The Bittersweet Science and History of Chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day, or as I like to call it, One-More-Day-Until-All-the-Chocolate-Goes-On-Sale Day. But seriously, I have no interest in the drek that passes for milk chocolate. Give me something spicy or bitter, or both. Up until recently, the Mayan civilization was credited with gifting chocolate to the world. A 2018 study by Sonia Zarrillo et …

Brownie Mix: STEM with Toddlers

My daughter is freshly two. Like many parents, I’m trying to keep her open to a life in the sciences. To be honest, I’m also trying to keep her open to a life in the arts, literature, languages, historical perspective, emotional intelligence, and everything else… and of course, she mostly loves to play basketball. But …

Giving Thanks for the Maillard Reaction

Thanksgiving dinner is a production. One cousin is in charge of both roasting and deep-frying the turkeys. Because the crispy Brussels sprouts with apples and cranberries I brought one time were a hit, I am expected to deliver those every year. Two countertops are covered in desserts, from Connecticut-made chocolates to the requisite pumpkin pies. …