Did you know that the art of cooking would be nothing without math? And not just when it comes to measuring ingredients or doubling recipes—math and cooking are linked in ways that go beyond arithmetic. In fact, you can use math to elevate your cooking to new heights of precision and artistry! 

Here's how to use proportions and geometry as secret ingredients to help you enhance both the flavor and presentation of your next creation.

The proportions behind your recipe

To create the perfect dish, you'll need to think of ingredients not just on their own, but how their quantities compare to each other: proportions! At the heart of every culinary masterpiece lies the art of balancing ingredients with mathematical precision. The proportion of one ingredient to another is what creates the perfect balance of spices in a curry, or the best ratio of flour to liquid in a cake batter. In a classic French dish like Beef Bourguignon, it's the blend and proportion of aromatics, wine, and tender meat that helps the dish reach its full potential. 

But the power of proportions isn't reserved for only professional chefs. By understanding the delicate balance of your ingredients, you can transform ordinary dishes into extraordinary experiences in your own kitchen!

Illustration of a pie chart divided into thirds. One third has a salt shaker, one has a pepper shaker, and one has a head of garlic with an unpeeled clove.

The geometry of your next meal

Math also helps create art through the presentation of food. Have you ever heard that "we eat with our eyes first"? Math gives us the first taste of a meal, when we first see a dish!

The geometry of what we see—the shapes, symmetry, and patterns of foods—is central to the culinary experience. From the elegant symmetry of a sushi roll to the varied patterns of a charcuterie board, geometry guides chefs in creating visually striking dishes that please the eye as much as the palate. Renowned chefs worldwide have embraced geometry as a means to elevate their creations, and you can apply it at home, too: Embrace and experiment with shapes, lines, and colors, and remember that geometry delights the senses!

Math makes your mouth water!

From the precise measurement of ingredients to the artful arrangement of your meal, math levels up each part of the culinary experience. Look for these unexpected connections the next time you're completing a math lesson on Duolingo. Happy cooking, and bon appétit!