Leave It To Botanists To Turn Cooking Into A Science Lesson

Okra slime changes when its pH changes. To make okra less slimy, says botanist Katherine Preston, cook it with an acid, which changes the properties of the molecules in the mucilage and renders it far less viscous. Southerners cook okra with tomatoes, which provide plenty of acid.

Why do artichokes look so strange? What makes okra so slimy – and how can science help you turn that attribute into a taste sensation? Two botanists take plant science into the kitchen.

(Image credit: Mary Mathis/NPR)