Extra Credit/ Edible Art/ Kelly Tseng

Prior to this seminar given by David Szanto, I had no idea that gastronomy was a field of science let alone that there exists a University of Gastronomic Sciences. I have always been interested in the preparation of food (i.e. cooking) but I have never really been cognizant of the fact that there is a whole science behind food such as the specific processes used for producing food in a clean way such that it does not harm the environment, animals, and most importantly, our health. Szanto defined gastronomy as a profession, a reason to act, a process for refining the senses and noted that we study it to understand the connection between food and society, economics, culture, and politics, as well as to safeguard society and the environment and build food system sustainability. I particularly found the point that he stressed about Slow Food’s mission to revive local food traditions and people’s interests in the foods they eat really interesting. I believe that the only way to get people interested in food again is to make it completely amazing and delicious. The reason why people turn to fast food in the first place is because they get tired and bored of the everyday dull and bland foods. To many, a French fry seems more appealing than a celery stick. Thus, this brought me to really contemplate how food could be bettered and made more delectable. The creation of food, in my eye, is a type of art as well as a type of science. It (like technology), I think, is a blend of the two different spheres. When I watch Giada de Laurentis’ Everyday Italian on the Food Network I feel that the concoction of a dish requires the methods of science and art. For example, one cannot cook something without a recipe and that recipe is a guideline for the quantitative amounts of ingredients needed (science). The preparation of the ingredients such as dicing the onions combines the art aspect (dicing the onions in a specific way) into cooking. I guess what I am trying to convey here is that cooking is a fusion of both science and art. The completed lasagna dish looks very scrumptious due to its appearance and presentation, however it tastes good due to the correct measurements and the right amount of heat used to prepare the food. Thus, in order to get people interested in food again, we need to first make the food an artwork (beautiful enough to even try) and then make the food delicious enough to eat, which requires the precision of chemical and physical processes of cuisine.

This dish combines the expertise of both art and science.  It is beautiful edible art that requires the skill of using liquid nitrogen to create sugar art at the exact temperature.    I tried looking for more interesting articles on gastronomy and came up with this:

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1873579,00.html  This article revealed the extensive techniques behind food.  Cooking cuisine is such a complex skill that utilizes scientific and artistic methods.

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