Vitality

9 Cooking Techniques To Help You Become A Top Chef: Molecular Gastronomy Secrets

Cooking is both an art and a science where we steam, fry, bake, or microwave our meals. Molecular gastronomy, a discipline of "food science," blends physics and chemistry to transform regular foods into innovative dishes. There are several new scientific cooking techniques developed from food science that can help you turn your kitchen in a tasty laboratory.

In Sci-Show's latest video, "9 Scientific Cooking Techniques," host Michael Aranda explains several foods are made possible using molecular gastronomy. For example, food pairing is a science-based method used to match foods by their molecular components. When you eat something, chemical compounds stimulate receptors on your taste buds, sending taste information to the brain. This flavor is dependent on smell and aroma compounds that stimulate the olfactory receptors in your nose.

Peanut butter and jelly go together because they share the same aroma compounds, and trigger the same olfactory receptors, complimenting each other. Bacon and eggs, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and even white chocolate and caviar are ideal food pairings due to their molecular combination. Food pairing helps create a combination of foods that are a match made in heaven.

Cotton candy, also known as candy floss, has its own cooking technique different from other foods. It has one main ingredient — sugar — with some food coloring and flavor thrown in. The table sugar, which is chemical sucrose, naturally exists in its granulated crystal form, so how does it become so fluffy and cloud-like?

When sugar is poured into the center of a cotton candy machine, it's heated up near its melting point around 185 degrees Celsius. The solid crystals of sucrose begin to break apart into individual sugar molecules, and the mixture starts to liquefy into a syrup. Candy machines are essentially large centrifuges. They have a center basket with holes that spin at 60 revolutions per second, and then melted liquid sugar is forced through the holes. Eventually, thin sugar strands, around 50 micrometers in diameter, are formed. The sugars instantly cool and become solid again.

Check out SciShow's other scientific cooking techniques in the video above to try some of these food preparation methods at home.

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