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cooking

What’s the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

19 May 2022

What if your significant other gifted you baking powder instead of chocolates? What if they invented baking powder? In 1843, British chemist Alfred Bird did just that for his lucky, yeast-allergic,...

Concerns About Cookware Chemistry

21 Jan 2022

Like most chemists, I like to cook.  After all, what is cooking but the appropriate mixing of chemicals?  In the lab we use flasks and beakers, but how do we equip our kitchen?  Tiffany's in New...

Is it true that pine nuts can cause a lasting taste disturbance?

17 Dec 2021

In 2001, a Belgian physician experienced two episodes of bitter, metallic taste that lasted for several days and noted that both had occurred after he had eaten pine nuts. He mentioned this to a...

The Science of Basil

11 Sep 2021

Sir Francis Bacon, an important figure in the development of the scientific method, claimed in his work on natural history that when a basil plant was exposed too much to the sun, it became wild...

Why can’t you use low-fat margarine for frying?

6 Aug 2021

Margarine is fat. It’s just a different kind of fat from butter. Whereas butter contains mostly saturated fats, margarine’s fats are unsaturated. This just refers to a slight variation in the...

Why does lettuce turn brown?

4 Jun 2021

That’s an interesting question. How lettuce turns brown is well known. But why this happens is a different story. Let's deal with the how first. The chemistry that takes place when lettuce leaves...

The Science of Sourdough and How a Jar of Microbes Could Help Keep Your Bread Fresher Longer

28 Jul 2020

Its catapult to popularity may have been triggered by the pandemic-induced yeast shortages, but even months later, when instant yeast is once again available at most grocery stores, sourdough’s...

How can I make the perfect French fry?

29 Nov 2019

So, you’re tired of eating lousy french fries. You’re sick of those limp dark brown grease sponges. What can you do? Make them! Let’s for a moment forget nutrition and health. In this area, french...

You’re probably storing leftovers wrong (especially if it's rice)

11 Jul 2019

If, like me, you aim to cook dinners that provide both your next day’s lunch as well as a freezer portion to be thawed at some future date, you may want to stop. At least with rice.

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