Today I volunteered at the fourth annual "Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off". It was totally fabulous! Over twenty-five desserts were entered into the contest. Each dessert was submitted in its entirety (to be judged on presentation) and in 100 bite-sized pieces (to be judged by the public). People arrived at the bake-off, paid $3, and received a plate of five bite-sized desserts from one of six categories (tarts and treats, bars and bites, cookies, cupcakes, gluten-free, or professional). As a volunteer, I was given one free sample plate: I choose a 'tarts and treats' plate. So good! The event sold out, meaning 600 vegan goodies were consumed in the course of two hours. The public voted on their samples to determine the People's Choice winner. The desserts were also judged by celebrity judges (chefs from vegan restaurants, cookbook authors, etc). All in all, this event was pretty sweet. :P
Optical Isomerism - one molecule/chemical is responsible for producing two very different effects. When shone with a beam of light, the molecule/chemical rotates a beam of light in opposite directions: it either rotates the light beam in the (+) direction, or in the (-) direction, and based on which way it rotates the light, the molecule/chemical can have different effects. Example: the chemical carvone is responsible for the scents of both caraway and spearmint. When carvone rotates a beam of light in the (+) direction, it produces the fragrance of caraway, and when it rotates (-), the scent is spearmint. It's crazy how two very different scents come from the same chemical.