The Fractals of Food

I’ve had a weakness for fractals–objects that inherently have the same shape at all scales of their size–ever since I read and somewhat understood the great Benoit Mandelbrot’s The Misbehavior of Markets a decade or so ago, back when I was still laboring under the illusion I might one day figure out the stock market well enough that I could eventually outsmart it. No luck. But the book was worthwhile, anyway. Mandelbrot was able to show mathematically that charts of security prices are indeed fractals–which becomes pretty obvious if you take a given stock, say, and lay one-week, one-year, and one-decade charts of it side-by-side. The pictures you’ll see may be different, but the patterns that form them are the same. Fractals abound in nature in particular. Coastlines are fractals, for example, as are clouds, canyons, mountains, and  ocean waves. And, getting around to the food angle of this post at last, plenty of food items are fractals, too, most notably . . . drumroll, please . . . broccoli:

Cheese sauce, alas, is just cheese sauce.

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