Saturday, May 11, 2013

Me Gusta! Molecular Gastronomy

As y'all probably know already, I am an absolutely true die-hard foodie, meaning I have a burning passion for all things food-related, such as cooking, eating (binging and food-sampling are both welcome), drinking, etc.

This term I am taking an organic chemistry course at school. The course is called the Chemistry of Food, which is essentially four periods per week of intense cooking and learning about the chemistry behind the cooking! How EXCITING, I know.
insert Monica Geller's I KNOW! face
Anyhow, our most recent project (after making ice cream, marshmallow, mozzarella cheese, and chocolate mousse, all from scratch!) revolves around the forever-fascinating topic of molecular gastronomy, aka molecular cuisine. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, consult Wikipedia. Or here's my (perhaps incorrect) explanation/definition: a food science that breaks the conventional understanding and tastes/textures of food. If you ever get the chance to go to a good molecular cuisine restaurant, it will be more like visiting a lab. You will get to taste spectacular things such as lobster foam, or cocktails in jelly-like spheres. 

For a Me Gusta! (:P) effect, here's a picture that I found online of a sphere cocktail:

In class, we made raspberry raviolis, and honey caviar, using a technique called spherification, which reconstructs the molecular structure of some of our every day food items. 

Here are some pictures of these yummy dishes:
Right now the class is split up into multiple two-people groups, each working on an independent project focusing on a specific molecular cuisine dish. My partner (and best friend ;) and I are making s'mores spaghetti! The other groups are making things such as transparent potato chips, mango foam, etc. There are also some non-molecular groups that are working on creating root beer, strawberry mochi (I tried their test batch yesterday, yummmmmmmm), and the like.

Next Friday we are presenting for our school's Science Soiree, and my partner and I are serving s'mores spaghetti on graham crackers! From trying out or test batch, I can positively guarantee you that the tasting experience is like none other: your tastebuds tell you that this is s'mores (meaning chocolate and marshmallow!! :D), but your tongue tells you you're eating spaghetti! The combination of the two sensations confused and amazed me to no end.

If what I've rambled about above interests you, go Google some molecular cuisine recipes! Some of them are easy--you can make them at home! Cooking is always fun for me, and extremely relaxing. Or better yet, if you find a good restaurant that features molecular cuisine, I promise you it's going to be money well spent. Go ahead and feast your sensations.

Happy weekend!

Vanessa :]

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