How to Freak Out a Foodie
“Why hyperdecant?” Myhrvold asked the audience in a plenary lecture here on Saturday at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes ScienceNOW). “To improve the flavor of a young red wine, it’s faster than letting wine breathe unaided,” because the mechanical agitating provides more surface area to aerate the wine more rapidly. “But the real reason is the look on the faces of the wine experts in the room.”
Myhrvold’s irreverent advice was just one of the cutting-edge food science and cooking tips that he shared during his talk, all the while dazzling the audience with film clips of wine glasses shattering, orange zest vaporizing, and a kernel of popcorn exploding in slow motion (as illustration of the kernel’s “structural failure” to illustrate how water in food can become a “steam rocket” as the latent heat of the water builds up). A physicist, mathematical economist, inventor and founder of Microsoft Research, Myhrvold is also the creator of The Cooking Lab and co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, a 2438-page, six-volume set whose goal is to “remove the ignorance of science from the kitchen,” Myhrvold said.