Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Maillard Reaction

"DID YOU KNOW? You could add a pinch of baking soda when  sauté or browning to speed up the Maillard reaction? The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between carbohydrates (sugar) and amino acids (proteins). In food, it has a profound effect on flavor, color and aroma. Maillard reactions are important in baking, frying or otherwise heating of nearly all foods. It is responsible for the savory flavor of roasted meats as well as the toasted flavor of baked breads to name a few.
During Maillard's reaction, sugar and amino acids combine to form hundreds of new and different flavor compounds. Each type of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction. In fact, these same compounds have been used by flavor scientists to create artificial flavors.
One of the keys to great cooking is managing the Maillard reaction. One way to accelerate the Maillard reaction without burning food is to increase the PH by adding baking soda. Take browning onions (substitute shallots if onions bother your bladder). Adding a pinch of baking soda accelerates the browning process and greatly enhances the flavor.
Watch this video - to the end, to see the difference between 'fried' onions, and sweet 'caramelized' onions."  As written by Tamara Harden.

I found this tip on one of the Facebook Groups I belong to for Electric Pressure Cooking.  Thanks Tamara for this great cooking tip!

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