The Incredible Shrinking Fava Bean

I bought some fava beans yesterday to use in a recipe from Elizabeth Andoh’s “Kansha” and decided to pull out my scale to document the tedious bean peeling routine. I started with 552 grams of whole fava bean pods. Pod removal netted me 192 grams of skin-on beans.  I blanched the skin-on beans for 1 […]

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The Age of Shrimp

During an interview on To the Best of Our Knowledge, Ellen Ruppel Shell, the author of “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture,” dropped an amazing fact: we eat more shrimp today in the U.S. than tuna fish. It was one of those “wow” statistics that I had to check out for myself. Fortunately, the […]

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Pizza Pie Charts: Looking at Pizza Service

Although pizza baking in the San Francisco Bay Area and other locations (e.g., Sunset’s list) has undergone a renaissance in recent years with higher-quality ingredients, improved techniques, and better ovens, I think that the service side of the pizza scene needs some serious work. I’m not talking about the people who take your order or […]

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Afternoon Tea in the Laboratory: Part 2

A few weeks ago, I reviewed an academic paper on tea brewing — how brewing technique and tea brand affect caffeine and dissolved solids levels. In that paper, the authors demonstrated that the highest level of dissolved solids (which correlates with flavor and possibly anti-oxidants) come from loose leaves or a well-agitated tea bag, and […]

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Charting the chocolate chip cookie

(Updated 2/19/17: fixed broken links, converted charts to a Tableau Public story, added a new section about a Harvard University science & cooking lecture from 2012 that included similar plots) In a previous post, I described my favorite chocolate chunk cookie, made using a recipe adapted from dessert genius Jacques Torres by David Leite in […]

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