Thursday, February 15, 2007

High Altitude Cooking

Did you know that water boils at 198 degrees (instead of 212) in Santa Fe? While high altitude baking gets a lot of attention, there are a lot of other side effects of cooking at 7,000 feet (and it packs a double whammy because the air is so dry here as well). The lower boiling temperature means coffee isn't as hot when you make it as it is at lower altitudes, so it cools off faster. The dryness means you need a little extra moisture in some foods. And while oven-baked foods may need higher oven temperatures and may take longer to cook, microwave food cooks faster, due to the faster evaporation of liquids at high altitude.

New knowledge courtesy of John Vollertsen (known locally as Chef Johnny Vee)--a chef, food writer for the local paper and the Santa Fean magazine, director of the Las Cosas Cooking School, and food celebrity about town. He did an enthusiastic, entertaining, and gossipy presentation (think Shirley MacLaine stories) at the Santa Fe Newcomers' Club on Tuesday--great fun!

1 comment:

Brother Rick said...

The coffee thing rocks my world. IT's amazing there's even civilization there at all, given that people have to deal with not-so-hot coffee. Maybe they can build little microwaves into the cups to give it a jolt every 30 seconds or so to keep it warm. Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea here in the lowlands either. Actually, the device I've always wanted Detroit to invent was a mut that plugs into your car like an ipod into a dock, and warms your coffee that way.

As you might have gleaned from the above, coffee is very important to me.