In order to appreciate how to deal with unelaborated products in a fine dining restaurant, we need to get to know and understand them. This involves not only understanding how they are produced, but also what they are made of. Consequently, we need to have a chemical knowledge of them.
Knowing the composition of a product helps us to understand, for example, the product’s texture, flavour, technological and culinary properties; how it reacts when acid or heat is applied, etc. This enables us to appreciate and identify it more accurately and, in turn, to plan the preparation process and predict the final result. All of this is essential when cooking. This knowledge also allows us to cook mentally and imagine what the result will be like. Thus it helps us in the creative process.
It also provides a greater mastery of preservation techniques, as well as a greater awareness of hygiene and food safety. This, in turn, informs us of what is possible and what is not possible.
The chemical composition of products is essential in a fine dining restaurant, as are the factors that condition this. In this chapter, we detail the general composition of the main families of UPs.