Molecular gastronomy, ie playing with your food. Or, bringing science into the kitchen.
Whatever you call it, it’s the process of making gels, foams, freeze drying, carbonating, doing all kinds of crazy cool stuff that hopefully makes for interesting dinners.
Here’s a list of everything an aspiring molecular gastronomist can’t do without:
Agar – makes a gelatin-like substance. But don’t mix with fruit, use beef broth (grass fed organic, of course) to create thin beef sticks, or hot pepper sauce or indian spices or good boozes.
Methylcellulose – dissolve this stuff in hot water and it becomes a syrup or a gel. But when it cools, it becomes a liquid again. Use to make cool hot solids. Try a HOT vanilla hot cream (opposite of ice cream) that is hot, but dissolves in your mouth as it cools. Also a very good soluble fiber.
Soy Lecithin - A bonding agent that makes things stick together that shouldn’t. This is what the pros use for asparagus, milk/turmeric and other crazy foams.
Xanthan Gum – helps keep oil and water emulsified for long periods.
Tapioca Maltodextrin – make any fat or oil into a powder that releases its juicy goodness when it dissolves on the tongue.
Activa RM (meat glue) – This stuff will make proteins stick together. Use it to clue different cuts of the same meat together. Or to make a literal surf and turf with a lobster tail seared to a filet mignon.
Sodium Alginate & Calcium Chloride – This is how they make the “caviar” of weird things like wine and chai tea and carrot juice and whatnot. Simply mix a liquid with sodium alginate and immerse the droplets using a syringe.
Or…buy a ready-made kit that includes a lot of these ingredients – and more not mentioned. Either way, have fun!
Also of note, there is one cookbook set which is the DEFINITIVE GUIDE. Definitely read our article about this one…