Posts Tagged ‘journal’

The new journal Flavour went live today

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

It’s quite amazing that two journals so relevant to gastronomy and science have gone live within little more than a month. Last month we saw the appearance of International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, and today the first few articles in Flavour appeared, a few days ahead of the official launch event on March 28. If you’re in London you should consider attending the seminar “Flavour and the new nordic cuisine” jointly hosted by the London Gastronomy Seminars, the Centre for the Study of the Senses and BioMed Central, the publisher of Flavour.

The articles that appeared today include a paper on umami from the Nordic food lab, a study which shows that you take smaller bites of food with a strong aroma and finally an interesting paper exploring why you often perceive taste and smell as one. Oh, one more thing – did I mention that Flavour is an Open Access journal? I suggest you check out their content section immediately!

First issue of International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science is out

Saturday, February 18th, 2012


I first wrote about this journal in March 2009 and finally it is here, the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. The official launch of the paper version was during Madrid Fusion 2012, but last week the electronic version became available. All 10 articles, nearly 80 pages in total, are available for free download. At the moment I’m not sure if IJGFS will remain an open source journal, but let’s hope so! I see no point in listing all the contributions here, just head over to the table of contents and start reading!

Flavour right around the corner

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


The launch of Flavour, the journal I mentioned recently, is right around the corner. To celebrate the launch they give away 10 copies of Peter Barham’s Science of Cooking to anyone who registers for their article alerts before 1st July. The nice thing for those of us who don’t have free access to scientific litterature through an university library is that it’s an open access journal. There’s some more info in this blog post or you can follow them on Twitter.

Yet another journal looking for MG contributions

Monday, April 18th, 2011


Juan Valverde (a former student of Hervé This) who is now on the editorial board of the Journal of Culinary Science & Technology informed me that they are looking for new contributions in the molecular gastronomy field. The scope and coverage of the journal is as follows (quoting from their webpage):

  • Culinary innovation
  • Blurring lines between food technology and culinary arts
  • Issues and trends related to human nutrition
  • The collaboration between food science and culinary innovation
  • Techniques and technology and their role in quality of life/guest satisfaction associated with culinary, wine and food experiences
  • Trends in molecular gastronomy and its derivates
  • Annual review of trends in culinary science and technology
  • Applied research
  • Relevant research notes
  • Management styles, methods and principles
  • Techniques and innovations

While you wait for Flavour and International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science to appear you can always browse through some back issues of this journal.

New journal to launch soon: Flavour

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

While we’re still waiting for the first edition of International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science to appear: I learnt in the Copenhagen MG seminar that yet another journal is to launch soon – the Flavour journal published on BioMed Central. It’s open source (= free) which is good news for chefs and other enthusiasts without an academic afficiliation that gives access to journals. The chief editors are Per Møller and Peter Barham (co-authors of the highly recommended molecular gastronomy review). – I am passionate about good food and cooking, so I hope that the articles in Flavour will not only further our understanding of all the processes that go to developing and appreciating the flavour of the food we eat, but will also provide me, and many others with new ideas to try out in our own kitchens so we can prepare ever better dishes, says Peter Barham.
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International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (IJGFS) is planned for launch this year. Elsevir is mentioned as a publisher, but there is currently no further information on the Elsevir website. The journal is initiated by AZTI-tecnalia, a Spanish technology center specializing in marine and food research, in collaboration with ALICIA, a Catalan research centre focusing on technological innovation in kitchen science and the dissemination of agronourishment and gastronomic heritage. The restaurant Mugaritz and the websites aliment@tec and Ciencia y gastronomia also have their logos on the IJGFS website. The objective of the journal is to “fill the gap in the expanding fields of Gastronomy and Food Science, by adopting a scientific approach”.
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Ten tips for practical molecular gastronomy, part 9

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

9. Keep a written record of what you do!

Wouldn’t it be a pity if you couldn’t recreate that perfect concoction you made last week, simply because you forgot how you did it? Last year I made a vegetable soup to which I added garam masala and pepper. I was cooking ad lib, adding a little of this and that without taking notes… Which is annoying, because it turned out very nice! It had a remarkable aftertaste which gave me a somewhat dry feeling on the back of the tongue and it reminded me of mangoes. Even immediately after the meal I wasn’t able to recall all the ingredients.

As an undergraduate student I took an organic chemistry lab course, and I remember we were told not to use post it notes or small pieces of paper for taking notes. Everything should be recorded in a proper journal or – if necessary – small note books. Having finished my Ph.D. a couple of years later, I can only testify to this. Everything you do – be it in the lab or in the kitchen – should be recorded immediately in a journal. It’s amazing how something that was obvious one day, slips your mind a week or month later.

There is a wonderful Donald Duck story by Volker Reiche entitled “The soul of science” (the original appeared in 1981 in the Dutch Donald Duck magazine). At a point “Professor Duck”, who actually works as a janitor in a lab, utters the words “Careful notes are the soul of science” as he is caught experimenting. This is true also for the kitchen and experimental cooking. A German translation of the story was reprinted in the article “Das Leiden des cand. chem. Donald Duck” (open access) in case you want to read the whole story.


Careful notes are also the soul of kitchen science!

When taking notes it’s essential that you are able to re-cook the dish yourself. But if no one else is, the notes are of limited value. The biggest source of uncertainty in the kitchen is the widespread use of volume for measuring powders. This can best be illustrated by the question: How much does a cup of flour weigh?

I bumped into this when I began baking no-knead bread (recipe). I converted the recipe to metric units using an online calculator, but the no-knead bread wasn’t a huge success. The problem was that there is no simple answer to the question “How much does a cup of flour weigh?”. Cooking conversion online states that a cup of all-purpose flour weighs 99 g. King Arthur Mills claim that all their flours weigh 113 g/cup. USDA states 125 g/cup and Gold Medal 130 g/cup. Some cookbooks have settled at 140 g/cup (apparently because this is about half way between a loosely and densly packed cup) and if the flour is hard packed you can reach 160 g/cup. In other words – when following a recipe you would need to know how the volume of flour was measured in order to use exactly the same amount of flour. Some recipes call for “spoon and level” or “scoop and level”, but many do not include any information about this.

My recommendation is to weigh all dry ingredients (and preferably also the wet ingredients). A normal digital kitchen scale typically has a resolution of 1 g with an accuracy of +/- 5 g and they are quite affordable. Weighing liquids is also far more accurate than the average volume measurement in the kitchen. If the scale has a “tara” function it’s also much faster as you can zero the display after each ingredient you add. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not the only chemist advocating weight measurements in kitchen. And it’s not difficult finding other sites in favor of weight measurements either.

It therefore puzzles me why recipes that call for the following are still so abundant:

1 pack of instant yeast
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 gelatin sheet (see comment #4-5)
1 sachet powdered pectin
1 tablespoon liquid pectin
1 stick of butter
… and the list goes on

The only exception to the general advice on weighing ingredients is when very small quantities are used. This could be spices, food coloring or hydrocolloids. With normal kitchen scales, you’ll be better of using volume measurements for amounts less than 5 g (equal to a teaspoon if measuring water). Otherweise it’s worthwhile mentioning that scales with a 0.1 g and 0.01 g readout are getting cheaper and cheaper.

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There is a summary of the “10 tips for practical molecular gastronomy” posts. The collection of books (favorite, molecular gastronomy, aroma/taste, reference/technique, food chemistry) and links (people/chefs/blogs, webresources, institutions, articles and audio/video) at khymos.org might also be of interest.