Friday, February 05, 2010

The nerd in the kitchen



There has been some talk in the secular/humanist blogosphere about the need for bringing the two great "magisteria" of human culture, namely the arts and sciences closer in the 21st century. I am not sure how possible this will be, especially after the usurpation of scientific methods by racist/fascist ideologies in the first half of the 20th century and the the reactionary "post-modern" zeitgeist prevailing in the arts world.

What I know is possible is that an alternative set of two great "magisteria" can be brought together. I am talking about the culinary art and science. The French Chemist Hervé This has already taken few big steps in this direction.

It all started one day when he was preparing cheese suffle. The recipe told one should add 4 eggs one by one. The Chemist in him told him that putting all at one should not be a problem. In the end, his hastiness spoiled the suffle. As a scientist, he set out to discover the scientific explanations for such peculiar, yet effective steps in the recipes. He has written quite many book, explaining in detail what goes on chemically during day to day cooking activities. I got a hold of two books by him. I am so excited to read them, of course when I am done with my PhD...

But you can be sure that I will be even more of a nerd in the kitchen after I read them.

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