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Gastronomy - What is it?

I see and hear the terms gastropub, gastronomy, gastronome, gastronomist, gastrique more often, and I cannot help but think that flatulence might have something to do with it. Maybe, in the end, it does, but in all seriousness, let's unpack Gastronomy and see what it is and how the other gases (gastronomy, gastronome, gastronomist, gastrique) fit in.

Gastronomy was derived from Greek words "stomach" and "laws that govern" meaning "the art or law of regulating the stomach." That's interesting but tells me nothing. Really?

What is gastronomy? Merriam-Webster defines gastronomy as the art or science of good eating. Now I'm getting this.

Practical gastronomy (practice and study), theoretical gastronomy (the step before practical), technical gastronomy (processes), and food gastronomy (food and beverage genesis) are the four areas Gastronomy is separated into.

Four categories of Gastronomy

There's also molecular gastronomy, which is the study of food transformations during cooking. There are other terms for these types of cooking, like multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, and experimental cuisine, which are slowly losing acceptance, to the term molecular gastronomy.

Tools, techniques, and ingredients for molecular gastronomy include:

  • Foam
  • CO2
  • Liquid Nitrogen
  • Ice Cream Machines
  • Anti-griddles
  • Sous-Vide
  • Dehydrator
  • Maltodextrin
  • Enzymes
  • Hydrocolloids
  • Transglutaminase
  • Spherification
  • Syringe
  • Edible Paper
  • Ultrasound

Molecular Gastronomy

There are no limits or rules with molecular gastronomy, so I expect this category to get even more eccentric and intricate over time.

Okay - are you getting this?

What's a gastronome? Is it a person or a gnome? Could be both? Actually, a gastronome is a lover of good food; especially one with a serious interest in gastronomy. Now, this sounds more like me.

Then there's the gastronomist? What's this? A specialized/advanced gastronome? Yes! IST at the end of a verb means a person who practices or is concerned with something or holds certain principles, doctrines, degrees. Could this person be a historian or a chef - or both? It's clearly someone serious about gastronomy.

I'm seeing a pattern here. So now what's a gastrique?

If you guessed, a gastrique is something a gastronomist creates and is enjoyed by a gastronome, you guessed right. In detail, however, a gastrique is simply a sweet-and-sour sauce that accompanies food to bring amazing flavors.

Chef Daniel Roberts shared his two, go-to, restaurant-sized gastriques on FoodRepublic, and the recipes are listed below.

Brandy Gastrique

1 liter brandy
1 liter sherry vinegar
1.5 lbs of brown sugar

 Blueberry Gastrique

3 cups blueberries
2 liters Champagne vinegar
1.5 lbs of brown sugar

This last one is going to be an easy one.

What's a gastropub?

Oh yeah - you're right. A gastropub is a place where gastronomists make gastriques for all the visiting gastronomes. LOL.

Are gastro-people all hipsters since they use fancy names to describe cooking, eating, and restaurants now?

No way! It's about taste and flavor evolution.

Everything about gastronomy, gastropubs, gastronomes, gastronomists, and gastriques is about taking the enjoyment of food to a new/next level.

See, now you know that gastropubs in your neighborhood mean great food and flavors, not added flatulence. Well, you never know about flatulence.


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