Topic outline

  • General

    Chemistry in the kitchen

    Ever wonder why bread dough rises? Or what makes a chocolate bar melt when it’s heated? When we cook, we see food change. Chemistry explains these changes. Harold McGee, author of On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen, agrees: “science can make cooking more interesting by connecting it with the basic workings of the natural world.” In this course, we will explore food and cooking through experiments that ask questions such as: How does heat change food? How do bacteria perform fermentation? Why is the fermented food acidic? What is an acid, anyway? Through these explorations we will build an understanding of how chemistry explains cooking.

    This is a chemistry course – with the kitchen as our laboratory. The course will meet twice a week: once in the classroom, and once in the kitchen. Each week we will discuss a new topic in chemistry and then use our laboratory time in the kitchen to address our questions.

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