From the blog March 24, 2011 Wayt

Stephen Colbert Bites Our Pastrami

Modernist Cuisine and Nathan Myhrvold were featured guests on last night’s episode of The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert, a noted ice cream critic, sampled our dairy-free pistachio gelato and pronounced it yummy. “You’ve achieved ice cream that tastes like ice cream—that’s a true breakthrough!” he said.

Our dairy-free, egg-free pistachio gelato

Colbert also enjoyed the transformative experience that is MC pastrami, which is made from short rib and cooked sous vide at low temperature for 72 hours. “Oh my God…oh my God,” Colbert said with his mouth still full of melting meat. “I don’t need teeth. This is fantastic!”

Our melt-in-your mouth pastrami below Colbert’s mind

In a funny bit that didn’t make it into the segment that aired, Nathan poured liquid nitrogen into a bowl on the table at which he and Colbert sat. “You should absolutely never do this,” Nathan said as he repeatedly dipped his fingers into the ?321 °F liquid (and—this is the important part—quickly removed them!) “Actually I haven’t had any feeling in these hands for years,” Nathan quipped.

At the end of the interview, Nathan immersed a rose in the furiously boiling nitrogen, then lifted it out and whacked it on the table. It smashed into hundreds of confetti-size bits. “You’d make a lousy valentine,” Colbert said.

Discussion

  1. Gavin Scott March 28, 2011 Reply

    So, just as another anecdote in the “don’t try this at home with LN” category, when I was a kid growing up in Irvine, CA, we would go each year to the UC Irvine Open House where various departments would put on displays and demonstrations, including fun stuff from the engineering and physics departments (like tours of the nuclear reactor before having one became somewhat less trendy after Three Mile Island).

    One year (circa 1971) there were some students who had a huge glass dewar full of liquid N to probably 20 inches in depth or so. One of them would plunge his entire arm into this up to nearly the shoulder for several seconds, providing the most impressive demonstration of the Leidenfrost effect that I’ve ever seen.

    So, ya know, the whole fingers thing just isn’t that impressive by comparison :)

    G.

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