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About this episode

5 December 2023

Did your chemistry lessons involve baking chocolate lava cakes? Have you ever wanted to eat your biology homework? While ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ brought a fictional cooking-as-chemistry story to TV viewers this fall, real-life scientist Pia Sörensen’s students are some of the few who can actually answer “yes.”

Sörensen’s directs Harvard University’s Science and Cooking program, which teaches science lessons through the culinary arts. She is the author and editor of several books, including the best-seller “Science and Cooking: Physics meets Food, from Homemade to Haute Cuisine”.

In this episode of CultureLab, Pia explains how understanding chemistry and biology can help us to make the perfect cheese sauce, offers up a masterclass in fermentation and teaches us what insects have to do with why your avocado goes brown – and why acids can stop the process. She also describes how to make Lutfisk, Sweden’s gelatinous answer to ceviche, an admittedly ‘acquired taste’ of a dish.

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