Category Archives: science

Spin All the Things!

Visitors to the Belm Utility Research Kitchen, after seeing all of the gadgets and equipment, always ask “Is there anything else you need?” My answer is always the same: I’d like a chamber vacuum sealer and an ultracentrifuge. The former … Continue reading

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A Brief Career in Science Journalism

Like Howl’s moving castle, Chez Belm houses a collection of autonomous processes over which I have little control. In the (almost) sixteen years that I’ve lived in the house, I have noticed that books and other printed matter eventually collect … Continue reading

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Still Waiting For My Food Pills

This is a transcript of a talk I presented at Readercon 22 on Friday, July 15. Images are included as they appeared in the slide show. I had submitted the following description for the conference program guide: Cooking has always … Continue reading

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Catastrophic Pump Meltdown

My desire for precision and accuracy occasionally leads to trouble. It wasn’t enough to have constructed my own immersion circulator, I had to test it to make sure it would be accurate through the range of temperatures (60°C – 85°C) … Continue reading

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Baby’s First Hydrocolloid Kit

Today I had a revelation: My fascination with food and food chemistry began when I was a child, and it started with a toy. While my friends all begged their parents for Creepy Crawler sets, I asked for – and … Continue reading

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Aero Chocolate, Version 2

My first attempt at making aero chocolate turned out pretty well, but I was not satisfied with the final texture, which I found to be too dense. As I was considering making it again, my copy of Ideas in Food: … Continue reading

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Hydrocolloid Experiment 1: Aero Chocolate

I frequently rediscover ideas that have been dormant in the Deep Storage Facility of my long-term memory, triggered by a recent event or conversation. I was thinking about José Andrés’ Harvard lecture on the same day that a birthday present … Continue reading

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Chef Chang’s House

No, the beloved Boston Chinese restaurant hasn’t re-opened. I just couldn’t resist using the phrase to describe the last of the Science and Coking public lectures at Harvard. This was student final projects week, and since David Chang had been … Continue reading

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Bent Out of Shape

He Who Will Not Be Ignored came home yesterday with another reading comprehension homework assignment, the usual “read the story and answer questions” exercise that bores him to tears. Sometimes the story is just that – a short piece of … Continue reading

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Molecular Gastronomy in Orbit(z)

The revolution in molecular gastronomy did not begin with Ferran Adrià’s experiments at El Bullí in 1998, it began the year before, and was heralded by the marketing of one of the least successful soft drinks ever created. In the … Continue reading

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