Chef Nerd here 🙂 I finished volume 1 of Modernistic Cuisine tonight. The final chapter was Chapter 6 which is The Physics of Food and Water. I came across several things that made me go hmmmmm!
Freezers are for storing food and not freezing it:
Long slow freezing of food causes a change in the structure. I always wondered why, when a steak with no blood on it, was put into a Ziplock and then into the freezer and then defrosted it would be soaked in blood? Well it seems that the long slow freeze causes large ice crystals to be formed in the meat over time. Then when it is thawed they leave holes in the meat and it loses twice as much fluid as if it had been frozen for 48 hours. So the next time I go to Costco for £50 of Sirloin I will vac pack them in Sous Vide bags then plunge them into a salt brined ice bath to quick freeze. Then into the freezer for storage (I will let you know how this turns out). Kind of funny is the quote referencing home freezing; “Unfortunately, the worst method is also the one most commonly used!”.
Different bubble sizes:
I always wondered why when boiling something that you had huge bursting bubbles in the water and then the small champagne style bubbles on the food. Well it appears that the huge bubbles are the water turning to steam on the bottom of the pan, where the heat is the highest and trying to burst to the surface. The little bubbles on the food is the air being forced out of the food you are boiling.
Stale bread is wet:
The reason bread goes stale is that it has absorbed moisture from the air, not dried out. The crust has absorbed moisture and becomes soft not crunchy. The bread has absorbed water and the starch has crystallized to make the bread hard, go figure.
Why do ice cubes in your freezer shrink in size over time:
And what is that doing to your expensive sirloin steak? Cold dry air can dehydrate your food in the freezer. Please see the previous post “Freezers are for storing food and not freezing it”. Wow I thought meat was ok in a freezer for up to a year, but man this is a bit of a kick in the man bits.
The last page was an epiphany:
The water where I live is hard and really sucks. Not only does it mark pans and glasses now I find out that it can also toughen vegetables cooked in it as the minerals in the water combine with the pectin in the cell walls to toughen them. OK, a crate of bottled water this weekend at Costco and maybe some more house white for the chef.
I felt bad about not having any pictures in this blog so here is a…
Rabbit with a pancake on his head.