Cooking -art or science?

Firstly - a quick plug of my website blog - a blog about life as a PhD student and some advice/tips and experiences which is now up and running. 

I am sat here, watching Masterchef. Feeling very hungry. On Friday I am going to the BBC Good Food show in Glasgow and I am VERY excited. I LOVE food. I love eating, cooking and playing. I have often thought to myself that doing experiments is quite similar to cooking - sometimes following recipes and sometimes going off the wall - sometimes being successful (and sometimes not). Equipment can play a large part in the success of an experiment/cake (my oven does not distribute heat evenly and therefore I always create wonky cakes).

There is an awful lot of money spent on research into food - how to make food taste better, the science behind what we taste. Just recently there was a report on why plane food always tastes rubbish (apparently due to the high noise levels). Heston Blumenthal as made a good fortune from mixing 'science' and cooking to create things beyond the imagination that are out of this world (I dream of going to The Fat Duck). He often goes beyond what people can do in their own kitchens though. So what can science offer for the home cook? Anything?

I came across an American website which explores the science of cooking and answers simple questions such as why do you get a green ring between the yolk and the white of a boiled egg? It also gives ideas of how to use science in cooking and how to use cooking ingredients to demonstrate some science (you wouldn't believe the number of things you can do with eggs!). As far as I can see this is the only website like this and I think its fab. A great idea to help improve cooking skills, demonstrate some aspects of science in lay terms and also for creating an interest in science and cooking with kids.

I am also loving Channel 4's FOOD programme which goes back to basics with food and looks into what goes in pre-made food and how food gets to us. The only criticism from me is that it doesn't have much about the science of food..... but that's just my point of view.


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