You cannot let it get to you. Often times frustration gets to me. As we have been working through dishes in a new kitchen more failures than successes have occurred. We've talked about the need for practice and rehearsal in cooking so that when dishes must be executed, they are the best they can be. Yet these past few days, recipes we have written, rehearsed, tested, and tasted are failing. We are not doing anything differently, we are just doing them in a different environment, and still the recipes fall flat. Intellectually I know the importance of cutting bait and moving on. At times like these Aki may indulge me even when she feels that I have waited too long to cut my losses. Frankly, even when things aren't working, it's hard for me to abandon the previously tried and true. Four combined attempts later I finally had to admit defeat.
Where does that leave us? Testing new ideas in a place where we have learned more than we anticipated. Read: failed way more than we anticipated. Still we were able to dust ourselves off and carry on. It dawned on me yet again that working with others and being surrounded by passionate individuals is essential in the process of learning and improving. The inspiration of your peers can push you past failure to eventual success.
This weekend we are very lucky to be working in a kitchen filled with passionate individuals who really care about food and cooking. (And it boasts a well stocked pantry to boot.) Now with tools in hand we must move beyond trivial frustrations and work towards creating and executing tasty food. That's what tomorrow's dinner is all about. With a little help from some friends and fellow cooks, we know that we can make it happen.
In order to be able to control both the cooking of our trout and its size I decided to create a smoke brine in which to impart seasoning and flavor before the final butchering and cooking of the fish. The brine consists of water, 2.5% salt and 5% smoked maple syrup. We brine the trout for two hours, then we bond it with Activa and compress it in a batterra sushi mold. Once the trout is set, we cut individual squares which we may then cook to order. We have found that cooking the fish for twenty minutes at 48 degrees Celsius works ideally for our smoke infused trout. The fish is firm while retaining a delicate flake and a moist texture.
While the trout part of our recent dish came together relatively easily, the accompaniments and composition took a fair amount of trial and error. The dish we have now assembled combines a rhubarb hoisin sauce with the smoke brined trout and a rhubarb and jalapeno relish. We finished the dish with a few leaves of compressed lamb's quarters. The final arrangement eats well, although as we reflect further in retrospect, the next version will feature crisp lamb's quarters instead of the compressed leaves pictured.
I like lists. I like to plan. I like to practice, refine and try to perfect. Then I like to throw the whole lot out the window and live in rehearsed chaos, a world of improvisation where ideas, ingredients, aromas, accidents, pigs, figs, and farms drive the direction of the food we will cook. Cooking is all about understanding. Understanding is about knowledge. Knowledge is about having an open mind. Therefore cooking is an open minded endeavor which depends on practice and a willingness, an openness, to making adjustments.
We arrived in Charleston with ideas based on conversations with Sean and information about what is seasonal in this neck of the woods. As we set foot into McCrady's our minds started reeling. We looked about, asked questions, talked with Sean and his team and pulled ideas from the ingredients on hand. Our original ideas were left behind. Then we started calling purveyors. The list grew, some ideas evolved, some became extinct.
Then Sean loaded us and some pig food into the truck. Time to see the farms. During the drive to and on the farms we were exposed to Sean's radiating passion for food. We had experienced it before although here at the source the energy is much stronger, it exudes from him and easily affects everyone he encounters. As we toured the farms, picking, tasting, talking, our ideas improved. The list expanded and contracted. The ideas were gaining a pulse of their own.
We cut our farm trip a bit short since Sean needed to return to the restaurant for service. Though we did return with some incredible treats: fennel blossoms, coriander on the stem, basil shoots, wild eucalyptus, and sunflowers. The stream of consciousness approach to the dinner will soon be whittled down to a few of those lists I like so much. While they will provide a backbone for our organization and cooking, it will not dictate the our paths of inspiration.
A small dice really excites me. The abbreviated size draws the eye and highlights the texture of the contrasting ingredients. At the same time the pieces are large enough to be tasted individually. We often look to miniature cubes when we are making condiments because it allows for a balanced combination of flavors and textures. Here we have rhubarb, which has been infused and compressed with a rhubarb syrup, and jalapeno pepper. The heady earthiness and delicate spice of the jalapeno is an ideal match for the acidic sweetness of the rhubarb. Since we are only compressing these vegetables and not actually cooking them, their inherent crispness remains. This allows for a relish with intense flavors and a distinct texture. The union of rhubarb and jalapeno acts as a great foil for a number of ingredients from smoke infused trout to braised lamb neck. While we could have used them in either their cooked or raw states, what makes this condiment truly special is the uniform cutting and compression of the vegetables.
Aki usually makes the grits. She enjoys the slow stirring, the tinkering, the pleasure of adding moisture as liquid cooks away, the adjusting of the flame to prevent the bottom of the pot from sticking and occasionally scorching. Let's pause on that last piece of information, the sticking and scorching. I have lost track of the amount of times that the grits have stuck to the bottom of the pan. No matter how gentle the cooking, how careful the stirring, somehow, some way, a distraction always occurs and those grits stick. When grits stick, not only do you have a chance of scorching and wasting a good sixty to ninety minutes of cooking time, you also have to expend a whole lot of time and energy in scrubbing that pot clean. I am not a fan of pot scrubbing, yet somehow I am quite skilled and very practiced in the art of cleaning.
The constant fear of scrubbing pots has forced my brain to look for alternate methods of cooking grits. We have tried the oven, though that process is even slower, we have tried the pressure cooker with its non-stick interior, and still we occasionally find grits glued to the bottom of the bowl. Then it occurred to me. We had caramelized yogurt in a vacuum bag in the pressure cooker to produce amazing results and no mess. I wondered if we could do the same with grits? I filled a bag with 1 part grits and 3 parts water by weight and sealed it tight. I placed the bag in the pressure cooker and added enough water to the pot so the bag would not scorch. I sealed the lid and set the cooker for ten minutes. When the time was up, I let the pressure naturally release and then removed the bag. The bag was intact and I quickly cut it open. I poured the contents into a bowl and stirred the mixture. The grits were on the drier side though they were fully cooked. The next time I tried a four to one, liquid to grit, ratio. The result was perfect grits. Well almost perfect.
There is an ongoing debate about what liquid should be used to cook grits. Purists say water. Gluttons say milk. Aki says skim milk. Thankfully Aki's frugality produced an even more exciting medium. Aki had just made a batch of ricotta and instead of following the directions and pouring the whey down the drain, she saved it for me. I have a list of ideas involving whey as a cooking medium and when Aki handed me a bowl of whey, the ten minute grits cooked in whey went straight to the top. The flavor of the whey has a slight tang from the buttermilk with a rich sweet backbone from the milk. It has a touch of salinity from Aki's seasoning of the curds and the entire combination is a unique liquid which was destined to be utilized in our kitchen.
The grits cooked in whey retain the essence of their corn flavor while being accented by the intrinsic dairy notes in the liquid. The grits are an incredible vehicle to be enjoyed on their own or perhaps gilded with fresh mushrooms, braised carrots, or even a few fresh shrimp.
The first sign said "wild Chamomile", the second sign said "pineapple weed". Alex stopped and scratched his head. "What the heck is that stuff?" I was examining strawberries and he took off to confer with the lady presiding over the the bushy looking bunches of petal-less yellow flowers, with relatively thick stalks and small, pointed fern-like leaves. As he talked, I saw him pick up a bunch and give it a sniff. It was all over in that brief second and before I could blink he bounced back triumphantly bearing his scraggy looking bouquet.
"Smell this!" he exclaimed, pushing the buds beneath my nose. The scent was arresting, herbal and vegetal with a definite undertone of...pineapple. There was definitely something worth pursuing here, the only question was what to do with the sorry looking things.
Pineapple weeds are low growing plants that resemble Mayweed Chamomile in appearance and are notable for their distinctive pineapple scent. They are a summer annual which flower from May through August. According to the vendor, the leaves and the buds are edible although for our purposes we stuck to the tender, cone shaped buds. It grows well in compacted, dusty soil and can often be found at the edges of gravel parking lots and along well trodden sandy beaches. The seeds require fine soil and sunlight to germinate. The plants are generally no higher than five inches although in ideal situations they have been known to grow up to twelve inches high.
The buds themselves are about the size of a #2 pencil eraser. We cooked them briefly in a syrup of water, agave nectar and a pinch of salt to sweeten, tenderize, and bring our that pineapple aroma. The flavor is delicate and ethereal, bringing to mind a juicy bite of pinapple consumed in a humid rainforest. These buds need a a strong yet delicate touch to really highlight their true potential.
We were lucky enough to be given a bountiful bag of prosciutto fat. Actually it is a combination of prosciutto and Iberico ham fat, saved for us by a friendly cheese monger. It is difficult to express my pleasure with this luxury. The amount of time and energy which went into creating these flavorful pieces of fat, skin, and discarded trim is amazing. How can I express the potential of what we have received? Our first step in utilizing the fats' possibilities is rendering out the fat. We actually divided the pieces of prosciutto between two pots and gently heated the contents. The low heat allows the fat to be released into the pot while the skin/ham pieces shrink and caramelize, allowing the two parts to separate and produce two very different ingredients full of potential for our kitchen.
The fat itself will be used for a number of fat-based applications, from poaching fish to making foie gras prosciutto and a savory caraway bread. Some of the prosciutto cracklings will be ground into a fine seasoning base, some used to season soups, sauces, legumes, and vegetables, and some will be the flavoring agent for a prosciutto consomme. These are our starting points. Who knows where we'll end up.
Occasionally ingredients just come together. The green market yielded some beautiful strawberries and delfina cilantro. The fruit and vegetable store at the Chelsea market produced fresh, juicy litchis. James in S.F. had gifted us with, among other goodies, some beautiful green almonds. The finishing touch was a bit of smoked balsamic from our own pantry. Simple, easy, and delicious.
We are headed back to Boston. Funny, we had not returned to the Boston area for about seven years and now we'll be back twice in two months. We are still talking about the incredible experience we had working with Tony and his team. The exposure to new, different, and better techniques, approaches to food, ingredients and ideas is always inspirational.
This time we are headed back to spend a day in the kitchen with The no9 Park team and then an evening at Stir. What is stir? One would almost call it exactly the kind of space Aki and I have been looking for. It is small and cozy, 300 square feet, with a cooking suite surrounded by 10 seats. There are tall windows looking out onto the street and the walls are lined with cookbooks to be read or bought. This tiny space certainly caught our attention and when we were given the opportunity to do a dinner class we simply had to say yes.
The class we have planned is rib eye in three services. We have adjusted and tweaked our approach to serving three meat courses over the years and this will be its most recent incarnation. The class starts a shade earlier than the usual Stir classes since we are going to do the whole presentation live, from start to finish. It will be an evening of food and conversation. Guests will get their hands dirty and their bellies filled.
The class/dinner is being held at Stir at 6:00 PM on July 2nd. In order to make a reservation please call 617-423-Stir. As we said there are only ten spots available so you'll have to move quickly if you want one. We look forward to this hands on event and to meeting some of you in Boston.
We recently attended a seminar on miso at the French Culinary Institute which was incredibly inspirational. We learned about tempering miso's astringency with egg yolks and dashi. We witnessed miso blending, both as itself and with other ingredients like yuzu and walnuts. In fact, the demonstration rekindled our own thoughts on working with miso from the white miso-yellow cake with smoked pecan ice cream we are working on to our myriad range of fruit infused misos, from cranberry to apricot.
The miso blends and the ideas they sparked truly caught my attention. Though it was the links of daikon radish which were used to accent an elaborate sushi platter which had me transfixed. The links were interlocked without any seam. It was a mastery of knife skills and practice. I could not figure out how it was done. As I sat there, staring at the links the inherent structure formed in my mind's eye. As the demonstration concluded they humored my question about how the links were made. They took a piece of daikon and started carving. I watched transfixed, with my eyes on each swift movement of the knife tip. Someone stood in front of me for a moment and I almost broke the silence and shouted "Get out of the way!" Thankfully the person moved and the outburst became unnecessary. It was amazing to watch the chef's knife work shape the daikon into links. I needed to learn how to do this. I made rough sketches and tried to capture the steps in my mind. After the links were cut, the chefs pulled out a baby carrot which they had carved into an eight link chain with the carrot top and bottom at either end. The carrot certainly trumped the simple daikon links.
We returned home and I let the demonstration settle in my brain. This morning I headed to the market in search of potatoes. I wanted to master the link technique. I bought three potatoes. Perhaps I was a bit optimistic about my memory and knife skills. I started cutting and at first bumbled. After a brief pause and a moment of reflection I started again. The next three attempts took me from rough edges to completed links. That was truly an exciting progression. Now we need to apply our twice cooked potato approach (starting with whole potatoes in their jackets) to the links so that we can make a smoked potato link which will then be fried.
The goal, smoked potato link fries. The venue, Sean's place, next weekend.
We're pleased to announce the launch of Kitchen Alchemy over at PopSci.com. It's going to be a regular feature on the website where we explore the science behind the food in our kitchen. Of course we do that here too, the difference is that we will be going into a bit more technical detail in our articles over there. For this first feature we're discussing one of our favorite appliances, the pressure cooker. So if you've ever wondered what's actually happening to your food while it's in that pressure chamber, come check out Kitchen Alchemy.
Now that I'm expecting, I've had to get a bit more creative with beverages. Juices are recommended, although high in calories. Caffeine should be limited, as should artificial sweeteners. Sparkling water, actually sparkling drinks of any kind, are dehydrating. More often than not, these days I'm either drinking water or half juice/half water. I've never been a milk drinker, no matter how healthy it may be for the baby, and everything else seems to be empty calories or added chemicals. It's a little frustrating because on these increasingly hot and humid days, a long cool drink is one of life's small luxuries.
So recently I've taken to drinking herbal teas. Yes, there is a list of herbs to avoid, and no I'm not going to talk about them here. I am going to talk about Rishi Tea. I first tasted Rishi at Woodberry Kitchen. They had the Sweet Mint, Organic Botanical Blend. I have to say that the tea was amazing. I poured the first cup and the scent literally wafted across the table. It was surprisingly rich and full flavored on the palate. The mint flavor was intense and the tea actually tasted sweet, even though there was no actual sugar to be detected at the tip of my tongue. The tea itself is a blend of peppermint,cardamom and licorice root with natural oils of basil and clove. Most of the Rishi products are certified organic and fair trade. While I haven't tasted any of their other teas yet, I fully intend to. They should be just what I need to get me through the sticky season with refreshing, full flavored libations.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing the use of ice cream stabilizers and the question of what the heck they actually are. Often times these stabilizers are composed of a number of different hydrocolloids blended together to capitalize on each one’s specific characteristics, in addition to the synergy that can occur when you blend them together. An issue that has bothered us is a certain reliance on blends of hydrocolloids. What we find frustrating is not the results of using these blends, rather it is the lack of information about what is in the blends and the quantities, really the ratios, of the blended ingredients. We are searching for a better understanding of hydrocolloids and if we become reliant on the blends of others we are stripping ourselves of the ability to control our creations and comprehend the processes we are employing.
The conversation gradually evolved. We started discussing individual hydrocolloids that control water systems and ice crystal formation, specifically in sorbets. While carrageenan began the conversation, we ended with the huge possibilities of integrating LM pectin into sorbets. This is not a monumental idea, pectin is derived from fruit which is what we use to make most sorbets, although its use as a sorbet stabilizer is brand new to us. Pectin is naturally present in a variety of fruits, and this has actually helped us control ice crystallization without our even knowing it. In fact, upon further examination we’ve realized that the structure of fruits such as mangos and figs and their high sugar content and available cellulose have helped shape the results of our frozen confections. Perhaps we need to look at using the actual composition of the ingredients we are utilizing to help bring a more natural support to our sorbets, ice cream and frozen creations. For example, strawberries contain calcium and small amounts of pectin, which then logically leads us to using LM pectin as a thickener in strawberry preparations, utilizing the calcium available to thicken the sorbet.
Two trimmed and gently poached and chilled oysters sit nestled amongst braised morel mushrooms and leaves of oxalis. A light topping of yuzu bubbles and a scattering of chives provides a creamy and acidic medium which conceals the treasures beneath and acts as a vehicle to marry the flavors of land and sea.
As Spring opens the door for Summer's arrival we felt another look at ramps, whose season lasts almost exactly as long as springtime, was in order. These roulades consist of poached and chilled duck breasts, which we then rolled in ramp greens and cooked again to order. The green, grassy allium notes of the ramps act to support the gamy, meaty notes in the duck breast.
We paired slices of these duck parcels with a cherry, yellow mustard, and cornichon sauce. Several pieces of tender, pressure cooked turnips completed the dish. The approach of cooking the duck first and then wrapping it in the ramp greens allows the flavors to remain singular while still uniting on the palate.
The trigger was in our notes. I was going through our notebooks, culling through ideas and I stopped on our bread gnocchi. Actually, what kept my attention on the gnocchi was Aki’s insistence that I‘ve been using too much pumpernickel and that perhaps we could step back from it for a while. Aki is a ruthless editor. I want to try and incorporate everything, Aki makes sure we only include what is necessary, so that our food is pointed and accurate, leaving the muddled excess on the cutting room floor. Currently she is cutting the gnocchi, or perhaps simply the pumpernickel. In either scenario the idea of using bread-based dumplings was at the forefront of my thoughts. We originally made our pumpernickel, and later brioche, gnocchi utilizing the hot gelling effects of Methocel Food Gums. The use of Methocel in our recipes allowed the gnocchi to be formed hot and then as they cooled, they would melt upon the palate releasing flavor and yielding a tender bite. The flaw with these gnocchi is their functionality. If we used them in a dish and a diner ate too slowly, then the gnocchi would degrade on the plate before they could be consumed and became mushy and unappetizing. In fact, our evolutions with potato and ricotta gnocchi had similar issues. At first, we utilized Methocel to form hot dumplings. Though, once we began using Activa Y-G instead, we were able to create a product which while delicate, were also temperature stable and could withstand the rigors of a day in the kitchen. In other words, we thought if we could do it with A, could we do it better with B?
I did not stop there. Once we realized we could use the Activa to make savory bread gnocchi, I switched gears and thought of bread pudding gnocchi. If we decided to sauté these sweet dumplings the result would be quite similar to sautéed French Toast. A tasty dinner at Tailor pushed me further to extrapolate on the initial idea. Sam makes a delicious piece of French Toast, crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The French Toast is cut into a beautiful rectangle and caramelized evenly on all sides. I thought about our Activa bound bread gnocchi and simply increased the size.
For our first run at French Toast Bread pudding the results were incredible. The Activa allowed the raw bread pudding to be cut, shaped and cooked individually. We are able to flavor the dessert from the inside out. The next sweet evolution will be individual cubes of croissant French Toast with warmed apricots and cultured butter ice cream.
With the positive and delicious results of this experiment, the next couple of steps are integrating a liquid center and bringing the technique back around to the savory side, where we will be able to make a spice bread pudding with a molten foie gras center.
Just a friendly reminder to remember that one person's weed is another's lettuce. Purslane is about and in abundance. The succulent tang of this rock weed is wonderful with soft shell crabs and a perfect accent to ricotta drizzled with honey. These tiny, succulent plants are juicy with a lightly sweet flavor that melts into a gently tangy finish. We tend to use them in their natural state, although they can be sauteed or added to soups and stews. Do not miss the opportunity to incorporate these fine florets into your latest and greatest culinary compositions.
One Wednesday as we were shopping the Union Square Green Market we were inspired by trout. Max Creek Hatchery is there on Wednesdays and at the moment he has incredibly fresh, beautiful rainbow trout. Trout is not a fish we normally pick up, that particular day we were simply inspired. Max Creek Hatchery is not the cheapest trout on the block, as I recall the fish set us back about $10.95 per pound, although the fish were so fat and meaty that we decided to find out if they were worth the price. The short answer to that question is yes, they were definitely money well spent. The long answer, in no way did they set us back, in fact they raised the bar on what trout may be.
Alex and I have sort of a routine for prep. It's a actually a bit of a free for all, the rule with ingredients is first come, first served. So if one of us particularly covets a bunch of lovage or that container of strawberries, we had better be on the ball in the kitchen. Occasionally one of us will buy something for a specific purpose and there is a clear hand's off signal to the other person. Even that only lasts for a day or two. If the ingredient has not been utilized within 48 hours, all bets are off and the other person can request it for immediate use. We usually discuss ideas before running off to prep in our separate areas so that we have a general idea of what direction we're going in, occasionally even with these conversations things can go awry.
The first time I reached for the trout at home I was appalled to discover that he had glued (actually bonded) the fillets together to form a solid plank of fish. A heated discussion ensued because we had talked about using the trout for a tasting menu. I was under the impression that the plan was to showcase it's natural beauty. To me that meant simply cleaning the fish and serving pieces of the individual fillets. As it turned out, Alex's vision was different from mine. His idea was to create a thick plank of fish, which could then be cooked and sliced to show off it's meaty texture and juicy flesh.
By the time we realized that we were coming at it from different directions the fish had already been cleaned and glued together using transglutaminase. So that night we did it his way. We cooked the trout sous vide at 52.5 degrees Celsius for twenty minutes and let the fish rest for an additional five minutes before slicing. We paired it with a mosaic of fava beans and Cabot cloth bound cheddar. I have to say that it was delicious. I don't think any of our diners even noticed that the trout had been served differently. They only registered that it was succulent and flavorful and a pleasure to consume. Which is of course is exactly as it should be.
The other day at the farmers market, we were lucky enough to stumble across some fresh angelica. The cut plants were in a basket beside the stall, dramatic beauties with long, hollow stalks, serrated leaves and drooping, umbels of green and white flowers. Having never played with fresh angelica we were instantly intrigued. We knew that the stems were often candied for their bittersweet, slightly warm, and aromatic flavor. Angelica has been described as musky and herbal and is often paired with juniper due to their similar flavor profiles.
The entire plant can be used or culinary purposes. In addition to being candied, the stems may be stripped of their leaves, peeled, and eaten raw. The leaves can be dried and used for tea. They can also be combined with the stems, coarsely shopped and steeped in warm liquids to impart their unique flavorings to a variety of custards, jellies, other preparations. In the past essential oils, which were distilled from the seeds, were used by some wine makers in the Rhine area to boost the muscatel flavor of their wines. The young shoots and tenderest, leaves may be used in salads or sautés. The roots can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable and in it’s dried form is often boiled or steeped with honey and lemon as a curative beverage. Angelica is a flavoring in Chartreuse and also used in many gins. It is commonly known as a “guardian angel”. Legend has it that during the plague and angel appeared in a monk’s dream and told him to use angelica as a cure for the disease. To this day it is used in homeopathic remedies for the treatment of fevers, colds, coughs and other stomach ailments.
By far it's most common culinary guise is candied and used in a variety of desserts and baked goods. It is classically paired with rhubarb and spinach, although not necessarily at the same time. For us, we are using it with some beautiful white asparagus.
Just a quick note to let you know that over at Sante Magazine there's an article on dehydrators that not only mentions Ideas in Food, it features photographs and a recipe from us as well. In addition to our ideas, there are some great insights from Tony Maws and Tory Miller. Check it out, it's a definitely worth your perusal.
PS: Congratulations to Tony & Karolyn on the newest addition to the family! We wish you all the best!
One of the best things about heading down to Baltimore is hanging out with Spike and Jay. They are always full of passion and extremely entertaining to boot.
Jay's primary specialty is coffee, although that's certainly not the only thing he's known for, and he was our right hand man for the dinner last week. Along the way he created a really cool coffee beverage, using Counter Culture Coffee for a menu pairing. You can read about it here. There's even a recipe.
Spike and Jay are both serious coffee fanatics, although Jay is the barista of the two. He taught us a lot about coffee in a very short time and reminded us what a difference the details make in that very first sip of the day. He is also responsible for introducing us to beans of Counter Culture and that was a gift in itself. They roast some serious coffee beans there. I will never look at Starbucks the same way again.
This is a beautiful and surprisingly harmonious combination. Years ago we paired the tomato and the pineapple together as a condiment and discovered that the two different levels of of acidity and sweetness balanced each other quite nicely. This time we decided to compress both fruits without applying any heat to preserve the natural juices and flavors. We then used our fruit glue (aka pectin/calcium blend) to assemble the layers pictured to the right. The only question now is what to pair with this early summer terrine.
We have been chasing the theory/rumor that when avocados are warmed in their skins for an extended period of time and then cooled, the process will kill the enzyme which causes oxidation/browning of the flesh. While we have toyed with the idea for some time, we had yet to test the results.
The series of pictures from left to right looks at raw avocados, one cooked for one hour, and one cooked for two hours, both times in a water bath at 40 degree Celsius and then cooled to ice cold before peeling. The photos begin when the avocados are first cut and are taken at one hour increments with the last photo taking place four hours after the first.
These pictures illustrate what time and direct exposure to air does to the flesh of the avocados.
We believe the tests show promise, though 40 degrees is not the answer. Although there seems to be less browning taking place in the third set during the first hour, by the fourth hour they have caught up to the others and almost seem to be oxidizing at a slightly faster rate than the other two sets. Clearly this is still a work in progress. Time to try 41 degrees and perhaps find some scientific data to back up the initial rumor.