Syllabus

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Required Textbook

Amazon logo McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner, 1997. ISBN: 9780684843285.

Overview

Welcome to the seminar entitled Kitchen Chemistry. This is a Pass/Fail, 6-unit seminar (2 hours of class and 4 hours of reading and homework per week). This seminar is designed to look at cooking from a scientific basis. Each week we will do an edible experiment and look at the science behind how it all works. We will examine chemical, biochemical, biological, microbiological, and maybe even physical principles. You are required to attend at least 80% of the classes.

 

MIT chemist Patricia Christie discusses her course, "Kitchen Chemistry," and how it makes students look at their food differently.

This video is from the MITNewsOffice via Vimeo, and is not covered under our Creative Commons license.

Requirements

As a student in this seminar, you are required to participate in at least 80% of the experiments and keep a journal commenting on each experiment: what worked well, what did not work well, ways that the session could be improved for next year. The journal will have to be turned in at the last class in order for you to receive credit for the seminar. It will not be read until the grade sheets have been turned in, so honesty is appreciated. You are required to hand in the weekly problem sets at the beginning of the next week's class.

The second to last class (week 14) will be an exercise in peer teaching. Working either alone or in pairs, you will be required to find at least two people to come to class and you will become the teacher. You will teach your fellow students about one of the recipes we did in class or one of your own. There will be reference books available to research your recipe.

Calendar


SES # TOPICS
1 Guacamole, Salsa, and Quesadillas
2 Cookie - Death by Chocolate
3 Pancakes
4 Bread
5 Scones and Tea
6 Meringue
7 Jams and Jellies
8 Three Bean Chili and Cornbread
9 Cheese
10 Wacky Cake
11 Emulsifiers
12 Ice Cream
13 Peer Teaching
14 Meatballs and Spaghetti