All about the scientific theories behind food. Cooking myths debunked here.

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16
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is a copper bowl recommended for whipping cream and egg whites?

They say you can get the whipped cream or egg whites "higher" or "stiffer" if you use a copper bowl. Why is that?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does adding extra flour help with high altitude baking?

When baking at high altitude it seems that most recipes advise to include a little more flour to the mix. Is it related to boiling point?
4
votes
1answer
513 views

What are good resources to learn food chemistry?

Did anyone knows of some good resources to start learning about food chemistry? I am thinking specifically about a description of the chemical processes involved e.g. in cooking/preparing the ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Flavour combinations - structural analysis

Without neccesarily going into molecular cooking (although we could): does any literature / website / theory provide information on flavor / flavour combinations that go well together? (ignoring ...
112
votes
10answers
54k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do things smell good while cooking but have little flavour when finished

While cooking, particularly things that cook slowly on the hob, it smells really good while cooking but when finished it never seems to have as much flavour as I hoped. Am I doing something wrong or ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Garlic turning green?

When I try to make garlic bread or, in general, something where the garlic is not in a liquid, it sometimes turns green while cooking! It's worth noting that the taste doesn't seem to really be "off", ...
44
votes
8answers
80k views

Cooking away alcohol

When you cook with wine or spirits, when does the alcohol cook away? Obviously high temperatures will do it, but how low of temperatures will work? Also, does it vary by the type of alcohol?
20
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tell whether an egg has been hard-boiled, through the shell?

At my workplace, there's a mysterious carton of eggs in the common refrigerator. Nobody I've asked knows whether they're raw or cooked. Is there a way to tell, without cracking one of the eggs open?
37
votes
12answers
16k views

Why should I soak beans before cooking?

Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why? I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the way that I cut my garlic affect the taste of my food?

I've seen recipes that called for coarsely chopped garlic and recipes that called for finely chopped or minced garlic. What affect does that cut have on the final taste of my dish? What about crushed ...
34
votes
5answers
38k views

Why does a brown paper bag speed ripening?

I often see this technique suggested as a way to speed ripening. Why does it? Also, is there any data available on how fast it ripens comparatively?
23
votes
3answers
31k views

How does a splash of vinegar help when poaching eggs?

What does splashing in a shot of white vinegar to the simmering water do when poaching an egg? Is it for taste or is it supposed to react in some way with the albumen?