About Alcoholism – Alcoholism Information, Research, and Treatment
Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine Article. Volume 47, Issue 3, August 1990
What’s Not Cooking?
Many of these items are contrary to AA philosophy. Their publication here does not mean that the Grapevine endorses or approves them; they are offered solely for your information.
Don’t blame Julia Child for leading you astray: We all were convinced that the alcohol in the sherry she so liberally added to dishes would cook away, with only the wine’s flavor left behind. But now, it turns out, we can’t have our brandy and eat it too, because alcohol, as this research reveals, has tremendous staying power.
At the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food scientist Evelyn A. Augustin of Washington State University in Pullman, along with her husband, Jorg A. Augustin of the Food Research Center at the University of Idaho in Moscow, tested six recipes to determine the fate of the alcohol called for.
Their results, reported at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association, were a big surprise to everyone. They found;
- that the burgundy in pot roast Milano, for example, doesn’t completely disappear even after two and a half hours of simmering on the stove;
- that a dish of scalloped oysters, baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, retains 45 percent of the alcohol in the dry sherry used;
- that Grand Marnier sauce, which is removed from the heat when the called-for liqueur is added, gets hot enough to lose only 15 percent of its alcohol.
- Especially surprising, though, was what happened–or didn’t happen–to the brandy in the cherries jubilee. The recipe calls for dark sweet cherries to be mixed with corn-starch and heated in a chafing dish to thicken. One quarter of a cup of brandy is then ignited in a separate pan and poured over the cherries. But even this intense flaming process, the Augustins discovered, burned off no more than 25 percent of the alcohol. They tested the recipe several times, and on each try the flame died, while 75 percent of the alcohol survived.
From ‘AA History Lovers’ 2006 —
moderators Nancy Olson and Glenn F. Chesnut — page 75