So my mom-in-law made Italian beef and was going to thicken her sauce with a cornstarch slurry. She accidentally mixed and added a baking soda slurry. According to her, it bubbled, foamed, and tasted…weird. I wasn't present to taste it.
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I thought back to ye olde chemistry class, and all I could remember was that baking soda would neutralize acid. Would adding more of an acid (say tomato sauce) have saved her sauce by forcing the chemical consumption of the baking soda?
Or is this mistake a sudden death mistake from which there is no return?
Thanks, from a curious bystander
It would have helped some. But depending on how much baking soda she added, maybe not enough. Plus you would still have to balance out the flavor after adding such a large amount of liquid. Honestly I've never made something very alkaline on mistake, but in principal, acidity would neutralize.
Vinegar might be worth a shot.
Pretty much this. I'm not convinced it would fix it, but that's absolutely what I'd try.
It would certainly change the taste but I can't say if it would be better or worse.
Baking soda and vinegar react to form CO2, which would bubble out, and sodium ethanoate, which is used as a flavoring agent for “salt and vinegar” potato chips.
While all of the replies made sense, this one gave me the “ah-ha” understanding. Thanks, and at least she'll get a laugh when I tell her that her only option was “salt & vinegar” italian beef!
This happened to me once. Tried to add vinegar but was not really of great helped. It was crazy and decided it would be easier to start all over again. Good thing I only cook small batches.
Even if you neutralized all the baking soda, it would still taste quite salty. The tounge “salty” receptors sense sodium ions, and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. On the plus side, raising the pH will increase Browning, so I guess there's that going for you?
I accidentally added baking soda to a cake glaze twice. There's no coming back from that flavor.
I tried using a tip I read once, to add a bit baking soda to quickly caramelize onions. Definitely added too much – color changed quickly, true, but it tasted like soap. So I added some vinegar to “even it out”. Nope, tasted like shit, tossed the whole thing.
I suppose it could be somehow saved by adding an acid, but that will at best make it edible, won't make it taste good.
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