Wired food science
September 18, 2013 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Eater.com breaks down Wired's new food issue, which includes David Chang's essay called "The Joy of Cooking With Science"; Alton Brown on the science behind real-tasting fake chicken, and a piece on umami (recently on AskMeFi).
posted by Room 641-A (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's super frustrating to read about all these innovative US food companies in the vegetarian/vegan/kosher/sustainable space (Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Daiya, MimicCreme, soyrizo, etc). Because invariably they take about 25 years to reach Australia/NZ/UK -- if ever.
posted by dontjumplarry at 12:14 AM on September 19, 2013


Re: David Chang's essay (here)—is this an excerpt, or is that it?
posted by flippant at 1:14 AM on September 19, 2013


The article about the research that goes into stunt foods was fascinating, although living in Japan it's frustrating to read about all those strangely compelling concoctions that are unlikely to ever be found outside of North America.

Also, I like the idea of Wired Magazine doing a joint project with Bon Appetit. I'm trying to imagine other unlikely collaborators for future special issues....
posted by Umami Dearest at 1:57 AM on September 19, 2013


I'm trying to imagine other unlikely collaborators for future special issues....

Well, how about the Annals of Improbable Research and Cosmopolitan?
posted by eriko at 2:50 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


> ...the idea of Wired Magazine doing a joint project with Bon Appetit.

They're both Conde Nast properties. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more joint projects. Teen Vogue / Golf Digest has potential.
posted by ardgedee at 3:18 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


High Times should do a joint project with Pizza Rolls Quarterly.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:27 AM on September 19, 2013


It's super frustrating to read about all these innovative US food companies in the vegetarian/vegan/kosher/sustainable space (Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Daiya, MimicCreme, soyrizo, etc). Because invariably they take about 25 years to reach Australia/NZ/UK -- if ever.

Don't feel too bad, most of these kinds of things take 25 years to reach the non-coastal parts of the US anyway. My local grocery store here in the midwestern USA has only consistently stocked vegetarian burger patties for about the last year or two, even though they've been technically "available" since the early '90s.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, how about the Annals of Improbable Research and Cosmopolitan?

You've obviously never seen Cosmo's semi-annual "7 Tricks That Will Drive Him Wild in Bed" issue. It comes out the month before Men's Health's "How to Rehab That Part of You Now That It's Broken" issue.
posted by yerfatma at 6:00 AM on September 19, 2013


A few years ago I figured that all meat was eventually going to be vat-grown, and we'd bypass the messy and inhumane farm part of factory farms. I guess it would be cool if we passed by the meat part too.

Directly across the street from me is In The Bowl, which is an absolutely amazing vegetarian place that I'd go to far far far more often if I had money. The meat (Chicken/Duck/Beef) there is... flavorful. It's not quite the same as ordinary meat, and it doesn't fill you up quite the same way as meat does, but in terms of having a single good meal it's everything you could want. If it had the right vitamins I wouldn't mind eating it all the time.
posted by tychotesla at 6:16 AM on September 19, 2013


In Vitro Meat (IVM) FTW!
posted by mikelieman at 6:34 AM on September 19, 2013


although living in Japan it's frustrating to read about all those strangely compelling concoctions that are unlikely to ever be found outside of North America.

I often feel the same way... Grass is always greener, right?
posted by Gordafarin at 6:47 AM on September 19, 2013


Just wanted to step in and plug the PBS series Mind of a Chef in here. David Chang is awesome. All the stunt food really does take a lot of work and thought and testing. I'm vegetarian and so can't eat most of it, but I find it really fascinating and fun.
posted by nevercalm at 6:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Strange Interlude: "My local grocery store here in the midwestern USA has only consistently stocked vegetarian burger patties for about the last year or two, even though they've been technically "available" since the early '90s."

Find a better supermarket, my down-market small-town midwestern Kroger has stocked them for at least 10 years (that is, since I moved here). There's like a whole freezer case of nothing but Boca Burgers and friends, and has been forever.

They don't stock bugs, which I guess is good as the bug story freaked me out. They do seasonally stock live lobster, which I guess is sort-of the same thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:02 AM on September 19, 2013


From Alton's article:
Given the right ingredients and the right texturizing technology you could produce not-shrimp for people with shellfish allergies or not-bacon for pork-abstaining Jews and Muslims. What about imitating endangered animals so that we could eat them without wiping them out or feeling guilty?

Oh man. Put me on the list for faux Giant Tortoise meat when it comes out.
posted by Gordafarin at 7:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read "Weird Food Science."
posted by Mooseli at 9:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting article about alternatives to chicken.

Right now I'm eating a serving of Whole Foods' Vegan Chicken salad. It tastes good, but I find the texture of Beyond Meat's Vegan Chick'n Strips quite tough. Chicken (or its substitutes) should not be so rubbery to chew. It does look compact after biting into it - sure looks like real meat. A 264g serving contains 50g of protein, which is fine for my needs - but the price of this salad, at $40/kg, is giving me pause.

I will be going back to tofu if I want a meat substitute - this is too expensive, and the mouth feel is all wrong. This was fun to try, but I won't have this again.
posted by seawallrunner at 12:13 PM on September 19, 2013


Hey, that non-chicken sounds pretty neat, and it's good to know that there are still some people willing to invest money and science into the pursuit of meat substitutes, because as far as I'm concerned that's the only way forward. Meat is not only cruel, it's incredibly inefficient.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:23 PM on September 19, 2013


I love meat, but am cutting back because, as turbid dahlia says, it's incredibly inefficient. But I don't care much for meat substitutes that are attempts to look, feel, and taste like meet. Because, at best, you're only getting two out of those three usually. And the more they get it to be meatlike, the more it is just another Processed Food usually. But if it pulls more people away from factory-farmed meat I guess that's a good thing. I'm going to be experimenting with homemade seitan next week, which is usually too "squeaky" in texture for me, but I might be able to avoid that id I slice it thin enough and sear it really good. Wish me luck.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:54 PM on September 19, 2013


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