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Mar 28, 2013 07:39 PM

Free Online Class from Harvard- Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science

I noticed some new offerings, including a class from Harvard "SPU27x: Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science." It looks like there will be video kitchen demonstrations of techniques, followed by "academic" explanations. The website says, :Topics will include: soft matter materials, such as emulsions, illustrated by aioli; elasticity, exemplified by the done-ness of a steak; and diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran AdriĆ ."

The class will start in October and it is free. I'm guessing that to succeed you will need to do some "labs" in your home kitchen, so you might need certain supplies and ingredients. I'm currently taking a different edX course (not food-related) and it's very good. Each week I have a reading (available online) plus a series of videos, each followed by self-grading questions to check my understanding as I go. After doing all the readings and the videos there is "homework", which is more challenging questions that count towards my "mark" (completion). There are busy discussion forums where people talk about the issues discussed each week, and there are also groups on Facebook to network with other students taking the course around the world (there are thousands). I'm sure a group of Chowhounders helping one another out and discussing things as they go would be very interesting. It takes me about two hours per week, though I know some people need more time.

Here's the link:

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  1. I'm not sure how this is different than the three series on food and cooking they've already had (okay, maybe the structured "homework").

    1. Thanks for the info on that class. Looks interesting and informative. I signed up! When I have time I will browse the other offerings, ...always ready to learn something new.

      1. I looked in on an EdX offering last fall that may have been the same as this or maybe not. Didn't find it all that interesting and "dropped out."