Texturas - Review
Cuisine in the Home Kitchen
Adrià's Spherification Kit
nitrogen ice cream, sodium alginate pearls, goose liver
whipped cream…these are the results of molecular
cuisine, which also teaches how to produce 6.34 gallons
of mayonnaise with only one egg yolk. Indeed, the term
molecular cuisine is meaningless except to a small elite
who are familiar with the chemistry, synthetic products
and latest technology necessary to create this avant-garde
cuisine. More generally speaking, it's a cuisine free
from the usual recipes, an approach without roots or references.
However, this "way of cooking" claims an artistic
dimension and a position among the conceptual arts.
anyone save for a few "aficionados" who've made
the pilgrimage to elBulli in Spain, where Catalan chef Ferran
Adrià presides over his magical, chemical kingdom,
ever consider creating this molecular cuisine at home?
The innovative chef recently released a range of products
under the label Texturas. It offers the usual suspects:
Spherification (sferificación), jelly agents and
emulsifiers. So, at least in theory, it's possible to
make such a cuisine at home; however you have to start
at the very beginning.
Exhibit A: Melon Cantaloupe Caviar
order to understand the principles of molecular cuisine,
one must first perform a basic experiment such as the
creation of an emulsion: Start by preparing a regular
mayonnaise, then beat some oil into it and add more water.
Use an average of one small cup of water for each cup
of oil. The only problem with making 6.34 gallons of mayonnaise
(with only one egg yolk) is to having an adequate recipient!
Also, avoid using liquid nitrogen at home.
spherification technique is of Japanese origin and has
been used at El Bulli since 2003. It enables you to produce
jellied, perfumed balls of a caviar-like appearance. Begin
by adding drops or spoonfuls of a cold jelly elaborated
with alginate and flavored with mango or green olive to
calcium chloride-containing water.
Adrià claims today that he is in no way related
to molecular cuisine. He says his will is to "rewrite
objectively the history of cuisine from 1970 until the
present," and he says that he is annoyed by imitators
of all kinds.
his part, Thierry Marx, a decorated chef from the Château
Cordeillan-Bages in Médoc, and the inventor
of the "Trompe-l'œil" sausage and liquid
quiche Lorraine, shows a more guarded position. In a recently
published book, Marx expresses his position on molecular
cuisine insomuch as he "only keeps a recipe intact
in its original flavor after having mastered the mystery
of the minimal techniques adequate to its restitution."
Now, try that in your kitchen.
or not, the quarrel of casseroles is still simmering.
For more information, visit www.texturaselbulli.com.