Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Al Dente colored pasta

Pasta changes color when al dente
 
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comes out of the box one color, turns natural color when done al dente. no more burnt tongues or pasta covered walls.
xclamp, Apr 28 2004

How to tell if your pasta is done http://www.ilovepas...rg/cookingpoll.html
"The old story of throwing pasta on the wall to see if it's done is fun but it's just that - an old story," (I've done it and it works) [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Changes to starch when heated http://food.oregons...ch/starch_lec2.html
Smart guy from Oregon who knows more than me [xclamp, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Color Changing Food http://patft.uspto....821&RS=PN/6,120,821
One mechanism for food that changes color on heating. Proof of concept, I would say, though obviously a lot more time in the kitchen is required to come up with the right combination to tell when pasta is done to a dente. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       "pasta covered walls" - good grief, exactly how are you cooking this stuff?! But croissant.
DrCurry, Apr 28 2004
  

       scared, are you a dentist or a dietitian   

       purple - colour of the day!
po, Apr 28 2004
  

       ["pasta covered walls" - good grief, exactly how are you cooking this stuff?! But croissant.]   

       Dr. Curry, a well-known way to test the done-ness of pasta is to throw a noodle against the wall. If it sticks, it's perfectly al dente.
tchaikovsky, Apr 28 2004
  

       Anything that stops people boiling pasta for 20 minutes has to be a good thing (+)
suctionpad, Apr 28 2004
  

       Wasn't Al Dente one of the characters in the Sopranos?   

       If not, then why not?
kevincherubini, Apr 28 2004
  

       tchaikovsky: but it is also well known that I am culinarily challenged. (But not so challenged as to get pasta all over the walls. Besides, I prefer mine floppy.)
DrCurry, Apr 28 2004
  

       How-does-it-work?   

       That 'throw it at the wall' thing is baloney. If it sticks, it's sticky.
waugsqueke, Apr 29 2004
  

       //How-does-it-work?// <link>
Klaatu, Apr 29 2004
  

       I meant the idea.   

       The sticky thing - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Some sticky pasta is al dente, some al dente pasta is sticky. Not all the time are they both.
waugsqueke, Apr 29 2004
  

       i don't have a clue how it works. don't hold it against me though. you have either heat, water or the release of starch to react with an additive to bring about the color change at the appropriate tenderness.   

       btw, just because you would know its done al dente doesn't mean you couldn't throw it at the wall if ya still wanted.
xclamp, Apr 29 2004
  

       For something this simple, I want you to have a clue how it works if it stays here.
(Hey, that worked!)
jutta, Apr 29 2004
  

       You ought to have an idea how something will work before you post it. Dismissing it with the chant of "chemistry" and expecting that to cover it is really leaving it to magic, whether you see it or not. How does "chemistry" know when pasta is al dente? Does a certain amount of a dye agent get 'cooked' out, leaving the natural colour? If so, how do you ensure that happens over the right period of time combined with the correct temperatures to match the result desired? There's a lot more to it than you think.   

       I know a little bit about chemistry, but I don't know of a simple way to achieve this. Perhaps Curry might. Until the how-to is made more clear, I agree with the magic mfd.
waugsqueke, Apr 29 2004
  

       Perhaps an organic, edible dye with a half-life of 66% of however long is required, but only at, say, 80 degrees or above. Something like that anyway..   

       Disjointed but true.
Macwarrior, Apr 29 2004
  

       no it couldn't work on a time basis because pastas vary in thickness. it would have to work based on the changes to the starch in the pasta as it was heated and broken down into sugars (which coat the outside of the pasta which is why it sticks to the wall btw) i do know that iodine can be used to test for the presence of starch in solution, but the color goes the wrong way (lighter to darker) instead of the way i want (darker to lighter). see link.
xclamp, Apr 29 2004
  

       [macwarrior] is on the money here. You could have an organic dye that breaks down in the cooking process bringing about the change of colour.   

       Or, how about a protein based colour that is denatured with a certain heat/time.   

       [xclamp] your idea is a good one but your fellow bakers will (rightly) demand an explanation of how it works rather than just what it is.
jonthegeologist, Apr 30 2004
  

       Whatever happened to the bite test? Take a piece of pasta out of the pot, blow on it, then eat it. If it tastes done, it's done. If it still crunches, it's not done.
Freefall, Apr 30 2004
  

       Where's the fun in that?
tchaikovsky, Apr 30 2004
  

       waugs: Personally, I would suggest an edible dye that changes color (or breaks down to something else that is edible, and thereby loses color) on extended heating, plus a lot of R&D. I also wonder if something could be done along the lines of gnocchi (which pop up when done). I actually thought this was one of the more practical suggestions we've seen lately, but the proof is in the pudding.
tchaikovsky: I guess you could always throw the part you didn't eat against the wall. Or the wife.
DrCurry, Apr 30 2004
  

       Why would [tchaikovsky] want to throw his wife against the wall...?
suctionpad, Apr 30 2004
  
      
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