Molecular Gastronomy != Food Science

My brother assures me that the title of the post is nerd for “Molecular Gastronomy Ain’t Food Science”. I hope this is true. He’s a very convincing liar.

The term molecular gastronomy has gone from niche jargon to a standard phrase in discussions of food. In many ways, molecular gastronomy is synonymous with modern cuisine. I find this ironic, because  it is anything but modern. Techniques have been honed and the array of available chemicals has expanded, but that is a difference in degree, not a difference in kind.

Two hundred yeas ago, if we wanted to make something like an aspic*, you would boil down pig skin to extract the gelatin. Today, we can buy a packet of powder from the store. The source of gelatin, be that a vat of boiled pig skin or a convenient sized packet), does not make the molecular processes that occur during the cooking different. Continue reading “Molecular Gastronomy != Food Science”