I am a chemist, so cooking is very enjoyable to me b/c it is basically chemical reactions that I can eat. I like simple, revealing rules. I have twice today stumbled across the following set of 10 rules by Herve This, the man who first applied chemical study to cooking and food systematically. They seem almost pointless and certainly aniseptic, but if you read his description of why they are important, they indeed seem more revealing. very. cool.
10 elements of basic kitchen knowledge
1. Salt dissolves in water.
2. Salt does not dissolve in oil.
3. Oil does not dissolve in water.
4. Water boils at 100 C (212 F).
5. Generally foods contain mostly water (or another fluid).
6. Foods without water or fluid are tough.
7. Some proteins (in eggs, meat, fish) coagulate.
8. Collagen dissolves in water at temperatures higher than 55 C (131 F).
9. Dishes are dispersed systems (combinations of gas, liquid or solid ingredients transformed by cooking).
10. Some chemical processes – such as the Maillard Reaction (browning or caramelizing) – generate new flavours.