Molecular Gastronomy: New Cooking Frontier with Similar Food Flavors

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Molecular Gastronomy: New Cooking Frontier with Similar Food Flavors

Molecular gastronomy is the new trendy chapter of the ever evolving culinary arts.

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Envisage an orb shaped dish overflowing with flaming orange foam is placed before you. As soon as you place the spoon on your tongue, the florescent foam melts away leaving behind a profound essence of fresh, saccharine carrots lingering in the back of your tongue.

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Again, picture peeled grapes, still attached to their stems, dipped in creamy peanut butter and followed by being wrapped in a gossamer sheath of brioche. A childhood classic that at once elicits the comfort of familiarity coupled with the shock of the utterly unexpected.

What’s in a Name?

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Molecular gastronomy is term often thought-out to be vague and a bit off-putting, was thought up in the 1990’s by two culinary enthusiastic scientists. Eventually, the term evolved to define an entire culinary movement. However, most experts in the field favor the terms “experimental cooking” or “post-modern cooking.”

The Kitchen: A Chef’s Lab

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The term molecular gastronomy invokes images of experiments derived form a laboratory and more than just an ordinary dining experience. However, in most instances it’s actually a combination of both. Many culinary practitioners do create in modern laboratory-like kitchens equipped with new high-tech equipment.

• Sous vides cookers.

This entails food enclosed in plastic and placed in water and slowly cooked at a specifically maintained temperature.

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• Anti-Griddle.

This is a reverse cook top that instantly transforms liquids to frozen solids at -30 degrees

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• CO2 dispenser.

This dispenser is able to converts practically any liquid into an ethereal froth or foam.

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Progress for Molecular gastronomy’s Sake

Regardless of the ultra-modern equipment and eccentrically presented food, the aim is not to entirely change the concept of cooking, but rather to find a new path to expanding a centuries-old foundation that has been ever so evolving.
Chef and proprietor of the restaurant El Bulli, Ferran Adrià, explains this progression as a way of using “new techniques to elicit new emotions.” He reflects on this style of cuisine a play on tradition, one which is at once both jolting and familiar.

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Chef Adrià’s contemporaries similarly hold the view that the renovation of technique and application is the key to progressively developing the food movement. What is unique about this style is in the way food is formed, prepared, presented and consumed, the tastes and flavors remain familiar.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The film “Decoding Ferran Adrià” perhaps best explains the concept. The film documents Chef Anthony Bourdain’s visit degree to Spain, on which he followed Chef Adrià through his process from what inspired him to inception.

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Bourdain’s goes on to dine at El Bulli and as the meal progresses his facial expressions alone seemingly capture the core of the entire philosophy. With every bite his expression swings from fear to curiosity to confusion and finally transforms into to a huge smile that at once radiates the eccentricity of childlike wonderment and the recognition that the concept does make a lot of sense.

 

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The intention of molecular gastronomy is in line with the chapters of the culinary movement that have come before it–innovation, inspiration, amusement, and eventually pleasure.

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