On a Friday night of 1984, Hervé This, a French chemistry researcher at Agro Paris Tech, invited a couple of friends for dinner. The main course was cheese soufflé. However, as it has happened to anyone who has ever tried to make soufflés, they never rose. Thanks to this simple incident, the most important gastronomic movement of the last fifty years began. This went back to his lab at Agro Paris Tech and decided to study the chemical processes that occur in a soufflé when cooking. He discovered that if he had just lowered the temperature in his oven 10°C, his soufflés would have risen perfectly. He then expanded his study to include all the chemical and physical processes involved in cooking (Harris). Since then, molecular gastronomy, as
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This procedure, which consists of cooking a protein in a vacuumed bag in a bath of warm water for very long times, is used frequently thanks to the fact that it is much easier to control the exact temperature of the protein being cooked and that because of the slow temperatures proteins are kept from becoming tough or chewy. If sous-vide is the most common molecular way to cook a product, flash freezing is the most common way to cool an ingredient. Flash freezing consists in using either liquid nitrogen or dry ice, which are both found at very cold temperatures to quickly freeze an ingredient. Everything from ice cream to a piece of rib eye can be flash frozen to obtain a certain effect.
The combination of all these techniques and many others give chefs the possibility to create wonderful dishes that simply amaze the consumer as soon as he or she sees and tastes them. Nevertheless, there are many chefs and food critics that oppose this new gastronomic movement because it goes against what they think food should be. After understating that molecular gastronomy really refers to the study of the physical and chemical processes involved in cooking, and not only the incorporation of chemical products in cooking, I believe that it is a completely viable gastronomic movement as long as the purpose of eating, which is to gain energy and nutrients, is not forgotten.
“Some chefs are offering a media