Molecular gastronomy is tricky to define. Nearly all food preparation—from frying eggs to pickling vegetables—involves transforming the molecules in an ingredient to a different state. Even the idea that molecular gastronomy uses scientific techniques doesn't apply to some of the cuisine's most famous dishes. It's easy to see the chemistry behind Ferran Adrià's spherified olives, but Grant Achatz's abstract desserts lean more on art than science.
In the latest episode of Food History, host Justin Dodd explores the complicated and controversial history of molecular gastronomy. If you've ever wondered why fine dining chefs embraced science in the kitchen, or where the term molecular gastronomy originated, check out the video below. You'll likely learn something new—even if you've dined at El Bulli during its heyday or experimented with agar-agar in your home kitchen.
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