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

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7
votes
2answers
1k views

Sprouts and “better-to-cut-out-parts” in vegetables

A while ago I read that "all the green parts in tomatoes" actually contain a not so healthy "active ingredient" which would be better not to eat. What I knew was that we couldn't digest those parts ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What limitations are there to sauteeing with water?

I was recently helping with some recipes and was instructed to use water for "sauteing" onions, celery, garlic, etc. in place of oil (scare quotes on "saute" since it involves frying in oil or other ...
0
votes
2answers
274 views

Does whole milk or soy milk spoil faster? Why?

I'm doing a science fair project and I need some help. My question is does whole milk or soy milk spoil faster? Does anyone know which one spoils faster or if they spoil at the same rate? Please ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

How to cook the food such that no acrylamide is formed?

How to cook the food such that Maillard reaction doesn't form acrylamide? http://sciencefare.org/2011/06/01/maillard-reaction/ When food is cooked quickly at a high temperature, the Maillard ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do Duck eggs have longer expiry than Chicken Eggs?

Duck eggs seem to get about a 6-week extension on their expiry date over Chicken eggs. (the latest pack I bought yesterday expire May 25th, where as the Chicken Eggs at best were Mid-April). Why is ...
8
votes
4answers
14k views

Why would cooked spinach contain more iron than raw?

I've been researching the nutrient content of various foods and I've found that cooked spinach appears to have more iron than raw spinach (3.57 mg / 100g vs 2.71 mg /100g). Intuitively, I would have ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

What is the effect of the fat content of milk when making cheese?

How does the fat content of milk affect the cheese it's used to make? For a science fair I am finding out how different fat content milks affect mozzerella cheese. But first I need to know how the fat ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottle of sparkling wine (etc.. .) help keep its fizz?

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottles of bubbles, sparkling wine & Champagne help keep its fizz ? If so why is this ?
19
votes
2answers
7k views

What is that gooey stuff from okra?

When cooking okra in a bit of water, the water becomes gooey. What does the okra release that makes the water slimy? Would the goo have other culinary uses (as an additive to thicken sauces or ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Why does Black Gram Batter turn fluffy only when stone ground?

Idly and Vada two major recipes of South India. For those dishes Black Gram Batter is the key ingredient. This soaked balck gram when ground in a mixer or food processor makes idly and vada hard and ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

How to flambe my roast meat platter

I want to have flames coming off my roast meat platter when I serve it to guests. What liquid would I use to light up?
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is this soup, stew, or something else?

I ate some East Asian dish recently and it looked something like this: [image source: http://www.thetabletopcook.com/images/tabletop-cooking-homemade-taiwanese-hot-pot.jpg] I had never eaten ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Aiding the Maillard reaction: Baking Powder or Baking Soda?

I will attempt to cook a Thai Green Chicken Curry. I'll be using cubed boneless chicken thigh which I would like to brown really well. I remember reading somewhere that Baking Powder or Baking Soda ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

What can I add to Splenda solution to prevent spoilage?

Trying to save some money on buying Splenda packets by buying sucralose powder and mixing with water. This works great and is waaaay cheaper - 10x cheaper than buying the packets! However, after two ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

Effects of elevated storage temperature on bread quality

It's pretty well-known and scientifically established that rather cool temperatures are bad for bread: putting your bread in the refrigerator will tend to dry it out and accelerate chemical reactions ...
10
votes
3answers
28k views

Is it scientifically verified that bananas will ripen faster when kept in a bowl with other fruit?

I've heard you shouldn't keep bananas in a bowl with other fruit. But they all look so happy together. What I'd like to see is hard science here. Or at least documented and repeatable observation. ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do marshmallows poof up so huge when put in the microwave?

As anyone who's put marshmallows in the microwave knows, they expand a ton! Sometimes they puff up to literally more than twice their original size (YouTube video for those who haven't seen it). So, ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Flavour enhancers [closed]

I've read that vanilla is usually used to highlight/enhance the flavour of chocolate, lemon juice the flavour of strawberries, and MSGs the flavour of meat. What other flavour enhancers are out there? ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Baking soda accident in pretzel dough - Can it be salvaged?

I made a mistake and put the baking soda in the pretzel dough! Instead of using it for its intended purpose ( Boiling the pretzel dough in it before baking.) It was a box mix: Pretzel Creations ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

Steel Cut Oats: cooking in milk vs. water

Most of the recipes I've seen (including Good Eats') recommend simmering the oats in 4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of oats. AB recommends 3 cups of water for ~25 mins and then (1/2 cup of milk + 1/2 cup ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Differences between gel and gelatine

Are they physically different? If so, what is the difference, between a gel and gelatine, or it's proccesses gelation and gelling (gelatinization. gelatinisation)?
9
votes
5answers
33k views

How to make puffed/popped rice?

Is it possible to make puffed rice at home like the rice used in breakfast cereals? I have a hot air popcorn maker and have experimented with that with little success. I imagine the problem is to do ...
5
votes
2answers
443 views

Why does Mexican food taste dissonant with balsamic vinegar?

I assayed an attempt at hot sauce the other day by cooking 3 pounds of peppers (jalapeno and hungarian wax) in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for about three hours, then throwing them in a blender. ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Why do my stored cashews smell like fish?

I have a 30 Oz plastic jar of Roasted, Unsalted Archer Farms Cashew Nuts. I've noticed that after having it 'open' for a week or two (i.e. the lid is tightly screwed onto the jar, but the initial ...
39
votes
12answers
18k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Why do egg dye recipes include vinegar?

I have seen recipes for easter egg dyes that call for 1/4 cup vinegar per cup of water and others that call for 2 teaspoons per cup of water. That's a pretty wide range--what practical effect does the ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the science behind Magic Cake?

Magic Cake has a seemingly simple batter, that is mixed and baked as a single entity. (See link for the full recipe and method). When it is baked, it separates into three distinct layers: A dense ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does white vinegar taste better when at restaurants?

Just got back from dinner, where I had some decent fish and chips with white vinegar, and a thought came to me: At restaurants, I've found the white vinegar there helps to accentuate the flavour of ...
11
votes
2answers
937 views

If salt dehydrates the meat, then why would brining make it more juicy as a whole?

As the title says, why does brining work? If salting, by osmosis, pulls the water out of the meat, then why is meat considered more juicy after it's cooked?
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Lime substitute for nixtamalizing corn

I want to have a go at nixtamalizing some corn. Upon doing some research I figured I could find the lime (calcium hydroxide) that's traditionally used for the process at the local international food ...
21
votes
8answers
9k views

Will spoiled food technically make you sick?

Kind of a strange question, but say something has spoiled IE: Smells Bad, Tastes Bad.......etc... Will it technically always make you sick? Like for instance spoiled dressing, lets say it tastes sour, ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

term for the fact that's easier to mix 2 things if the amount are different

I am asking this for a friend because we cannot find the answer in google (but did learn a lot about cocaine, dj mixers, bread, concrete and ligers). Seems like there must be a ...
9
votes
5answers
60k views

Beef: Red on the outside, brown on the inside

Take bright-red ground beef and put it in a freezer for a few days. After taking it out and letting it thaw, it looks fairly red on the outside, but brown on the inside. Why is that? From the ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

What food additives or chemicals do you use in your cooking at home? [closed]

Beyond the obvious: baking powder/baking soda/gelatin/yeast: What food additives or chemical products do you use in your home cooking? Agar agar? Lecithin? Xanthan gum? What would a relatively ...
13
votes
9answers
24k views

Why doesn't chocolate go bad?

After all it has oil and sugar in it. Why doesn't bacteria love it? Thanks!
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What causes egg-covered puffed rice cakes to become soft when pan fried (and how to control it)?

While recently making fried bread slices dipped in egg (both white and yolk), I've run out of bread. Since I've already had everything else prepared, I've decided to go ahead and replace the bread ...
2
votes
0answers
200 views

Liquid glucose in marshmallows

What does liquid glucose do for a marshmallow? Has anyone replaced liquid glucose with golden syrup or any other syrup for that matter? What are the effects of using alternatives for marshmallows? I ...
23
votes
2answers
16k views

How does a Miracle Thaw work?

Miracle Thaws are utensils for rapidly thawing foods. Put an ice cube on one and it melts before your eyes, yet the whole thing stays cool to the touch. How do they work? (Inspired by this ...
5
votes
1answer
48k views

What causes curdling and how can you prevent it?

Some sauces are more at risk to curdle than others. What exactly (ingredients, techniques, temperature...) causes this curdling? What can you do to have the curdling risk at minimum? I'm not asking ...
5
votes
1answer
358 views

In ingredient lists, does “lime” mean the fruit or the chemical?

Ingredient lists on packaged foods sometimes list "lime". Does this refer to the citrus fruit, or to the chemical calcium hydroxide? As an example, Mission Organics White Corn Tortilla Chips list ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages of using a stove instead of an oven?

Are there any advantages to using a stove instead of oven? As a woman of science, this is a question that has been lingering in my noggin for a very long time. The main points I'd like to see ...
35
votes
6answers
3k views

What does “natural” actually mean?

More and more I see "natural" or "all natural" labels on the slightly-cheaper alternatives next to "organic" products, and I find it somewhat confusing. I know that (for example) tofu does not occur ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Heated up oil for frying, stirred it, tiny bubbles appeared and rose slowly but with very loud popping sound - why?

Last night I tried deep frying stuff for the first time. As the oil heated in the pot, I thought it would be a good idea to stir the oil (I was really scared of it catching on fire). It was probably ...
48
votes
8answers
88k 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?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What are ways to reduce cellulose in vegetables and fruits?

I (and some family members) have a medical condition that affects the ability to digest cellulose, so we have to avoid most fresh fruits and vegetables. We have found that cooking vegetables helps a ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Spicy foods and weight loss [closed]

It is well known that consuming spicy foods increases your metabolism and contributes to fat burning, mainly due to the presence of capsaicin. Since this effect is very small, how many spicy foods ...
116
votes
10answers
60k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
3
votes
1answer
111 views

my black garlic cooking in a rice cooker went brown and hard before black any ideas?

I have my garlic in the skins in a rice cooker on the warming setting after 7 days the garlic was brown dried out and hard, is it over cooked and not slowly caramelized? what is the purpose of ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

Can the duration of the whistle determine if food inside a pressure cooker is cooked

Building upon this question, I was wondering if the duration of the whistle can be used to determine if the food inside a pressure cooker is cooked. As suggested by a couple of answers in the ...