Molecular Gastronomy Ingredients Pack – aa50g, xg 50g, sa 50g, cl 50g
The last few decades have seen some truly momentous innovations in the world of food technology and some of the world’s top chefs have taken their passion for food to the next level. Scientific exploration of what makes our food look, smell and taste good has revealed some surprising facts about how we perceive the things we put in our mouths.
From microwaves to induction hobs, the evolution of technology has allowed chefs to experiment with a wide variety of ingredients and a range of techniques borrowed from the science labs of chemical engineers and biological researchers.
What is molecular gastronomy?
Molecular gastronomy is the process of examining the interactions taking place between the chemical compounds in our food to explain how the flavour is changed. It includes in-depth research into the physical and chemical reactions that take place when you apply heat to food and investigations into what makes us prefer some textures to others. Chefs work with chemists, biologists, physicists and food technologists to combine their knowledge and come up with innovations in the world of food preparation.
Some of these become so popular that they are adopted by restaurants the world over and end up becoming standard fare in cooking shows and competitions. The sous vide technique of slow cooking meat in a water bath is thought to date back as far as the 17th century, but molecular gastronomists have rediscovered the benefits of the technique and it is now common practice in commercial kitchens.
What can you do with this kit?
Many other molecular gastronomy techniques have been around for centuries, but our modern understanding of why they worked has allowed us to recreate them more reliably. This kit contains everything you need for some of the most popular molecular gastronomy techniques.
Agar agar – this is one of the foremost vegan gelling agents and it is popular because it is so versatile. You can add it to liquids to turn them into gels that are ideal for a variety of purposes and this is an area that showcases the creative side of molecular gastronomy. When you have a substance that can turn your favourite liquid into a gel, you also have the opportunity to make a cube of gravy or a strand of apple juice spaghetti among myriad other ideas.
Calcium lactate – an extract of lactic acid, calcium lactate is a compound that provides the calcium required to create the reaction needed for spherification. The calcium salts react with alginates and certain seaweed extracts to form firm gels and this allows you to make pearls, caviar or beads from the sauce or juice of your choice. You can also use it to make gel spaghettis using the same principles as spherification. It can also be used as a preservative when sprinkled on fruit.
Sodium alginate – this gelling agent is extracted from seaweed and used for both spherification and reverse spherification. It reacts with calcium to form a strong gel as soon as the two chemicals meet, making it perfect for forming pearls and spheres. It can be added to the water bath to make calcium enriched liquids form spheres, or it can be added to a sauce or flavouring that is dropped into a calcium bath.
Xantham gum – this food additive is used to thicken and stabilise foods. It is used in molecular gastronomy to strengthen gels made from alginates and other gelling agents and it can be added to agar agar to give a firmer and more substantial gel.
This collection of ingredients has everything you need to perform some of the most impressive feats of molecular gastronomy.