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How Chemistry and Cooking are relatable?

Credit of photo: The Wall Street Journal

I have been wanting to write this post for a long time about how Chemistry and Cooking are relatable. As a Chemistry student who also cooks a lot, I find that they are similar in some aspects.

First of all, I can view my cooking process for a specific recipe as an chemistry experiment where I can adjust added the “ingredients/chemicals”, adjust the “cooking temperature” and time to achieve the desired products. Secondly, talking about appliances, both labs and kitchens have measuring tools, thermometer, balance, cooktop/hot plate and ovens/furnaces. At some point, cookbook and published recipes sound like textbooks and scientific articles. From that point of view, a kitchen is technically a culinary laboratory and a chef is a scientist!

Even that we also evaluate the quality of our food or products in terms of visual and texture, the method we used to look at texture is different. We need some special instruments for that. And the oven/furnace in the lab can go up to > 1000 C. But the most important one is that chemist’s ingredients are, most of the time, inedible!

Like my professor’s professor* once said to him, “Everything is connected”, I shall say there is a strong connection between Chemistry and Cooking, a laboratory and a kitchen, a scientific publication and a recipe, a chemist and a chef. I should refer all of my cooking is my home “research project” from now on.

*Side note: my professor’s professor is Roald Hoffmann, a Nobel Laureate in 1981.

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