Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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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 has been exposed to conditions which were promoting bacterial growth. Anything which was present on your food will have grown, unless outcompeted by something ...


54

"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 reactions to happen, we need to overheat the food. (Cook it and let it rest to cool off back down to undo some of the changes that were made and/or bring it back down ...


51

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 of soda, the solution will be completely clear. If it is baking powder, a cloudy/powdery residue will remain. (You can also use excess vinegar which gives the ...


51

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, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin) There is no percentage for the sugar in the ingredients list. And the nutritional information says ...


50

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) + 2 NaOH (aq) → Na₂CO₃ (aq) + 2 H₂O (l) From here (MS doc) [EDIT] Spurred by the comments, I have searched further. tl;dr There is much going on wrt ...


46

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 the FDA: What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food? From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' ...


38

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 promotes the Maillard reactions when the dough cooks. The result is even browning and that typical alkali flavor. If choosing lye, food grade is important, as ...


38

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 sensitive to cooking time, and will easily turn from 'al dente' to an overcooked mush if left on the fire a couple of minutes too much. By cooking it in ...


37

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 cooked, driving off at least 9g of water, getting down to 100g. I don't know in what form the whole wheat is added, but whole wheat flour has more than 20% ...


34

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 heat transfer q / A = k dT / s q / A = heat transfer per unit area (W/m2) k = thermal conductivity (W/mK) dT = temperature difference (oC) s = wall thickness (...


34

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 in the flour. Done correctly, the sauce is smooth and flavorful. Done incorrectly and you have a grainy mixture that tastes of raw flour. @David Richerby's ...


32

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 they gelatinize, thus cooking the pasta. When you start with cold water, you should use less water, which is actually a plus... Note: I forgot to mention, you ...


30

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 example, you specifically want your rice grains to not stick to one another. If you're talking white rice especially, there will be a lot more loose starch that will ...


30

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, ratatouille etc. should work. Any of those can be made with plenty of veg, which is important if you're aiming for a balanced diet. An accompanying carbohydrate ...


29

Simple: it has no water. Chocolate is a suspension of cocoa solids and sugar in cocoa butter. It is made from fat and carbohydrates only. Bacteria, as everything else, need water to live. They can't survive in something hygroscopic (like jam or honey) or something with no water at all (flour, chocolate, pure fat). Similar for molds. So, independent of ...


29

There has been thorough scientific research done on this question. The main problem with Alton Brown's recommendation is that his room temperature "rest" is not long enough, since the scientific literature recommends 24-72 hours at room temperature, depending on acid concentration. The most common acids used in mayonnaise recipes are acetic acid (vinegar)...


29

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 over. A reduction in the hob temperature will also probably be necessary, and is in any case desirable - mercilessly boiling any vegetable is rarely a good thing....


29

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 hydroxide per pretzel. Second, the dough itself, for example protein of the dough, has acidic groups, such as amino acid side chains of lysine and tyrosine, ...


27

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 the FATTOM rule, you can already throw out F: you cannot remove the food. A is also not a good candidate - no food is naturally acidic enough, and while there ...


24

Short answer: tomato sauce is a non-Newtonian fluid. Another interesting link can be found here. Tomato sauce is an interesting creature. Think about ketchup. You try to shake some out and nothing happens. So you tap the bottle a little bit, still nothing. Tap it a little harder, and a little harder, and suddenly boom: a flood of ketchup. The "jumpiness" of ...


23

While Erlenmeyer flasks and graduated cylinders and food-science may not be able to save your leftovers, adding some cooked rice with fried egg (basically any fried rice recipe) will likely crowd out the saltiness of the base dish as well as extend your leftovers.


23

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


22

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. Philosophically, "natural" is the opposite of "artificial" or "man-made", but philosophy doesn't give us a limit of interaction under which something stays "natural. ...


21

My knowledge about the phenomenon itself is limited but I did see it mentioned in "Modernist Cuisine" (Nathan Myhrvold, p. 147) Many recipes for foie gras, liver, sweetbreads, and other offal include a soaking step before cooking. For kidneys, this step serves a very simple purpose: to remove any trace of the animal's bodily fluids. Recipes often call ...


18

Three factors influence how well cheese melts: The amount of moisture, The amount of fat, How it was set. The meltiest cheeses have a lot of moisture and fat and were set with rennet and not acid. Both moisture and fat leave space between the casein proteins that allows them to move. Otherwise they are packed together and don't flow as well. Aged cheeses ...


18

It's to prevent caking. See, for example, the second FAQ on Domino Sugar's website: It is not recommended to substitute confectioners sugar for granulated sugar. Since confectioners sugar has a much finer texture, and it contains a small percentage of cornstarch to prevent caking, substituting can give you unexpected results. Many shredded cheeses ...


17

In most cases, curdling occurs because proteins in the sauce are denatured and bind up with each other forming clumps. In cooking, proteins are denatured by excessive heat, acid, salt, or enzymes. Heat and acid are the usual culprits for me. For example, when making a hollandaise sauce- the egg yolks are slowly cooked to allow them to set. In most recipes ...


17

It definitely sounds like you had some water on whatever you stirred the oil with. When water droplets get in the oil, they sink since oil is lighter than water. Then the water droplets turn to steam because the boiling point of water is much below the boiling point of oil. At this point, the steam rapidly rises out of the oil and escapes with a noise and a ...


17

Anecdotally, the difference is in the spread. When tested, this is confirmed, along with it affecting the browning and the texture. When you start with cold dough, the outer edges of the cookie start to firm up before the middle has warmed up a lot. This means it will start crusting (and browning) before the fat in the middle starts to spread out. The ...


17

A couple things for clarification. First, some have speculated that the percentages do not refer to true percentages. Assuming this is UK labeling, as in the link rumtscho noted, the 96% per UK regulations must refer to the amount per 100 grams of the product by weight (from 96.2 grams of whole wheat). It turns out I was wrong about this in some cases. ...


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