Posts Tagged ‘food’

TGIF: Periodic tables of food

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Does food fit into this table?

Here at Khymos I aim to cover things related to food and chemistry, and as I stumbled over a periodic table of cupcakes (with clickable “elements” linked to recipes) I couldn’t resist to dig a little deeper. And look what I found! The periodic table of elements is iconic, but the periodic table has also become an organizing metaphor for all sorts of things, including food. The Internet database of periodic tables holds more periodic tables than you could ever dream of, but it’s not complete – at least not with regards to food. Here are the food related periodic tables that I’ve been able to find. Fun? Yes! Useful? No, not really 🙂 At the end of the post I’ve also included examples of how the real periodic table of elements can be illustrated in a more or less edible fashion. All images are linked to the page where I found them. Are you aware of other periodic tables of food? Please let me know and I’ll include them in this post.

The Experimental Cuisine Collective

Friday, April 27th, 2007

The Scientist in an interview with Hervé This reports that:

Recently, New York University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kent Kirshenbaum teamed up with chef Will Goldfarb to bring experts together to discuss the intersection of science, cooking and eating. Often they are talking about the same thing, but with different vocabulary, says Kirshenbaum, who specializes in the architecture of polymer chains. “I think of these as reagents. He thinks of them as ingredients.”

The initiative of Kent Kirshenbaum and Will Goldfarb resulted in The Experimental Cuisine Collective which was officially launched on April 11th with a workshop entitled “Experimental Cuisine: Science, Society, and Food”.


Their mission statement is an elaboration and expansion of Hervé This’ original and revised definitions of molecular gastronomy (ie. not excluding the technological and political aspects of molecular gastronomy, and including the social context):

  • Provide a venue for scientists, food academics, culinary and pastry professionals, journalists, and the dining public to gather and exchange knowledge.
  • Contribute to a rigorous scientific understanding of the physical basis for cooking processes.
  • Enhance understanding of the social contexts for cooking and the societal ramifications of new food technologies.
  • Accelerate the discovery of scientific and experiment-based approaches to innovative culinary practices, unorthodox flavors, and new dining traditions.
  • Provide technical expertise for chefs.
  • Advocate for a balance between modern cuisine while maintaining a healthful and sustainable approach to food preparation.
  • Disseminate knowledge about human diet and health; inform the public regarding the molecular basis of nutrition and the chemical constituents of food; and foster research that will improve people’s ability to obtain and choose healthful foods on a local and global level.
  • Introduce curricula on food and cooking as an approach for generating enthusiasm among school children for studying the physical sciences.
  • Celebrate taste.
  • Their mission statement sums up many of my interests related to molecular gastronomy and popular food science and I look forward to their contributions! And I really hope they will publish their results and findings on the web.