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Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cookingby Simon Quellen Field
Synopses & Reviews
When youre cooking, youre a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe, you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful bacteria and fungi. And unlike in a laboratory, you can eat your experiments to verify your hypotheses.
In Culinary Reactions, author Simon Quellen Field turns measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls into graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for “clarified” butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed, including:
· Whipped Creamsicle Topping—a foam
· Cherry Dream Cheese—a protein gel
· Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs—an acid indicator
Exploring the scientific principles behind everyday recipes, this informative blend of lab book and cookbook reveals that cooks are actually chemists. Following or modifying recipes is shown to be an experiment with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. This easy-to-follow primer includes recipes that demonstrate the scientific concepts, such as Whipped Creamsicle Topping (a foam), Cherry Dream Cheese (a protein gel), and Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs (an acid indicator). Also included in this fun, fact-filled companion are answers to various culinary curiosities, such as How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? and Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide?
About the Author
Simon Quellen Field is the author of Gonzo Gizmos, The Return of Gonzo Gizmos, and Why There’s Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste. He is the creator of the popular website www.scitoys.com. He lives in Los Gatos, California.
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