Hello everyone, everything good?
I’m Marcella Coser, a blog contributor, and are we going to continue our conversation about science in the kitchen?
Well, we already understand that molecular gastronomy does not only mean smokes, foams and alginate caviar, after all, the processes behind an aerated mousse or the fermentation of a bread also have a lot of chemistry involved. The idea, then, is to use this to our advantage and make the most of the preparations to achieve increasingly tasty and cool dishes.
Knowing this, it is important that you understand another concept related to what we are talking about: technoemotional kitchen, a movement created by Pau Arenós, a journalist for the Spanish magazine Apicius. This term means that technology is at the service of emotion and even has a post about it here on the site 😉
In some places you will find these movements interconnected, but in fact, they are different concepts although they have the same purpose: to please consumers. It is a fact that food is a vector of affection, right? There is nothing more affectionate than eating something that someone has done with attention and dedication, after all, you can feel it through the plate.
It is precisely for this reason that I understand molecular gastronomy as a tool of techno-emotional cuisine, as well as home cooking, gourmet cuisine and many others. This does not mean that each one needs to stay in its square, it is more than possible to use the techniques and mix them in the way that best suits your plate.
Now let’s understand a little about the main molecular gastronomy techniques that exist?
1- Foams: siphon or lecithin (emulsifier) and a mixer can be used.
For the siphon, you mix a juice of the product you prefer (fruits, vegetables, or other with the desired flavor) and gelatin. With this technique, you can also make an ice cream foam (it needs to be melted and sifted) or meringue (melting the sugar in the whites). And in the case of the mixer, just mix the juice and the lecithin and beat.
2- Spherification: basically this technique means putting a liquid inside a perfect sphere, using two methods:
– Classic: the alginate is dissolved in the product and the sodium chloride in the water and the product is dripped into that water. In this way, the balls are forming beautifully.
– Inverse: the alginate is dissolved in the water and the calcium gluconate or calcium lactate (or both) in the water and is also dripping.
The reverse method has some advantages. The first is that it does not transfer flavor, so in the case of sweets it is better, because sodium chloride will make your candy more salty. The other advantageous factor is that the second method has more stability to form the spheres of a product with a high alcohol content.
3- Gelling agents: it is possible to prepare several formats with this technique, for example, the Raissa dish from the 2nd season of the Master Chef professionals. She made a mango spaghetti. In this case, gelling agents such as agar, methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose or CMC are used.
This type of technique allows testing, playing with textures and flavors, but it is extremely important to say that flavor intensity is lost to achieve this type of aesthetics. This is because when incorporating air or preparing a solution to esterify, for example, the tastes are diluted, so these techniques call for a greater concentration of flavor before finalization.
As you might imagine, these are just a few of the techniques used in molecular gastronomy. So, did you like the theme? If so, we still have a lot to explore 😉 I hope you enjoyed the post and see you next time!