Do Not Attempt Molecular Gastronomy without a Precision Scale
“I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus, we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés.” -Nicholas Kurti
In 1992, a cooking teacher named Elizabeth Cawdry Thomas saw fit to disrupt a regular discussion among scientists by introducing a cook’s perspective. These scientists had been meeting every year in Erice, Italy, to discuss the physics and chemistry of cooking. Elizabeth, who was married into the culture of scientists, recruited many of these very scientists, and a group of experienced cooks, to expand upon these discussions by forming the “Workshop on Molecular and Physical Gastronomy.”
These workshops began to attract more chefs who were able to use the precision lab equipment and the knowledge of the scientists, combined with traditional ingredients to form the base of what is the popular new style of cooking, “Molecular Gastronomy.”
“With cult foods, there is an underlying assumption that the best cooking ideas came generations ago. Yet culinary innovation is nothing to be ashamed of. When a chef tells me he is cooking with his grandmother's recipe, I always wonder why. Did talent skip the past two generations?” -Nathan Myhrvold
Molecular Gastronomy appeals to the curious scientist in all of us but Nathan Myhrvold, one time Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, took his curiosity to unimaginable levels. He leveraged his education and substantial means to create a six volume, 2,400-page, set of books titled “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.”
From those early workshops to Myhrvold’s massive tome, one component has remained constant, precision lab equipment. Simple measuring cups might be fine for making your pancakes, but for advanced techniques like spherification, a precision scale is necessary. Myhrvold recommends two scales, one for measurements down to 0.1 grams, and one for measurements above 1,000 grams.
Perhaps Myhrvold was unaware of Torbal Scales. Torbal has precision digital scales like the AGC2000 that can handle the entire range, from 0.01 grams to 2000 grams. Perhaps you’re happy with your current tools of measure, but if you want to try your hand at Molecular Gastronomy, contact Torbal Scales today.