Video

The Science of Sushi

Morihiro Onodera on examining the quality of sushi rice

“First what I do is I soak uncooked rice in water… . Sometime after 20 minutes it will start to break… . I take a sample to check to see if there are any cracks… . With good rice, which has less cracks or breaks, you’re able to feel the texture of each of the grains in your mouth, whereas with the lower quality rice you’re just going to get the stickiness [from the starch].”

Video

The Science of Sushi

Ole Mouritsen on the science of rice

“If you look inside the rice, you have little [starch] granules that are only three to eight microns, or three t0 eight thousandths of a millimeter, big… . When you cook the rice, you add some water and the water is absorbed by the rice and [the granules] swell. And the real secret behind the sushi rice is that when they swell, these little grains are not supposed to break.”

Video

The Science of Sushi

Ole Mouritsen on the history of sushi

“The history of sushi is really the history of preservation of food… . Throughout Asia, in particular in China and later in Japan, people discovered that you can ferment fish – that is, you can preserve fish – by taking fresh fish and putting it in layers of cooked rice… . After some time the fish changes texture, it changes taste, it changes odor, but it’s still edible and it’s nutritious. And maybe after half a year you could then pull out the fish and eat the fish. That is the original sushi.”

Video

The Science of Sushi
Featuring Dr. Ole Mouritsen and Morihiro Onodera
April 23, 2014

To kick off our 2014 public lecture series, Dr. Ole Mouritsen joined Chef Morihiro Onodera to satisfy our craving for sushi-related science. The duo explained everything from sushi’s early history to the starchy science of sushi rice. Check out some of the shorter highlights from the lecture…

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Cooking Wines & Cultured Meats
One ambitious cook aims to settle if wine quality affects wine dishes, while an equally ambitious researcher attempts to create a lab-grown hamburger. What we’re reading…

Cooking Wines & Cultured Meats

One ambitious cook aims to settle if wine quality affects wine dishes, while an equally ambitious researcher attempts to create a lab-grown hamburger. What we’re reading…

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Food, Wine, and Biochemistry
Wine and food pairing may seem like a refined art form, cultivated through trial and error to best suit the individual, but what if we told you there was also a science to it?
When it comes to wines, the word “tannin” is thrown around a lot. Tannins contribute to two wine-tasting characteristics: bitterness and astringency. A sip of wine is just the beginning of the biochemical process behind astringency. Read more…
Photo Credit:Kirti Poddar (22598380@N07/Flickr)

Food, Wine, and Biochemistry

Wine and food pairing may seem like a refined art form, cultivated through trial and error to best suit the individual, but what if we told you there was also a science to it?

When it comes to wines, the word “tannin” is thrown around a lot. Tannins contribute to two wine-tasting characteristics: bitterness and astringency. A sip of wine is just the beginning of the biochemical process behind astringency. Read more…

Photo Credit:Kirti Poddar (22598380@N07/Flickr)

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Pop Rocks and Carbonation
Some might say one of life’s little pleasures is eating candy. Those who have tried Pop Rocks, however, know that its sugary glory and dare-devilish allure warrant an entirely new adventure. Although it appears harmless, a handful of Pop Rocks candy will set off a fizzy explosion of sugar crystals and popping noises in your mouth.
Essentially, Pop Rocks are made of a typical hard candy sugar solution (sucrose, lactose, corn syrup and flavoring), with the addition of one important ingredient: highly-pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2). In the past few years, scientists have identified that taste receptor cells can actually detect and respond to carbonation. Read more…
Photo Credit: Jamie (jamiesrabbits/Flickr)

Pop Rocks and Carbonation

Some might say one of life’s little pleasures is eating candy. Those who have tried Pop Rocks, however, know that its sugary glory and dare-devilish allure warrant an entirely new adventure. Although it appears harmless, a handful of Pop Rocks candy will set off a fizzy explosion of sugar crystals and popping noises in your mouth.

Essentially, Pop Rocks are made of a typical hard candy sugar solution (sucrose, lactose, corn syrup and flavoring), with the addition of one important ingredient: highly-pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2). In the past few years, scientists have identified that taste receptor cells can actually detect and respond to carbonation. Read more…

Photo Credit: Jamie (jamiesrabbits/Flickr)

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Food Science Careers & Bad Apples
Kirsten Schimoler at Ben & Jerry’s talks about food science as a career and scientists figure out how to keep produce healthier. What we’re reading…

Food Science Careers & Bad Apples

Kirsten Schimoler at Ben & Jerry’s talks about food science as a career and scientists figure out how to keep produce healthier. What we’re reading…

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Flavor the Month: Watermelon
Nothing says “summer” quite like a big, juicy slice of watermelon. Even if you prefer it charred on the grill or blended into an icy agua fresca, watermelon is one of the best ways to beat the late-summer heat.
So what gives watermelon its refreshingly delicate flavor?
Turns out the answer is pretty complicated. Over the last few decades, scientists have identified dozens of flavor and aroma molecules that contribute to watermelon’s unique taste.
And here’s an interesting twist: a watermelon’s flavor has a lot to do with its color. Chow down on a yellow ‘Early Moonbeam,’ a pale ‘Cream of Saskatchewan,’ or a deep red ‘Crimson Sweet’ and you’ll likely notice different flavor profiles for each melon. Read more… 
Photo credit: David MacTavish/Hutchinson Farm

Flavor the Month: Watermelon

Nothing says “summer” quite like a big, juicy slice of watermelon. Even if you prefer it charred on the grill or blended into an icy agua fresca, watermelon is one of the best ways to beat the late-summer heat.

So what gives watermelon its refreshingly delicate flavor?

Turns out the answer is pretty complicated. Over the last few decades, scientists have identified dozens of flavor and aroma molecules that contribute to watermelon’s unique taste.

And here’s an interesting twist: a watermelon’s flavor has a lot to do with its color. Chow down on a yellow ‘Early Moonbeam,’ a pale ‘Cream of Saskatchewan,’ or a deep red ‘Crimson Sweet’ and you’ll likely notice different flavor profiles for each melon. Read more… 

Photo credit: David MacTavish/Hutchinson Farm

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Coffee Brewing Chemistry: Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew
Hot or cold, temperature won’t stop many from obtaining their caffeine fix. Depending on the weather and personal preferences, coffee drinkers at home can brew coffee by one of two ways: hot brew or cold brew. On the surface, the distinctions between the two methods seem self-explanatory. Read more…
Photo Credit: Nick Webb (nickwebb/Flickr)

Coffee Brewing Chemistry: Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew

Hot or cold, temperature won’t stop many from obtaining their caffeine fix. Depending on the weather and personal preferences, coffee drinkers at home can brew coffee by one of two ways: hot brew or cold brew. On the surface, the distinctions between the two methods seem self-explanatory. Read more…

Photo Credit: Nick Webb (nickwebb/Flickr)