Molecular Gastronomy vs. Slow Food

Freakonomics Radio interviews Alice Waters and Nathan Myhrvold, and looks at two different ways of looking at food: Slow Food, which reduces food to its essentials and keeps things simple, and Molecular Gastronomy, which tries to put as much science in the kitchen as possible.

This is part one. I’m guessing in part two, they realize that they have more in common than they think.

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4 Responses to Molecular Gastronomy vs. Slow Food

  1. Faith says:

    Lol, I bet you’re right!

  2. It depends how you view eating; for me eating and savoring is a primitive and immediate need. I don’t feel like it needs to be intellectualized. I don’t really think much about the food I like, and most of what I like is steeped in childhood memories. That’s why molecular cooking to me is what abstract expressionism or conceptual art was to painting.

  3. ToB: I’m not going to argue with you … but will offer this as a slightly different spin on the point. Even if foodie-ism is a primitive experience for you, one must remember that all of the basics came from experimentation. The earliest cooks might not have understood the physics and chemistry behind what they were doing, but they were in fact scientists and explorers, on an expedition of culinary discovery. The fermentation of beer and wine, the introduction of wild yeasts into breadmaking, discovering the exact melting point for sugar to create different desserts … it all had to start somewhere, and there is a physical and chemical reaction involved. And it is because of the work of 1% of cooks who get into the weeds and the details that the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of their labor. I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t see it as either/or. Even if 99% of what the molecular gastronomers do is of little interest to me, at some point one of them will stumble onto something useful, which will get passed on, and in 200 years, we’ll take it for granted, just like we do now with baking powder or caramelizing.

  4. Pingback: MG vs SF, Part 2 | highplainsdrifters

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