Thursday, March 1, 2012

Molecular gastronomy at home

A while back, I got a molecular gastronomy kit for review from a company called Molecule-R Flavors. I'd been itching to play with molecular gastronomy ever since I first heard about it. so I was pretty excited to get my paws on this kit..

Actually, I wanted to create magic with food even before I'd ever heard of molecular gastronomy. You know - if I happened to end up in that alternate futuristic universe.

When I started to see what chefs were doing with food, for sure I wanted to play. But I had to wait.

I know a few people who jumped on the molecular bandwagon right away and ordered ingredients online from the same sorts of places the chefs ordered from.

But when I looked into it, I realized that minimum quantities were often a lot larger than the average home user would ever need. I wanted to play around with molecular gastronomy a little bit - I didn't want to make it an everyday thing.

So, I waited. Not very patiently. But I waited, anyway.

Now there are companies that have created molecular gastronomy kits, with ingredients in reasonable quantities. Even better, the kit I got had the ingredients pre-measured in packets. You see, with molecular gastronomy, sometimes the amounts you need are very small. I have a good kitchen scale for weighing flour for bread. But it's not like a lab scale.

The kit also included a few tools.

When I opened the box and rifled through it to see what was there, I was a little surprised to see there was no recipe book.

Ah, but there was a DVD. I figured there would be recipes on the DVD. You know, text. Instead, it's all video.

Which is both a good and bad thing. The good thing is that you can see what things are supposed to look like as you're working with them. And trust me, that's a very good thing.

The bad thing is that unless your computer is in the kitchen, you're going to need to jot down the instructions for the recipe you're going to make. The other bad thing is that you can't just shuffle though a book, look at photos, and decide what you want to make based on ingredients or other factors. You need to watch the videos. They're all very short, but a booklet of some sort would have been nice.

Needless to say, the kit doesn't include a tank of liquid nitrogen, but it includes enough to keep me busy for a while. So far, it's been fun, and a lot simpler than I expected it to be. You'll see. Coming soon.

Well, okay, here's a little preview.

Looks interesting, huh? Stay tuned. You'll hear ALL about it.

UPDATE: The folks at Molecule-R just informed me that there was supposed to be a PDF on the DVD with recipes and instructions, and they emailed a copy to me. AWESOME! To be honest, the PDF might have been on the DVD I received, but I had some technical difficulties (computer issues, not the DVD itself) so it's possible I just missed the fact it was there. Thanks to Molecule-R for such a quick response!