139 votes

Browning Avocados - What Helps?

See the improved answer here: What DOES Help? Which acid works best to keep avocados from browning? Answer: None (of the acids tested) It's not that acid doesn't do much to help. ALL OF THE ACIDS ...
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  • 58k
67 votes
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Will spoiled food always make you sick?

What most people don't get when it comes to food safety: Spoiled food has a chance of making you sick. When food is visibly spoiled, it has large bacterial colonies growing in it. This means that it ...
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  • 124k
57 votes
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Browning Avocados - What Helps?

TL; DR Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) works to slow, even halt the browning of avocados, even in the face of salt, vinegar (in salsa), and lime juice, all of which have been shown (or will be shown) to ...
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  • 58k
56 votes

What happened to my egg?

Your egg whites were cooked by the alcohol in the extract. Cooked, in this case, means denaturing, which means unfolding the protein molecules. There are many ways to denature proteins. Acid, such as ...
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  • 4,589
54 votes
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Why is it faster to reheat something than it is to cook it?

"Cooking" is often a chemical process. Denaturing proteins, gelatinization, causing chemical reactions like browning, or even causing state changes like evaporation. In many cases for these ...
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52 votes
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Why is eating pretzels safe when they are bathed in lye?

Basically, the lye reacts with the CO₂ and moisture present during baking to form a non-toxic carbonate. This makes it safe to eat. The reaction: CO₂ (g) + H₂O (l) ­⇄ H₂CO₃ (aq) H₂CO₃ (aq) + ...
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  • 3,719
52 votes

How can I tell if this is baking soda or powder?

Baking powder contains starch, which is insoluble. Baking soda is completely soluble Take a small bowl, and put 1/8 tsp of the substance in the bottom. Add water. If the substance is bicarbonate ...
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  • 1,035
51 votes

Can something have more sugar per 100g than the percentage of sugar that's in it?

Looking up Shreddies, I found this site. It lists, in the ingredients Whole Grain Wheat (96%), Sugar, Invert Sugar Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Molasses, Vitamins and Minerals (Niacin, Iron, ...
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  • 124k
47 votes
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What does "natural" actually mean?

Short answer? Not a damn thing. The term is pretty much meaningless in the US; at best it only means that the product doesn't have added colors, artificial flavors or synthetic "stuff". From ...
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46 votes
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What happens when you reduce stock all the way?

If you reduce filtered broth all the way, you get portable soup. It dries down into a solid that looks a bit like leather. Because of the gelatin from the bones, portable soup is bendy and flexible. ...
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  • 3,098
38 votes

Why is eating pretzels safe when they are bathed in lye?

The purpose of dipping in lye (or other basic solution, like baking soda...or even baked, baking soda) is that it promotes coloring, as the solution reacts with the surface of the dough. It also ...
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  • 63.9k
38 votes

Should pasta be started in cold or boiling water?

As stated in another answer, Italian tradition is that all pasta is cooked in boiling water. A reasonable explanation for this usage is that it's easier to get the time right this way. Pasta is very ...
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38 votes
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Why is churro dough created with boiling water?

Churro dough is a variant of choux pastry. While yeasted doughs rise through the expansion of gas created by the yeast, and "quick bread" batters rise through gas created by chemical ...
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37 votes
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How does a Miracle Thaw work?

reference: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/conductive-heat-transfer-d_428.html Let's take a moment to look at the heat transfer equation. Looking at it, we can see the ways to get more efficient ...
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37 votes
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Why should (or shouldn't) we wash rice before cooking?

Reasons to wash your rice: Reduce/Control Starch levels Often when you're cooking rice you want distinct grains of rice and for your rice to have texture. In the case of Chinese fried rice for ...
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  • 11.1k
37 votes

Can something have more sugar per 100g than the percentage of sugar that's in it?

I suspect that 96g of whole grain goes into the recipe for 100g, along with 13g of sugar and some salt, vitamins, and flavouring ingredients. At that point there's at least 109g. Then it's formed and ...
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  • 38.4k
34 votes

Browning Avocados - What Helps?

Nice experiment. Oddly enough food scientists in Florida have looked into the same problem, and achieved results similar to yours: THE RETARDATION OF ENZYMATIC BROWNING IN AVOCADO PUREE AND ...
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34 votes
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Why should I cook the flour first when making bechamel sauce?

This link explains the science behind what is known as "the mother sauce", béchamel. Essentially, the steps of first creating a roux, then adding cold milk, are about manipulating the glucose chains ...
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33 votes
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Should pasta be started in cold or boiling water?

For dried pasta it doesn’t really matter if you start with cold or hot water, as most of the time pasta spends in water is for hydration. And once the hydrated starches reach a certain temperature ...
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  • 4,226
32 votes

How do I stop my pans from boiling over?

You are doing precisely the opposite of 'normal' procedure, which is to put the lid on the pan until the water starts boiling, then remove the lid (either partially or completely) to prevent boiling ...
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31 votes

Why is eating pretzels safe when they are bathed in lye?

The reason it is safe is three-fold. First, the concentration is only 1% NaOH and the pretzels are only dipped for 10 seconds (see Snack Food Technology pages 180-182) which limits the amount of ...
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  • 906
31 votes
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Can one eat a balanced diet if one only cooks once a week?

The types of foods that reheat well are also quite suitable for being balanced in one main dish. Generally speaking, dishes with stuff in sauce freeze/chill and reheat well. So stew, curry, chilli, ...
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  • 38.4k
30 votes
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Does the preparation of chicken liver mousse require force feeding of chickens?

There's no need to force-feed the chickens. Chicken Liver Mousse is just a posh word for a smooth paté, with sometimes a bit of extra aeration. For every chicken, there's a chicken liver. The world ...
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  • 23.6k
27 votes
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Which foods are certain to never cause food poisoning?

There is almost no food which is guaranteed to be safe. If it has nutritional value for a human, it has nutritional value for many microorganisms too, some of which are human pathogens. So, out of ...
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  • 124k
26 votes

Kneading causing gluten

Yes, kneading develops gluten. Specifically, the gliadin and glutenin proteins in flour form gluten when mixed together with water. It's common, but inaccurate (and confusing I think) to refer to ...
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  • 2,166
25 votes

Does 'Non-cold/warm ice-cream' exist?

Much of the distinctive experience of ice cream comes from its temperature, so be prepared for disappointment. However, a set custard like in a crème brûlée or panna cotta is creamy and holds its ...
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  • 7,143
24 votes

How can I tell if this is baking soda or powder?

Lick your finger Dip it in the jar Lick finger again. If it tastes of: Soap: Soda Very faintly of soap and faintly of starch and slightly fizzes in your mouth: Baking powder
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  • 5,771
22 votes

What does "natural" actually mean?

To expand on Jolene's answer, there is not only no official definition, but the only definition which fits its common usage is A food which a certain group of persons is not afraid to eat. ...
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  • 124k
22 votes
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What does it mean when an egg splatters and the white is greenish-yellow?

From The Splendid Table: Older eggs (which are still safe to eat) tend to be more alkaline, which encourages a green reaction similar to that green ring you can get around a hard-cooked egg yolk. The ...
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22 votes
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Products that can be microwaved and "pop" just like popcorn

Popcorn should be considered one of "nature's little miracles" - & a way to make a huge profit out of air. Yes, you can pop other dried grains/seeds, but don't expect anything quite so ...
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