Impress Your Friends With a Molecular Kitchen
You may not realize it, but when you cook, you are actually practicing a form of chemistry. Cooking food puts it through a chemical reaction that affects and changes its overall state. Think of when you bake a cake; by mixing the ingredients and cooking them, you are turning eggs, flour, sugar, and oil into a lovely cake. The chemicals in food and the process of cooking or applying heat to them to make them edible is why they taste good and why they are nutritious for humans.
Because cooking is a chemical process, many today are turning to molecular cooking, or molecular gastronomy. This refers to the branch of science that studies the chemical makeup of food and how it reacts when cooked and prepared, and when eaten. Molecular gastronomy teaches students about the chemicals in foods that make them taste sweet or salty or sour, and how those chemicals react when mixed with other ingredients or react when heated or frozen. When you know more about these very basics of cooking, you can create better-tasting dishes and recipes than if you simply followed a recipe.
This season, why not consider impressing your friends with a molecular kitchen or some molecular gadgets? These can make cooking easier and can help you to create dishes that will impress everyone on your guest list.
As an example of what you might find in a molecular kitchen, dry ice can be used to release vapors from certain foods to bring out more aroma. This is a good thing to try around the holidays when you want to fill your home with the scent of fruit or flowers for a welcoming touch.
Another molecular technique you might try is called reverse spherification, when liquids have a controlled jellification process that causes them to turn to spheres when submerged. You can serve different liquids in glasses and your guests will be amazed and delighted at how easily they turn into round orbs after being in their glass, rather than before.
Layered cocktails and soups are a typical choice for molecular kitchens. When you know which liquids you can treat with a chemical process to have them hold that shape, you can create layers of various liquid foods. Most chefs will rely on foods that are already solid when they want to create a layered dish such as a trifle, but you can easily treat different foodstuffs with your molecular equipment to create soups and drinks that are eye-catching and delicious.
Look into molecular cooking if you want something new and exciting to show off to your guests this season. It is a great change from standard cooking and may resemble a magic show every time you step into the kitchen!