Friday, 2 March 2018

it's toasted

The eponymous reaction was named for French chemist and pharmacist Louis Camille Maillard with the later collaboration of US Department of Agriculture fellow John Edward Hodge who described and established the chemical mechanism for it is the most common spell of kitchen-witchery, which we were heretofore quite in the dark about until being intrigued by TYWKIWDBI.

It endows baked, seared and roasted foods with their distinctive aromas and flavours. The process that leads to the production of hundreds of different and nuanced flavour compounds is the interaction of amino acids and sugars catalysed by reaching a target temperature—typically 140 to 180 degrees Celsius—flirting with the threshold of burning. French fries, stir-fry, malted beverages, Lucky Strikes, bagels, toast, roasted coffee and chocolate are some of the foods and drinks that owe their savour to the Maillard reaction.