Feature, Food

Cooking at Altitude – Tuesday Night Lessons

September 17, 2014

Adventures in cooking: I learned something today! Calgary is approximately 3,500 feet above sea level and I made individual flans tonight for a little dinner party tomorrow night. As I was making the caramel for the base, I was freaking out because I wasn’t getting a “faint amber colour” even though I’d been cooking the sugar for double, then triple the suggested cooking time. Being that it was after 10:00 p.m. didn’t really help my anxiety, neither did the fact that a girlfriend recently told me she had ruined a pot making caramel as the sugar burns so quickly.

On my second try, I decided to see if I could find any information online about altitude affecting cooking. Of course–it’s science, man! My physicist brother would certainly roll his eyes. Higher altitude means lower atmospheric pressure, which ultimately means longer cooking times and higher temperatures required.  Atmospheric pressure is a little much for my tired mind to wrap around this evening, but well noted! I will have to play around with this for a little while until I figure out what it really means. But, in the meantime, I finally got my sugar to cook into caramel, wish me luck for the flans!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Mili September 26, 2014 at 4:09 am

    Hope the flans came out well 🙂


    • Reply Kelly Self September 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      They turned out! I used a little lemon peel, so they had a great citrus tang. I’ll have to post the recipe someday soon!

    Leave a Reply