Blogs: Food

An experimental study of the Holy Cannoli

The hunt for the greatest desert in Boston

May 2022
by Ben M.
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Introduction   The Cannoli is a form of desert, which, in its most basic form, includes a pastry shell wrapped around a sweet ricotta filling. Historians have long debated the origin of the cannoli. Some say the cannoli originated during the carnival seasons in Palermo, a city on the island of...

Tomatoes, Parmesan, Bread…Oh, My!

A No-Knead Focaccia Recipe

April 2022
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Focaccia – Your favorite (or soon to be favorite) dimpled bread that seems to have taken the world by storm recently. For those who haven’t heard of it, focaccia is a type of Italian oven-baked bread famous for its distinctive dimpled crust. It can be served in many ways, but my personal favorite...

Life lessons from a cookie

What the science of baking taught me about leaving home and entering a new environment

April 2022
Media Arts and Sciences
One of the most famous movie quotes is Forrest Gump’s, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” As a hobby baker with a mega sweet tooth, I feel obligated to come up with my own metaphor: Growing up is like being inside of a baking cookie. To me, it’s not just any...

Making kofta in an air fryer

Balancing cultural identity as a second-generation American

Nov 2021
Chemical Engineering
 “Dinner is ready!” The smells of tahini and allspice waft through my house, while plates and utensils clatter around the kitchen. My family meanders around the kitchen in hungry anticipation, like so many wolves circling their prey…  Growing up as a second-generation American, I primarily...

The Perfect Recipe Doesn’t Exist

Making connections between baking and experimental materials science

July 2021
Materials Science and Engineering
In March 2020, a breadmaking epidemic struck the world. Legions of Youtube gurus, bloggers, and social media users began posting their recipes and adventures in breadmaking, especially sourdough, the type of bread which uses a live starter culture....

A Food Scientist’s Views on Instant Foods

How to consciously generate instant happiness!

March 2021
System Design and Management
What comes to your mind when you hear the word "instant"?  How about "instant foods"?  When it comes to food, people tend to relate instantaneity with unhealthy, "bad for you", or processed. All those associations were also on my mind as a consumer. However, other questions were: Why do people...

Be the [Climate] Change You Wish to See

Don’t underestimate the ripple effects of small changes

Feb 2021
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“What were they thinking?” That’s a common phrase we might say when we shake our heads at past generations for war, genocide, and slavery. As we eat our cheeseburgers in our air-conditioned cars while rolling past carefully manicured and fertilized lawns (otherwise called a...

Safer Grocery Shopping Guide During the COVID-19

Grocery shopping has been even more difficult during the pandemic, but here are some tips!

Dec 2020
System Design and Management
I never thought that getting good food without a car would be difficult in my life since I lived in Taipei before moving to Cambridge. In Taipei, you’ll see convenience stores everywhere because Taiwan has the highest density per capita of convenience stores in the world. A five-minute walk in...

Reasons to Cook for Yourself

An optimization problem

Dec 2020
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 Have you noticed how MIT seems to repel good restaurants? Go Northwest to Harvard Square, and you'll see a squadron of restaurants catering to fortunate Harvard students. Go South, across the river, and you'll see a delightful selection of restaurants catering to happy shoppers. Go further East to...

Bench, bath and beyond

Transform your apartment into a yeast lab, and have fun doing it!

Sept 2020
Microbiology
One of the very first lessons you learn in microbiology is that while countless things can - and will - go wrong, you can almost always count on your microbes to grow. There is some strange comfort in knowing that what looks like clear liquid today will reveal countless gleaming colonies smiling up...