Food is chemistry. I think that’s one of the reasons that it holds such mystique: talented cooks are not only preparers of nutrition, they are practical chemists. There is a lot to learn about the natural world just by making food – and if you truly understand food and food preparation, you have also gained an intuitive understanding of chemistry, the modification of molecules to create a desirable result.
Food and chemistry have always gone hand-in-hand. One of the earliest and most popular alchemical processes was the manufacture of aqua vitae – the “water of life”. Today we call the process “distillation”, and transliteration of “aqua vitae” gives rise to the words “whisky”, “eau de vie”, and “vodka”.