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Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

When you’re cooking, you’re a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe, you’re experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. On your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life even as suppressing harmful bacteria and fungi. And unlike in a laboratory, you’ll eat your experiments to ensure your hypotheses.

            In Culinary Reactions, creator 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 impact how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide relatively than the more not unusual carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for “clarified” butter? This simple-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

 

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