What to write

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I was here thinking about what to write – as always and as all columnists in this life should also do before … well, writing – which is thinking – I know, I know! That’s not news!!! But it turns out that I often get lost in my own thoughts trying to guess exactly what you, what people, what those who seek answers, would like to know so much; and that I, in my humble position, could respond.
Sometimes the texts come out full-fledged, academic, difficult to be read, with entries found in the dictionary, that is: boring and confused. Other times they come out too obvious, boring … Like, for example: does anyone have a real interest in knowing that in reality, to seal a meat, not to saddle it … in fact?
Then the other day I started to digress with my husband:
-Love, do you know that when we seal a meat, in a very hot pan, it leaves it with that beautiful golden pan? Actually … it doesn’t do any good.
– What?
– Yeah … it’s no use. This is not much news, Mc Gee concluded that so many years ago. Only I don’t know, does everyone already know? Most importantly, do they know why?
-…
And then I wonder. You know?
But before talking about meat, about Maillard’s reaction – which I’m sure many are already familiar with, I wanted to talk about “why”.
“Why” moves the world. At the end of the day, in my opinion, knowing why is far more important than why. Ok, we are not in Portuguese class to know that why is it why, why…. anyway! What I’m trying to say is that questions are more important than answers, after all, it is through them that we find reasons to live, work and fight, day after day, for something.
In the first text I wrote for the ICKFD I had the same “problem” – what to say? What do people want to know? But the answer was easy. I decided to talk about one of the things I love most: cakes. But the point is that I think it might have been better to open the column on chemistry, talking specifically about the real reason for being here, at ICKFD talking about chemistry!
What is Chemistry? And more specifically … what is chemistry in the kitchen?
The first thing to understand is that the kitchen is a laboratory. But open your mind, do not imagine a laboratory with smoke dominating the environment – although there is smoke in the kitchen – with millions of fancy utensils – ok, in the kitchen there are millions of fancy utensils – a lot of little pots with unknown powders – yeah, In the kitchen there are lots of little pots with unknown powders. Fine! Open your mind and don’t imagine a laboratory with a lot of concentrated people wearing white clothes. Errr, well, in the kitchen there are a lot of people with white clothes, concentrated … Easy! Imagine then a lot of people with white clothes, concentrated AND listening to forró. Although…
Ahhhh, okay! The kitchen is a laboratory. I don’t think it took much to convince you, right?
The second thing to understand is that in the kitchen chemical and physical reactions happen the same way in an experiment laboratory. Molecules fuse, confuse, form new molecules, change color, taste and appearance.
When we take chemistry class at school, there are those experiments in which we need to put a piece of paper on fruits and vegetables to find out their pH. Remember that? The paper changes color, some remain white. Then, we move on to another phase of knowledge and start producing a weird juice with red cabbage… and make the cabbage change color. Remember that?
The kitchen is like that too! There is a super typical Brazilian dish that is nothing more than a pure is a true chemical reaction, and that I think could be shown in our chemistry classes at school. Navy Blue, you know?
This dish is made with fish, green bananas in an iron pan. The chemical reaction between the ingredients of the dish and the pan makes it turn blue! Just as in pure science this was probably a fluke, and fluke caused the dish to be served and for the wrong fluke not to seem so wrong, someone must have said that the blue was purposeful and that the dish would be called, Blue… navy !
The kitchen is as chemical and as laboratory as a chemical laboratory. Reactions inside it go wild every moment. Cakes grow, or soles. Breads ferment and suddenly become wilted. Fish cook, become tender or turn into soles! It all depends on how we treat the molecules and how we respect the time they need to play their part!
And so, finally, I explain my reason for being here at ICKFD. I’ll try to take you a little bit of this fascinating world of cooking in depth, explaining for example: why do we cry when we cut onions?
But that, I’ll tell you later! 😉
Club-tropicana0 Photo: Club -Tropicana

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