If we talk about molecular cuisine, then perhaps we need to start with what molecular cuisine is. A huge number of rumors and speculation: this is pure chemistry, this is actually not food, etc.
But let’s not rush, because any food is chemistry. Not in the sense that there are no more natural products left in the supermarket, but in the fact that the digestion of food in our body is a chemical process, and therefore, in the end, any kitchen is chemistry, and molecular is no exception. The question is what we will digest and why this kitchen is needed at all.
Not all professional chefs are ready to recognize molecular cuisine, which is sometimes called the cuisine of experimental and/or culinary physics. But there are already leaders and authorities among chefs.
What is molecular cuisine
Of course, molecular cuisine is, on the one hand, a fashionable trend in cooking. To say that only in this kitchen cooks study the physicochemical properties of food is nonsense. You might think that cooks of traditional trends study metallurgy. Well, God is with her, with fashion. Let’s just go back to the kitchen and its molecularity.
A specialist who prepares molecular cuisine dishes should not only know about the chemistry and physics of food products but also be able to use equipment that the language will not call household or kitchen: heat, freeze, create a vacuum and pressure, emulsify and process food with carbon dioxide, etc.
Hence, the preparedness of the gourmet for the unusual look and taste of dishes of the cuisine, which in a decent restaurant will be served in a strictly defined sequence. It’s unusual that they will offer you 15-30 different dishes, but don’t be afraid for your stomach the portions are scanty enough and very often the whole portion fits in a teaspoon. Rather, you should worry about your wallet.
The chef has no task to feed you his task is to surprise with an incredible combination of tastes, textures, colors and first achieve a silly, and then an admired smile on the gourmet’s face: liquid bread, hot and at the same time iced tea, transparent dumplings and hard borsch, etc.
Moreover, having received modern technology and modern (completely non-kitchen) equipment, some chefs began to reconstruct dishes from the past: Chef Blumenthal offers tastes and aromas of dishes of the British royal table during the 15th and 16th centuries, and Gran Ekitz pampers guests “Dishes” of France-1865 or Mexico-1625.
Molecular cuisine is a deception of the senses: they will bring food to you, and its smell will be served separately. No matter how anecdotal it sounds, but it is a reality. And the reality is harmless the bulk of molecular dishes refers to diet. Just an unusual appearance, an unusual taste, and aroma.
And this effect is achieved by the use of special equipment, various devices, and unique cooking technology. Consider the most popular technologies for preparing molecular dishes.
For the preparation of molecular dishes, the usual pots and pans are not used. Innovative food is created using numerous devices, beakers, and test tubes, and is prepared exclusively on convection cookers. In this case, only natural ingredients are used no dyes or substitutes.
The main techniques that are used to prepare molecular cuisine dishes:
It’s not about freezing food in the refrigerator liquid nitrogen, which is known to have its own temperature minus 196 degrees Celsius, has found widespread use in the molecular kitchen. This temperature allows you to freeze any dish almost instantly, and the nitrogen evaporates. Such freezing allows you to save all the useful properties of the products, their color, and natural taste.
Imagine the most delicate foams that are made from fruit or vegetable juices there are a taste and aroma, but the product itself does not exist. Why are there fruits or vegetables! And imagine the most delicate mousse, which consists of fresh Borodino bread, unrefined oil, and salt. We imagined such a foamy dish.
Get the effect of Espum with a special additive soy lecithin, which is extracted from pre-filtered soybean oil.
When molecular kitchen experts talk about evacuation, then we are talking about the heat treatment of products in a water bath. All that is needed is laid in special packages, in which cooking takes place in a water bath at a temperature of about 60 degrees for several hours, or even several days. Meat cooked in this way acquires an incredible aroma, becomes very tender and very juicy.
All housewives work with gelatin. But what is the secret of molecular cuisine? In the products. Molecular cuisine involves the preparation of ordinary dishes from unusual products: caviar from honey, spaghetti from orange, egg with peach flavor, etc.
The following additives are used for cooking: agar agar carrageenan.
Both thickeners are prepared on the basis of natural algae.
Take sodium alginate and dilute it in a liquid you get a thickener, and upon contact with calcium lactate we get a gelling substance. Something like that get caviar with the taste of anything. You expect the taste of red caviar (for example), but get raspberry jam (also an example). And everything looks like red caviar.
And what could be innovative here? Using a centrifuge, for example, milk and cream have been separated for many years. It’s just that molecular kitchen experts use a centrifuge in a rather unusual way: (for example) from an ordinary tomato you get the most delicate and aromatic tomato paste, yellow (from red tomato) juice and incredibly fragrant foam.
Dry ice in molecular cuisine
Of course, you know about such a property of dry ice as the ability to evaporate at room temperature. But if you pour a piece of dry ice with something fragrant or just smelling The smell will not just be strong.
Rotary Evaporator Application
What is a rotary evaporator for in a molecular kitchen? The device itself allows you to change the pressure during the cooking process, i.e. a wide variety of liquids can boil at very low temperatures, but the essential oils that are released during such low-temperature boiling will not evaporate. Thus, these oils can be collected for subsequent “fumigation” of dishes and not only dishes. For example, fish with a rose aroma (for those who do not like the fishy smell).