Yes. . . you might dream of coming up with NEW everything, new recipes, new ways to understand food, new decoration for a dish or a dessert, new ways to taste, new new new. But. . . are you really aware of the odds for true originality in food according to the numbers?
Harvard Lectures about “NEW FOOD”
During a series of lectures at Harvard University, called Harvard Science and Cooking Lectures (2012) Baker Joanne Chang presented “Bakistry: The Science of Sweets“. Before she started, Mathematician Michael P. Brenner made an introduction about what are the odds for creating real NEW food. He dowloaded all sweet recipes from Allrecipes.com, grouped them under “all sugar cookies” or “all brownies” and created charts with the info. He averaged them in the grouping process, to find originality beyond all the classic recipes, all the renovated versions of them and all the ones where we substitute some ingredient
According to this little experiment . . . real NEW food or Recipes are almost nowhere to be found beyond “all lemon pies” or “all chocolate cakes”, etc. The only mathematical chance for new recipes lays in the edge of the big “average” groups . Chances are really low. Whatever one could come up with as a new thing, either will not taste good or is already invented, according to these charts
Croissant as an example
If you think of Croissant -for example- there you got really something unique. It’s not a Bread, is not puffed Pastry, is something of its own sort! Is it easy to come up with a whole new thing like that? Not Really
How to come up with NEW. . .
Although, innovation has never stopped and it’ll never will. One should not believe at heart that: “everything has been already done”. Just to start with, self-expression and personal taste go a long way in authenticity. True originality is related to playing with tradition more often than breaking with all traditions. Even according to this math charts for probabilities, around the edges of already invented recipes NEW recipes will be created. We don’t have to go completely far away completely far away or reinvent the wheel to create. Many of the great inventions or discoveries happened by accident, you just need to be in the accident scene