Science preserving French cuisine

You know, I wrote about this in my Blog for Business yesterday, but it fits for BioMedNews as well. So here goes…

“We’re saving French cuisine!” claims the new science of molecular gastronomy. Okay, okay. All it means is that a guy with education and training in hard science is applying his skills to the processes of cooking. Why? Because in France, the very cradle of profoundly delicious food, many of the ordinary restaurants that have always provided extraordinary cooking can no longer afford to pay enough employees to do all the things they once did. This means shortcuts. This means lost flavor. This means, if you believe this Gourmet magazine article writing about scientists at the College of France, the potential crumbling of the very foundations of superb French food–and even, by virtue of its national identity being so completely tied up with its food, France itself.

Monsieur This (pronounced tees) experiments until he can disprove the need for a traditional technique without sacrificing flavor, and thus shave precious minutes from the labor time for preparing a classical dish. Voila…(even if you’re not a devoted cook, as a scientist you can appreciate this next bit):

“The paradox of the veloute, for example, is in fact just that. Traditionally, it has been maintained that the foam rising to the surface of a flour-thickened sauce is an impurity. However, M. This has made clinically sterile veloutes from which the foam still rises. Such a discovery might sound inconsequential, but it certainly is not to the kitchen apprentice who has to spend the break between lunch and dinner doing the skimming.”

Just one of the many reasons why food in France tastes incredibly good.

The happy part of this is that science is becoming an ally to tradition. These researchers are applying the newest scientific discoveries to finding ways to preserve the most exquisite parts of the past–and keeping a ton of small business owners in France in business.

This, as Martha would say, is a good thing.