INRA (Institut national de recherche agronomique), the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, has played a very important role in a new trend in gastronomy by launching “molecular gastronomy”.
The pioneer and leading light behind this discipline is Hervé This, a researcher at INRA, whose research results are not only amazing but often hilarious.
Molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur during cooking. The areas of investigations cover a broad spectrum: the understanding of how ingredients change when they are cooked, the mechanisms of aroma release and the perception of taste and flavour, how new cooking methods might produce improved results of texture and flavour, etc.
Molecular cooking is a style of cuisine inspired by the knowledge acquired in molecular gastronomy to create new dishes with new ingredients, new utensils and new methods.
To learn more on the subject:
Hervé This Web site.
Hervé This, Molecular Gastronomist on YouTube.