Monday, August 15, 2005



Shortly after I last questioned the desirability of sous vide salmon, I managed to broil a halibut filet into a crispy slab of bark, and reevaluated my position on the technique in general.

Luckily, Mrs. Latte rides to the rescue in latest Times magazine, leveraging her intimacy with/power over America's fanciest chefs into an article even more impressive by comparison to its desultory Slate predecessor.

But you will excuse me if I fail to take her word for the following:

Cooking in bags at such low temperatures was long considered a recipe for botulism, but Goussault has debunked this fear, proving that the long cooking times followed by proper cooling kill bacteria with the same effectiveness as higher temperatures, also stabilizing the food so it can be stored longer before serving.

Proved is a strong word, and I'd like to see some documentation along with my immersion circulator.

Furthermore, as the Cod pointed out to me, some skepticism is in order about these allegedly food safe plastics. I have little truck with the demographic permanently terrorized by the "chemicals" all around them, but the sheer length of the FDA's list of approved polymers does tend to give one pause. Now I'll be damned if I can figure out how Cryovac makes its films, but even in the absence of phthalates, if PVCs and/or polycarbonates are in the recipe, there is room for suspicion. And those of you experimenting at home should steer clear of the ziploc.


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