We have a soft spot for American cheese, viewed in a hazy glow of nostalgia, but we wouldn't exactly call it "good" cheese. Or "cheese." Still, it has one major advantage over cheeses made from, like, dairy products: it melts perfectly. Luckily, Nathan Myhrvold and the Modernist Cuisine team have figured out a way to give any cheese that perfect meltiness--just needs a little sodium citrate. Our friends at Saveur have the (surprisingly simple) recipe. And don't forget to check out the rest of this week's food tech coverage.
Nathan Myhrvold knows that the work he and his Modernist Cuisine team do can be a little intimidating or frightening, but he's not going to stand for misconceived reactions--like, "why does your food have so many chemicals in it?" Cheese, wine, bread, and vinegar, he notes, among many more, are created through incredibly complex and unnatural processes with unnatural products. Our friends at Saveur posted his thoughts, along with a great mini-guide to some of his commonly used ingredients.
The groundbreaking Modernist Cuisine isn't exclusively for expert chefs, but the price and heft (~$450, extremely hefty) take it out of reach for most regular people. Enter Modernist Cuisine at Home, a newly announced new book that takes much of the goodness of the original six-volume set and adapts it for the home cook--along with over 400 new recipes.
The creators of Modernist Cuisine are getting ready to watch the big game just like anybody else: infusing water with cheddar cheese, blending an emulsified sauce with engineered tapioca starch, and deep-frying delicious snacks for all to enjoy.
For Halloween, Modernist Cuisine's Johnny Zhu and his young son teamed up to make olive-oil-flavored worm-shaped candies that wriggle in mounds of chocolate dirt. The gummy worms are formed of sugar, gelatin, and gum, and shaped in molds made for fishing lures.
Before Nathan Myhrvold published his six-volume culinary bombshell Modernist Cuisine, he got a doctorate in physics. Which he applies to the details of heat transfer in the book at great length, including the suggestion that the classic Weber kettle grill is very inefficient, as both its black interior and its rounded shape are non-optimal for reflecting heat from the coals to the food.
As we head into a summery long weekend, here's some additional advice on grilling (and a lovely iconic cutaway photo) from Modernist Cuisine.
This week, if you've been watching television, you may have seen Dr. Nathan Myhrvold dipping his hand in liquid nitrogen on the Colbert Report or making a striped omelet on the Today show. We also saw the Modernist team at the New York Academy of Sciences, where everyone in the standing-room audience got a bowl of modernist pistachio gelato, which is made of nothing but pure pistachios ultra-homogenized into a cream.
As I may have mentioned, I have lately developed a bit of a thing for pea butter. Not some sort of pea-infused dairy butter, but the real deal, the pure green fat of tender garden peas laboriously isolated and concentrated, and spread on toast. I first had it when I was visiting the Modernist Cuisine laboratory/kitchen in Seattle last month, and now I very much want more.