Molecular Gastronomy

Learn more about the science of food (and deliciousness) in this week’s episode.

Episode 33 | July 25, 2008

Episode 33: Molecular Gastronomy by Distillations Podcast

The term molecular gastronomy can sound pretentious, but food writer Harold McGee describes it as “the science of deliciousness.” Learn more about the science of food (and deliciousness) in this week’s episode. First we take precautions by discussing Pepto-Bismol, in the event that an experiment in the kitchen goes wrong. Next we find out how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg—and why it works that way. Finally join CHF’s Chi Chan and Jen Dionisio as they work with a recipe for chocolate mousse that requires only two ingredients—chocolate and water. (The photos shown here depict their experiment.) Element of the Week: Bismuth.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:30 Introduction
01:14 Element of the Week: Bismuth
03:39 Mystery Solved! The Perfect Egg
06:28 Chemistry in the Kitchen: Making Mousse Without Dairy
11:04 Quote: Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
11:19 Closing Credits

Resources and References

For more on how to cook the perfect egg, an article about Hervé This in this February 2006 Discover article, Cooking for Eggheads.

If you’re intrigued by the concept of this week’s episode, check out the blog, dedicated to molecular gastronomy and the science of cooking.

Also, check out Hervé This’s book, Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor on


A special thanks to Chi Chan for researching the show.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from the PodSafe Music Network. Additional music is “Happy Piano,” by Podcast Troubadour, “Big Hairy Momma,” by Al Phlipp and the Woo Team, and “Rust and Bones,” by Tom Caderet.