Maillard Reaction

10 Jul

One of the greatest elements of food is that it exhibits a wide array of colors ranging from the translucent rice paper used in Vietnamese cuisine to the earthy and disfigured Perigord truffle. I find all the vibrant colors amazing and one in particular is great; brown is beautiful.

I am specifically referring to the brown crust that is formed on the surface of meat (and other foods) when it is being cooked with immense heat. This deliciousness is the result of the Maillard reaction: when introduced to high heats, the amino acids (protein) and sugars found in the meat combine and form new compounds.  In turn, these compounds break down and produce more new flavor compounds. The reaction keeps going until the meat is removed from the heat, so don’t leave it on to long or else your meal will go from brown to black!

Being the third member of this aptly titled blog, I find tidbits like the one above absolutely fantastic. Cooking for me is so many things: a learning experience, an artistic expression and also quite cathartic. I have been fortunate enough to dine at some very amazing restaurants, but for me home cooking always wins hands down. And the ecstasy that is street food is a damn close second.

During the few hours that I don’t have food on the brain it’s usually because I’m trying to focus on my day job of being a researcher, but that’s not many.  Other activities that I partake during these few hours are tennis, surfing and reading, but enough about me. I hope that what I write on this blog is entertaining and maybe even helpful; I am ready to jump in.

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One Response to “Maillard Reaction”

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  1. First post « Nerds With Food - July 11, 2011

    […] Nerf 3 […]

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