I passed and it was awesome and it was hard! Somewhere at the end of last year my brother-in-law shared the link of an online course to my Facebook page. The Science of Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science given by the harvardX school. Wow! That sounded interesting! And wow, it started the next week! So, with a few taps, I registered myself and ordered the recommended reading. I was assured by the description that basic math and chemistry would be sufficient to follow along. Well now, I think we have different ideas of what basic math and chemistry really means but, ok, I have Google to give me a hand. I certainly was not expecting the course to be so incredibly hard!
Concepts like ‘freezing point depression’ and ‘gluten molecule networks’ were introduced along with topics on emulsions and heat transfer were taught by video then with practice questions, including homework and labs each week. I might have struggled with the math and fought with the chemistry stuff but it was so worth it. Not only did I scratch the surface of understanding how cooking happens and why some methods of cooking are so incredibly important to taste and feel, but I got to make things like ricotta cheese and ice cream that was never put in the freezer, just used a bag of ice and salt.
The best parts were watching top chefs demonstrating the topics, like Spherification taught by Adrian Ferha, and the really cool equipment used to capture unique flavors. Edx.org gives an excellent course, I will definitely be following more!