Scientists and Mathematicians Explore Sous Vide Cooking

I recently stumbled on mathematician Douglas Baldwin’s wonderfully detailed guide to sous vide. French for under vaccum, sous vide is a technique of cooking food sealed in bags without oxygen at relatively low temperatures and long cook times. Baldwin’s site is awesome; it features a bit about his professional work in computer science and math, some of his photography, and this extensively researched piece on sous vide (like, it’s a 34 page article with a 5 page bibliography).

Douglas Baldwin’s Website

.pdf A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking Version 0.4f

After finding Baldwin’s site, I read an interview with him by Norwegian organometallic chemistry PhD and food blogger Martin Lersch. And then I read some of the 80 page eGullet thread where posters including Baldwin, former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold and eGullet founder Steven Shaw explored sous vide.

I got curious about Baldwin’s prominent search engine ranking on the term sous vide. Sometimes I forget that the Internet is full of people with esoteric interests; I checked Yahoo Site Explorer to get a sense of how many websites link to Baldwin’s writing on Sous Vide…close to two hundred.

Some links that cracked me up included
Goons with Spoons board on Something Awful
Cooking For Engineers Forums
Gourmet Magazine, which links to Baldwin’s site with the words food dork

This kind of passion is both hilarious and inspiring, and it renews my appreciation for scientists and the varied communities of science connected with food. More detail to follow; I’d like to do some posts about specific scientific communities that center around food, like food chemists and nutritional scientists.

One thought on “Scientists and Mathematicians Explore Sous Vide Cooking

  1. Shana

    I look forward to such a series of posts. I’m more at home with the “craft” side of cooking than the science side and would welcome exposure to what the “food dorks” have to say.

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