A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Jelly and Kiwis

Post 1

Peta

Jelly doesn't set if you put kiwi fruit in it. Why? Does anyone out there know?


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 2

kimmy

why would you WANT to put kiwi's in jelly???


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 3

Mustapha

Kiwis as a nation generally resent being put in jelly.

Now, custard, that's a different story...


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 4

Roger Wilco

Scientists say that it's due to proteolytic enzymes in the kiwi fruit which denature the proteins in the gelatin which normally make jelly (Jello, for our American friends, who think jelly is jam) set. They also say you can find the same enzymes in pineapple, which is the reason that you can tenderize meat with the selfsame fruit -- putting a slice of pineapple on a slice of gammon helps break down the chewy, strandy proteins that would otherwise make the meat tough and less toothsome.

Non-scientists say that this just goes to show that scientists should buy nicer cuts of meat, and should have better taste than to eat in any restaurant that serves such naff cuisine. The scientists reply that they can't afford this, and besides any half-decent culture would better reward the search for empirical truth, and by rights the posh ethnic eateries of Islington should be full of organic chemists capable of fully appreciating the subtleties of food science instead of bloody media types who wouldn't recognise a proteolytic enzyme if it came and bit them in their long-chain molecules.

RW


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 5

BigTinLid

So... what you're actually telling me is that all those meat-tenderizing delights, like garlic (for example), will also prevent jelly from setting? Oh bugger! *crosses the Lime Garlic Jelly recipe off the dessert menu for tonight's dinner party*


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 6

Hoovooloo

Cooking is chemistry - all of it, all the time. Cook an egg at 100 degrees C and it'll go hard. Cook it for as long as you like at 64 degrees and it'll go creamy and white but it will not harden, even if you cook it for two or three hours.

Cook a steak under a very hot grill and you could burn the outer surface before the middle is cooked at all. On the other hand, cook it for four hours at 54 degrees C and then sear the surface for thirty seconds each side in a really really hot frying pan, and it will be a perfect rare steak with a nice flavoursome surface.

Beat the white of an egg with a whisk, and the long chain molecules will tangle up into meringues. Have even a drop of yolk in there, though, and you can beat them all day and it won't work (this is a gag played, I'm told, by chefs on apprentices).


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 7

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

Yesterday, my stew exploded. Probably Chemistry as well...


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 8

SiliconDioxide

And kiwis and pineapples are both flightless


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 9

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

I did once encounter a flying pineapple. That is something you definitely should duck for.


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 10

You can call me TC

I thought everyone knew that you use agar agar for jellies with kiwi in.


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 11

SiliconDioxide

Agar agar? Is that the Latin?


Jelly and Kiwis

Post 12

You can call me TC

I think so. It's the German name for it and as far as I know also the English name


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