Hervé This Deflates A Myth: Salt Does Not Dissolve in Oil

No, the title of this post is not some grammatical bastardization of the English language.  Hervé This is a person, and an important person at that – especially in the world of foodies.  A French Chemist, This, along with Hungarian Nicholas Kurti, coined the phrase "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy” (later shortened to Molecular Gastronomy).  If what I just said befuddles you, fear not!  When you think of MG, just think of Richard Blais and Flip (internal). Richard’s “Molecular Cooking” finds its’ roots in Molecular Gastronomy.

In a recent interview, Hervé spends a great deal of time elaborating on the differences between what he does and what someone like Pierre Gagnaire does.  Included in the interview are Hervé This’s 10 elements of basic kitchen knowledge.  They are:

1. Salt dissolves in water.

2. Salt does not dissolve in oil.

3. Oil does not dissolve in water.

4. Water boils at 100 C (212 F).

5. Generally foods contain mostly water (or another fluid).

6. Foods without water or fluid are tough.

7. Some proteins (in eggs, meat, fish) coagulate.

8. Collagen dissolves in water at temperatures higher than 55 C (131 F).

9. Dishes are dispersed systems (combinations of gas, liquid or solid ingredients transformed by cooking).

10. Some chemical processes – such as the Maillard Reaction (browning or caramelizing) – generate new flavours [sic].


Anywho, you should definitely check out the full interview.  In addition, you may want to visit This’s page on Gagnaire’s website.  I have taken the liberty of providing you the google translated version.  You should check out some of his posts.  They are very cool.

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