When you are a culinary student, it is quite hard to find similarities between your main subject and secondary ones. This sample essay will help you find out the likenesses between culinary and chemistry.
People say that we are what we eat. It is true but also we are how and what we cook. It is well known that the main components of human food are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Most of them undergo chemical transformations during the culinary processing, determining the structure and taste qualities of the future masterpiece of cooking. Every person who is cooking may even not know that he or she is a real chemist in this cooking process. But it is really so.
In fact, modern cuisine in many ways resembles a chemical laboratory. The only difference is that kitchen shelves are equipped with jars filled with all sorts of cereals and spices, but laboratory shelves are filled with bottles with food reagents that are not intended for cooking. Instead of chemical names “sodium chloride” or “sucrose”, in the kitchen, we use simpler words, such as “salt” and “sugar”. Cooking recipes can be compared with the method of conducting a chemical experiment.
Some prestigious European restaurants opened special culinary laboratories for its students. It is expected that the first in the world Academy of Gastronomic Sciences will open its doors soon. For today, some universities and colleges of the world have started to prepare bachelors of culinology. The new discipline unites culinary art and chemistry where students learn about food products and technologies for their processing. Who knows, maybe in the future, culinary art will result in a new section of organic or food chemistry.
There are various breakthroughs that were made in the culinary sphere and that are closely connected with chemistry: modern chemists learned how to “make” milk, cheese, sour milk, and other dairy products from soy. Apart from this, we all know the “power of scent” while cooking or eating. There are various food supplements and flavoring matters these days that are widely used during the cooking. Obviously, “playing” with scents, a chef as a chemist can make every dish have a unique flavor. Of course, in addition to the necessary ingredients, the chef imbues each dish with their heart. It doesn’t matter whether they keep up to classical traditions or prefer improvisation. All this makes cooking a special kind of art and at the same time brings it closer to chemical science.
Knowing the physicochemical properties of food allows us to replace one ingredient with another. Nowadays, when restaurant owners no longer know how to entice their customers, people have invented so-called molecular cuisine which is becoming increasingly popular day by day. Only fresh products and fruits are used in molecular gastronomy, it has nothing to do with chemical conservation. Many dishes can change their taste, change its consistency or even explode right in your mouth, and of course, all this is safe for our health.
That is why, if you have been a good student in chemistry you can become a good chef in a restaurant. And vice versa! When you are a good cooker, you can be a nice chemist who knows how to surprise everyone with mouth-watering dishes.
- Z. Sibel Ozilgen “Cooking as a Chemical Reaction: Culinary Science with Experiments”, September 18, 2014 by CRC Press.
- Simon Quellen Field Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking Chicago Review Press; 42751st edition (November 1, 2011).
- John Wiley & Sons, Research Chefs Association: “Culinology: The Intersection of Culinary Art and Food Science”, 432 pages, August 2016. Available at: http://www.culinology.org/
- Friedrich Christian Accum Culinary Chemistry: Exhibiting the Scientific Principles of Cookery, with Concise Instructions, 2013.
- Hervé This: “Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism”, Columbia University Press, 2009.
- Klaas Lohmann: “What’s Cooking in Chemistry?: How Leading Chemists Succeed in the Kitchen”, 2014.
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg: “The Science of Cooking”, October 2012, p.5.