Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The square root of PI ... mmmm, tasty pie ...

It was Mythbusters meets Jamie Oliver.

In a rare moment of spare time, I flopped down on the couch and channel-surfed until I found something interesting on Food Network Canada: "In Search of Perfection", with Heston Blumenthal, a guy who takes molecular gastronomy to a whole new level.

His kitchen was more like a lab than a home of culinary creation; everyone was outfitted with lab coats and safety goggles for Blumenthal's initial test of a reversed version of baked Alaska. How to get the hot stuff on the inside, instead of setting fire to the outside. Can you invent ice cream that doesn't melt? You can, if you have a team of physicists, some liquid nitrogen and a mathematical equation to measure the exact melting point of ice crystals on hand.

Dude had this ball of scientifically enhanced Haagen-Daaz set on fire on his workbench. Flamed licked all over it, but the sphere stayed rock solid. On to the next challenge: the microwave. Could it stand the heat? Well, I'm sure the puddle on the tray was tasty, but it was obvious the experiment was a failure.

In the end, the results were just as mouth-watering, even if the conclusion didn't quite jive with the hypothesis. With his cake neatly trimmed at perfect 90-degree angles and hovering atop a cloud of dry ice, Blumenthal was happy enough that his was "the perfect" baked Alaska.

Until the next experiment ...

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