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|By Trudee (Trudee) on Wednesday, January 12, 2000 - 01:11 pm: Edit|
I am researching a brief piece for a science textbook on the aspects of chemistry that are essential knowledge for a successful chef. Can those of you already in the profession or studying to be please comment on the chemistry that you find to be invaluable, how it applies to your work (e.g. what happens to your bread, soufflé, etc. if you don't know it), and where you learned it?
All responses are appreciated.
|By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Thursday, January 13, 2000 - 04:32 pm: Edit|
I think chemistry is much more important to people doing baking and pastry than those on the hot line. As a baker, I find the courses I took in culinary school on baking science to be valuable when I want to modify a recipe or troubleshoot a problem. The course was very comprehensive, covering different types of chemical bonding (ionic, hydrogen, covalent, and van der vals), structure of sugar molecules and the making of invert sugar (chromatagraphic enrichment), all the different saccharides and glycerides.
In the course of the other classes we focused on stuff relevant to the particular topic. For instance, the five functions of the ingredients in a cake: fat - tenderizes, sugar - moisturizes (because sugar is hygroscopic), flour/cocoa/nut meal - dries out, eggs - toughen, and vanilla/lemon/whatever - flavor.
This kind of stuff isn't found in general recipe books.
Two other good sources I use for food science are Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise" and Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking".
|By Trudee (Trudee) on Friday, January 21, 2000 - 08:26 pm: Edit|
Thanks, Mike. Between your answer and another I received on the Great Hall forum, I think I've got enough info. I really appreciate your help!