Herve This's 10 Elements of Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Herve This, Kitchen Mysteries

In a recent interview in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Herve This discusses such matters as the difference between molecular gastronomy and molecular cooking, the relative importance of having the right equipment in your kitchen, and some of the scientific principles of making stock. He also lists his 10 basic elements of kitchen knowledge:

1. Salt dissolves in water.

2. Salt does not dissolve in oil.

3. Oil does not dissolve in water.

4. Water boils at 100 C (212 F).

5. Generally foods contain mostly water (or another fluid).

6. Foods without water or fluid are tough.

7. Some proteins (in eggs, meat, fish) coagulate.

8. Collagen dissolves in water at temperatures higher than 55 C (131 F).

9. Dishes are dispersed systems (combinations of gas, liquid or solid ingredients transformed by cooking).

10. Some chemical processes – such as the Maillard Reaction (browning or caramelizing) – generate new flavors.

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