The Science of Spice by S. Farrimond — in networks


It's feasting time; and any good feast tickles the tongues with flavours unknown and exotic. But not all spices go well with each other. One suggested solution is to "understand flavour connections" in order to "revolutionize your cooking", which is the subtitle of a book by Stuart Farrimond: The Science of Spice (Dorling Kindersley 2018, ISBN: 978-0-2413-0214-9).

In his book, Farrimond categorizes spices into flavour groups characterized by their major and secondary chemical compounds, such as "sweet warming phenols", "fragrant terpenes" and "pungent compounds". He presents a "periodic table of spices" covering 54 spices, and gives a four-step protocol for how to combine spices:
  • Step 1: Choose the main flavour group(s);
  • Step 2: Check the blending science (which is quite elaborate — you have to buy the book);
  • Step 3: Pick your primary spices; and
  • Step 4: Add complexity (something we strongly encourage in general here at the Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks).
Farrimond provides five sets of principal data in the various chapters of his book entitled: "Spice science" (an introduction), "World of Spice" (which spices are used in which countries, including a recipe for a local spice blend), and "Spice Profiles" (bit of history, food to spice, blending science). For the 54 spices of the periodic table, they are:
  • chemical composition;
  • geography (uses as "signature", "supporting" and "supplementary spice" in various countries);
  • general characterization, such as "sweet", "pungent", "earthy", "complex";
  • food partners;
  • flavor category.
All of this information can be visualized using our beloved Neighbor-nets. Here, we will show only two: the flavour compounds network (based on information tabulated on pp. 214–217), and a network grouping countries by similarity in spice use. For those interested in the primary data used here; tabulated data, character matrices and raw networks can be found @ figshare.

Spice compounds

Humans are, and have always been, very diverse, and so is their food; and the spices are no exception. They contain numerous flavor-active substances, and Farrimond has picked for his periodic table of spices those that cover a huge range of flavor compounds. Accordingly, the Neighbor-net is star-like, as shown here.

Neighbor-net based on absence/presence of 117 chemical compounds that put spice in spices.

For estimating (Hamming) chemical 'inter-spice' distances, I used ternary ordered characters: "0" – absence; "1" – presence; "2" – flagged as major compound. Most flavor groups are chemically diverse; Mother Nature has many means to tickle our taste buds in a certain fashion. One exception are the spices of the "citrous terpenes" flavor group characterized by citral as the main flavor compound (otherwise only found as accessory compound in wattle, ginger and turmeric) accompanied by linalool (a compound found in many other spices and main compound of coriander).

Geographic patterns

To visualize the geographic differentiation of the spices, I treated the absence/presence of each spice in the local cuisines as an ordered character:
  • "3" – a signature spice, ie. a main spice in the local cuisines;
  • "2" – supporting spice accompanying many dishes;
  • "1" – supplementary spice, ie. a spice to round up or add more particularity;
  • "0" – absent, ie. not mentioned by Ferrimond.
In total, the matrix covers 93 spices for 44 countries/regions. Some spices are relatively ubiquitous, and hence are not informative about geographical variation, such as chili (37 out 44 cuisines, with 26 using it as a signature spice), garlic (25 uses as a signature spice) or ginger (19), while others are rare or geographically quite restricted. For instance turmeric is a signature spice of Indian cuisines and also of South Africa. During the British Empire, many Indians migrated to South Africa, and Indian traditions blended in with African and European; which makes South Africa an interesting place to visit and feast (as I can affirm first hand).

A global network based on the used spices. Colorization refers to the continental regions used by Ferrimond (chapter World of Spice, p. 20ff)

Not unexpectedly, the network shown here reflects geographic vicinity as well as rather ancient historical connections. For example, most aspects of European civilization have their origin in the Middle East, and spices reached medieval Europe via Arab sea-traders and the Silk Route; but there was also influence from elsewhere during the various the colonial epochs.

The Latin American cuisines are spice-wise most similar to those of Spain and Portugal within their regional groups, while Canada and the U.S.A. mix this tradition with that of other European countries such as Italy and France. Great Britain is distinct because His/Her majesties ruled many lands with a great variety of food and spices. In contrast to many other aspects of colonialism, the influence hence goes both ways.

The most unique spice cuisines are Indonesia, the home of many spices (and the reason why both the Portuguese and the Spanish set sail), and (tropical) western and central Africa. That the Horn of Africa graphs within the South Asian group is not surprising as it was for a very long time the sea-trade spice hub between Asia and Europe.

The is also a higher diversity seen in the Southeast Asian compared to the East Asian and South Asian countries and regions.

A bit of an oddball is the placement of the Caribbean cuisine, and especially the Creole kitchen, which is known for its spice mixing — in Farrimond's three-concepts characterization: "Adventurous | Bold | Spicy".

Conclusion

So, in case you want to spice up the coming holiday and festive season, Farrimond's book is an invaluable source for applied science, which has a simple primary use: filling the mouth with taste while filling the belly with ballast.

Macarons: The Sexiest Cookie Known to Man

Macaron (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

Macaron (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

I grew up in the Midwest. There are some wonderful things about growing up in the Midwest: friendly neighbors, sense of community, Big 10 football. Quality food experiences, however, does not make the list. As I started to explore the world and its food, I made some amazing discoveries. Near the top of that list was the macaron.

A little “o” can make a big difference. As a kid I was drawn to these spongy lumps that glued my tongue to the roof of my mouth and left coconut in my teeth for days called macaroons. Then, I discovered a true macaron, with a delicate, crisp outer layer that gives way to a soft, slightly chewy inside sandwiched around smooth, sweet, creamy buttercream. It was an epiphany. I am not saying that macarons are better than macaroons1. I am simply saying that they are not the same.

Macaroon: chunks of hastily prepared stickiness to adorn a middle school pot-luck table.
Macaron: colorful bites of Parisian decadence that can make women swoon, bring men to their knees, and cause unicorns to weep.

I think back on my grandmother’s beef stroganoff, prepared according to the recipe on the back of a Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup can2, with occasionally cravings. After trying true beef stroganoff for the first time, I was struck by what the dish could be with tender, braised meat swimming in a saucy swirl of creamy, tart, zesty, and herbaceous flavors. Yet, I can’t say I preferred it. I think of them as two separate dishes, enjoyable for their own reasons – one for memories, one for flavors. The same can be true for the macaron/macaroon. The macaroon holds a special place in my heart. The macaron is a different, more sensual animal. Now, let’s leave the sentimental attachment behind and focus on the science of sexy food.

Click image for printable recipe cards (PDF -127kb)

Click image for printable recipe cards (PDF -127kb)

THE GRIND
The first step in making sexy macarons is preparing our dry ingredients – powdered sugar and ground nuts. Some macaron recipes ask for cornstarch-free powdered sugar. The theoretical concern is that the clumping of gluten proteins in the starch will lend a cakey, gummy texture to the macarons. The theory may be sound, enough starch will throw off the texture, but I have never found this to be a problem in real life macaron making. While most commercial powdered sugars contain cornstarch to prevent clumping due to moisture, the amount is so small that the effects aren’t noticeable.

The dose makes the poison, even in baking.

We should, however, stay away from granulated sugars (even very fine bakers sugar). The grains do not have time to dissolve and will cause grainy macarons. Grainy macarons are not sexy macarons.

We are using almonds, the typically nut of choice for macarons, for several reasons:

  1. Almonds do not have a strong flavor. Almonds won’t overpower our other flavorings. Nuts with stronger flavors, like walnuts or pistachios, would dominate the flavor of the cookie.
  2. Almonds have low fat content for a nut. This is important when we add the ground nuts to the meringue. Fats help break down structures. In baking, we call them tenderizers. They do this by greasing-up the structural molecules. Instead of bonding to each other, the structural molecules, egg proteins, in the meringue slip past each other destroying the structure of our macarons.
  3. Almonds are cheap. Every good chef knows to watch food costs. There will be times to add other nuts to the macarons, most notably, if we are trying to make a nut flavored macaron. The best solution is to use two-thirds almond and one-third of the other nut. The almond’s mild flavor will let the other nut’s flavor come through, while keeping fat content and costs down.

For the nuts, the biggest trick is grinding them to a fine powder, known as nut flour. Almond flour is a commonly ingredient in pastries that can be bought in most stores. Pre-ground almond flour, however, tends to be a little too coarse for us. So how do we get superfine, powdery nut flour?

The food processor is time-honored for its ability to quickly chop things up. It will happily chop our nuts down to grains for us. The friction of the blades along with the chopping of the nuts will also happily start to pull the nut oils out and make nut butter, instead of nut flour. Nut butter is delicious, but not in the ingredient list for our macarons. If we add some of the powdered sugar in with the nuts though, the sugar will suck up the oils as they come out. There is enough volume of sugar to prevent any clumping from the oils. This will allow us to process down to a fine powder whether we start with whole nuts or store-bought nut flour.

Nut Flour (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

Nut Flour (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

We will sift the nut flour and powdered sugar four times. This removes any large chunks of nuts or clumps of sugar. It also aerates the dry ingredients making them lighter when they go into the meringue. It’s easy to test how much air sifting incorporates at home. Simply measure the volume of your dry ingredients in a measuring cup before and after sifting . The change in volume is the incorporated air.

Now that we’ve got our nuts and sugar sorted, lets talk meringue.

THE FLUFFING
A well made meringue is a macaron’s heart and soul. Fortunately, it is also simple to make. Meringue is whipped up egg whites. We will add sugar. The sugar helps stabilize the meringue. Dissolved sugar forms crystalline structures around the meringue’s air bubbles.

It is crucial when we separate the eggs for our meringue that we have “clean” egg whites. There cannot be a single drop of yolk in the whites. If the whites aren’t clean, they will not whip up properly. One ingredient that we are not going to add is cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is a single purpose ingredient. Its traditional role in a meringue is to provide acid, which helps coagulate protein strands. But, any acid will do the same thing that the cream of tartar will. So, we’re going to wipe out the bowl we are using with a towel doused in vinegar instead.

The vinegar will add a little acid to the whites as we whip them. We will also be sure our bowl is thoroughly clean. The vinegar will remove any residual fats from the bowl surface left behind when your roommate slacked a little on dish duty.

Streaming Sugar (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) - if still, click to view animation

Streaming Sugar (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) – if still, click to view animation

We’ve got clean egg whites in a bowl that’s been wiped down with vinegar. Time to start whipping. We could do this by hand, but why torture ourselves? Time to crank up the standmixer and let it do the work. When our egg whites are foamy, we will start adding the granulated sugar in a slow stream. You can see what I mean by a slow stream to the right.

Stiff Peaks (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

Stiff Peaks (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

This allows the granulated sugar to dissolve without filling the bowl with too many of sharp sugar crystals, which can pop the air bubble we’ve been carefully whipping into our meringue. Once all the sugar is added, we’ll let the mixer running until the meringue has stiff peaks. When our meringue has stiff peaks, it is done. When our meringue is done, it is time to bring everything together.

THE FOLDING
We are going to incorporate our nut/sugar mixture into the meringue using a technique called folding. Folding is intended to mix the ingredients together while keeping as much air in the mixture as possible. It is inevitable that we will lose some of our meringue’s  fluffiness, but we want to minimize the deflation…for now.

Folding (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) - if still, click to view animation

Folding (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) – if still, click to view animation

I’ll be honest. We chefs do a lousy job of explaining the technique of folding, which is why I am going to show you.

Notice that I cut through the middle of the mixture with the edge of the spatula to break up the chunks of meringue without deflating it too much. I then use the flat of the spatula to turn the mixture over on itself.

Consistency (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) - if still, click to view animation

Consistency (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) – if still, click to view animation

We will add a quarter of the nut flour/sugar mixture at a time. This helps distribute it evenly and prevent the weight of the ingredients from deflating our meringue. As we mix and add dry ingredients, the mixture will get softer and flatter. The mixture needs firm enough at the end of the folding process that it is not flowing at all. If it is too loose, about the only thing to do is start over. We can always reduce the thickness with more folding to get rid of more air. We know we are at the desired thickness when we can drop some of the batter into the bowl and the dollop makes a pile, but smooths out on top. Kind of hard to visualize, isn’t it? Not if you can look at it happening.

This consistency means our macarons will form rounded piles with a smooth top when we pipe them out. If the batter is too thick, our macarons will have a little point like a Hershey kiss. If the batter is too thin, our macarons will run everywhere and we won’t have cute, round cookies. But, our batter is right at the Goldilocks standard. Let’s get them in the oven.

THE BAKING
The baking process starts with transferring the batter into a piping bag with a round tip. No, you can’t use a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. We are making the sexiest of all cookies. That kind of makeshift equipment might work for macaroons, but not macarons. I generally use a coupler3 as my tip. A coupler is perfectly round and just the right size. Make sure the end of the piping bag is closed off as you start to fill it. The batter is fluid enough to start drip out the end of the bag. You can twist it, pinch it, or (my favorite) clamp with a binder clip.

We are going to pipe the macarons directly onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan. If you don’t do much piping, you can draw 1-1/3 inch circles on the back (sheet pan side) of the paper to guide size and placement of the macarons. We are going to put about 1½ inches of space between each macron to allow for rise and spread. There are a few important tricks to good piping:

  1. Squeeze the bag with your dominate hand. Guide the tip with your other hand.
  2. Pipe straight up and down. At 90-degrees you pipe a circle. At an angle, you pipe a teardrop.
  3. Move fast. As with many things in cooking, hesitating leads to disaster. Quick, intentional movements work best.
  4. When in trouble, the tip goes up. The easiest way to stop the flow from the bag is to flip the tip of the bag upwards. Gravity will work in your favor, not instead against you.

You can watch me demonstrate the piping technique and some of the above tricks.

Piping (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) - if still, click to view animation

Piping (Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA) – if still, click to view animation

Once we have a full sheet of macarons, we are going to lift the tray three inches off the table and drop it. This will make the macarons settle ensuring that any large bubbles of air will escape before baking. We will let the macarons sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. A slight skin will form over the surface, which will translate into a thin, crisp shell when baked. After those 20 minutes, we slide them into a 325F oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Macaron Foot (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

Macaron Foot (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

A note on equipment and troubleshooting your macarons. Macarons are finicky with heat, so it is important that your oven temperature is correct. I suggest measuring its temperature with an oven thermometer before baking your macarons. If the macarons do not develop a “foot” like these, the oven maybe too cold. If they develop cracks in their tops, the oven is too hot and they are cooking too fast.

We know our macarons are done when we can lift gently on the edge of the macaron and the bottom edge peels away from the paper. If we lift and the domed top starts separating from the bottom of the macaron, they need more time.

When the macarons are ready, pull them from the oven and let them cool completely on the pans. They should then peel away from the paper quite easily.

Click image for printable recipe card (PDF - 89kb)

Click image for printable recipe card (PDF – 89kb)

Finished Macarons (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

Finished Macarons (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

THE EATING
Macarons can be (and have been) filled with just about anything. Favorite fillings include buttercreams, ganaches, and jams. We are filling ours with lemon curd because those are The Fiance’s favorite and I like making her smile. We are simply going to spread or pipe the filling onto the flat side of one macaron and sandwich it with another. Here comes the hard part. We are then going to let them sit for a day before eating them. Yes, you can eat some right now, but they won’t be as good. The balance of textures in fresh macarons is just off. The outside tends to be thick and brittle, the inside gummy. Letting them sit for a day, allows the moisture content to distribute evenly, giving the shells a delicate crispness and the inside a perfect chew. Just wrap well and put in the fridge. Last step, enjoy a perfect bite of sexy. Happy cooking.

CHEF’S NOTES
1. While pronounced almost identically by my unsophisticated, hillbilly tongue, hearing “macaron” said in proper French is an immediate indication that you’re about to taste something delicious.
2. Midwesterns will undoubtedly have a variety of fairly similar dishes that they grew-up on.
3. The plastic pieces designed to hold the tip on a pastry bag.


Independent replication

 

I know what you are thinking. Ben makes the recipes he writes about sound easy. It seems like understanding the science behind what I’m cooking will help. But I can’t really make that. Can I?

I know. I feel the same way. I feel it worse. Ben is my brother and I know just how talented and intuitive Ben is in the kitchen. Could I really recreate his food? Rephrase that question and I think we have a testable hypothesis.

So, we put it to the test. Working only from the focaccia recipe card, I tried to recreate his focaccia and have posted pictures from the process of a successful independent replication on my tumblr:

A frequent problem with both science protocols and cooking recipes is that the written procedure doesn’t let a non-expert (or anyone who wasn’t the person who wrote it) replicate the results.  So, I tested Ben’s focaccia recipe using only what was written on the recipe card and present my results for your consideration. Well, your visual consideration. You’ll just have to trust me on the fact that it tastes A-MAY-ZING!

Independent replication makes for good science and good cooking.

 


Mushroom Soup and the Root of all Flavor

This week’s recipe is a bit of a two-for-one. The “main” recipe is a fall favorite of mine, mushroom soup. This recipe only has five ingredients (not including salt and oil, which are staples, not ingredients), the most important of which is not, in fact, the mushrooms. It’s the stock. Just replace the mushroom with any number of vegetables and we can still make a delicious soup – as long as we start with good stock. So, if we want to understand the science behind great mushroom soup, we need to understand the science behind good stock.

The French use the term fonds, meaning foundation, when referring to stock. Anthony Bourdain has called it “the source,” as in “the source of all flavor”1. If you’ve ever been in a nice restaurant and thought, “This soup is so good” or “This sauce is amazing” or “Why doesn’t my rice taste this good at home?”, the answer is stock.

Let’s be clear. Stock is not that stuff you get in a box (or, god forbid, a dried-up cube of bouillon2). If you are heading to the store to buy stock for a recipe, you’ve already lost. If your recipe asks for “broth”, your recipe has failed you. Stock is made with bones. Broth is made with meat – meat that is rarely roasted, if it was even cooked at all before entering the stock pot. This is why store bought broth is pale and tastes like salty chicken skin. Bones carry more flavor than the meat, and browning them adds even more flavor, which will wind up in the water in our stock pot.

Some chefs, especially the devotees to French cuisine a la Escoffier3, will waver a bit on this point. They claim that there is a place for “white stocks” made from unroasted bones in things like a white cream sauce to avoid discoloring the sauce. My answer to that: wrong!4

Stock should be brown. Period.5

Okay, semicolon. I will make an exception for fish stock. Fish bones should not be roasted. Roasting fish bones can burn the fish oils, which and creates overpowering and off-putting flavors. But if it doesn’t swim, it should be browned.

It’s all about flavor. Browning creates flavor. Stock made with browned bones has more flavor. Food made with stock made with browned bones has more flavor. Making a cream sauce with white stock sacrifices flavor for aesthetic – pearly white and bland. In my opinion, good food tastes good. Since we know we want flavor, let’s find out how that flavor is created.

Browning
We owe much of the developed flavor in our meats and vegetable to a simple application of heat, and the complex and varied reactions it causes. When we see our meats, fruits, and vegetables browning, what we are really witnessing is either caramelization or Maillard browning. Most people are familiar with caramelization from…well…caramel. Gooey, sweet, delicious caramel. When sugars are exposed to high heat, the molecules break down and recombine to form new products. Some of those products include brown-colored polymers, organic acids, and fragrant, volatile molecules. Even a simple sugar like glucose6 can generate over 100 different products during the caramelization process. The combination of fragrances, acids, and flavor molecules makes caramel complex and delicious.

Maillard browning, put simply, is caramelization of proteins. Instead of the protein denaturing and recombining into a variety of units, amino acids in the protein react with sugars in meat or starches in vegetables. This reaction creates an unstable structure, which breaks down into a wide-range of by-products, including brown-colored polymers. Because those  brown polymers are always present alongside the flavor molecules, chefs can operate according to a simple equation:

Browning = Flavor

It is important to note when attempting to create browning that both caramelization and the Maillard reaction require high temperatures. Caramelization begins around 310F (154C). In the case of Maillard browning, the hotter the better. Maillard browning needs higher temperatures than caramelization to create the maximum amount of flavor and aromatic molecules.  Consider two identical steaks in two identical pans on two identical stove tops. The first steak goes into a cold pan that subsequently heats up. The second steak goes into a very hot pan. The second steak will always taste better and  have a better sear on it. That sear is the result of the Maillard reaction. Contact with a well heated surface lets the maximum amount of Maillard browning to occur as fast as possible. As the first steak slowly heats it loses some of its capacity for Maillard browning, because at lower temperatures the proteins are bond to each other leaving fewer available proteins to join the wild, molecular toga party that is Maillard browning.

For our stock, we are relying on the processes of caramelization and Maillard browning for our flavor. Instead of adding raw or unbrowned foods with the limited flavor and odor molecules that the product naturally contains, we add browned food with its menagerie of tasty molecules. I recommend using an oven set around 400F (204C) . The oven provides uniform heat all around the food for even and complete browning. We can brown in a pan on the stovetop, but the heat only comes from one direction. This leads to either uneven browning or a lot of work ensuring the we brown all of your food.

Deglazing

DO NOT forget to deglaze. If you do, I will find you and I will slap you.

Deglazing is the use of a liquid to remove brown food residue from a pan. Water soluble molecules produced in our browning reactions lift off the pan as the liquid rapidly evaporates off the hot surface. Liquids containing alcohol, like wine, do a better job of deglazing than water because the alcohol evaporates faster, pulling away more residue with it. For our purposes, water will do just fine. We want flavor. Those brown bits on the pan are the products of browning reactions. We definitely want that in our stock. Deglaze, or face my  fists of fury.

Steeping

Steeping is the easiest part of making stock. At this point, we have our roasted bones and veggies in a stock pot along with the water left over from deglazing. We’re going to add some herbs, garlic and peppercorns. This is a great way to use up any herbs in the fridge that are starting to look a bit sad. Fill the pot with water, place it on the burner over your lowest heat setting, and walk away. All those complex flavor and odor molecules that we worked so hard for will slowly dissolve into solution in your water, we don’t have to do a thing. To make sure you get the maximum amount of flavor out of your stock, I recommend letting it sit on the heat for 12 hours.

In my experience, people get anxious about cooking processes, like steeping, that are not active. They have a lot of questions about steeping. Fortunately, I have just as many answers:

  • No, your water will not evaporate away. Depending on your stove, you may lose between 2-4 inches of water, but that is not a problem. In fact, the more you let it cook down, the more concentrated the flavor will be.
  • Yes, I said 12 hours. The easiest way to do this is to make stock in the evening and let it sit on the heat overnight. And no, you will not burn your house down, assuming that you don’t store kindling or gasoline on the stovetop. If you do leave flammables on the stovetop…well I’ll refer you to some of the biologist in this pub for a discussion on natural selection. Most restaurants make stock this way to save cooking space. A restaurant is more likely to burn down from an electrical or heating system fire than a stock pot steeping overnight.
  • Yes, your house will smell delicious. I get “that smells great, what are you cooking?” more often when cooking stock than anything else. Beware, the smell could attract bands of roving gourmands, neighborhood busy-bodies, and, of course, land-sharks. You’ve been warned.

After 12 hours, we strain the stock to remove the bones and vegetables, which we will discard, as they are now flavorless. They gave every last drop of tasty in the service of our stock and, thanks to their sacrifice, we now have a pot full of foundation for some simple and flavorful food, like mushroom soup.

CHEF’S NOTES

1. Though sometimes Bourdain can seem to be mostly a T.V personality and what he says for shock value, he knows food and I have to agree with him on this one – and not just because I’m afraid he’d beat the crap out of me if I didn’t.

2. Bouillon is just the French term for broth. It may sound fancier, but it is no better than its American counterpart.

 3. Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) wrote a cookbook called Le Guide Culinaire, which changed the face of haute cuisine in Europe by revitalizing and simplifying much of classic French cuisine. Escoffier is often thought of as the father of modern French cuisine.

4. This not science, just my opinion…but I’m right.

5. Not totally sure how to punctuate after exclaiming “period.” A period seems redundant and an exclamation point seems an oxymoron. Any advice from english teachers out there would be much appreciated.

6. Granulated sugar is a disaccharide, meaning it is made up of two bonded sugars, glucose and fructose.