Curious Bites

5 Molecular Items For Your Pantry

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5 Molecular Items For Your Pantry
Photo star5112/Flickr

Molecular gastronomy is the mark of modern cuisine. Chefs like Ferran AdriaGrant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal are masters of transformng food into ground breaking art.  How do they make that magic happen? Blogger Francine Spiering breaks it down for you.

In her blog Life in the Fast Lane, the self-described ''nomadic'' world traveler and gourmand documents the basic ingredients you'll need to make a molecular masterpiece of your own. Read the list, take notes and watch Grant Achatz' table dessert (pictured above) for some inspiration.

1. Sodium Alginate

This gelling agent is made from extracted algae and calcium. It forms a thin film over the liquids, which allows for the creation of spheres.

2. Xanthan Gum

A heavy duty natural thickener, xanthan gum is the product of the fermentation of the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium with either glucose or sucrose.

3. Soy Lecithin

A natural emulsifier made from soy beans, it is used in combination with xantan gum to turn liquids into foams.

4. Agar agar

A vegetarian heat resitant gelatin made from red algae.

5. Maltodextrin

This powder gives fatty liquids a sandy texture. Maltodextrin is an unsweetened sugar made from starches like corn, wheat, tapioca or potato.


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