What is the Maillard reaction?

by | May 1, 2023 | Blog, Cooking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

Brown food tastes good. Put simply, the Maillard reaction occurs at 250F and above, and is a when the amino acids and sugars in food react to the heat. The most obvious sign of the reaction is the browning that happens to food. The result is the complex flavor of roasty toasty goodness.  If you’re wondering why you can’t achieve the same flavor with boiling, it’s because the maximum heat boiling water can transmit to food is 212F. Next time you decide to cook some, oh…let’s say carrots, roast them at 375F coated in a little bit of olive oil. The reduction of sugars and caramelization of proteins in the carrots will transform those carrots!

P.S. Did you know? Wild carrots started off as purple or pale yellow. While orange carrots had appeared as mutations in the wild, it was the Dutch who mass cultivated orange carrots.

Photo by Clark Douglas on Unsplash

Written by David Salerno

Originally from the Northeast, David (he/him) has been in Seattle since 2016. He studied classic culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and currently works as the Senior Meal Program Coordinator at HIP. He can completely nerd out over culinary anthropology and can talk about food and food science for hours with anyone who is willing to listen. When not in the kitchen, you can find him playing hockey or running in different neighborhoods of Seattle.

May 1, 2023

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