The (Food) Science Behind Thanksgiving

Bird is the Word...Plus Some Side Dish Science!

While I love blogging, I'm also very thankful that I have what I consider a great "day job" as a media relations manager at the Institute of Food Technologists. Basically I get to nerd-out all day about the science behind food. If you ever had a kitchen chemistry kit as a kid you've definitely dabbled in food science! This past week I had the opportunity to work with an amazing food scientist to put together a video and fact sheet all about the food science behind Thanksgiving.

While the word “thanks” is included in our country’s favorite holiday’s name, we all know the real star of the day is the food. Kantha Shelke, PhD, CFS, a well-known food scientist and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), deconstructs the turkey-day menu by giving us the low-down on why all the flavors and textures go together so well and if l-tryptophan is the real culprit behind our post-meal food coma.

This first video explains why the flavors of Thanksgiving all go so well together.

We also made several other videos including the difference between different types of turkeys, does l-tryptophan really cause the post meal coma, how does a starch thicken a gravy, the difference between canned cranberry sauce and homemade, and why do people like pumpkin pie cold vs warm.

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