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. . the new kitchen science

cooking equipment . . 7

What about doing the opposite, chopping firm food with a slicing knife? The chef's knife does a much better job because its
wedge shape is broader on the top of its cross-section than the
slicing knife. That extra weight gives the blade extra momentum
and therefore more power to help the cook chop through firm
foods like garlic and carrots.
Cross-Sectlcncl Views

slicing knife

chef's knife

Should I buy a wood or polyethylene cutting board?
The harder a cutting surface, the more quickly a knife dulls. Hard
surfaces include metal, marble, china, crockery, enamel, glass,
and most kitchen countertops. The softest, and
therefore the most desirable of the popular cutA knife beting surfaces, is wood. Though softwood does
comes duller
less harm to the knife's edge, hardwood is used
faster on
most often because it absorbs less moisture and
lasts longer.
boards than
Polyethylene boards are not as hard as, say,
wood ones
. metal and glass, but they are harder than wood.
Consequently, a knife becomes duller faster on
polyethylene boards than on wood ones. Even though polyethylene is easier to clean, most good cooks insist on wood cutting
boards because keeping a knife sharp is crucial.
Hard cutting surfaces are not the only anathema to a sharp
knife blade. A blade that nicks too many bones or scrapes hard

kitchenware in a dishwasher or on a drying rack also may not cut
the mustard.
Are hardwood spoons worth their higher price?
Hardwood spoons cost more than softwood spoons because they
are made of more expensive material and are more difficult to
carve. They absorb less bacteria and cooking flavors because their
wood is less porous. They are less likely to scorch, stain, crack, or
warp. They dry faster, are more attractive, and last more than
twice as long as softwood spoons.
Why is good heat distribution a virtue for a stove-top pan?
Unless heat can quickly spread through the entire bottom of a
pan, "hot" and "cold" spots will develop. The hot spots will be directly over the places where
the heat source comes in conTry This Hot-Spot
tact with the pan. Thus, if the
gas burner is starfish-shaped,
or if the configuration of the You can see with your own eyes
electric coil is a spiral, the hot whether a pan has hot spots. Moisten
spots will follow those pat- '/4 cup of sugor with ° couple of tablespoons of water. Spread the mixture
The problem of frying or uniformly on the Aat cooking surface of
braising in a pan that has hot a stainlesssteel pan (preferably thingauged). Thenturn the heat to a lowto
and cold spots is that you
medium setting and wait for the sugar
cannot cook the food properly
to startto caramelize. Ifyour pan has
- unless you do nothing else no hot spots, the sugar will caramelize
but constantly and thor- evenly. Ifit has hot spots, the sugor dioughly stir the contents (and rectlyover them will caramelize first,
when braising, you could not forming a patternthat maps your pan's
do that even if you so desired). hot spots.
The food over the hot spots
will overcook. Or, if you lower the heat to prevent scorching, the
food will take longer to cook or there will probably be insufficient
heat to cook the other portions of the food.


. . the new kitchen science

dining room table. Unfortunately, its beauty is only "skin deep:'
Enamelware (a misnomer) is a metal, not an enamel, pan. The
enamel is no more than a thin coating produced by fusing a powdered glass onto the metal (often cast-iron) pan in a kiln. This
sheer layer can chip easily if the cook accidentally bangs the pan
against the hard sink. Thermal shock is another hazard; a stovehot enamelware pot can shatter if the cook sets it in cold water.
How do nonstick snrfaces work?
Most nonstick kitchenware is made with chemically inert fluorocarbon plastic that is baked onto the cooking surfaces. These substances cover the pores and microscopic jagged peaks of the metal
(usually aluminum) and therefore deny food the opportunity to
latch on to something.
Nonstick coatings in effect season the' pan. The commercial
"seasoning" method produces a much slicker surface than the
home method-so slick that you can, if you want, fry foods with
little or no oil or butter.

cooking equipment . .


away, despite what some kitchenware ads and salespeople profess.
Generally, there is a correlation between how much you pay for a
pan and how long the nonstick surface will last.
How does an anodized aluminum pan compare with a nonstick
aluminum pan!
An anodized pan will likely be thicker gauged and better built but,
like a nonstick pan, can be easily scratched and impaired by a careless cook or dishwasher. Both pans help prevent food from sticking' though the nonstick pan performs that mission demonstrably
better. Unlike the nonstick variety, an anodized pan usually needs
to be seasoned occasionally.
The anodization process is based on the principle that an oxide
layer forms naturally on alwninum and that this oxide helps prevent food from sticking to the metal. The thicker the layer, the
more effective the defense. Manufacturers discovered that they
could artificially create a reasonably thick layer by means of electrolysis.

What are the pros and cons of nonstick coatings?
The nonstick surface is a blessing to people who must drastically
restrict their fat intake. However, for others, the main selling point
of the nonstick lining can turn out to be a drawback. When one
cooks without oil or fat, the taste buds and olfactory receptors are
deprived of rich flavors that are essential to superb dining.
An indisputable positive feature of a nonstick pan is that its
smooth surface can be washed free of food quickly and with minimum effort. However, should metal utensils and scouring pads be
used, they can easily scratch, making it more likely that food will
stick to the pan. A nonstick lining also discolors with misuse, or in
time, even with proper use. Too many of the nonstick coated pans
are too thin and thus-because of the resulting uneven heat distribution - are not ideal for most stove-top cooking methods.
Finally, the nonstick coating is not truly nonstick C'low-stick"
would be a better appellation), and its surface will eventually wear

Why are pans that are constructed with multi-ply bottoms so
highly touted!
Their bottoms have three layers: a middle ply (generally aluminum) sandwiched between two stainless steel ones. The purpose
of this design is to give the cook the best of both worlds by eliminating each metal's disadvantages.
The aluminum layer cannot become discolored, nor can it
color or flavor foods, because it is completely enclosed within the
stainless steel. The upper stainless steel layer does not have the hot
spots that are common in 100 percent stainless steel pots, because
by the time it reaches that stainless steel tier, the heat from the
burner has been more or less evenly diffused by the aluminum
(which is, unlike stainless steel, an excellent conductor of heat).
And because the pan's entire metal surface is stainless steel, it has
an attractive shiny finish and is easier to clean. Still another bonus



• the new kitchen science

Which is better, a gas or electric range?
A range (also called a stove-top) is the open cooking surface where
you fry, saute, and boil foods. Most good cooks prefer a gas over an
electric range for reasons described later.
Which gas is better for range cooking, propane or natural gas?
Natural gas is superior. Propane generates 10 to 20 percent fewer
BTUs than natural gas. This means, for instance, that propane will
take longer to boil a pot of water. And it more readily blackens the
bottoms of pots and pans because it does not burn as cleanly as
natural gas.
Propane has its place. It fuels nearly all outdoor gas grills. Ifyou
live in a country home that is not connected to a natural gas
pipeline-and you do not like the, alternative of cooking on an
electric range-then propane is the answer. You will need an outside propane tank and a range that can be converted to use propane.
What are the electric range options?
The two basic electric range categories are coil and cook-top.
The electric coil variety uses a spiral heating element that sits
exposed on top of the range. This device heats and responds to
temperature adjustments very slowly. It is difficult to clean. It is
more likely to malfunction than other range types. Avoid electriccoil ranges, even though they are the least expensive range.
An electric cook-top is a flat, smooth-surfaced range. The heating units lie hidden under the glass-ceramic panel. There are several electric cook-top subcategories: radiant, halogen, and induction.
What are the pros and cons of the three cook-top types?
You need a range that can be adjusted in small increments and can
respond qnickly to any heat adjustment. That is crucial when, for
instance, something starts to boil that shouldn't. The range must
also heat food reasonably fast.

cooking equipment • • 19
The original radiant cook-tops disappointingly botched the
above duties. Although ribbon-style radiant cook-tops do better,
they still do not perform those jobs as well as the halogen and induction cook-tops. And their cooking area remains hot long after
the pan is removed-a hazard.
Halogen cook-tops produce the cooking heat with a halogen
bulb. Like radiant cook-tops, they heat the cook-top, which heats
the pan, which heats the food. Because they become a great deal
hotter than a radiant cook-top, they are even more hazardous.
Induction cook-tops heat a pan directly by means of a magnetic field. They do not heat the glass-ceramic panel that lies between the pan and the magnetic induction device. When you remove a pan, the cook-tap's cooking area is not hot. What warmth
it has comes from the heat conducted from the hot pan. Magnetic
induction cook-tops heat and respond to temperature adjustments as fast as halogen and gas ranges. A major drawback is that
you can use ouly pots and pans that contain a metal (like iron or
steel) that is responsive to magnetic fields.
You can purchase a mixed-unit cook-top. It is built with a combination of radiant, halogen, and/or induction heating units.
Because of their flat surfaces, all cook-tops are easier to clean
than gas and electric-coil cook-tops. However, it is expensive to replace a glass-ceramic cook-top that has been broken by an accidentally dropped pan. Moreover, a pan has to be perfectly flat for
optimum cooking on the smooth cook-top. Gas burners-because they cook with flames-are more forgiving if the pan's bottom is dented or warped. Another advantage of gas is that you can
see the flames, which help you estimate without uncovering a pot
the intensity of the heat that is being applied to the food.
Overall, most good cooks cast their vote for a gas range. Those
who prefer electric ranges are partial to magnetic induction cooktops.
or electric oven broiler?
The electric oven wins hands down. Electricity is by far the best
energy source for the oven-broiler unit, for many reasons. An elec-


. . the new kitchen science

Which is better, a gas or electric range?
A range (also called a stove-top) is the open cooking surface where
you fry, saute, and boil foods. Most good cooks prefer a gas over an
electric range for reasons described later.
Which gas is better for range cooking, propane or natural gas?
Natural gas is superior. Propane generates 10 to 20 percent fewer
BTUs than natural gas. This means, for instance, that propane will
take longer to boil a pot of water. And it more readily blackens the
bottoms of pots and pans because it does not burn as cleanly as
natural gas.
Propane has its place. It fuels nearly all outdoor gas grills. If you
live in a country home that is not connected to a natural gas
pipeline-and you do not like the alternative of cooking on an
electric range-then propane is the answer. You will need an outside propane tank and a range that can be converted to use propane.
What are the electric range options?
The two basic electric range categories are coil and cook-top.
The electric coil variety uses a spiral heating element that sits
exposed on top of the range. This device heats and responds to
temperature adjustments very slowly. It is difficult to clean. It is
more likely to malfunction than other range types. Avoid electriccoil ranges, even though they are the least expensive range.
An electric cook-top is a flat, smooth-surfaced range. The heating units lie hidden under the glass-ceramic panel. There are several electric cook-top subcategories: radiant, halogen, and induction.
What are the pros and cons of the three cook-top types?
Youneed a range that can be adjusted in small increments and can
respond quickly to any heat adjustment. That is crucial when, for
instance, something starts to boil that shouldn't. The range must
also heat food reasonably fast.

cooking equipment • • 19

The origlnal radiant cook-tops disappointingly botched the
above duties. Although ribbon-style radiant cook-tops do better,
they still do not perform those jobs as well as the halogen and induction cook-tops. And their cooking area remains hot long after
the pan is removed-a hazard.
Halogen cook-tops produce the cooking heat with a halogen
bulb. Like radiant cook-tops, they heat the cook-top, which heats
the pan, which heats the food. Because they become a great deal
hotter than a radiant cook-top, they are even more hazardous.
Induction cook-tops heat a pan directly by means of a magnetic field. They do not heat the glass-ceramic panel that lies between the pan and the magnetic induction device. When you remove a pan, the cook-top's cooking area is not hot. What warmth
it has comes from the heat conducted from the hot pan. Magnetic
induction cook-tops heat and respond to temperature adjustments as fast as halogen and gas ranges. A major drawback is that
you can use only pots and pans that contain a metal (like iron or
steel) that is responsive to magnetic fields.
Youcan purchase a mixed-unit cook-top. It is built with a combination of radiant, halogen, and/or induction heating units.
Because of their flat surfaces, all cook-tops are easier to clean
than gas and electric-coil cook-tops. However,it is expensive to replace a glass-ceramic cook-top that has been broken by an accidentally dropped pan. Moreover, a pan has to be perfectly flat for
optimum cooking on the smooth cook-top. Gas burners-because they cook with flames-are more forgiving if the pan's bottom is dented or warped. Another advantage of gas is that you can
see the flames, which help you estimate without uncovering a pot
the intensity ofthe heat that is being applied to the food.
Overall, most good cooks cast their vote for a gas range. Those
who prefer electric ranges are partial to magnetic induction cooktops.
Which is better, a gas or electric oven broiler?
The electric oven wins hands down. Electricity is by far the best
energy source for the oven-broiler unit, for many reasons. An elec-




the new kitchen science

tric oven reaches the desired temperature more quickly, and if the
oven has cooled because the cook opened the door, it regains the
programmed temperature in less time. Generally, an electric oven
is more accurate (particularly at low temperature settings) and
maintains a relatively steady temperature. (Many gas ovens, unless
turned on full blast, fluctuate by 25°F or more around the programmed temperature in a roller-coaster fashion.) Many electric
ovens are self-cleaning because they can reach a very high temperature. Since the broiler is built into an electric oven, it is easier to
reach and can accommodate thicker foods. Finally, an electric
oven heatsthe kitchen less (a boon when the room is hot; not so
when it is cold).
Can I have the best of both worlds- a gas range and an electric
oven broiler?
Although virtually all single-unit range-oven-broiler systems
made for home use are either the all-gas or all-electric variety, you
can buy a gas range and electric oven-broiler unit separately. The
first snugly fits into a hole cut into your counter. The second is installed in a wall cabinet or under a counter (but not directly under
the separately installed range because of space limitations). Go for
the dual system the next time you remodel your kitchen.
Is a convection oven better than a traditional one?
Both the convection and traditional ovens depend on convection
heating. The salient difference between the two is that the convection oven uses the principle of convection more effectively. It has
a built-in electric fan that increases the circulation of hot air
molecules within the oven. This increase in air circulation is a
boon when you roast meat or bake breads and pastry (but has no
effect on covered foods). Since the oven temperature is uniform
throughout, the food's surface will be more eveuly cooked and
browned (though the outside of a meat does not develop as appealing a crusty texture). Another advantage of the convection
oven is that it reduces the required temperature and cooking time

cooking equipment • • 21

and therefore meat shrinks less. Furthermore, most meats do not
require basting, and so the cleanup chore is less bothersome because there is less splatter. Energy cost savings are often realized
because ofthe unit's efficiencyand generally more compact size.
comblnes the convection and
The combined oven makes sense if you are short on kitchen space.
Bear in mind that when a manufacturer builds a convection oven
system into a traditional oven, the oven's interior dimensions
a pressure cooker worthwhile?
For someone who lives at a high altitude or who cans and preserves foods, a pressure cooker is an asset. In Denver, for instance,
water boils at 203°Finstead of212°F, as it would, say,in San Diego.
Consequently, any given ingredient takes.longer to cook in Denver. The predicament of having a relatively low boiling point for
water can be solved with a pressure cooker, since it allows water to
reach a temperature ofup to about 250°F.
Water inside a pressure cooker boils at a high temperature because the atmospheric pressure within the pot is increased. The
ingredients also cook faster because the steam-most of which
not escape the pot-is a better heat conductor than air. And
th.n1« to the increased pressure within the pot, that steam more
aggressively penetrates the food.
The higher temperatures of pressure-cooking also benefit the
canner because the heat can more effectively destroy the
pathogenic microorganisms that contaminate the food. This canoc';tv;< particularly critical when canning low-acid ingredients.
For other cooks, a pressure cooker can shorten the cooking
process and thereby reduce fuel expenditure, compared with the
nonpressurized boiling method. From a gourmet's viewpoint,
however, the texture of pressure-cooked foods like meat still resembles that of ordinary boiled food.

On the other hand. . microwaved food is more likely to come out of the oven undercooked or overcooked. but with an electric deep-fat fryer there is too long a lag between the time you reset the thermostat and the time the oil reaches the desired temperature. the motor turns a belt. that you also want your machine to perform more arduous chores. . it is apt to balk momentarily. or the vessel holding the food. the oven walls. as a byproduct. rolls. for example. and other baked goods do not brown as well as they do in a traditional oven. When a bowl or plate becomes warm in a microwave oven. The microwave's heating element does not heat the circulating air. If the motor is not powerful enough. they reverse the polarity ofthe water and other liquid molecules. a pasty grind guarantees a heavy and compact. When the waves penetrate the food. you sometimes have to adjust the temperature quickly. A microwave oven also causes less splatter and hardly heats up the kitchen. however. Microwave cooking tends to give meats a dry. 33). .re the: pros and cons ofmicrowave cooking? . This problem doesn't occur when the motor's drive shaft directly rotates the cutting blade. mushy texture. as is the case with most of the better processors. called a "magnetron:' emits high-frequency electromagnetic waves (similar to radio waves). 23 How does a microwave oven work? A tube within the oven. or even permanently. like chopping meat. It's also harder to predict the proper cooking time. which means it won't develop the desirably flavorful crust caused by the Maillard (browuing) reaction (see p. This oscillation causes the molecules to vibrate and bounce against each other.lIli. when you process a heavy load. the new kitchen science Why are budget-priced food processors seldom a good value? If you are planning to use your food processor only for tasks that require relatively little power (such as slicing a cucumber or other soft vegetable). The conventional pan-on-a-flame method gives you reasonable flexibility. and therefore inferior. Most foods cook in one-quarter to one-half the time that other basic cooking methods require because the food cooks from within. the rest of the meat is too lumpy (underchopped) or too pasty (overchopped). Chances are. which turns the cutting-blade unit) The belts in inexpensive models tend to slip when you process a heavy load. These collisions create friction and. This radiation is scattered in the oven by a fanlike reflector (called the "stirrer"). A key reason that a budget-priced food processor is ill suited for chopping foods like meat is that it does not have enough horsepower. either it absorbed the heat from the cooking food or the surface of the vessel not touching the food was wet before the oven was turned on. in which case a budget model is no bargain. Neither does meat. These devices do work. Motor-balking and belt slippage are major mechanical deficiencies because they make it impossible to chop a batch of food uniformly. cooking equipment . especially for a large cut of meat-. then a budget-priced model may serve your purposes. . Why is an electric deep-fat fryer unsuitable? When deep-frying. Cooks face other problems as well.22 . bread. is that when some of the meat is properly chopped. . What inevitably happens in the case of beef. As good cooks know. Another reason for poor performance is that nearly all budgetpriced models are belt-driven. but their results pale compared to those of dedicated conventional and convection ovens. Baked goods rise higher in a microwave oven.. the heat that cooks or warms the food. Microwave cooking costs less because it requires about one-quarter the power that a traditional oven uses. Consequently.. meat loaf or hamburger patty.. billions oftimes a second. Speed is the name of the game in microwave cookery. Deep-frying with a pan on an electric range causes almost as much trouble as the electric pan method. Some microwave producers deal with this problem by adding convection fans and electrical heating elements. (In other words.

The other side of the coin is that you don't want to cook your pork to just 137°F because the meat's flavor would not develop' boneorpocketoffatl Since the center of the meat's thickest section is farthest away from the oven's heat source. 63). there are a host of variables that render the charts crude estimates at best. Pork can easil toughen and lose its succulence. the information garnered from such charts is better than no information at all. meats . Today's pigs are bred to be relativel lean owing to public demand for lower-fat food. Even if the thermometer gives the desired temperature for a thinner part of the meat. You can tell whether pork has been overcooked with the knifeand-fork test. If the meat does not cut easily.The center of a pork roast will be slightly pink. your educated finger will relegate the thermometer to the drawer. prolonged cooking causes dryness. why should 1test the thickest art of the meat and avoid letting the thermometer's point touch Does the color ofbeef indicate quality? White fat suggests that the animal was fed corn or other cereal grain. 'Are the minutes-per-pound charts for cooking meat fallible? Granted. 2SI) for more information on trichinosis. See chapter 14 (p. and furthermore. The more a meat cooks. (You can kill it by freezing the meat at a temperature below minus lOOF for several weeks. making it mushy when cooked-) Intelligent safeguarding is not the same as overreacting. The best way to learn the technique is empirically. we recomcooking it to an internal temperature of 150°F (a 13°Fsafety marginl. Consequently. its flesh becomes less flabby because it loses water and its muscle fibers contract. Yellow-tinged fat indicates that the steer was grass-fed. With less exterior and internal fat. Nonetheless. The skill of accurately measuring doneness of meat by its springiness cannot be taught in words. Ai. and because the fat-to-water ratio is higher. the new kitchen science parts. The extra fat adds extra flavor.lfyou follow those directions. the firmer and more elastic it becomes. Placing the thermometer point in a pocket of fat.~?w do experienced cooks tell whether a meat is cooked simplyby t9uching it? These cooks are testing for resiliency. Is it easier to overcook pork today than 50 years ago? Pork used to be rather fatty. Bone is a better conductor of heat than meat. the loin-end chop has its adherents because it's more tender. and excess shrinkage owing to moisture loss and coagulating proteins. a steak surrounded by a pearly white layer of fat should be more tender-and expensive. at least during its final months. This creates two of the benefits mentioned earlier in the Q&A on ground chuck (see p. On the other hand. gives a lower reading than it would for the adjacent flesh. . it is the last part to cook. If you take your temperature reading next to a bone in the center of the meat. .it's overcooked. 65 For pork that is both rewarding and safe to eat. What is the needed cooking temperature to kill trichinosis in pork? Cooking the meat to an internal temperature of at least 137°F kill any trichinae present. Eventually. your meat is bound to be less palatable and nutritious. en using a meat thermometer. toughness. therefore. . the meat cooks. Better browning and le splattering result.i I' II II " i!1 II'I !I .64 . . by testing the resiliency of the meat each time you use a thermometer. Fat is not as good a heat conductor as meat. overcooking is less forgiving. which is what many cookbooks are doing when they recommend cooking pork to a temperature between 170° and ISS°F. the reading will be higher than it would be for center flesh farther from the bone. the thickest segment may not be done. but freezing alters the meat's cellular structure. less water will exud out of the meat into the frying pan.

Was USDA prime beefbetter a few decades ago? On the average. bacon was typically cured with dry salt-the slow. Department Agriculture were awarded the prime grade. hormone-infiltrated meat is comparatively flabby and insipid.5. category once encompassed 54 percent of the carcasses. many tritional authorities fear the effect of these natural or synthetic hormones on humans who eat the meat.S. that percentage jumped to 6. greenish. un_••• it best to fry bacon with medium heat rather than high? splatter and curl are two answers. bright. fresh flesh color.72 • . Moreover. yes. . . the meat closest to the bone has a distmct advantage. the new kitchen science nique gives the meat surface and meat drippings added texture. In the interest of saving time and money. some of the nitrate-modified iron content of the meat undergoes a chemical change that alters the ham's pigmentation. Today includes 68 percent of them. Why is the meat nearest the bone usually tastier? In a given cut of meat. the bacon oftoday tend to splatter more than that of In Grandpa's day. traditional way. almost all the processors today cure their products in brine. and color-and.level grade. USDAgooci Is meat still safe to eat if I forget to cut off the government grade inspection stamp? Yes. The hotter the heat. 73 and limits their use with others by setting minimum periods between the day the animal last receives the hormones and the day it is slaughtered. flavor. Why the controversy over using hormones to stimulate animal growth? Although it is incontrovertible that sex hormones like cnetnyistilbestrol (DES) can accelerate the growth of livestock. The increase is due to the inclusion of beef that prior to 1976 would have been given the tmrd. That intense heat negatively alters the ham's flavor. It is in the best position to absorb the savory flavors the bone-the same flavors that help enrich stocks.5 percent carcasses that were quality-inspected by the U. seals in internal juices. Consequently. and nutritive value. A more important reason concerns carcinogens. Even the USDA choice designation isn't what it used to be. yes. From a gourmet's point of view. the . When exposed to oxygen (or light). In the not too distant past. The ink used is a harmless vegetable dye. This liquid infuses the bacon. the more you convert the nitrate curing agents into nitrites. processors seldom reserve their best hams for their need-notrefrigerate products.'U'O. which are substances suspected of causing cancer. aroma. white fat. texture. USDA choice.which means that proximately one-third ofthe beefbeing sold today as would have been stamped before 1976 with the next classification. and fine flesh texture. 4. W nar zrves a slice ofham an iridescent sheen? The glistening. which is the number-one cause of grease splattering out of the pan onto the top of your erstwhile clean range. (USDA officials for ample marbling. a canned ham that requires refrigeration better than one that Generally.. somewhat rainbowlike color that sometimes emanates from the cut surface of a ham slice is a sign of oxidation and not necessarily of spoilage.'" government forbids giving growth hormones to some animals meats .) When the USDA lowered its grading standards in 1976. In order to sterilize a ham so that it can be stored at room temperature on a grocery shelf the processor must heat the ham to a very high temperature. in some instances.

cloudy. tripoly solution. gradually changes the hemoglobin from bright red to pink til ownish red and finally to grayish brown. along with other substances created by the de composition process. seafood • '81. pills provide an excellent early warning system because they are (lie perishable than the flesh of the fish and will develop an 11ft'(It before the flesh starts to acquire the telltale scent. the skin should be shining (not slimy). but not always. Why are gills an early warning system for decay? The gills are the respiratory organs located underneath the e like flaps behind the eye. waft through the air. This woul threaten the survival of the wild fish by modifying the geneti makeup of their offspring. When the fish is held horizontally by head and tail. Any exposed flesh should be firm Iustrous. It smells like a fresh sea breeze. When bacteria attack a dead fish. is generated b the deteriorating flesh. The mical additive tripolyphosphate (nicknamed "tripoly' in the de) is sometimes the culprit. A fresh. the dsection should not sag appreciably. lakes. If the fish is properly stored after it dies.80 . oes seafood in fish stores sometimes look slimy? issheenis usually caused by bacterial decay. or sunken. and should cling tenaciously to pone. not flabby or dull. and reo ent when pressed with the tip of the finger. if they exist. If scaled. pad sign if a raw fillet has yellowed along its edges? ally such a fillet is over the hill. the normally white flaIi~pigment in the fish flesh picks up a yellowish tint. Sulfur.though just as long as the wild one would have a blander taste and less firm texture. If the fish is gutted itshould be if dead for more than an hour). filling your nasal pas sages with odors reeking of ammonia. Are there negative consequences when farmed fish escape into the wild? Environmentalists are concerned that genetically manipulated fis species may (and sometimes do) escape into the oceans. What causes a "fishy" odor?· Bacteria are responsible. the fillet dually loses acidity. just-caught ocean fish does n have the "fishy" odor. should be securely ated. the oxygen in the air ill. Not to be confused with the fishy scent is the equally nauseati oil-and-kerosene odor that often emanates from fish that swam bustling harbors. and unavoidably. too. clear. The resulting chemical reaction retards the terloss that occurs naturally in protein tissue when a life form *. especially when it's used excesy by overzealous fishermen and seafood processors. an streams and breed with their wild counterparts. Scales. decreasing its water retention . the stomach cavity uld be free of excess residue. . and bulging and look alive rather than . When a fish is alive. blood is pumpe through the gills and absorbs oxygen from the water. As it lies in storage. Oxidation (lplays a role in the yellowing process. Jhe method is simple: The seafood is soaked for several hours a. some species that would normally take three years to rea mature length in the wild will do it in less than one year on a farm. the blood's hemoglobin undergoes a chemi process and turns bright red.Protein tissue loses water during the postdeath stage becau~e molecular structure contracts. (I\l:e the other major freshness tests for a whole fish? sshould be bright. The cultivated fish . Because of selective breeding and high-tech keep the gills bright red for a few hours. the new kitchen science Do farmed fish grow faster than their wild equivalents? Considerably so. th chemical trimethylamine is gradually released from the fles These molecules. During tha absorption process. Then overoxida11. making hatchlings less capable of sur viving in the highly competitive natural habitat.

there is often a discernible correlation between fat content and richness of flavor. y do freshwater fishes have more of those small. nor too firm. the center cut is usually just right. Not all river fishes oscillate their tails with equal vigor and intensity.) A good Illustration of the gastronomic effect of water temperature is the comparison between the flavorful fishes hooked or netted in Georges Bank off the New England coast and the species caught in the Caribbean Sea. such as tuna and a trout that maneuvers its course through a cascading.fishes are relatively bland. All well and good for a fish. The darker the flesh color of a particular spedes (or a give anatomical area of a particular fish). The tail section is tough by comparison. Shellfish from those sun-drenched shores. a fish has greater buoyancy in salt water. With rare exception (for example.84 • • the new kitchen science Is the difference between a fat and lean fish important to rondieters as well? Yes. (Note: Tropical waters are clearer than Temperate Zone waters simply hecause they have less suspended matter. Why do fishes from cooler waters generally taste better? As we mentioned in the' preceding Q&A's. they evolved a lighter. among other factors. but what about the millions Try This Fish-Steak Experiment of diners who dread choking on tiny. semitropical. the more flavorful the Vitamins and other nutrients in the flesh also tend to increase step with a fish's fat content. creating a richer food source for non-bottom-dwelling fishes. If you want your fish flesh to be as lean as possible. the higher the fat content is likely to be. Since a river fish must swim against the current just to remain stationary.not too flabby. how. 85 y do river fishes generally taste better than lake fishes? Exercise builds flavor into flesh. the gain in quantity of flavor does not begin to match the loss in flavor quality. . their eco-environment contains a greater abundance of plankton at the bottom of the food chain. Cooler-water fishes tend to have a higher fat content because.are usually gustatory delights. An angler should expect less flavor in a fish that lazily wends its way along the sillcy bottom of a river than. Which steaktastes better is the center cut of a fish perior to the tail cut? The meat from the center cut and has a moredesirable texture? usually has a higher fat content and therefore a richer flavor. In terms of texture. At a given latitude. white fishes are usually your best bet. the pompano). it obviously needs to expend more energy than a typical lake fish.and especially tropical. And any given fish will be leaner after it has spawned or experienced a food shortage. Though the tail's flesh has a more intense flavor because of the extra work the tail must do to propel the fish through the water. more delicate bone structure to compensate for the diminished buoyancy. ever. This added buoyancy allows a saltwater fish to have a heavier bone structure. When some of the oceangoing fishes made the switch to a freshwater home eons ago. thinner. cold mountain brook. because Temperate Zone waters are colder and mor turbulent than tropical ones. plankton and mineral particles ar more likely to remain suspended in the water. say. Fat content usually decreases in relation to the depth of a fish's living environment. the more fatty the fish. annoying nes than marine fishes do? Salt water contains a greater concentration of minerals (particulady salt) than does fresh water and therefore has a higher specific density. that dwell near the surface. Sauteor broil both and cross-taste. Thus. Generally. Moreover. spiny bones? Buya center-cut and a toil-cut fish steak of equal thickness and cutfrom the same fish. bottom-dwelling fishes like sole and cod are usually leaner than those. seafood • .

too. and is correctly cleaned and prepared. Is it safe to eat sushi? The flesh of healthy fish living in unpolluted ocean water is free 0 pathogenic bacterial contamination. Eventually. This is why the flesh of a deep-water. The mercury in these crustaceans is transfishing spoli ferred to the fishes that devour them. A fat-fleshed fish is better suited for grilling or roasting because of the extra oil it contains. Tahitians and Peruvians. Because mercury is difficult to expel from the body. The small amount of connective tissue in the flesh of a fish is more easily gelatinized by moist heat than the kind found in the flesh oflandlubbers. for example. if grilled or roasted. sharks. 300-pound tuna is less likely to be contaminated than that of a shore-hugging. many those sushi bars do not teem with customers during peak hours . This increases the chances that the chef doesn't replenish his inventory on a daily basis. And to make matters worse. If such flesh comes from nonpoisonous fish. French Polynesians call their version of the first dish poisson cru (literally "raw fish"). y doesn't fish have to be cooked to tenderize it? Unlike red animal meat. Fish caught in coastal waters (particularly if near an urban tenter) are exposed to far more contaminants than deep-water denizens. Bottom-dwelling shellfish inone ofthe gest mercury waste that settles to the ocean mostpopul floor. Excess cooking (and it doesn't take much) is inappropriate because it toughens the muscle fibers unnecessarily without tendering any meaningful payment in re- turn. have for centuries marinated freshly caught and dressed fish in lemon or lime juice. These large fishes live longer than smaller fishes and thus eat more flesh in a lifetime. A large fish (and the people who eat it) may Few realize not be as fortunate if it lives near an industrial that it's ris metropolis. but it is ~orth it. calling their cooked specialties. a. Auto exhaust fumes and the rubbish people dump in the middle of the night can pollute the waters near a bridge. l'ora and ceviche. A lean-fleshed fish is best cooked in an oil or liquid. Its flesh will likely have a higher conto eat fish centration of toxic mercury than that of smaller caughtaff fishes. the muscle component that can make raw red meat relatively tough and dry. Our recommendation is to enjoy sushi only at a quality Japanese restaurant that is day and has a conscientious sushi chefwith impeccable standards. Unfortunately. and the seafood is always hygienically handled. then transa bridge ferred in turn to the fishes that eat them. eating sushi poses n more threat to your health than consuming a wholesome raw ter or clam gathered from uncontaminated waters. large fish living in coastal waters may become a repository of unsafe quantity of mercury before it's caught. . Here's why. a chemical process that gives the flesh pleasing firmness and opaque color. many Japanese sushi bars in America (and in Japan) serve less than perfectly fresh fish. the flesh of fish has meager connective tissue. it tends to dry out unless the flesh is frequently basted. pes it make a difference to a cookwhether the flesh of a fish is orlean? yes. very much so. 91 the middle of the week. is properly stored for not more than half a da or so. en why is fish cooked? Cooking helps destroy any existing pathogenic microorganisms and-e-lf not excessively done-develops and distributes flavor and coagulates the protein muscle fibers. 90' • • the new kitchen science fish caught off one of the most popular fishin& spots ~ a bridge. some of the mercury ~eaches the top of the food chain-fishes such as tuna. This coagulation can be accomplished with nonheat methods. respectively. and swordfish.seafood . 8-ounce porgy. You will pay more.

. The oxalic acid in choco late inhibits the digestive system's ability to absorb the calcium in chocolate milk. especially for growing chocolate children. .3 5. fuller-bodied and mouth-feel ofwhole milk.5 0.6 5. etc. r1">. This ability to abs loss of the essential mineral calcium is nutrithe calcium' tionally detrimental.0% NONFAT COMPONENTS Water Carbohydrates Protein Minerals. it lacks the richer. certain bacteria devour some of the lactose. Because its casein content is higher. rtine it into lactic acid. which is naturally sweeter. a parent should not let a baby get into the habit of fallin asleep with a milk bottle.0 3. If the milk weren' stretched with water and the baby's intake of the milk (and its ca sein) thereby reduced. the bottle crutch should can plain water. 107 Contents of Whole Milk Fat 3. The phrase "99 percent fat-free" on skim milk tainers has misled many a shopper into thinking that whole is 0 percent fat-free. the new kitchen science needs than a human baby-its growth rate is about twice that a its human counterpart. .5% NONFAT COMPONENTS Water Carbohydrates Protein Minerals. Fat 1.0 low-fat milk have the same nutrients as whole milk? W'W-IaJ milk has all the nutrients that whole milk contains except the fat removed by the dairy.5 percent fat -free milk and whole milk? There is none. The intestines cannot absorb this tive system'} calcium oxalate because it is insoluble. Although low-fat milk is a smart for those on low-fat diets. Subtotal Total 87.0 Fizuresfor a typical 99 percent fat -free skim milk or buttermilk are follows: Contents of 99 Percent Fat-Free Skim Milk Is adding chocolate to milk a good way to'entice children to drink milk? Though the chocolate flavoring is often an enticement. Speakin of sugar. stated in percentages. sweet milk become sour milk? 5 percent of fresh milk's content is lactose.0 100. a milk-sugar !'?llrbohy(lra:te that gives the liquid a slight but noticeable . calcium hibits the dig oxalate. Subtotal Total 89. Most of the whole milk sold in the States is 96 to 97 percent fat-free..1 3. The The oxolic ad oxalic acid chemically reacts with the calin chocolate' cium.. it is ull sound from a nutritionai standpoint. If a pare feels the child needs a nightcap. etc. Here is a breakdown of whole milk from a cow.w. This beverage (as well as sugary fruit juices) is laden with bacteria that can cause tooth decay. .. dairy products . ["""I. cow' milk is harder to digest than human milk.7 96.106 .7 99. it would put a strain on the baby's delicat digestive system..sweet the milk ages.6 0. producing a new compound. Result: The milk sours.5 100. Sugar is added to the cow's milk to make the infant's formul taste more like human milk. What is the difference between 96.

are also soy milk drinkers. Often soy milk is doctored with a sweete ing agent. other minerals. and fortifie with calcium. so does a paler butter. . such those from the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey). when it comes to uniformity in a particular sample. Since the recipes from virtually all serious cookbooks are based on the use of sweet butter. You must increase the volume of butter called for by one-third if you use whipped butter. Soy milk is a mi nomer. carbohydra (mainly the milk sugar lactose). White streaks or multiple shades of yellow indicate a defect in the cream ingredient.112 . One batch of butter may have I lh percent salt and another twice as much. A disadvantage of whipped butter is that almost all recipes are based upon standard butter measurements. because that product is approximately 25 percent air. Vegans-and other vegetarians who abs from dairy products . Because it is . Bu ter's calorie count is approximately 100 per tablespoon. Because the average American consumer wants does not contain any milk and does not even vague taste like genuine milk. for instance. Soy milk is popular with people who suff from lactose intolerance (soy milk has no lactose) or milk aller (it has no casein). Color is a quality indicator. its composition can differ from batch to batcb because factors such as the cow's breed and feed. or storage. Is butter color a reliable indicator of quality? Natural butter can vary from the palest of yellowsto a deep yello depending on the cow's breed and feed. 113 particularly rich in orange-yellow carotene. y is standard stickbutter better for cooking than whipped tter? Whipped butter is merely standard butter inflated with air. season. produ deeper yellowbutters. is salted butter a bane to cooks? The salt content of salted butter can vary from brand to brand. What is the composition ofbutter? Despite the efforts of the American dairy industry to standardiz butter. the position by weight percentages is as follows: Fat Moisture Salt Other Sweet Butter Salted Butter 810/0 18 o 810/0 16 2 1 1 Salt is used to extend storage life. The sitoation becomes even more complicated if you use tob butter. local legislation and dairy policy. when the grass they eat . butter manufacturers try to give their products year-round uniformity by using dyes such as annatto seed extract or carotene. production process. All cows produce their deepest-colored b1l ter in the springtime and early summer. . people who cook with salted butter create an extra complication for themselves (unless. and from region to region. dairy praduds the new kitchen science How is soy milk made? Pure soy milk is produced by straining the liquid of mashed beans cooked in water. "Other" comprises-in scending order of weight . and vitamins. Whipped butter's advantages lie beyond the stove. one's religious code dictates its use). can therefore be made just as rich in color as one from springtime or Jersey cow milk. of course. however.protein (mainly casein). A butter made with winter or Holstein cow milk. it is a headache to calculate the amount of salt you must subtract from a recipe that calls for a given quantity of sweet (unsalted) butter. infused with flavoring agents like almond. Certain breeds. If we take an across-the-board average. which cannot be measured as easilyand exactly as units of stick butter. Even if you stick with one brand and know its exact salt content. When winter comes. and minerals other than salt.

a thick. casein being the most important. and a medium-thin. it eliminates the risk of scorching even one molecule ofbutter. The more completely you remove the nonfats. you must separate the fat from the nonfat ingredients. a threat posed by the frequently recommended technique of melting it in a pan over a flame. • 115 cause you raise its smoke point from about 250° to 350°F when you remove the butter's protein.) The foamy upper layer is often erroneously referred to as an itnpurity-based scum. The butter then begins to separate into three distinct strata: a thin. M other is to use a 50-50 mixture of butter and vegetable oil. and carbohydrates and is thus similar to the bottom layer. If it is superclarified. from which the protein has been removed. This layer is principally made up of water. whipped butter spreads more readily on bread and melts more quickly when used as a topping for warm foods like waffles. whitish upper er of foam.' longer. especially. You can fry with clarified butter at a higher temperature be dairy products . each water particle is sealed in an envelope of fat. proteins. whi has a higher smoke point than pure butter. 117). whitish bottom layer ofwater infused '\\'ith carbohydrates and. How do I keep butter from scorching? Butter begins to scorch when the heat changes the character of the protein. Moreover. which is the component that scorches first. having a lower specific density than the bottom layer. These benefits are not won without a sacrifice: Clarifie butter lacks most of the characteristic buttery flavor that main! comes from one of the removed substances. the new kitchen science airier. Why does butter go rancid? Oxygen is the chief culprit. Clarified butter has a longer storage life because it is primarily the protein in the butter that makes butter vulnerable to spoilage. Consequently. It is prevented from dropping through the fat layer because the trapped air in the frothy structure literally keeps these particular nonfats floating on top of the fat layer. The protein-carbohydrate water solution that makes up the bottom layer contains no fat because the fat. Many otherwise intelligently written cookbooks detail unnecessarily burdensome procedures for doing this. Just because a butter goes rancid doesn't necessarily mean it h become unwholesome. butter's vulnerability to bacteri spoilage is lower than most people think because butter is a water in-oil emulsion. yellow middle layer of fat (your clarified utter).atare the principles of clarifying butter? To clarify butter. . has followed the immutable law of nature by rising. . By the time the bubbles . as is the fabled ghee of India. which lasts longer than room-temperature butter) and by tightly wrapping the butter (to minimize surface exposure to air)! Another method for fighting rancidity is to change the butter int clarified butter (see p. One way to help prevent or minimize this problem is to use clarified butter. the protein casein. You can slow down this chemical reaction by lower ing the temperature (frozen butter lasts longer than refrigerate butter. Our method is less complicated. you can store clarified butter at room temperature for months without ill efects. do not expect yo cooked foods to pick up the full. the more suitable your clarified butter will be for frying and storing. Off-tasting and -smelling compound are formed when oxygen comes in contact with the unsaturate fats in butter.proteins. and you can store. its emulsion breaks down. rich flavor ofwhole butter. Whether you emplo the clarified butter or the 50-50 method. What are the advantages of clarified butter? Clarified butter is superior to regular butter in two salient way You can fry with it at a higher temperature. When butter melts.114 . In fact. (Or you could say with equal logic that the protein-carbohydrate water solution has sunk. This means that the bacteria dispersed in the water and in the butter cannot spread freely.

Not so.118 . bring the cheese to room temperature and cut it into small pieces. Their high toxicity level can make you sick. or in your hom These harmful molds quickly multiply on the cheese surface a bore into the cheese with their threadlike filaments called hyphae A contaminating mold's hyphae penetrate considerably fast in a soft than a hard cheese. Different types of cheeses have different melting characteristics. Do not let the blade touch the tainted area. camembert. Since water is a medium conducive to the growth of spoilage-causing bacteria and mold. the cheese is a the hill because it is sensory confirmation that certain enzymes attacking countless amino acids. eat it plain or add your a fresh fruit. a process that spoils the dairy praduds 119 can I store a hard cheese longer than a soft cheese? Ahard cheese has a lower water content. Should I buy a cheese that has an ammonia scent? Many a cheesemonger has convinced uninformed customers the ammonia scent of a surface-ripened cheese such as camembe indicates that it has reached its peak of maturity and that Fren gourmets love eating their cheese in this condition. Cut away the afflicted area to a distance of 1 inch in all rections (including down) from the mold. A cook who continues to heat the sauce in the hope of melting the unsightly protein lumps is pursuing an impossible dream. If the cheese is dry-as. so it is wise to discard a soft cheese that sho any sign of contamination. and stringy. cut off and bring to room temperature only what you plan to eat and leave the remainder tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. This shield also helps keep the cheese and its storage mates from exchanging odors. Hyphae are not ways easy to spot. A cook's two primary goals therefore are to minimize the level of heat and the length bf time that will be necessary to melt a particular cheese. owing to less physical resistance a more moisture. They normally arrive airborne. You can usually save part of a hard cheese if the mold cove just a small surface area and there is no evidence of hyphae pen tration. further cooking only makes matters worse. which aids the mold's growth. the cheeses wonld n properly ripen or taste as good. To achieve the second should be finely grated. . a Parmesan. you want it to retain moisture for the sake of texture. On you can smell more than a trace of ammonia. on the truck. for instance. and other So cheeses. stirring all the time. Once any cheese is opened. sirable molds create the crust on brie. Processed cheeses like American cheese melt more quickly and easily than most natural cheeses because they have low melt- . using a thick-bottomed pan or double boiler. worse. does a cheese sometimes refuse to melt in a sauce? Chances are the cook heated the cheese at too high a temperature or for too long. there is no need to add sugar to preserve the fruit. Taking a cheese back and forth from refrigerator to dining room table robs it of moisture and hastens decay. landing uninvited on tli cheese at the factory. Once the damage has been done. If you have a piece of cheese too large to eat all at once. Such treatment separates the protein from the fat and makes it tough. To minimize moisture loss. rubbery. Is it safe to eat a cheese with mold? There are two types of cheese molds: desirable and harmful. Without these beneficial molds. The first goal is reached by keeping the heat source at a low setting and. keep it tightly wrapped in your refrigerator. Add the cheese just before you have finished cooking the sauce.and the veinlike mold inside Roquefort and other hi cheeses. at the store. a hard cheese like Cheddar (about 37 percent water content) will last much longer than cottage cheese (between 70 and 80 percent water content). however. Unless you plan to store your yogurt mixture for a days. for even heat distribution. the new kitchen science If you enjoy yogurt (as we do). Harmful molds are virtually everywhere and attack both so and hard cheeses.

unless the cream is stored for a prolonged period or at a temperature belowO°F. the size of its air pocket is increasing. though technically still edible. With the fir method. while its yolk and albumen (egg white) are gradually losing moisture to tile outside world through the porous shell.'l'1le American Heart Association's dietary guidelines once recommended eating a maximum of three eggs a week. 99 5 \v can I tell whether an unopened egg is raw or cooked? pin the egg on its side on a flat surface. The wobbling occurs because centrifugal force continuously changes the raw yolk's position inside tile egg and so keeps altering the egg's center of gravity. creating spaces. scoop. If your egg wobpies noticeably. With the second method. which is usually a must wh serving the product at home meals. An egg acquires buoyancy as it ages because. Place the suspect egg in at least several inches of water in a owl or pot. I tell whether a raw egg is fresh without breaking it? Xes. If it sinks but stands partially or fully erect on its tapered end. with effortless grace. Many ice cream parlors us the circular motion because slow melting is not their top priori Profits are. your egg is over the hill. the ice cream compacts. • the new kitchen science will not change their form or the ice cream's texture. poorer-valui product. The customer ends up with a faster melting. you are looking at a rotten egg. If your egg rotates moothly. creating a denser. If your egg sinks and lies on its side. horizontal motion.122 . it is hard-cooked. it is uncooked. the ice cream curls. more suitable for a garbage heap than a stomach. slower-mel . do eggs fare in the cholesterol department! . you have a fresh gg. Shonld I scoop ice cream with a circnlar. An employee would get fewer servings per tub if h pressed the scoop downward into the ice cream than if he dragge the scoop in an arc on the ice cream's surface. New research on 123 . as many ice cream parlors do? Not if you want to retard melting. If it floats.

the chicke embryo in a fertilized egg is so small that the amount of extra tritional value it offers is inconsequential. contrary to some food books. do not indic fertilization. though two. The relatively high fat content (32 percent) of yolks gives them a shorter freezer life than whites. concerned rare-abaut about eating undercooked chicken than underooked eggs. a week-old egg or one fresh from the coop? It depends. Are brown eggs more nutritious and flavorful than white eggs? No. You can freeze the yolks and whites separately or together. to 1 in 20. The AHA guidelines now permit a egg a day. (Research estimates range from 1 in containing ~. Since freezing deteriorates texture and flavor.000 Which is better.) What this tells us is that people salmonella is should be hundreds of times more. its yolk protein mol cules gradually lose their binding abilities. Therefore. For the record. some the blood can attach itself to the yolk. especially when you co sider that a yolk is packed with many essential nutrients and h only 75 calories. However. the egg nestled in a box in the supermarket display case is usually three to ten days old. . Eggshell color marketplace preference is regional: In Boston th. If the tract is bleeding. because freezing expands the contents of the eggs more than the shells' capacity. the new kitchen science eggs has changed that rule. Moreover. Another method of giving whole eggs superlongevity is storing them in carbon dioxide chambers. or emulsify a preparation. the recently laid egg is easier to separate because as an egg ages.eggs • . This means that fresh eggs are the first choice when frying or poaching because have a thicker egg white and firmer yolk. the membrane of its yolk weakens. 1 in 10. whereas in most other areas of 0 country the white is the top choice. Always shell the eggs first. freeze eggs only when necessary. The blood spots are har less blemishes and. This is not a high number. An egg yolk contains 1'12 grams of cholesterol-raisin saturated fat. On the other hand. Result: cracked ~ggs. the chance of an egg containing salmonella is rare-about 1 in 10. 125 124 . thicken. as an egg gets older. an egg fresh from the coop has more flavor and nutritional value. at are the chances ofbeing exposed to salmonella from a Wegg? Salmonella is a food-borne bacterium that can make people seri()J1sly sick with intestinal flu-like symptoms. brown egg is more popular. A week-old egg is preferable for preparing a har cooked egg because the shell is easier to peel. Though some chickens that lay brown eggs produce more n« tritious and flavorful eggs than the breeds that lay white eggs. Those odds are trifling compared to the odds The chance of a store-bought chicken being infected with salafan egg monella. opposite is true just as often.000. tli Are fertilized eggs more nutritious than unfertilized eggs? Many health food store~ make this claim. Why do some egg yolks have blood spots? A yolk membrane can pick up blood spots as it travels down hen's reproductive tract before the surrounding albumen (e white) and shell have been formed. fresher eggs are also superior when you use the yolk to leaven. . qualities that incre the eventual compactness and attractiveness of the cooked auld raw eggs be frozen in their shells? No. Thanks to improved farming and storage procedures. Finally. Some firms extend the storage life of their eggs to six months by coating the shells with a light mineral oil that helps keep harmful bacteria out and beneficial moisture and carbon dioxide in.or threeeek-old eggs are not rare in municipalities that do not require pen dating. shell color is not an indi cator of quality. .

keep eggs in thei original carton (if it's clean) at the rear of the coldest shelf. the yolk does not float up as high when the is stored small end down. Thus. is about 30oP. rather than storage life. and the yolk is mor perishable than the albumen (egg white). The egg yolk is lighter an the albumen and will rise to its surface unless restrained. These are the two cords attached 11 either side of the yolk designed to keep the yolk anchored in the center of the egg. Moreover. . Typiy. whereas the pocket i# eggA is flatter because it is already above the liquid's surface. T gaseous space is potentially the egg's most prolific breeding en ronment for airborne pathogenic bacteria. they whip to their maximum volume at room temperature. 127 reason the separation between the yolk and air pocket is in the egg B pocket is because the air pocket arches upward (as oes any air bubble rising through a liquid). are refrigerated eggs easier to separate than roomperature ones? The viscosity of the egg white (albumen) and the surface tension of the yolk membrane are noticeably greater at refrigerator temerature than at room temperature. The second reason is more complicated.. One reason is that the surface tension of the albumen is lower at room than at refrigerator temperature. hich nature does with chalazas. Upright storage helps retard spoilage because it maximizes tit distance between the yolk and the egg's natural air pocket. This means that the albumen .' in egg-storing terminology.eggs 126 . A foam is a superstructure of bubbles. the eggs are repeatedly expose to temperatures well above the ideal. just above an egg's 29°P freezing point. as shown by egg A in the illustratio above. • the new kitchen science Why were many older refrigerator models designed with the storage compartment on the swinging door? Accessibility. means with the larger en up (tapered end down). The liquid cannot pure water because its surface tension is so great that it's diffi- . A 8 Why shonld eggs be stored upright? "Upright. The door is one of t least sensible locations because the eggs are jarred each time yo open and shut the door. small air pockets can be more easily incorporated into the albumen to form a foam. The cord connecting the yolk to the smaller end is tauter than the cord tethering the yolk to the larger end of egg. That perfect temperature. Each bubble is made up of a pocket of gas trapped inside a spherical film of liquid. It stands to reason there fore that you must keep the yolk as far away as possible from air pocket. more readily slide away from the yolk-and that the yolk embrane will be less likely to rupture during the separation rocess when the cook moves the egg back and forth between the alves of the eggshell. the gas is air (as is the case with soap bubbles and beaten egg or carbon dioxide (think of a beer head). Whether or not you have such a refrigerator. is the prime reason for egg compartment's traditional location. it saves you the transferring chore-and helps shield egg from refrigerator odors. hat temperature should egg whites be whipped? Although egg whites separate from yolks better at refrigerator temperature (see previous Q&A). b the way. . Consequently. Nd only does this technique minimize jarring and temperature flue tuation.

As a bonus. a bad habit common among short-order chefs. . low heat What makes a fried egg rubbery! Frying an egg at too high a temperature or for too long causes protein in egg whites to.132 eggs • • the new kitchen science precipitates the setting of the egg whites before they have had chance to spread too far in the simmering water.Ruffier ~dvantage of enriching your scrambled eggs? preparation. giving the scrampled eggs a lighter texture. ting at about 14S0F). Technically. In cooked ones. we a Salt also helps speed the coagulation process. y does the portion ofthe egg whit~ that lies nearest the egg yolk more slowly than the outer portion? An obvious reason is that it is thicker. People who do not like runny yolks should tum the eggs "ove easy" rather than wait for the yolks to firm as they cook "sunn side up. Another one is that it doesn't come in direct contact with the pan. The inner albumen layer cogulates at a temperature about SOF higher than does the second type of albumen. sure to cook over very low heat and keep the lid closed (no peek ing) to prevent steam from escaping. You don't notice it at the beginning of the cooking process because at that stage it is transarent. use cream. beat two eggs without adding the liquid.the portion ofthe egg white at lies nearest the egg yolk sits on top of the second type of albuI)len. The hue of a "sunny-side up" yolk is a bright orange-yello However. we advise cooking it slowly as possible over low heat-and removing it from the as soon as it is done. beat two eggs with 2 teospoons of cream (or milk or water). you must use a sparing amount as slowly lest you overpower the egg's flavor. A proper ratio is about I teaspoon of vinIf you wanI egar (or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice) per quart perfect frill ofwater. it is impossible to fry an egg in the classicsense simultaneously have a perfectly cooked egg white and a firm yo If you cook the yolk to its just-right coagulation temperatur (about IS6°F)." Or you could braise the eggs by covering the pan with lid . eet as water and has the extra Which method produces lighter. The eggs will also be moister beTry This Scrombled cause the cooked protein molEgg Experiment cules can bind with more water molecules than can un. vise cooki but like vinegar. For even better results. your egg will absorb less fat. Vinegar als blanches the eggwhites.This liquid steams as your egg mixture cooks. If you want a perfect fried egg. Cook each botch separately. however. 133 naturally coats the egg yolk membrane. Ydo I add a liquld to scrambled eggs? your cooked scrambled eggs will be fluffier and more tender if you beat I or 2 teaspoons of water per egg into the raw eggs. egg. when the cook uses other than quality vinegar or pours the vinegar into the pan with a hea hand.bowl B. a thin milky-white layer appears on the top of the yolk' you use any of the three egg-cooking methods mentioned in t previous paragraph. These bene fits are overshadowed. you will overcook the egg white (which begins set. A third reason is less known. Milk produces the same ef.In bowl A. enhancing their snowy luster. coagulate excessively and lose intern moisture. What you see is a thin layer of albumen . . the One that constitutes the entire bottom layer of the cooking egg. A pinch or possible a two of salt per quart of water should suffice.the trapped steam hastens the cooking of the yolk tops.

which has a high cellulose content. grapefruit. the decomposition process generates h which accelerates the rate of microbial and enzymatic dama and moisture loss withers the food. for example).) Apples like Red or Golden Delicious are unsuitable for cooking because. How important is cellulose content in determining how long to cook a vegetable? Cellulose. the cellulose. In addition. they become mushy and lose their shape. pears. the new kitchen science Are there edible plants that humans do not eat? We eat only a tiny fraction of the estimated tens of thousands edible plants on earth. which in the eyes of some customers isa sign quality. not yours. it does gi food an off-flavor. (The endosperm. Unlike white rice. they do not contain enough acid to balance the sugar often added by the cook. plums. York Imperial. . know that it is an impossi chore to wash off all the wax.the white inside part of the cereal grain .has far less cellulose. lacking sufficient cellulose. Heat in conjunction with moisture also tenderizes by dissolving some of the pectic substances that help glue the individual cell walls tightly together. . cucumbers. brown rice still retains the outer bran layer. Suitable solutions include cooking the stems and tips separately or cooking them together but giving the stems a head start. and therefore the vegetable. Even if food industry spokesperso are correct in their claim that the wax is safe to eat. !!'Wnecessary is moisture for the softening of cellulose? The need for moisture can be demonstrated by trying to cook a beet with dry heat (baking. The difference in cellulose content is the principal reason brown rice has to be cooked approximately twice as long as white rice to make it palatable and digestible. Informed shoppers. You can also shorten the cooking time required for the stems by paring them (a siguificant percentage ofthe cellulose resides on or near the surface) or by cutting the stem into smaller pieces. well as minimizing costly weight loss. Rome Beauty.!feat destroys the osmotic capability of the cells and therefore diminishes the food's structural firmness. 137 Some foods present a special problem. The beet does not contain enough moisture to soften its high cellulose content. which has so little cellulose and so much moisture that its structure will collapse if overbaked. orange lemons.136 . Near the other end of the cellulose-and-moisture spectrum is a tomato. the firmer the raw vegetable will likely be. A coating wax helps seal in moisture and therefore extends storage life. The food industry does it for its own sake. bell peppers. and growing: Apples. cides that may have been sprayed on the fruit before it was w The list of fruits and vegetables that are falling victim to the Vol treatment is lengthy. for instance) rather than with moist heat (simmering. unprocessed fruits and vegetables tend to deteriorate so quickly? Attack by microorganisms is one obvious answer. Wheat. To tende . fruits and vegetables . the cook generally combination ofheat and moisture. however. It also gives the fruit or ve etable a sheen. a complex carbohydrate. Why do most raw. rice. cantaloupes. The higher its proportioni the cells. The stems have a higher cellulose content than the tips and will therefore still be undercooked by the time the tops are tender unless remedial action is taken. In addition. and corn account for over percent of the volume humans consume. and crab apples are among those that cook well. It also thwarts your efforts to scrub off pe . Consider broccoli and asparagus. Why are produce items like apples and cucumbers sometimes coated with wax? . Deterioratio also occurs because of enzymatic action within the fruit or ve etable. yams are among the casualties. . at other roles do heat and moisture play in tenderizing etables? . is the chief constituent cell walls of vegetables (and fruits).

Cook batch A in a lidded saucepan (to trap the acid in the pan). By cooking without a lid. the vegetables better retain their vivid green (see the next Q&A). Ali kali has the opposite effect of acid: It shortens cooking time. Interestingly. A covered pot also cooks at a higher temperature than alidless one. at causes a green vegetable to turn muddy green when cooked? i\. Cook batch Bin an uncovered saucepan. need no water because the moisture tha clings to the leaves after you have washed them is ample for ill first minute of cooking. which helps explain wh beans cooked in a casserole made with tomatoes require 10 to 2 percent more cooking time than a nonacidic baked bean dish.i .peas. Buy a standard-size package of frozen you minimize the discolora.cid. In combination. They become mild-flavored. Does prolonged cooking bring out the flavor of either cabbage or turnips? Too many homes reek unnecessarily with objectionable odors be cause the cook has been misled by a recipe or by grandmotherl advice into believing vegetables like cabbage and turnips shoul be cooked for a long time.138 fruits and vegetables • • the new kitchen science Does acid affect the cooking time ofvegetables? Acid slows down the cooking process. cooking method. What other factors determine the cooking time ofvegetables? Dozens of other variables enter the equation. Call pates into the air). Defrostit. Another way to avoid the disagreeable qualities sometimes as. Without a lid. Each ofthese • • 139 steps encourages the leaching out of unwanted flavor and odor compounds into the water. Th less water you use. . When tou cover a pot. so the vegetable cooks more quickly.of lemon juice). including individu preference. is the villain. don't overcook such vegetables. the chemical compound responsible for giving green fruits and vegetables (as well as the leaves of the forest) Try This Acid-Discoloration their characteristic pigmentaExperiment tion. Which botch has a brighter. sociated with cabbages and turnips is to buy them young an fresh. for the same reason mentioned in the previous Q&A. coupled with heat. more appealing hue? A strong vinegar-based salad dressing can tum green salad vegetables. degree of heat. the fewer vitamins you lose. As the leaves cook. you reduce the number of nutrients that dissipate into the air. piece size. you can still mini the potent taste and smell. Many leafy vegeta bles. like green peppers. cooking onions and garlic for prolonged periods (just as long as you don't burn them) has an opposite effect. Cut them into small pieces and them in an uncovered pot with plenty ofwater. tbetter to boil a vegetable covered or uncovered? Whether or not you use a cover depends on your priorities. and nutrients ~ave less time to leach out of the food. However. and for the sake 0 texture. As these vegetables mature or spend time in storage. a muddy green in a matter of a half-hour or so. If you are forced to use some that a overmature or have been stored for a while. cooking in a gen erous pot ofwater is called for when you want to reduce the stroIl flavors of some vegetables. including spinach. Quid raw green salad vegeIlles be added to salad just fore serving time? them batch A and batch B. Dividethe peas into two equal-portioned batches. and atmos pheric pressure-factors that we discuss elsewhere in this book. Is it advisable to cook vegetables in as little water as possible? Water can leach water-soluble vitamins (B and C) out of food. Flavor the peas with tion caused by acid (which is 1/2teaspoon of vinegor (or 1 teaspoon generally volatile and dissi. For your nose's sake. they contribut enough water of their own for the pot. they denature chlorophyll. Solution: Add the acidulous dressing just before serving. thei flavor and odor strengthen.

a brownish-yellow tdevelops. Besides adding a colorful excitement to foods. 'Another technique is to cook the food. The ca bage is red to begin with because of its high acid content. and therefore neutralizes the discoloring acid in the vegetable cooking water. gives the food a mushy texture. When} is cooked for more than a brief period. This is natural. Is the color of an orange an unreliable indicator of ripeness? A series of cold nights can change the color of a ripe orange from orange to green. it will have developed a light-to-medium brown discolration. some naturally green rinds are orange because they ve been dyed orange. What causes red cabbage to turn bluish purple when cooked? The principal pigment in red cabbage is the chemical compoun anthocyanin. Some of the carotem overdose is deposited in the fatty tissue beneath the skin. buy young. If you've ever seen a vegetarian with a yellow skin tone. a mushroom be too white? e common supermarket-variety mushroom is bright white )Vhen harvested.Morc. When this chemical comound is subjected to prolonged heat or alkali. 141 . the alkali in the pot becomes predominant and turns th cabbage bluish purple. fresh . Several countermeasures can help keep your vegetables white. and therefore the more the cabbage discolors. and foremost.fruits and vegetables • . It is often caused by consu ing vast amounts of carrots or carrot juice. That's why you seldom see hot avocado dishes on menus or canned avocado products on supermarket shelves. Also. the new kitchen science Why do green vegetables cooked with baking soda have a brighter color? Baking soda helps maintain the vivid green because it is an alk . as well as that ofsalsify and cauliflower. avocados undergo a chemical reaction that produces unwanted. t causes boiled white onions or potatoes to turn yellow? The whiteness ofthese vegetables. and ascorbic acid in the lemon juice slows down that process. This type of preserving agent can cause allergic reactions.) should I not cook avocados? When heated. What gives carrots and other yellow-orange fruits and vegetables their color? Carotene. because heat inactivates ili. bitter-tasting compounds. That would indicate that the mushroom was treated with the chemical sodium bisulfite to retard discoloration. What is not natural is for the mushroom n have a bright lily-white hue at this stage.e enzymes in the food that would otherwise bring about discoloration in the presence of oxygen.unlike the other major fruit and vegetab pigments-is a valuable nutrient. When enough of the acid has dissi pated. chemical compound. the greater its alkll linity. The harder the water. don't cook avocados. for the reason we explain in the next Q&A. . (However.m'er. It destroys vitamins (particularly vitamin and thiamin) and. do not overcook them. 140 . However. y does lemon juice prevent discoloration of avocado and potato s? The discoloration of the exposed flesh is largely caused by oxidation. by softening the hemicelluloses of the veg etable's cell walls." can be converted by your body into vitamin A. he m be suffering from hypercarotenum. A series of warm nights can change color of an unpicked unripe orange from green to orange. By the time it reaches the produce bin or salad bar table. we strongly advise against nsing bakin soda for this purpose. Acid turns it red. is due to the pigment flavone. Because it is a provitamin A. and alkali a bluish purple.much of its acid escap into the air with the steam.

fruits and vegetables . especially at room Botulism eastemperature. these a gans tend to be more sensitive to flavors and scents of foods. because boiling increases the chances of onion-pop by bouncing the bulb around the pot.. does the inside of a whole onion sometimes pop out when ilit? 'The force that pushes the inside section of the onion out through one of the polar openings is pent-up steam. give the steam one or more extra escape routes by piercing the onion with a thin skewer before you add it to the water or stew. producing a bitter flavor. ily develops in steep it in oil and keep it refrigerated. The more of these acids you add. at causes garlic to become bitter during storage? Moisture hastens sprouting. container t shonld I look for when buying garlic? heads if they have started to sprout or have exterior soft The fresher the garlic. ~atever technique you employ. simmer the onion. but do not add so much that the flavor the whitener becomes undesirably obvious. That's why the "crier" is more apt to be a person who cuts onions only occasionally. If shorten the sauteing time of the onions to accommodate the g lie. shallots. y will certainly burn the garlic. and cool (but not refrigerated) place. also captures more of the desirable onion essences that wo otherwise dissipate into the air. and other dan members do more th add flavor of their own. It also chemically converts some' the onion molecules into new. Why is the onion family so widely used in cooking? Onions.. the whiter yo boiled vegetables will be. the keener the flavor and the less bitany internal green sprouting will be. the more frequently you cut onions. When a recipe c:alls for sauteing both onions and garlic. t adding a touch of cream of tartar or lemon juice to help neutraliz its alkalinity. It wafts upward and chemically r acts with the water in your eyes to form sulfuric acid. Why are onions cooked in butter more flavorful than those cooke in water? The butter not only contributes its own distinct flavor but lets y cook at a temperature higherthan 212°F. What brings tears to my eyes when I chop onions? When you chop or slice an onion. . However. Butter. X-shaped incision into the root end. Keep your unpeeled garlic In a dry. Make sure garlic stared you periodically open the jar. Buy large garlic heads (relto their variety) because you will have fewer garlic doves to . Remember: Botulism easily develops in garlic stored in a sealed container. Another popular countermeasure is to make a l!4-inch-deep. your onions will be insufficiently cooked. sweet-tasting ones.142 . If your pipes carry hard water. Discard the conin a sealed tents within ten days. bein fat. the greater your tolerance. the new kitchen science vegetables in good condition. you release a gas. If you store peeled garlic in a jar. Your bod reacts defensively: Tears are produced to expel the irritant. they can irritate your taste buds and olfactoreceptors •. unsweet. oniony flavor. scallions. • 143 Sweet onions cause fewer tears than standard cooking onions. well-ventilated. plus if kept within bounds because when slightly teased. giving your dish raw. the lachrym tor agent propanethiol S-oxide. which imparts a bitter flavor during both the storage and cooking periods. Some people are innately more susceptible to the tear-producing chemical reaction than others. Their higher moisture and sugar content lessens the quantity of tear-causing gas that is formed. Just as their volatile oils can irritate yo eyes. why is it essential to add the garlic near the end of the sauteing process? If you saute the garlic for as long as is required for the onions. To avoid this.This increase helps eXI? some of the raw onion vapors.

These granules.mealy rather than soggy-because more of its moisture can escape. Should green-tinged potatoes be left in the supermarket's produce? Yes. at causes a "hollow heart" to form inside some baking tatoes? The empty space in the center of a baking potato is usually the result of a potato growing too fast. prec potatoes are shipped and stored frozen. they will absorb less of the cooking water. The tainted areas will taste bitter and contain at least SOlD level of toxic solanine-not enough to kill you. normal-sized American French frie their product would be either too brown on the outside or under. your stored garlic supply will not dry out fast. so they will become fluffier and lighter-textured when baked. as well as less fruits and vegetables • . That extra sugar means that French fries brown faster when cooked. we consume fewer calories. 145 mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing. The green surface blemishes are caused by overexposure t light. leaving a hollow. the new kitchen science peel per-volume of chopped garlic and chopping will be easie Even more important. cooked on the inside. u T . Iffast-food establishmen served the 50 . When less of the sa}lce is absorbed. Why shouldn't a raw whole potato be stored in the refrigerator? The cold environment ~f the refrigerator encourages excessi conversion of the potato's starch into sugar. Otherwise. should potatoes be pierced before they are baked? 'A. but enought make you think twice about eating ol}e of these tainted taters Potato sprouts contain this same chemical-avoid them.percent thicker. starchier. Not to be confused with hollow heart is internal blackish rot or fungus growth. This chemical proc makes the tuber uncharacteristically sweet. the sauce has not as much opportunity to overpower the more delicate flavor of the potatoes. because it is not so thoroughly absorbed. new potatoes will be less likely to break when the salad is mixed and served. which should be completely removed. Therefore. Even people who prefer soggy-textured baked potatoes should pierce the potato deeply at least in one spot. This will save you money and reward you with a more entic ing garlic aroma and flavor. are Idaho and other mature potatoes better than new otatoes for baking and frying? Mature potatoes are drier. . And since mature potatoes contain less water. the trapped steam can explode the potato. and mealier than new potatoes.144 . If you buy elephant-type garlic because you do not relish strong garlic flavor. which have become gummy during the cooking process. Why are the McDonald's and Burger King French fried potatoes thinner than the norm? More than consumer preference is involved. consider buying regular garlic and using 1 of it. Just as important. much of the starch in vegetables converts to sugar. Why are new potatoes better than Idaho and other mature potatoes for making potato salad? Because new potatoes have more moisture and a lower starch tent. Since the raw. is it imperative not to overcook or overwork mashed tatoes? Both excesses rupture many of the potato's cell walls. pierced baked potato will have a better texture. there will be less splatter when they are fried in hot oil. The cells in the center of the potato move outward. allowing many starch granules to escape from their cellular prison.

and peaches sometime have mealy es? Such fruit was likelyharvested before ripening and stored in a cold Warehouse environment for weeks. a sticky layer latinized starch will develop on the exposed flesh soon after potatoes are put in the hot oil.Your potatoes will be airier if you mash them in ave. be more tender. The advantage of pan-frying potatoes a fairly high heat is to minimize the development of a sticky of starch on the surface of the potatoes. This substance can the individual potato pieces to stick to the pan and break when you try to dislodge them. Why should I soak potatoes before French-frying them? If the surfaces of the cut potatoes are too dry. but the corn . For best results. In any event. refrigerte it as soon as it enters your kitchen. ot only can they suit their individual preferences. y should com be eaten as soon as possible after it is picked? chemical reaction converts the sugar in the corn into starchd the longer the corn is off the stalk. That is why it's generally a ood idea to let your guests salt their corn on the cob at the table. its internal moisture converts to eam. them dry with paper toweling-you don't want any wa droplets clinging to the potato surface lest the hot oil spla when you lower the pieces into the pan. For this eason. is boiling. including calcium. unless you intend to cook the corn immediately. soak the freshly cut p tatoes for several minutes in ice-cold water. Promptly add the pot toes to the preheated oil before their surfaces lose their . rather than a fl consistency.146 • . of corn kernels during cooking. tical rather than stirring motion-and if you don't perform th task until just before serving time. Heat also affects the conversion process. ing moisture. the new kitchen science give your finished mashed potatoes a pasty. Whatever you do. fruits and vegetables • • 147 do fruits like apples. does popcorn pop? the popcorn kernel is heated. It contains traces of other ubstances. the toughening effect of table salt is not as proounced today as in decades gone by. This step removes some of the surface starch. an element that can toughen the . which explains the rationale for this seemiIlgiysnobbish recipe: Don't pick the corn until a pot ofwater. not ore than a minute's run from the cornfield. our shouldn't I boil com in salted water? able salt is not pure sodium chloride. the greater the conversion. This can cause the potatoes to sti to each other and the pan. Why are leftover potatoes better than fresh ones for making pan-fried potatoes? You can't cook raw potatoes at as high a temperature as you previously cooked potatoes. Modern salt-processing chniques remove much of the calcium before the product eaches the supermarket shelf. don't try to mash potatoes in a food proce sor. pears. At . If you did. Rinse them brie under a fast' stream of cold tap water and drain them in a si or colander. The higher the ternerature ofthe ear. Its sharp and fast blades can rupture the cell walls so and effectivelythat you'll end up with gluey potatoes in practicalf no time. This extends e fruit's availability but degrades the fruit for the customer. The steam pressure increases gradually until the kernel's cture is no longer capable of restraining the pent-up steam. the faster the chemical reaction occurs. if not months. om connoisseurs can detect the drop in sweetness within an after harvesting. the outside of the P0tat pieces would be burnt before the interior was properly cooke This problem doesn't exist for leftover potatoes because their int riors don't need cooking.

becomes more abundant. The water absorption re-swells the individ cells. TVP has fewer calories and less saturated fat. smells. can produce unpleasant tastes. popping power. forming the characteris fluffy morsel. cucumbers. once the corn is popped. they are more tender than if allowed to grow to their maximum potential size. popcorn must be popped in an endos container. too. and so the tomatoes are still very green. but tofu (bean curd)h several times more total fat and twice as much saturated fat as equivalent weight in skinless chicken breast. Soybeanbased TVP can also foster flatulence. us point out that it has only half the total fat and saturated fat fruits and vegetables . Profit is the motive. Because of changes that occur in cellular structure as the cell waIls begin to thicken. as it is known. which cannot be softened by cooking. the steam pressure cannot build up as much. the lid should ber moved or the popcorn bag opened promptly lest the popcorn absorb some of the released steam trapped in the chamber. like artificial bacon bits and meat extenders. Why do cookbooks recommend soaking carrot and celery sticks icewated . Compared to meat. For some relatively dry vegetables like carrots. Is tofu fat-free? Many diners are under that impression. the food toughens appreciably. the new kitchen science that split second. For obvious reasons. because this Asian staple . On the negative side of the coin. If the vegetables are fresh-as they should be-soaking \\' have the opposite effect: They will lose a bit of their crispness cause of water buildup between the walls of the already plu cells. If these vegetables are less than fresh. y do most of the mass-marketed tomatoes have inferior flavor dtexture? These tomatoes have a relatively bland flavor and a cottony texture because commercial growers harvest their produce prematurely. Ordinary corn doesn't explode like popcorn beca it has a lower internal moisture content and a weaker structure. Fully mature fruit-vegetables have another undesirable quality: more seeds. because most American shoppers associate largeness with quality. This practice reduces spoilage losses because the . and unripe when picked. and other fruitetables better than those that are larger and more mature? Most fruit-vegetables reach the first stage of maturity before they have completed their growth. More often than not. scant loss is more than compensated for by the pleasant t imparted by the extra moisture. the woody cellular substance lignin. but to a much lesser exte than osmosis.148 . eggplants.unlike the other popular legumes-contains all eight essential amino acids and can be easily molded into any desired shape. Soaking them in ice water returns some of crispness because the food cells regain some of their lost wa through osmosis. The fact that its temperature is lowered by the ice wa also helps crisp the tired vegetable. they may have lost some their crispness. . the kernels will las internal moisture and. supermarkets usually stock the fully grown ones. Ifharvested then. the kernel explodes. Otherwise. However. are young zucchini. Compare to red meats and it seems like a fat-watcher's dream food. and textures. If th happens. immature. causing them to press against each other and once a make the eutire structure of the food more rigid and theref crisper. The fully grown specimens sell better. • 149 ofa skin-on chicken leg serving of the same weight. hence. it costs less to grow the biggies because of labor savings. To be fair to tofu. t is textured vegetable protein? TVP. On a pound-per-pound basis. the color and flavor additives in TVP-based products. Another rule for successful popcorn is to store the unpopp popcorn in an airtight container. the product is manufactured from soybeans. Despite the superiority of young mature fruit-vegetables. is a meat substitute. At the same time. the popcorn will lose some of its crisp texture. however.

Since these seeds do occasionally split open. The additional ripening make the fruit taste sweeter because some of the starches willb chemically converted into sugar. Prove this phenomenon to yourself: Cross-taste opposite ends of an orange segment. for in order to stay sound. the fruit will likel lose acidity. they take in oxyge and expel carbon dioxide (though the nonfruit part of the pia does the exact opposite). Why shouldn't you serve tomatoes cold? They won't be as aromatic and savory because cold hinders conversion of the vegetable's linolenic acid to Z-3 hexenel. In addition. But if you these fruits finish their ripening process at home. Your best sol tion is to hasten the ripening process by harnessing the ethylem gas that the fruit naturally generates. Cold also reduces the volatility of molecules and therefore the number of Z-3 hexenel molecules that will reach your olfactory receptors. the eater is often exposed to the cyanide. your fruits like you . isn't a serious threat to a healthy person. •e people fantasizing when they claim they can tell the sex of a mato or an eggplant? We have met many shoppers who brag that. also contain traces of cyanide in their kernels. How can I use the ripening effect of ethylene gas to my own advan tage at home? apple seeds contain poison? Apple seeds do contain cyanide. by examining the size ofthe scar on the blossom end of the fruit. you run the ri of having them spoil before they become fully ripe. '!'he quantity of poison in one split seed. Even if you were to swallow hundreds ofseeds. ' . allow the tomatoes to ripen at room temperature for several days. The ethylene gas becomes concentrated and therefo accelerates ripening. Rather than letting the g dissipate into your kitchen air. If they had been left on the vine to ripen naturally. including those of apricots and peaches. But this shouldn't stop you from enjoying apples. which is impervious to the effects of both normal cooking and gastric juices. aroma. Sometimes your produce merchant's entire supply of fruits sue as apples. 151 tomatoes are less fragile and are therefore better shiippersbeing less perishable. Certain other seeds.need to "breathe:' Like animals. one end of a fruit sweeter than the other? The blossom end is generally sweeter than the stem end because it usually develops more sugar. they can tell the "boys" from the "girls" and therefore determine which tomatoes and eggplants have more seeds. the cyanide would pass through your digestive tract intact because it is encased by the seed's hard shell. however. Though there tends to be a positive correlation between the smallness of the scar and successful seeddevel- .150 • • the new kitchen science Iruits and vegetables • . The tomatoes are red when they reach the store because food industry artificially turns them red by gassing them with e ylene. and texture. trap it by placing the fruit in paper bag. those that are reddened by natur have significantly better flavor. and peaches is unripe. Be sure to pierce the bag with a half dozen or so well-distri uted pencil-sized holes. Instead. They will be considerably more delicious. making it taste comparatively sweeter. This is not an intolera ble problem as long as the fruit is not more than slightly unri and you give it time to ripen further. avocados. a deadly poison. Another way to foster Z-3 hexenel development is never to place store-bought tomatoes in the refrigerator when you return home from the market (as most shoppers do). vine-ripened tomatoes are red. compound that accounts for much of the desirable ripe-tomato scent and taste. they are marketable longer. Though both artificially ripened an. . because the quantity of cyanide in the seeds is minute. th would have generated their own ethylene gas in time enough! trigger the color change.

cooling them. especially those of the classic French cuisine. are either male or femal -the asparagus is an example. which chefs call "reduction. 33) precipitated by heat chemically creates new flavors. Another popular technique for thickening a sauce is to introa quantity of minute solids. advise the cook to reduce the liquid to one-half or less of its original volume. Nonetheless.152 . • the new kitchen science opment within these fruit-vegetables. seed development is below par and the scar size larger than usual. or by employing a combinarion of these alternatives. Some fruits and vegetables. A few fruit and vegetable buyers also err neously claim that they can ascertain the sex of other perfec plants such as pineapples. as opposed to stamen. One procedure. develo ment) is not conspicuous at the stage of the food's maturity whe it is harvested. 153 . It concentrates existing flavors. into preparation.) Reduction does more than thicken. (Many recipes. by using a thickening agent. Scar size can relate to the number of seeds in the food b cause when self-pollination occurs under less than optimum ci cumstances. such as pureed vegetables. I raise the ratio of solids to liquids? ou can accomplish this in several ways.' is to boil the liquid for a period of time 'so that some of it evaporates. And the Maillard reaction (see p. uces and thickeners are the basic ways to thicken sauces and other liquids? cook can thicken them by raising the ratio of solids to liquids. the difference is n readily apparent to the naked eye at the marketplace because telltale sexual characteristic (pistil. the scar size cannot ha anything to do with their sex because these foods are botani perfect. the more water-absorbent these food molecules the thicker your sauce becomes. The term "perfect" signifies a life form that can self-po nate. however.

Even though their saturation cholesterol profiles do differ. Shortening can be made with animal or vegetable fats. generally. their laboratory Which has the better flavor? Which uest for a truly all-purpose seems moretender? il will be futile. Read the label. It also lu- . hese products do not give the best of both worlds: good baking roperties plus a high smoke point for deep-frying. Those that are liquid at room temperatu are called oils. a commendable flavor. unlike fats such as butter and lard. the food manufacturer must e additives that appreciably wer the oil's smoke point. or vegetable fats. l( is inclined to collect instead of remain uniformly distributed through the baking dough. the manufacturer has included additives o lengthen the shortening's storage life or improve some of its oking properties. an effect that is undesirable exept in a few specialties. lower the smoke point. Fat gives your baked items a fluffy. or both. However. In order to ivethe oils improved baking quality. both fats are made up of a glyce molecule linked with three fatty acids. We do not recommend the all-purpose oils. could have been used. as a bonus. Those based on vegetable oil are made by hydrogenation. the type that have been engineered to be suitable for both baking and deep-frying. does fat make some meats taste better? does more than add flavor and keep the cooking meat moist. Cross-taste A and B. it is common culinary tice to use the term "fat" for those fats that are in a solid state w at room temperature. If it says "pure vegetable shortening:' the 188 baked goods be made with oil? ne of the failings of oil is that. fats from vegetabl are liquid at room temperature. or combination of them. your baked oods will tend to be too grainy. Fats from animals are solid and. an oil is a fat. If the ord "pure" is missing. Call them A erior both to regular oils and B.sts may try. there is less difference between animal and vegetable fats th most people would suspect. .B) with butter. What is shortening? Shortening is classifiedas a fat because it is solid at room temper ture. noticeably Buy two identicol steaks. The notable exceptions are ve etable oils from the coconut and palm kernel. Try This Buttered Meat Experiment all-purpose oil. and fats Is an oil a fat? To a scientist. It meat more succulent because fat spurs salivation. Those additives. They share the attributes § being water-insoluble and having a greasy feel. The phrase "pure shortening" means that either \\"UTI<ll. liberally aking purposes. compromise. Chemically spe ing.ails and fats • • 189 is exactly that. unfortunately. therefore. For that and other reasons. No matter brushthe top of steak A (but not steak ow hard the food technolo. Grill or barbecue them. A or frying and to fats for minute before they are done. moist exture and.

• 191 membranes and sex hormones. has building chores: It is essential for cell development. because it takes longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates. an organic compound that is far better utilized for other sions.What is unhealthy is over-and consumption of fat. you probably don't have to be concerned about lowering your level because you're classified in the "desirable blood cholesterol" group.~ and K) through the body. and hydrogen atoms. For the record. excessfat intake. fat. The length and makeup of this hydrocarbon chain can vary. Thanks to the barrage of warnings mass media. If your body has used up its stored and carbohydrates and does not have a fresh supply of fat as. including the building of cell oils and fats . They should worry about the bodily fundi other peril. at is the structural difference between saturated. . how much. D. to name However. monosaturated. including rh Is cholesterol unhealthful? building of Cholesterol. Besides its tritive value. such as building body tissues. but there is a maximum number of hydrogen atoms that . Trans fatty acids are a major contributor to heart disease (more on this topic later). you should give serious attention to reducing your level because you're in the "borderline high blood cholesterol" group. Fat is the vehicle that transports fat-soluble vitamins (A.Although your body needs some cholesterol. and polyunsaturated fat? A fat or oil is composed of one glycerol molecule linked with three fatty-acid molecules. the new kitchen science bricatesthe meat's muscle fibers. the figure is much higherf the average American. If your serum cholesterol level is below 200 miIIigrams per deciliter of blood. In practice. Is fat consumption unhealthful? We must eat fat to stay alive. most people know the dangers associated with too much fat: obesity and coronary heart disease. hence the umbrella name triglycerides. helps keep the stomach satisfied between meals. your body is forced to resort to its supply of p tein.190 . They brush steaks with melted butter before removing the meat from the heat source. Butter is the best fat for improving the flavor of steaks. Consequently. energy source. the shopper shouldn't be paying attention to the manufacturer's claims about cholesterol. If your level is 240 or above. is not a dire threat to membranes good health per se. You can get your necessary supply of cholesterol from your liver (where it is produced) and by eating foods of animal origin: meat (especially fatty cuts and organs). too. dairy products. overcautious people who go to the other extreme (co suming as little fat as possible) unwittingly risk their health other way. making it easier for your tear the fibers apart. an alcohol. A fatty-acid molecule is a chain of carbon. If your level is between 200 and 239. since cholesterol comes ouly from animal sources. you're classified in the "high blood cholesterol" group-and failure to go on an immediate and strict cholesterollowering diet would be foolish ifnot ultimately fatal. a vegetable oil or margarine that"contains no cholesterol" ideal r cholesterol watchers? Many shoppers assume that if they buy a vegetable oil or margarine whose label says"contains no cholesterol" they run no risk of raising their serum cholesterol level. He should be minding whether the product contains a fat called trans fatty acids. and eggs. these two vegetablebased foods never did contain cholesterol. fat adds flavor and interest to prepared dishes. However. an excess amount in your arteries can cause coronary heart disease and premature death. It is essential for bodily sex hermen functions. oxygen. most Cholesterol' Americans need not fret about a fat shortage essential for in their diet. and if so. Authorities say that 30 percent of a normal adult's calor' should come from fat. as restaurant chefs know. Therefore.

This classification is based on the predominant oil. Now researchers are voting for the mono-unsaturated variety. the new kitchen science oils and fats each carbon atom can have. it doesn't decrease the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream. They . • • 193 Cholesterol watchers are warned not to buy products with high content if the label merely states "pure vegetable oil" rather listing the oil's specific name. both tend to lower the amount ofLDL in your body. HDLs are highly beneficial because they tend to remove excess cholesterol from the circulatory system. Nondairy creamers. The worst offenders are the tropical oils. yare mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats considered neficiali Neither fat fosters the production of excessLDL. are ansource of highly saturated oils parading under the "pure vegetable oil" banner.r'Pure vegetable oil" is likely to made in large part from highly saturated coconut or palm oil because they cost less than the widely available mono-unsaturated polyunsaturated oils. in general. buildup can cause a stroke or heart attack. Notice the double bonding of two carbo atoms and the corresponding absence of two hydrogen atoms: ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ ¥¥'H¥¥¥ "'-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y~y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-'" HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH If the molecule has room for four or more extra hydroge atoms. All oils are a combination of saturated. In fact. Why is saturated fat unhealthful? Saturated fat forces the liver to produce more low-density lipopr tein (LDL). Unlike polyunsaturated fat. they become unhealthful if excessively consumed. its full capacity 0 hydrogen atoms. The diagram below depict the middle of such a molecule: ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ "'-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-'" HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Otherwise. the opposite is true for vegetabl oils. Like polyunsaturated fat. and polyunsaturated oils. mono-unsaturated. a microscopic vehicle that carries cholesterol throu the arteries. mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated? A couple of decades ago scientists believed that the polyunsaturated kind was more desirable. and scant amounts of polyunsaturate acids. it is calle mono-unsaturated. LDL promotes buildup of atherosclerotic plaque deposits on the artery walls that inhibit blood circulation. some mono unsaturated fatty acids. that since both are fats. If the molecule has. Except for the tropical oils. including the widely used coconut and palm kernel oils. it is called polyunsaturated: ¥¥¥¥ ¥¥¥¥ ¥¥¥¥ "'-Y-r-Y-Y-Y~Y-Y-y-y-y-y~y-y-y-y-y-'" HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Animal fats contain a lot of saturated fatty acids. a 100 percent peanut or other vegetable oil free of saturated fat? Just because a vegetable oil is classified as mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated doesn't mean it doesn't contain saturated fats. If the molecule has ei aetly two fewer hydrogen atoms than it is entitled to. .192 • .ch fat is better. it decreases the amount of LDL in the bloodstream. This helps explain why olive oil has become the pet among informed cholesterol watchers-approximately three-fourths of its oil is mono-unsaturated. the molecule is unsaturated (the number of missin hydrogen atoms is always divisible by two).What's most important to the cholesterol watcher is the percentage that is saturated. Keep in mind. it is called saturated. however.

Oxygen enters and circulates inside the container each time the juice is poured-and oxygen is the primary agent that destroys the sought-after vitamin C content in the orange juice. the more bitter your drink will be because me polyphenols are extracted from each leaf. the juice should still be potable after a week in the refrigerator. Another way to prevent heat loss while steeping is to preheat cold teapot by pouring plain boiling water into it and letting container stand for sever!!l minutes before discarding the water. a longer steeping period or more tea leaves? If you prefer strong but not bitter tea. tea connoisseurs right in saying that adding milk to a quality tea is equivalent putting ketchup on caviar because the milk masks the tea's sub aromas and flavors. However. not the steeping period. . . the new kitchen science from the People's Republic of China. which is preferable.232 . What's wrong with drinking milk directly out of the carton? Hygiene is the obvious consideration. even if oulyo person will be drinking the milk. he might be affecting his because he will be decreasing storage life. And there is another benefit: With fewer fr tannins. but its nutritional value will suffer. tea is less constipating. a great specimen has yet to be produced: For a strong tea. The longer the water and tear main in contact. Why is it necessary to cover a steeping cup or pot oftea? The lid does more than minimize the water's heat loss. However. increase the amount ofte leaves. Should I add milk to tea? If a brew is of mediocre quality. 233 ill a store-bought container of orange juice last a week in the refrlgerator once its sealed cap has been opened? Because of its high acid content. Though oolong teas can good. beverages • . . which dampens any unsubmerged tea leaf and sends it the bottom. especially for other peop who may subsequently drink the milk. Milk lowers their astringency because some of the tringent tannic acids in the brew bind chemically with the mi protein 'molecules. A human's 111<'U'11 repository of many forms of bacteria that can sour the maturely. It also tnt steam. Mediocre teas tend to be more astringentth quality teas. you may have a scientific reas for adding milk.

and is it safe? Irradiated food has been bombarded with ionizing radiation to help sterilize it and extend its shelf life. A variation of the second method is to inject brine into the food. . The middle phase of normal freezing. too. With freezedrying. Enzymes. Pickling involves treating foods such as cucumbers with vinegar or other acidic liquids that are hostile to the well-being of microorganisms. are thwarted without a sufficient H 20 supply. The pouched food is reheated in simmering wate before it is opened and served. A pickling solution usually also contains water. Since desiccated foods can readily assimilate moisture from the air. One salting technique is dry-curing: The food is coated or buried in salt. Just as radiation does not remain in microwaved foods. and spices. sugar. Placing the food in a cupboard near a stove is not the answer because water molecules from the steaming pots can be greedily absorbed by the "thirsty" food. a salt-and-water solution. Although it is widely accepted in Europe as being safe and practical. many Americans are concerned about health risks. Refrigerating a food will not kill most of the microorganisms present. then quick-chilled and refrigerated. Salting (curing) draws much of the moisture from the food either by simple absorption or by osmosis. Some people mistakenly believe that irradiated foods are radioactive. and texture than those that have undergone more conventional storage and cooking methods because less cellular rupturing occurs. the selected food is frozen before its water content is removed. Salt also creates an adverse environment for microorganisms. it is advisable to store them tightly wrapped in a low-humidity environment. Many leading health organizations say that irradiated foods pose no serious health risks. Freezing kills microbes or inhibits their growth. This radiation treatmen kills harmful bacteria and destructive insects-and can eliminat the need to use chemical sprays. Sous vide fruits and vegetable 4 234 • the other major food preservation methods work? Drying (removing up to 99 percent of the food's water content) is an effective preservation method because no known form of earthly life can thrive without water. A second popular technique is to immerse the food in brine. by pumping the saline solution through the blood vessels. . but it retards their growth enough to preserve the food. among other things. The food is slowly cooked and sterilized in a sealed vacuum pouch. for instance. 235 tend to retain more of their flavor. a process called sublimation.certain chemicals can crop up in the formula as well. a pickling process. usually for a maximum several weeks. The water is first changed to ice and then directly into vapor. storoge . is skipped. ood storage What is irradiated food. radiation does not remain in irradiated foods.Marination is.liquidity. They shonldn't be. Are sous vide foods safe? The sous vide (French for "under vacuum") food preservation' method was invented by the French in the 1970s. color.

Call the steaks membrane (in this case. how the food was soned and processed. Freezing. Department of Agriculture. dozen variables affect it: the kind of food. uncooked state: seafood-one day. a level that is beyond the capabilitY! of the freezer compartments iIi the majority of home refrigerators. When the frozen food thaws. completely thaw it in the centration of liquid on both warmestpart of the refrigerator(norsides of the membrane. Experiment Osmosis.S.Buytwo identical steaks to test the efuid through a semipermeable fect of freeZing on meal. our world has thermophilic (heat-loving) microorganisms that flourish at temperatures above 125°F. or 2° to 4°C).) Grill or saute A into the cell. The first is heating the foo hot enough and long enough to kill most of the microorganism and all of the potentially more dangerous ones. of course. bring both A and B more concentrated than that to near room temperature. and thereby the food's rigidity. freezing diminish the quality of food? answer is an undeniable yes. cell make the water in the cell When A is thawed. ground meat-oil day.236 • • the new kitchen science Predicting a food's refrigeration life is not an e". and milk . however. althou at a very slow pace. Smoking does the same f foods like hams. water will flow take about an hour. conservative guidelines for several popular foods in the. ho the food was wrapped or covered. The growth of croorganisms will be prolific unless other precautionary food storage • • 237 such as marinating.) Canning requires two major steps.Cross-taste.' fresh. is the natural passing of liq. For these reamore cautious experts place the danger zone between 40° l40°F-and some expand the temperature range even further. other meat . swelling it in and B. such as the baCt terium Clostridium botulinum. Freeze A and refrigerate B. store B next to A. is an even better deterrent than refrigera tion. The water loss is caused by the creation of ice crystals and the loss of Try This Meat Freezing osmotic capability. The second step is sealing the f094 in an airtight. The swelling in. Which steak is the process. Likewise. and thus their capacity to absorb and retain water. and consequently the cellslose their plumpness and the food its firmness. Enzymatic reactions continue at low temperatures. Sugaring is another preservation technique because sugar creates a hostile environment for bacteria. For optimal results. the location in the refrigerat (the rear wall is colder than the door shelves. During this the dissolved solids inside the thawing period. some of its stored water seeps out of its cells. It is important to note that we use the phrase "most bacteria:' There exist certain cryophilic (cold-loving) bacteria and other microorganisms that can do nicely.two days. have been taken to make the food unfavorable to bacterial growth. most bacteria thrive at temperatures between 60° and 125°F.four days. at temperatures below 60°F. What is the temperature "danger zone" for bacterial growth in foods? According to the U. in simple terms.thank you. a freezer's temperature should be no higher than O°F (minus 18°C).\. and how often an for how long the refrigerator door is opened. The following ar rough.mushier? creasesthe pressure of one cell against the other. Freezing. and they do not cause problems except whe freezing fruits and vegetables. the A and B. the freshness and condition ofthe food. (See "Why must vegetables b blanched before freezing?"later in this chapter. After A is frozen (typically about 8 to cell wall) to equalize the con12 hours).ct science. . and the area neares the freezer unit is colder than the crisper). Since mally takes 10 to 1B hours). diminishes the osmotic capability of the cells. (This will on the outside. sterile can or jar to protect the contents from an onslaught by a new supply of microorganisms or oxygen and t keep the food from drying out. the refrigerator's temperatu (ideally 35° to 39°F.

As a bonus. it carries with it some of the food's original flavor and nutrients.These tiny crystals do not cause a much tearing as the larger ones formed by slow freezing. Peas. benefit is that the food-particularly meat-will not lose many of its juices during thawing because its cell walls remain rel atively intact. will pick up foreign odors from the circulating freezer. of course. The experiment on the previous page will conclusively prov that freezing does give a mushy texture to foods with a relativelyhigh water content. Fat does not freeze as well as protein or carbohydrate and consequently has a shorter freezer storage life than its two companion nutrients. and the expansion bursts many of the cell walls and pushes some of the cells apart. salt lowers the freezing point of water. Avoid overloading your freezer. some damage occurs). Are there some foods that are less suitable for freezing? As people who have sprinkled salt on icy sidewalks know. spinach. Since salt pork and bacon are both fatty and salty. Is a full freezer more energy-efficient than a half-empty one? It uses less energy because frozen foods retain cold far better than does air. giving the seeping liquid an easy escape route.Yetthere are steps that can be followed to ens'! food storoge . to be sure. Most commercial food processors quick-freeze their product by methods such as immersion in a cold solution or exposureto frigid air blasts. your food will stay frozen longer in the event of a blackout. the new kitchen science Ice crystals. the smaller the ice crystals that at formed in and around its cells. keep your refrigerator full. Why are certain freezing methods better than others? The key to maintaining a food's quality is speedy freezing. Don't. Another relate.for helping preserve the scent and freshness of some nonfrozen items. you would probably be wise to trim off all or most of its excessfat before freezing it. faster than any possible in a home freezer. These crystals take' up more space than the original water. and lima beans are among the vegetables that suffer the least deterioration (though. Does a chest freezer have an energy-saving advantage over an upright freezer? A chest freezer will not lose as much cold air each time you open it because cold air is heavier than warm air. form inside! and around the cells when the food is frozen. if stored long cold airlro enough.238 . . the second major cause of flabbiness. because crowding prevents cold air from circulating properly. T~ food's texture therefore will suffer less damage. So if a prepared food has been presalted (most have). Still another negative feaing preve ture is that most frozen foods. Th. Air circulation is essential. Vegeta bles like cauliflower and broccoli are poor freezers because th process ruins their desirable texture. however. Another drawback to freezing most foods is that when liquid flows out of the ruptured cell walls. When possible.their freezing properties are poor. • 239 that an individual home unit freezes food as quickly as possible. faster the food is frozen. and some of the food already in the freezer is likely to partially thaw and then refreeze. properly Some vegetables survive the freezing ordeal better than meat. The process is. the food will not freeze as well as it wonld if unsalted and will thus have a shorter minimum freezer storage life. add only a few room-temperature items at a time to a partially filled freezer because a large volume of unfrozen food will appreciably raise the freezer's temperature and capability. The cold air in the four- . and fruit. . The implication is clear: If you plan to freeze a cut of meat for a long period. seafood. forming larger ice crystals in the process.

Therefore. the grace pe- food storage • . A tight wrapping also helps prevent the meat from absorbing freezer odors.240 • . Although the fat in any meat will eventually become rancid if stored long enough. if the entire surface of the meat is not carefully covered with a moisture-proof (or at least moisture-resistant) wrap. However. Some examples: A food. in aluminum foil. this coating is undesirable in terms of flavor and cosmetic appeal. you can preserve heat by facing the shiny surface of the foil inward toward the hot food. forming a powdery white substance on the surface of the foil and food. and refrigerate. you can easily remove it. which is temporarily in a solid state. we do not recommend removing the fat layer until you are ready to use the stored pan juices because the fat serves as a functional seal that helps prevent bacteria and foreign odors from reaching the juices as they sit in your refrigerator. cold air easily cascades out of an upright freezer each time you 'Ipen its fourth wall. plastic film. to store pan juices.setde. it ouly retards it. What is the best way to store surpIns pan juices? Take advantage of a basic law of nature: Fat has a lower specific density than water. will evaporate. a food protected by foil will retain heat and not freeze as quickly as it would in. Although aluminum foil is not the best choice for freezing. the principal ingredient of pan juices. you can profit in other ways from its properties. By the same token. you can keep a hot food warm longer. When the fat layer has solidified. 241 riod is certainly long enough for normal requirements if the food is kept solidly frozen and not exposed to excess oxygen. because oxygen molecules can more easily bind with their molecules. After liquid fat and pan juices are mixed together. can be wrapped with foil for slow thawing. the new kitchen science walled chest has only one avenue of escape-upward. cover. Because a shiny surface reflects radiant heat. In contrast. the fat-because of its lower specific density. or section of a food. Therefore. some of the food's water. Why should I wrap meat tightly before storing it in the freezer? Freezing does not halt evaporation of the meat's fluids.face the shiny side outward so it can reflect radiant heat away from the food. Why should I not wrap salty or acidic foods in aluminum foil? Salt and acids react chemically with aluminum. Thus. Unsaturated (especially polyunsaturated) fats are more prone to oxidation. the door. Why does chicken have a shorter freezer and refrigerator life than beef? It has a higher unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio. If serving must be delayed. or a cold food cool. say. first cover the exposed food with plastic wrap. leaving the pan juices behind. This direct transformation from ice to vapor is termed sublimation and produces what cooks call freezer burn. Though harmless in small doses.gradually rises to form a distinct upper layer. pour them into a container. Why should aluminum foil not be used to wrap food that is to be frozen? Aluminum foil usually helps maintain a food's temperaturewhether high or low-s-because it retards the transfer of heat from the food to its surroundings and vice versa. If you want to take advantage of the storage virtues of aluminum foil. Why does chocolate sometimes develop a white discoloration? The bloom (as this discoloration is called) is almost always caused by improper storage and is usually one of two substances. when keeping a food cold-perhaps for a picuic lunch. while the pan juices . and therefore rancidity. It could . The meat's covering should be sealed securely to prevent oxidation and to help ward off rancidity. cool to near room temperature.

and taste take place in a vegetable that is left out on a table or in the refrigerator. the bloom is unaesthetic but harmless. Why is sugar syrup customarily added to frozen fruits! Fruits are also candidates for blanching as they. rapid thawing-if done properly-reduces the threat ofbacterial contamination. The extremely cold temperatures of freezing slow down the changes but do not completely stop them. Extreme heat. . This usually doesn't present a problem if the meat is a thin cut. before freezing. a more effective ale ternative to blanching fruit is to preserve color. fruits' cell walls and membranes. blocks oxidation. most vegetables should be blanched before they are frozen. Thawing in the refrigerator can take as little as several hours for a thin steak or as much as several days for a colossal turkey. Some cooks choose to boil or steam their vegetables as the)' would before serving. The veg-. However. food storage . However. on the other hand. where the temperature is high enough for the meat to thaw and cold enough to allow the process to progress at a slow pace while preventing bacteria in and on the meat from increasing dangerously. texture. . place it in a tightly . The problem can be resolved by transferring the meat from the freezer to the refrigerator. too. the cook faces what seems to be a contradiction. The process involves partially cooking the food in boiling water or steam for up to several minutes. On the other. yare certain methods better than others for thawing meat? Two primary aims when thawing are to minimize damage caused by the ice crystals melting in the meat and to avoid bacterial contamination as the meat's temperature rises. such as ascorbic acid or sugar syrup. In either case. However. and taste. some enzymatic activity has been observed at minus lOOoP. the new kitchen science be cocoa fat that rose to the surface of a solid chocolate mixture that was stored too long at room temperature. and the temperature in. Punctured cells are undesirable because flavorful juices would seep out. On the one hand. the moisture extracts sugar from the mixture's interior. I tellwhether a wrapped piece of meat sitting in the butcher's displaycase has been frozen! How can Why must vegetables be blanched before freezing! Obvious changes in color. color. slightly unripe fruits are better than ripe ones. But the surface of a thick piece of meat will completely thaw long before the inside and therefore affords ample opportunity for bacterial growth. because the time it takes to thaw is not long enough to pose a health risk. rapid thawing canses more of the meat's juices to be lost and more deterioration in texture. blanching is preferable to full cooking because it does less damage to the vegetable's texture. For this reason.242 . inactivates enzymes and sets color and flavor. making the texture mushy when the mixture thaws. refrigerated chocolate mixture. If meat must be defrosted quickly and is a little too thick to risk thawing at room temperature. Sugar also lowers the freezing point and thus helps prevent the formation of large ice crystals that could rupture the . Or it could be sugar that was drawn to the surface by the condensation of a loosely wrapped. and sugar's sweetening power helps mask the acidic flavor in un- A large pool of juices in the tray package is probably a result of the rupturing of cell walls caused by freezing. In fact. Sugar also serves at least two other important functions. flavor. 243 ripe fruits. Sometimes the cook does not have the time to defrost meat in the refrigerator and must leave it out at room temperature. texture. Wh~# it comes to freezing. and nutrients by adding an antioxidant. etable's own enzymes are largely responsible for that transformation. most home and commercial freezers is not below O°F. are susceptible to deterioration caused by enzymes. This technique deactivates enzymes and.

The temperatures of the topmost (or foremost) refrigerated packages are occasionally higher than they should be. The frozen-food company also wanted to prevent customers fro encouraging bacterial growth by subjecting the product to room temperatures for extended periods of time. Business logic stood behind his decision. keep it securely wrapped as a precaution against moisture loss and contamination from the. Caution should alwaysbe exercised. The only detrimental effect will be the one normally associated with freezing. 245 taining cream are among the foods that are particularly susceptible to bacterial growth. but not the solid. If the customer repeatedly removed a package from th freezer. We've also observed a similar problem for refrigerated items like meat and milk that are stored in open display units. for example. Shellfish and dishes COl:! food storage • . should never be stored with potatoesthey emit gases that negatively alter the flavor of the potatoes. especially since the injuries a food suffers dUJ: ing freezing and thawing make it more vulnerable to deterioration. dation as a not-to-be-questioned health precaution. Birdseye did not want to be held responsibl for any mishandling once the product reached the consumer' hands. Is it safe to refreeze a food? Yes. environment. airtight bags? Fruits and vegetables are alive. Oranges give off ethylene gas. th~ resulting textural damage would certainly discourage future sales. they should not be refrozen once they have thoroughly thawed. then chances are that some of the contiguous packages have also. Are certain foods natural storage enemies? Yes. only to return it there after deciding it wasn't needed. Sometimes thawing occurs in the store's display unit. they breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. the new kitchen science sealed waterproof bag and leave it in a tub or sillk filled with cold water. the father of the frozen-vegetable-industry. Like animals. The "do not refreeze" warning gained its prominence when Clarence Birdseye. included the phrase on his company's packages. in an airtight environ- . The meat's exterior will be mushy and overcooked long before the meat's interior begins to thaw (a microwave oven can heat molecules in the liquid. state). you can safely refreeze a food that still has ice c~ tals. Why should you not store fruits and vegetables in sealed. if the food is not dangerously contaminated at the time of refreezing and is handled properly afterward. some storage relationships are symbiotic. as is the case with oranges and bananas. Generally. which accelerates the ripening of the bananas. its existence portends deterioration. We don't recommend thawing meat (especially a thick cut) in ~ microwave oven. But even if the ice crystals are caused by moisture from another package. However. Moral: Select deep. or that has been no warmer than 40°F and has been out of th freezer for no more than 24 to 48 hours. because if one package inside a shipping container has thawed. Onions. We do not mean to suggest th~t foods should be randomly thawed and refrozen. . Wherever you choose to thaw meat. and the misapprehension quickly spread. The source ofthe frost is usually moisture that has escaped from the food inside the package. This condition reduces storage life and probably creates a health hazard now and then. Some food writers interpreted the "do not refreeze" recommen. Should I think twice about buying a frost-coated package of frozen vegetables? Yes.244 . Our research in several dozen supermarkets indicates that the surface temperatures ofthe topmost frozen-food packages in open display units are sometimes above 32°F. In most cases. This is too often a sign that the frozen food has thawed to some extent at least once before you saw it. a loss in texture and flavor-and it may he amplified. Eventually.

a process that cooks the food to death before it kills the bacteria. You can cook the food at or near the boiling point for a ridiculously long time. and nutrients. less moisture flows in because the room air is drier and you don't open the door as frequently for ice cubes. Or you can use a pressure cooker. Delay' ing the defrosting chore can be expensive in this day of high en' ergy costs. flavor. thus increasing its chances for survival.246 • . In the case of the thermal bottle. forcing the refrigerator to work longer to cool to the desired temperature. Few people realize how much heat is expelled through the refrigerator's rear exhaust vent. Why do I have to defrost my refrigerator less in the winter than in the summed The frost buildup comes primarily from the moisture-laden air that flows into the refrigerator each time you open it. or otherwise psychologically disturbed. If a mammal (or fish) is agitated. vacuum bottle retards the transfer of heat (in either direction) be? tween food and its surroundings by placing a poor heat-conduct ing medium between the two. the thermal method. color.) A thermal storage bottle does have a convincing selling point: It is less breakable. The coating insulates the tubing. Because a pressure cooker can reach a temperature of about 250°F. In winter. the medium is a near-vacuum that is hermetically sealed between the unit's inner and outer glass liners. startled. but not as poor as a near-vacuum. Whyis a pressure cooker a must for most home canning? To kill the bacteria that can produce the deadly botulism toxin in low-acid canned foods. flavor. Consequently. Why does a vacuum storage bottle maintain the temperature of beverages better than a thermal bottle? The heat of a stored hot beverage is mainly lost to the colder air around it through conduction. Why should I not refrigerate jars of dried herbs? Condensation forms inside the cold jar each time you open the container in the room-temperature kitchen. texture. and cool drinks. A thermal ora. you have two options. its body automatically starts to convert the carbohydrate glycogen stored in its tissues into sugar for quick energy. a substance that retards bacterial growth. and nutrients of the food by appreciably shortening the required cooking time. food storage .it better preserves the texture. It follows that the lower the glycogen . After death. With a vacuum bottle. the vacuum bottle more efficiently impedes heat transference-and this capability is most pronounced when storing a hot beverage. the medium is a solid material that is a poor conductor ofheat. aroma. the glycogen remaining in the muscles converts into lactic acid. afraid. The room gets warmer because a refrigerator is not a 100 percent-efficient machine-it produces more heat than coldness. as its name suggests. any conversion that occurred will shorten the meat's storage life. and a cold beverage will gradually gain heat from the environment in the same way. • 247 The basic difference between the vacuum and thermal storage bottles is the chosen medium. This moisture shortens the dried herb's storage life. (Just in case there is any confusion. they will use up all the available oxygen and suffocate. allow us to point out that the Thermos brand employs a vacuum and not. This natural biological reaction gives the animal greater strength to fight or take flight. a pragmatic consideration when the user is a lunch-toting child. the new kitchen science ment. Can a person cool a room by leaving the refrigerator door open? We hear stories about people doing this when their air conditioner breaks down on a sweltering day. Does an animal's state ofmind during its final hours affect the storage life of meat? Yes. Damaged cells spell loss in color. should the animal die. Their solution is counterproductive. However.

Even if just one tiny food particle sticks to the blade. the new kitchen science level. and ters a state of shock before dying. This advice is not only mane but also sound. The board absorbs heat from the pot and can retain it for up to 30 minutes. it can make an excellent medium for pathogenic microorganisms. modern slaughterhouses kill. slaying the animal instantly. These bacteria have ample time to multiply by the time the cook uses the can opener the next day. During • 249 . For the same reasons. because if the deer struggles. and therefore the shorter amount of time the meat will stay fresh. slaughterhouses go one step further and tFY to maintain an ronment that is as serene as possible for the animal. the less lactic acid is produced. celery an electric probe or whatever . the venison meat cannot safely be hung for very long. and any other fruit or vegetable you intend to eat raw. Every experienced deer hunter has heard the so-called cnesumu that the venison will be more tender if the arrow or bullet is targeted. What is the single greatest cook-induced source of bacterial contamination in the kitchen? Usually it's the humble can opener.248 • . When this happens. . Although many cooks wash their cutting board surface dutifully after each use. and therefore it will not become tender as it should be. runs. Why should you not set a hot pot on a butcher block or other cutting surface? The primary harm is usually not damage to the cutting board surface but an increase in bacterial contamination. alth and nutrition How many microbes live in a speck of dirt? Scientists estimate that a speck of dirt could contain millions of microbes. they forget to do the same to the can opener. it will use up much of the gen in its muscles.with such surprise and swiftness that an animal barely has time to contemplate its fate. Good reason for thoroughly washing an apple.

10:00 P. muscle deterioration.ur muscles. Southeast Asians eat raw pork. Trichinosis is not found around the entire globe. not real-world results. Always parasite thoroughly wash your hands and any utensil . 6:00A. travel to yo. the new kitchen science health and nutrition . Take the same prepork with the cautions that your butcher should: Never trichinae worm taste-test uncooked pork mixtures. any pathogenic bacteria that are on the board will ply faster than if the board were at room temperature. After you eat infected meat. 12:00 A. the chance of contaminating other foods is minimal or nil. Of course. In this way.M. the parasites lodge and reproduce in your intestines. or that they sterilize the grinder before changing from pork to nonpork. as bacteria sometimes divide than expected. owing to increased public awareness and the widespread adoption of precautionary measures. spection seal is no protection against trichinated with hcrmnosis because the examiners do not check for ful bacteria than the microscopic worms. garbage-favored by trichinae and pigs -is now cooked before it is fed to the animals. They produce ins that can kill you or make you seriously sick. the medical profession nowadays sees relatively few cases of trichinosis. . as is possible. and sometimes death.000 16.M. Today chicken meat is 1. Their larvae enter the bloodstream. including deer and bear.000 2. Most municipalities have instituted laws requiring that butchers within their jurisdiction use a separate meat grinder for pork. these are theoretical. 4:00A. Still. it is wise to assume that it contains live Today chicken trichinae. other animal flesh. You can contract this disease when you eat pork or pork products that contain the live worms. with thousands upon thousands of bacteria cells.000. and Europeans consume raw hams-for example. Why play what amounts to Russian roulette in the times more likely kitchen? Remember that a government into be contami. 3:00A.M. Although most people associate trichinosis with pig meat only.000 262. • 251 this time. can also be contaminated. round in shape and microscopic size.000. In the United States. a bacteria cell can divide approximately every 20 minutes. 1:00 A. But imagine what would happen if the stew off. even though the actual chances meat is 1. fever. and. 11:00 P. 2:00A. 5:00A. cause pain. And some bacteria do more than divide. Bacterial Grawth in a Single Bacteria Cell Dividing Every 20 Minutes in a Meat Stew Lllft Out Overnight Time 9:00p. the celebrated prosciutto of Parma-without dire health consequences.000 that this is so are incredibly small.M.000 times more likely to be contaminated with harmful bacteria than pork with the trichinae worm parasite. The accompanying table illustrates the proliferation results over a lO-hour period. that are called trichinae. whenever you eat any other American-produced pork.M.M.000 134.000 How do some outdoor grillers unwittingly contaminate their cooked food? They transfer raw meat from the kitchen to the grill on a Later they bring the cooked meat to the table on the same dis without first washing it.250 .M.M.000 32.000. How does trichinosis attack the body? . How fast do bacteria multiply? In an ideal environment.M. For instance. while growing there.M. Government standards help assure the consumer that cured ham and precooked sausages produced by responsible meat processors are free of trichinae. Bacterial Count 1 8 64 512 4.

That microorganism creates the toxin most readily in the 40° to 120°F temperature zone. speech.) are otner maier food-borne bacterial poisonings? Salmonella bacteria are found in many foods. but there is a catch to its use: It is most health and nutrilian . Nevertheless. they can be made innocuous by boiling the food for 30 minutes. some new tomato hybrids are not acidic enough to prevent the bacteria from creating the toxin.252 . including raw meat. There is an antiserum. However. The pernicious toxin is more likely to be generated in low-acid food. Vision. In fact. (Please note. 64) for cooking instructions regarding trichinosis. Once a person does exlubit symptoms. or beans." as this common food-borne disease is nicknamed. to kill any toxin-producing bacteria present. coli bacteria thrive in animal fecal matter on farms and can be transferred to cut-up meat in a processing plant. the new kitchen science that touches raw pork with hot water and soap ordetergent. quick diagnosis and treatment is crucial to survival. (The latter must be cooked by the processor to a minimum interior temperature of 148°E) What causes botulism? A person can be stricken with botulism after ingesting th~ toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. If toxins have developed in a food that has been stored under anaerobic conditions. any suspect food productsuch as one with a swollen can or jar lid-should be discarded untasted. that homemade mayonnaise usually is too low in acid and salinity to retard the bacterial growth. peas. sterilize the machine with boiling water afterward. The disease-producing agent is the bacterium itself and not the toxins generated. the relatively high salt and vinegar-lemon content of commercially prepared mayonnaise slows down bacterial growth. so home canners beware. particularly in low-acid foods. and most people have no idea that they have eaten contaminated food until they are physically affected. you risk unsafe bacterial buildup. The real culprits are low-acid ingredients such as the chicken. corn. Is an uncooked canned ham trichinosis-proof? Federal law dictates that all ham must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 140°F before being canned. is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. the bacteria multiply so rapidly that within a couple of weeks the number of microorganisms that flow into your drinking glass may exceed . and for periods long enough. however. Custard-filled foods are notorious sources of staph. For the record. and uncooked eggs. The bacterium can form the toxin only in the absence of oxygen. unpasteurized milk. such as mushrooms. whether labeled uncooked or fully cooked. If you grind the pork. E. a can of ham is not a threat. Food destined for canning must be heated to a temperature high enough. • 253 beneficial when given before the patient's symptoms are apparent. Since a temperature of 137°F kills the deleterious parasites. Death results in cases where the respiratory muscles are paralyzed. See chapter 3 (p. Shingella bacteria can also come from fecally contaminated food Does a special anti-impurity filter attached to the kitchen sink's water tap or pipe do more harm than good? Unless you frequently replace the filter or thoroughly clean it. and swallowing are impaired. Botulism symptoms include malfunctioning of the nervous system. so canned goods and products like meat that are wrapped in airtight casings are potential sources of botulism. mayonnaise has been given a bum rap: It's not the underlying reason chicken and other mayonnaise-dressed salads become contaminated under the hot sun at picnics. . What causes staphylococcal poisoning? "Staph. In some filtering systems. Such foods should not be left out ofthe refrigerator for long. than in a high-acid food like tomatoes.

With most. non. health and nutritian • . Why are manufactured vitamins no different from natural vitamins as far as the body is concerned? Most vitamins are actually surprisingly simple configurations of basic elements such as carbon. for instance. cardiovascular. transfer the contents to a glassjar or similar unleaded. Th Can diet. 255 higher the temperature.and filter hucksters . Increasing one's intalre of fruits and vegetables usually accomplishes the same mission more efficiently. The type of tin cans that are sealed with lead solder are another potential source of lead poisoning. Check the local facts before investing in a filter apparatus. Can I get lead poisoning from glazed pottery kitchenware? Each year a number of people die or become seriously ill from lead poisoning caused by the lead that leaches out of improperly glazed pottery kitchenware. but this therapeutic magic is not chiefly due to its ingredients as many people believe. That would be counterproductive because when you have a cold. It is a sound policy never to store a high-acid food such as grapefruit juice in an open can. Whenever this happens. additives. Does chiciren soup help cure colds? Yes. . malre it from scratch. Some glazed kitchenware pottery that is brought into this country illegally. recommended daily allowance of vitamins (although these allowances are more than ample for most people). Chicken soup is not the only remedy. there remains the question of the effectiveness of the various brands.S. Commercial soups and bouillon cubes tend to be very salty. impurities. By U. Children can also suffer learning and behavioral disorders. Another hot liquid such as a cup of tea would also serve the mucus-ridding purpose. Chain smokers. the water gushes through the filter too quickly to trap as many microorganisms as the unwary buyer is led to expect. If used to store or cook foods (and especially highly acidic foods). you will probably need to consume more than the U. Your body . . hydrogen. or medication affect a person's vitamin requirements? Yes. the new kitchen science the quantity that would have traveled unhindered through your tap. to the point where the soup will partially dehydrate you. oxygen. However.S. and other demons as some alarmists . corrosive vessel. you need not offset a lack or loss of vitamins with supplementary vitamin pills.stead.claim. or in the hands of returning tourists. the lead will likely migrate from the walls of the vessel to those of the diner's stomach. cigarettes. Additional B complex vitamins are also recommended for people using antibiotics for extended periods of time.254 . and they can be flawlessly duplicated in the laboratory. your body needs an extra supply of water to combat and flush out the microbes and unwanted byproducts. Perhaps an even more important issue is whether your water supply is as dangerously contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. and other systems. and boozehounds and sugar fiends require more of the B complex vitamins than their moderate companions. What you put in your body can sometimes sap the strength of certain vitamins or undermine your body's ability to process or manufacture them. The primary credit belongs to heat. and for women talring birth control pills (who also need extra vitamin C). Even if a filter is changed frequently. law. falls well short of the federal standards. 111. If you do use chiciren soup. need extra vitamin C. the more fluid the mucus becomes and the more quickly it exits the respiratory tract. This is beneficial because mucus harbors cold-causing microbes. This lead buildup in the body can cause damage to internal organs as well as to the immune. and nitrogen. glazed pottery designed for culinary use must be fired at a high enough tempera!ure to fuse the lead component of the glaze into the container permanently.

but in the pulp just under the skin. you need to replenish your supply of water-soluble vitamins on a daily basis. there are exceptions. and carrots and spinach are two. their freezing process is extremely cold and quick.256 .) Is spinach more nutritious raw? Though most vegetables are more nutritious when eaten raw. However. and K). but they have neither the knowledge nor technology to manufacture all the subtle components of a complete diet. Steaming your food in a scant amount of water. Typically. . The argument for natural vitamin supplements is faulty-although lucrative. In addition. Under these circumstances. the vegetables lose more vitamins than if they had been fast-frozen. 257 Are fresh vegetables more nutritious than frozen ones? When referring to vegetables fresh from the farm. which is why Chinese woks are so highly touted by nutrition-conscious cooks. The primary reason is that the B complex and C vitamins easily flee our bodies in our perspiration and urine. they must select ouly those that are the freshest and in the best condition. E. the new kitchen science cannot discern any difference between. D. One way to reduce their loss is to cook your vegetables in as lillie liquid as possible in order to minimize the quantity of vitamins that leach out into the cooking medium. any vitamin supplement.unlike that of ruminant creatures-cannot sufficiently disintegrate the comparatively tough cellular walls of these vegetables and therefore cannot extract all the nutrients. of course. When this journey is long and drawn out. Because of their water solubility. it . is no substitute for a balanced diet. a frozen-food product is likely to be more nutritious than nonfrozen vegetables that have meandered along a time-consuming route from earth to palate. Scientists may be able to manufacture the vitamins that have so far been identified. (A shortcoming of freezing. the eight B vitamins and vitamin C dissolve in water. and they must normally freeze them within hours after they have been harvested. However. Many of their vitamins and minerals pass unused through the body because the human digestive system. And when you do steam (or if you must boil). . use the leftover cooking liquid. you will notice that the natural vitamins usually cost considerably more than the synthetic. a slow truck transports vegetables from the farm to a warehouse. whether natural or synthetic. since it is impossible to peel a potato without scraping away some of the vitamin-rich pulp. health and nutrition . the B complex and C vitamins leave vegetables as easily as they do your body. What should cooks know about water-soluble vitamins? Unlike the four fat-soluble vitamins (A. Are most of a potato's vitamins in the skin? Vitamins in potatoes and most other vegetables are not concentrated in the skin (as some health food faddists believe). your reserve of water-soluble vitamins is relatively short-lived. where they wait until a customer takes them home to the refrigerator. Another vitamin' saving technique is to cook foods as quickly as possible. Consequently. However. the answer is a resounding yes. where they wait until they are shipped to the supermarket. ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C) and rose hips (natural vitamin C) because the two have an identical chemical makeup. is that it deteriorates texture. as it usually is. if not sooner. Though your body can store the fat-soluble vitamins it needs in its fat cells for weeks. where they wait again until the home cook decides to use them. for instance. therefore. is preferable to boiling it. Here lies the wisdom of drinking a daily dose of orange juice (high in vitamin C) at breakfast and eating ample portions of vegetables (high in various B vitamins and sometimes in vitamin C) for lunch and dinner. the product found in the supermarket's frozen-food section is often more nutritious because if food processors are going to preserve their vegetables successfully. If you shop around for vitamins or vitamin-fortified foods.

. What is an essential amino acid? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that your needs to construct and replenish tissue.258 • . Synthetic version is used in baked goods. with the notable exception ofsoybeans. This pairing partially explains why millions of people in southern China can remain healthy on a diet consisting of a high proportion of rice (which. . Why does a candybar provide a quick energyboost? Candy is rich in simple sugars that can be quickly digested and absorbed into your bloodstream. Vegetables. The food industry uses hundreds of additives. government encourages table salt processors to fortify their product with potassium iodide to help ensure that everyone receives enough of the mineral. We had to be selective. Nor does it furnish long-lasting energy. beverages. • 259 ated with coastal areas) or drink water that has acquired the mineral from such soil. frozen . gelatin. Of some twenty required amino acids. too. (Some authorities say nine. eggs. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) Antioxidant that can also serve as a color stabilizer and nutrient. and color contrast. and therefore their proteins are termed incomplete. liquor. ice cream. for economic or personal reasons. People who. Helps preserve such foods as beer.) These select eight are called essential amino acids.S. red blood cells. your thyroid gland could not manufacture thyroxine . texture. health and nutrition the new kitchen science makes sense to cook and serve it with its skin. do not possess all the essential amino acids. an hour or so after munching on the candy bar you may be hungry again or feel a psychological and physical letdown because of the sudden drop in your blood sugar level. like other cereal grains. eat scant quantities of meat. Besides. However.272) for a discussion of how vegans and traditional vegetarians obtain the eight essential amino acids. some medical authorities believe that if you eat a of seafood or food grown in iodine-rich soil (commonly Additives Listed an Nutrition Labels Additive Principal Use and Comments Acetic acid (ethyl acetate) Flavoring agent found naturally in many fruits. is particularly low in the amino acid lysine) while usually eating no more than a meager serving of seafood (high in lysine). your body can manufacture all but eight of them. In contrast. Which is better. On the negative side. too many to itemize in this book. you may be overdosing on iodine if you also regularly use iodized salt. The iodine-fortified product makes more sense for people who live great distances from a seaboard.the skin does have some nutrients and adds flavor. Proteins in meat have all eight essential amino acids and are referred to as complete protein.a hormone necessary for bodily functions such as growth and the prevention of goiter. iodized or plain salt? Iodine is essential in the diet because without it. chewing gum. a typical candy bar consists of empty calories and does not provide your metabolism with valuable vitamins and minerals. Because some Americans (particularly those in the so-called goiter belt in the North Central states) suffer from iodine deficiency. the U. and enzymes. so you may feel an extra lift soon after eating a candy bar. What do alI the additives listed on a food package do? The accompanying chart describes briefly the principal uses of some of the additives that are most frequently listed on packages in supermarkets. bread dough. Bear in mind that our list is far from comprehensive. your body must take the time to convert more complex carbohydrates (such as are found in a potato or piece of bread) into glucose before they can be used for energy. because animal protein has a surplus of the essential amino acids that cereal grains lack. and puddings. See chapter 15 (p. and dairy products and large portions of whole cereal grains are nutritionally safe.

These undigestible substances facilitate digestion and elimination by carrying other waste products along with them as they leave the digestive tract and by absorbing flnids that make wastes soft enough for easy passage. sodium nitrite Preservatives and coloring agents to inhibit the growth ofbotulisrn-producing bacteria. dried fruits. for instance. Second. Can produce carcinogenic nitrosamines when combined with natural food substances called amines. and according to medical evidence. too. colon.all provide empty calories. Sodium chloride Chemical name for salt. fructose. . to some extent. and sucrose. onnaise. also known as roughage or bulk. How much is . are all forms of sugar. dehydrated potatoes. Fiber-conscious Americans and inhabitants of other countries where highly refined foods glut the market usually must strive to consume enough fiber. While tificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and saccharin have few. They convert the sugar into acid that corrodes tooth enamel. fruits. Unfortunately. and the wastes that result from the digestive process remain in your system longer than they should. the new kitchen science Sodium bisulfate. causing tooth decay. Found in most cured meats. a pure caramel candy usually does less damage than a sugary cookie made with starch. there is little nutritional difference among the various types of sugar. Why do I need fiber in my diet? Fiber. health and nutrition • • 263 Why does sugar cause tooth decay? Sngar is food for plaque-residing bacteria colonies. Without adequate fiber. For this reason. The degree of decay is dependent more on how long the sugar remains in contact with the bacteria colonies than on the amount of sugar consumed. bacterial growth in such foods as baked goods. frankfurters. maltose. if calories. IaClOS. First. Sorbic acid. refers to the undigestible carbohydrates found in whole cereal grains. (thiamine) in food. it can help keep weight down in two distinct ways. salami. the intestines and bowel work sluggishly. Many doctors lay partial blame for various malfunctions and diseases of the bowel. dried fruits. seeds." Dextrose. and rectum on a deficiency of fiber in the diet.e. and wine. cheese. corn 'syrup. are used as sweetening and sometimes preserving agents. If the word "sugar" is absent from the ingredients list on a label. and nuts. It can cause intestinal gas and hinder your body's ability to absorb certain minerals. soups. ham. can the food still contain sugar? Keep an eye out for the suffix"-ose. legumes. Sugar See next Q&A. fiber's chewy texture and heaviness create a full feeling. the world's number-one additive. some weight-conscious people do not consume enough fiber because they mistakeuly believe that carbohydrates per se are fattening. and sausages. Dieters should also be aware that most fiber passes through the body without being absorbed. it is believed to help rid the digestive tract of some fats and carbohydrates that otherwise would eventually be absorbed into the body. vegetables. including bacon. and wine. Used to flavor and preserve a wide range ofprocessed foods. Sodium nitrate. The latter substance helps bind the sugar to the tooth. bologna. sulfur dioxide Preservatives and antibrowning used in beverages. potassium sorbate Naturally and synthetically produced. making you less tempted to satisfy yourselfwith refined high-calorie foods. As plained in chapter 9. Too much fiber is bad. they also have no nutrients. syrup. Prevents mold and.262 . Destroys vitamin B. soft drinks.

they swallow a lot of air. It lutes the acid. Why. The type of food matters. It's not common knowledge that fatty foods can also activate heartburn.That's an extra 5-pound burden. • the new kitchen science too much fibers Some experts recommend a maximum of 35 grams per day for the average adult male. then. Moreover. It is stored as glycogen (for quick energy) and fat (for longer-term needs). such a diet reduces the magnitude of exposure unwholesome substances such as toxins and pathogenic rnicroorganisms that any single food might harbor. So can alcohol and coffee-and lying down after a meal. the news isn't encouraging. What is the theory behind eating a varied diet? Science has identified over 40 different essential nutrients no one food ingredient offers them all. in contrast. Converting glycogen into the needed glucose is a relatively fast process. the body would need to carry around 9 pounds of glycogen. . Most chronic heartburn sufferers know that high-acid foods can trigger the condition. contains nine calories per gram. without seeking medical advice. including in the cholesterol-related items in chapter 10. Special diets are also discussed elsewhere. too. because antacid pills alter the body's acid-base balance. like protein. Indirectly. Likewise. Belching typically follows. A diet rich in variety therefore stands a better chance providing all the necessary nutrients. they relax a valve in the esophagus that normally prevents the acidic gastric juices from backing up into the esophagus. To substitute glycogen for 4 pounds of fat. It's a carbohydrate that. does the body need fat? Wouldn't it be simpler if the body used glycogen exclusively for its energy reserve? Glycogen has a shortcoming. The ing air sends acidic digestivejuices flying up to the esophagus. contains ouly four food calories (energy) per gram. is considerably slower and more complex. What are the chances of regairIing the pounds you lose on a diet? Unfortunately. Some diners take antacid pills to relieve heartburn because their alkaline ingredient helps neutralize the acid. Why are fast eaters more prone to stomach~ches? Food gobblers increase their chances of heartburn in two ways.264 . Most people seeking to lose 10 or more pounds on a weight-loss diet will regain most or 265 . however. A varied diet also lessens possibility of consuming an unhealthy amount of any single trient. First. bodv probably needs some nutrients that food scientists know nothing or tle about. Fat. Converting fat into glucose. Why do humans and other animals have fat? The body's fuel is glucose (sugar). since wolfers don't have time to chew their food into digestible pieces. One should use this remedy on a steady basis. added acid can cause heartburn. • lets WE'VE INCLUDED this chapter because cooks playa major role in determining the success of weight-reduction and other diets. A frequently overlooked remedy is a glass of plain water. Second. their stomachs are forced to release extra digestive juices to break down the abnormally large pieces. however.

and bitter. Surprisingly. hamburger that has been dyed a bright green will not taste like hamburger to most people. 1 tablespoon of sugar into creating the illusion of a new the first glass.After tastthough it is difficult to char. including lips (usually very salt-sensitive). for instance. Their intensity and location on the tongue vary from person to person. When. Other experts demur. "It just doesn't taste right. That'swhy a smell of fish that is strong when you walk into a restaurant is usually low-keyed by the time you sit down at the table. believing that the jury is still out. Do taste buds exist beyond the top of the tongue? Some of your 9. What role do taste buds play? Although the taste buds play second fiddle to the olfactory receptors in taste perception. and hearing senses influence our taste perceptions? Eaters sometimes erroneously ascribe the sensory perceptions of sight. Taste Bud Concentration Zones on Topof the Tongue bitter low-intensity sour. or bitter taste receptors.ingeach sample. temperature waler. Some laboratory research supports their view. The experiment in chapter 9 (p.we sense an infinite variety of flavors through the interaction of just four primary types of taste buds-sweet.intense. into the fourth glass." rather than correctly conclude.000 taste buds are also found on other parts of your mouth. touch. it is real and has spoons of bitters.salty. your palate. it could Map yourown taste buds by placing infront ofyou fourdean glasses. How do the sight. and sweet Is umami the fifth taste? Some taste physiologists argue that the basic-four list of tastes (sweet. Try This Taste Bud glutamate is in its free form. not combined with other amino acids). note the place(s) acterize in words. and 2 teataste or not. underside of the tongue. and hearing to taste. Fortunately. juice into the second glass. It could be." and "meaty.' "brothv.276 • • the new kitchen science potpourri • • 277 odor. monosodium glutamate is a salt form of glutamate and does produce an umami taste. variety. and inner cheeks. and bitter) should be expanded to include urnami (a Japanese term pronounced oo-mom-eei. an amino acid (a building block of protein). Mapping Experiment (that is. It has been where the specific flavors are the most variously described as "sa. they significantly affect how food tastes. As tests have proven. sour. "It doesn't feel or sound right" . suchas the Angostura an identifiable flavor profile. say that the umami taste may not be a basic taste. a side effect of a chemical reaction triggered by glutamate. The most overrated area is the roof of your mouth. sour. salty." These terms cover too broad a taste spectrum to communicate adequately the umami taste profile to anyone who does not already know it. touch.Add. 181) will teach you how to identify the elusive MSGtriggered (and therefore umami) taste. sour. most people would say. 1 tablespoon of lemon basic taste. salty. And if you could take the crispness out of a raw apple.each chemically modify the perpartially filled with 1 ounce of roomformance of the sweet. and thorsalty. vory. oughlystir. 1 teaspoon Whether umami is a basic of saltinto the third glass.

and especially the side walls. souffle making is child's play-you'll end up with a glorious souffie each and every time. liquid. (For tips making a successful souffle. 1. which in turn inflate the entire souffle. which is made from part of the durum wheat berry. Thoroughly grease the inside of the dish. teaspoon black pepper pinch of cayenne pepper pinch of cinnamon pinch of nutmeg Optional: '/. seafood. so it's denser. Pasta made other flours tends to become mushy when cooked. see the recipe on the next page. and gas. the force of the shock waves from that deed is too weak to pop more than a few air bubbles. Why do makers of quality pasta prefer semolina flour? Semolina flour. substances that help keep the cooked pasta relatively firm. Though a cook has blamed the collapse of a souffle on the spouse who slammed the kitchen door. creating niches in the intermolecular crystalline structure. Grease the inside of a 6-cup souffle dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter and then coat it with 1 teaspoon of the cheese (shake out and discard any cheese particles that do not stick). has a very high level of protein and cellulose. . 279 Principle-Illustrating Recipe MACADAMIA CHEESE SOUFFLE 4 servings The basic souffle is no more than a thickened. Separate the eggs (all four whites in one bowl. Preheat the oven to 400°F. three egg yolks in another). Semolina flour also tastes better and is more nutritious thau its leading rivals. teaspoon salt '/. When the air inside the bubbles cools. Cover and chill the prepared dish i~ the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. is the cook who made one more culinary errors in the science of souffle making. the less dense ice floats. When the air inside them is heated in the oven. the souffle mixture will stick to the dish and not rise freely. you could say with equal logic. consist of countless minute air bubbles.) • . Once you learn the reasons why you follow certain procedures and avoid others. 2. Therefore. potpourri the new kitchen science What makes a souffle rise? What makes it fall? Beaten egg whites make the souffle rise to the occasion of your dinner party. Bring eggs and milk to room temperature. They are also responsible for its downfall (the souffle's. if any at The culpable party. or. it expands and enlarges the albumen bubbles. cup finely chopped or grated Gruyere cheese 3 tablespoons white wheat flour 1 cup whole milk 4 tablespoons finely chopped '/.278 • . flavored sauce (or puree of meat. or fruit) that has been lightened with beaten egg whites and then baked. the liquid-phase water sinks. 3 yolksof large eggs 4 whites of large eggs 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 5/. eggs. rather than cold. because without the buffer lubricant. 3. oxygen and hydrogen molecule components bind in a looser fashion. The souffle also decreases in volume when a force such as moving spatnla punctures some of the air bubbles. Chilling the dish keeps the buffer from melting prematurely and sliding to the boffomduring baking. teaspoon cream of tartar macadamia nuts Why does ice float? Water has three phases: solid. Yoursouffle will rise to great heights only if you whip the egg whites to their maximum volume-and to accomplish that goal. the souffle deflates.In the solid phase. if truth be told. not your dinner party's). you must use room-temperature. vegetable. Egg whites (albumen). Liquid-phase water lacks these niches. when beaten.

Many other variables also affect heat retention. If the burn is more severe than this. or vegetable poses less of a problem. ceramic. butter can foster infection. As soon as the ice begins to feel unbearably cold. What is the best way to treat a burn? Ninety-nine percent of burns that occur in the kitchen are firstdegree burns and usually require only home treatment. Keep repeating until the pain subsides (but not to the point where you risk frostbite). Using the end of a wooden spoon or a finger. soup. and thickness. The cook has to contend with knives. broken glass. Fatty foods stay warm longer than lean ones. to suit your whims. ill Should cookbooks be stored in the kitchen? It's a practical site. A firstdegr~e burn is slightly red or discolored and causes only mild swelling and pain. call a doctor or emergency medical center. If the pain returns. shape. the most influential variable of all is whether the food is covered. 4. a glass or metal serving dish? Assuming that both containers are identical in size. Glass is a considerably poorer conductor of heat than is metal. folloWing the circumjerenca of the dish. If the burn covers a wide or hard-to-reach area. • 283 gently apply it to the burned skin. This step minimizes the extent of cellular damage. remove the bag. Next. slippery floors. moisture content. which flourish in humid kitchens. if your kitchen is lit with fluorescent lighting. You can give your souffle a decorative dome. Which will keep food warm longer. and therefore the rate of heat loss through the sides of the container is slower. A deep-sided serving dish for a stew. faIling objects. The ice-cube treatment is superior to the old-fashioned rubwith-butter method because ice cubes numb the pain. The same principle is true for glass's close relative. and countless distractions. Consequently. Never make the same souffle twice-do at least one thing 'differently each time.282 • • the new kitchen science 3. within reason. First. an unheated plate will perceptibly cool the food before all of it has had a fair chance to be eaten and enjoyed. including the food's fat and. make a l/2-inch-cleep groove in your mixture. The quantity of the heated food will usually warm the serving dish before the dish can appreciably cool the hot food. or if it covers an extensive area of the body. cover. the tubes may leak enough ultraviolet rays to cause a damaging chemical reaction on the book's pages. Why is it more important to preheat a dinner plate than a serving dish? The mass of the room-temperature (70°F) dinner plate is usually much greater than that of the hot (say about 160°F) food. hot surfaces. The best way to treat a first -degree burn is to cool the burned area quickly by lightly pressing an ice cube against it. What is the most dangerous room in a home? Hundreds of thousands of accidents OCcur annually in the American home kitchen. The cooling effect is almost as acute for a serving platter. just before you place the souffle in the oven. the glass one will keep food warm longer. but if a cookbook is rare or irreplaceable. Spices can also be varied. Moreover. place the icecube bag over the burned area. you run the risk of the book being attacked by mildew-causing fungi. the kitchen is too hostile an environment. Ditto for solid foods versus liquid ones like stews. Of course. place several ice cubes in a clean plastic storage bag and potpourri . including children and spouses. and binding. Second. soak the part affected in a suitable-size vessel or sink of water with plenty of ice cubes. .

on the dish. It is hydrophobic-repulsed by water and attr~cted to oil. with the aid of an emulsifying agent like soap or detergent. do not make the water too hot. Soap helps clean dirty dishes in another way. some of the food particles-although surrounded by a sinkful of water-can remain dry. How do I separate stuck-together glasses? The two glasses should part if you contract the inner glass and expand the outer glass by subjecting them to cold and hot tempera- . In most cases. Acid can dissolve such deposits.0£ my teakettle ofits deposit buildup? If you have been boiling only water inside your kettle. the hard deposit layer is mainly alkali compounds and minerals. Glue-removing products are How can I remove a glued label from a new metal formulated to pot thoroughly and easily? loosen chemiThe soak-in-water method doesn't work well cally the bonds on most modern label glues. Oil and water molecules naturally repel each other. while the hydrophobic end attaches itself to the oil-. the water and oil will mix and travel down the drain together. but it also has a lower surface tension than cold water. Don't try to peel a label off the pot prematurely lest hard-to-remove remnants of the glue remain bonded to rpe metal instead ofthe label.284 . The other end behaves in the opposite manner. or oil-coated food. In contrast. because temperatures higher than 140°F tend to cook flour. The oil-soap-water emulsion is not. lest the flour become instant glue. Adhesive makers know this principle well: Starch is the basic material for many of their products. Why is hot water a better dish-cleaning medium than cold water? Not ouly does hot water make oil and other food substances more fluid and therefore easier to dislodge. Use lukewarm water rather than hot. permanent-as you can tell from the oil layer that sometimes lightly coats your hands. How do I rid the inside . Be patient. When cleaning a dish smeared with a raw or cooked flour paste. and the oil molecule glides off the plate. the soap or detergent can more readily form an oil-and-water emulsion. soap makes the water more viscous by its sheer physical presence. Always rinse or soak a flour-coated pan or implement immediately after you use it. Fill the pot with boiling water and let it stand. The hot water therefore better penetrates the food. Fill the teakettle with a mixture of one part vinegar to six parts water. The soap molecule's hydrophilic end binds itself to the water. the new kitchen science How does soap help clean a dirty dish? Soap (and detergent) reduces the relativelyhigh surface tension of water and so enables the water molecules to penetrate better the pores of the food residue clinging to the dish. If necessary.A little elbow grease on your part. and thus the water alone cannot effectively penetrate oil. One of its two ends is hydrophilic: It is drawn to water and shuns oil. However. however. This increase allows the fluid to carry more and larger particles. you can repeat the process. and just as important. the heat will loosen the glue's hold on the metal. and let it stand overnight The next day thoroughly wash out the . and difficult to remove.kettle. A soap molecule is an emulsifier because of its split personality. Unless that happens. . potpourri • • 285 Why is flour so difficult to remove from pots and utensils? Flour is a starch and therefore can be quite sticky when exposed to water. In addition to its molecular properties. Solution: Gluebetween the removing products are formulated to loosen glue and the chemically the bonds between the glue and the metal pot metal pot. hard. so that freed soil floating in even relatively dirty water usually is not forced to take up residence on a soaking plate once again. Youhave another option if the label is on the outside of a pot-use heat. stains caused by acids like tea or coffee are best removed with an alkali such as baking soda. thereby increasing the adhesiveness of a flour paste. however.