I've said it repeatedly here, but never trust a scientist who can't cook. If you're capable of performing a real-time PCR reaction, or running a western blot, or many of the other techniques one finds in a lab these days, then you ought to be able to find your way around the kitchen. After all, a PCR machine is just a very fancy oven of sorts, and just about every assay kit you'll use has a recipe (except they call it a protocol booklet). You'll even be used to the concepts of different weights and measures.
There is even a branch of cooking these days that seeks to marry science to the kitchen formally. It goes by the rather haughty title of molecular gastronomy, and its practitioners attempt to revitalize cooking by marrying new flavors and textures together based on scientific principles and experimentation. Perhaps the leading molecular gastronomist is Ferran Adria of Spain, but others such as Wiley Dufresne of the US or Heston Blumenthal of the UK are also pushing back culinary boundaries. As I suggested in the Ars Technica Christmas guide, there are also molecular gastronomy textbooks that masquerade as recipe books.
In part, these gastronauts are searching for a degree of perfection in taste, and one such target for their attention has been the humble bacon sandwich. Beloved by most, I'm quite sure one of my colleagues in the Ars newsroom subsisted on nothing but bacon sandwiches for almost a year. Now, the Food Science department at Leeds University in the UK have announced that they have determined the route to an ultimate bacon sandwich.
The trick, it seems, is to use back bacon, which should be cooked under a grill at 240?C for seven minutes. This is then placed on 1-2 cm thick farmhouse bread and eaten. The researchers tried over seven hundred different combinations before arriving on the variant detailed above, which emerged victorious.
From personal experience, I'd say they got it just about right. Sadly, since relocating to the US I've found that back bacon is almost unheard of here, and the stuff you find on most supermarket shelves has far too little meat and far too much fat to substitute. If you happen to live near a store like Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati though, you might just be in luck. Oh, and don't use sourdough bread!