London, Nov 13 : Researchers have discovered the secret of the perfect Yorkshire pudding - it must rise to four inches in height.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Yorkshire pudding must be no less than four inches (10cm) if it is to be worthy of the name; any less, and the dish cannot be properly said to have risen.
Dr John Emsley, a chemist who himself hails from Yorkshire, was asked to draw up the definitive recipe and dimensions after the society was contacted by an expatriate cook struggling to produce the delicacy in his Colorado kitchen.
Emsley's consultations with colleagues across the country led the Royal Society of Chemistry to conclude that the best specimens were no less than 4in high. He declined to disclose the precise methodology of the investigation.
"I have seen many grim results from people who have tried to get their Yorkshires to rise," Times Online quoted him, as saying.
He said that cooks wanting to rustle one up need to arm themselves with carbohydrate + H2O + protein + NaCl + lipids (flour, water, egg, milk and fat), said the scientists.
"They frequently made gross errors. Cooking is chemistry in the kitchen and one has to have the correct formula, equipment and procedures. To translate the ingredients into chemical terms, these are carbohydrate + H2O + protein + NaCl + lipids," he added.
Northerners do have a natural gift for creating the Yorkshire pudding, he said.
"It's in the blood and instinct of people born and raised there. You can tell from the look and taste if the cook has the right touch, and it is almost pitiful to observe the stuff that comes from some southern ovens - flat, pale and soggy much of the time. Some amateurs even place the batter in the fridge first. What kind of foolish act is that?" he added.