Molecular Gastronomy

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

It must be evident from the briefest inspection of entries in this Companion that the science of food and cookery is just as vital to our understanding of the whole subject as is knowledge of the names and nature of a thousand sauces, the origins of one foodstuff or another, or the impact of human social change on our diet. The works of Harold McGee, to name but the latest in a succession of distinguished scholars, have investigated just this topic. A greater interest in scientific analysis, and an appreciation of the possibilities that might arise from a hybrid expertise that married the domestic and professional kitchen with the laboratories of food manufacturers and food scientists, have provoked a new culinary aesthetic that goes under the name of molecular gastronomy. Its practitioners seek to analyse the processes of preparing and cooking food to identify the changes which occur in its colour, texture, and taste.