25 Dec 2010

New chocolate & dispersion article out in Norwegian school science periodical

A popsci article on chocolate truffles/ganache and dispersions recently published in the Norwegian school science periodical (print and web).

As a starting point for the text, I use a recipe for chocolate ganache from the Oslo chocolatier Deux chocolatiers. From there, I describe chocolate and ganache as dispersions and how we can understand the structure/texture of chocolate, why chocolate seizes and where chocolate ganache/truffles come into the picture. The article can be found at www.naturfag.no/mat:
Also, recommendable is Anu's blog molekyyligastronomia with two entries recently on chocolate ganache (look forward to the day comes that google translate deals efficiently with Finnish grammar, though).

To round off the season, Muppet Show's own gastronomical column headed by the Swedish chef making chocolate Moose must be one of the ultimate Christmas treats treat wrap up the fooducation blog before Christmas holidays :)

Some more posts on chocolate

7 Dec 2010

Why are some considered food lovers whereas others are considered food geeks?

Often, when I talk about food I'm met with an attitude that I'm talking chemistry and for that reason whatever I say is incomprehensible. The blinds go down and I see the eyes of the person I talk with go all shifty. Probably, he or she considers me being a food geek...

Whereas "food lover" has mostly positive connotations, "food geek" has this mixed flavour to it. Could it be that the "food geek" (whoever that might be) holds some concepts which he applies in considering the food and which sets him apart from the food lover?

One reason that food geeks are considered as, simply geeks, might perhaps find it's reason in what has by pedagogics researchers Meyers & Land (2003, 2005) been coined "threshold concepts". Take any stereotypical notion of a geek, and you'll probably find that one important reason that you consider him a geek is because he holds some knowledge or a world view that lies beyond your grasp (for simplicity I'll use "he" for the geek, but it could of course be a "she" as well. Likewise, I'll use "you" for the non-geek). This could e.g. be a view coloured by mathematical insight (maths/physics geek) or chemical insight (chemistry geek). Often he sees things using his mathematical or chemical spectacles that you normally would consider everyday matters. Accordingly, for many "food geeks" food is not only food but an assembly of plant/animal cells, molecules or even "chemicals" that can be manipulated. The result is a gap between his way of seeing things and your way of seeing things, in this case food and cooking; he becomes the geek.