Molecular gastronomy is a culinary discipline that involves the scientific application of different processes and methods to culinary arts. Simply put, molecular gastronomy is the merging of both the culinary arts and the culinary sciences. Molecular gastronomy has become quite a popular discipline over the last few years and this has resulted in the growing number of restaurants that specialize in molecular gastronomy.
If molecular gastronomy is going to be strictly defined, it is the use of scientific principles as a means to gaining further understanding of food, how to prepare it successfully and effectively and also gain insights and implement improvements in food preparation in a small scale level. The term ‘molecular gastronomy’ was coined by Nicholas Kurti, a Hungarian physicist when he made a presentation in 1992 for the Royal Institution. The presentation was called ‘The Physicist in the kitchen.’ The term, and the discipline, was eventually made more popular by Kurti’s collaborator Herve This.
Molecular gastronomy has far reaching applications in the culinary world. Among the best examples of the application of molecular gastronomy include:
• The study of different cooking methods and how it affects the flavor and texture of the ingredients
• The study of new cooking methods and how it improves the texture and flavor of food
• The involvement of all senses and how they contribute to the overall appreciation of food.
• The changes ingredients undergo when being cooked through various cooking methods.
Molecular gastronomy is now an acknowledged culinary discipline and it is widely recognized as the discipline that is bringing about the most number of innovations to the culinary world. One of the most popular proponents of molecular gastronomy right now is Heston Blumenthal, who is considered one of the trailblazers of the discipline. His excellent menu that is wholly based on molecular gastronomy is prominently featured in his restaurant The Fat Duck, which has already been awarded three Michelin stars. The Fat Duck is known for dishes like pasta that is made from Jello, sardine-flavored sorbet, porridge made from snails, and a puree that is composed of mango puree and Douglas fir.
Another popular proponent of molecular gastronomy is Ferran Adria, who owns the famed El Bulli. The restaurant is widely considered as one of the best restaurants in the world. Among the popular dishes in the restaurant are barnacles with tea foam, monkfish liver cooked with tomato seeds and citrus and a parmesan cheese ice cream.
Molecular gastronomy is responsible for many innovations and ‘inventions’ that have popped up in kitchens all throughout the world. The popularity of ‘froths’ and ‘foams’ that are used in many fancy dishes are products of molecular gastronomy. The same can also be said for ‘caviar’ that is composed from exotic ingredients like fruit or vegetable purees.
Different cooking methods have also become more popular as a result of innovations in molecular gastronomy. In fact, new equipment are being included in many kitchens that look more like laboratory equipment than kitchen appliances. Among these include sous vide cookers, CO2 dispensers (which is crucial in making foams), sonicators, pH meters and canisters of liquid nitrogen that is mainly used in immediately freezing ingredients. In fact, liquid nitrogen is now widely used in making sorbets and ice creams using exotic ingredients.
Molecular gastronomy has its own set of detractors too, despite its success. There are those who claim that there is no such thing as molecular gastronomy because cooking, whatever it is, is still an application of science. Cooking, they say, is learning to control the physical forces of heat and pressure to cook food. They say that molecular gastronomy is just a fancy word for ‘cooking.’ Of course, molecular gastronomists will disagree with the notion that there field is a non-existent one and will present the innovations that have been introduced to the culinary world that are products of the work of molecular gastronomists.
Sauce shake-up as Heinz plays ketchup…
The term “tomato sauce” could be lost to future Aussies Source: Supplied IT IS enough to make Kevin Rudd shake his sauce bottle. Or at least stir a dead horse.The term “tomato sauce” could be lost to future Aussies with Heinz, for the first time, a…