Saturday, January 12, 2008

What is Molecular gastronomy

First I think everyone needs to know this is food and not science fiction. People think we have some kind of lab set up where we a draining blood from cows and ejecting into rabbits. I would define molecular cuisine as cooking and analyzing food on a cellular level. If grilling a piece of fish is not the best way to cook it, why not experiment scientifically to find the best result. I thought traditional ice cream making was the best, but now I will never make ice cream without liquid nitrogen. There is no doubt that it is creamer and has an insane mouth feel. I thought grilled salmon could never be topped but salmon sou-vide at 131 degrees with dill butter and yuzu is the best piece of fish I ever had. Humans are always looking for the next best thing, we never settle. We are always looking for better. That is how our planet evolved to where we are today. To those who say that molecular cooking is a fad I say: try some molecular techniques on your food. You will yield some amazing products. Not everything made this way is good but that is the fun of experimenting and learning. Ounce you stop learning your dead . This is a list of some of the chemicals we use. Next time you are in the supermarket read the ingredient labels. You already consume all of the products we use. All we are doing is using these ingredients in gourmet food applications to enhance textures, flavors and presentations. Have fun and be open

Liquid nitrogen- A colorless, flavorless liquid that has a temperature 0f -320

Gellan- Similar to gelatin but it can be heated and item will keep its structure

Agar- A thickening gelling agent used in the orient for 1000 of years

Activa- A protein glue used to stick different proteins together

Sodium alginate- Used to make caviar. Added to liquid to thicken

Calcium chloride- Used in caviar making to set or cook caviar

Calcium Gluconate- Used in the reverse specification process. Added to liquid and dropped into sodium alginate solution. Sometimes thickened with xantham

Xantham gum- Used to thicken and is added to emulsions so they don’t break

Sodium citrate- The sodium salt of citric acid

Citric acid- An organic acid used to give sour qualities. Can replace lemon juice

Guar gum- A thickening agent and stabilizer works well with xantham

Ascorbic acid- Found in citrus fruits it is excellent for keeping natural colors in blanching

Lecithin- Found in egg yolks it is used to thicken and create air textures. Best when stabilized with xantham

Glucose- Used to help stabilize cooked products to make them stable

Isomalt- A pure form of sugar that won’t crystallize when heated

Glycerin- Properties are like glucose. Used in bubble gum production

Methylcellulose- Derived from plant fibers this product has many different uses. When used in baking, it will help to increase crumb. Other applications are to trick food textures. We have used it in hot ice cream, gnocchi and sour cream noodles.

Tapioca maltodextrin- Used to turn any fat into a powder

Carrageenan- A natural extract from seaweed, used to make incredible textures

1 comment:

abhinav said...

please also mention uses of
calcium citrate
calcium citrate malate

& sodium diacetate E262