Summer Career Connections Session 6, Day 3, Molecular Gastronomy
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
I can’t believe that we are over halfway done with the class! This week has flown by, and we have been hard at work in the classroom. Today was jam packed full of experiments and some more food consumption, everyone has gotten quite good at the consuming part for sure!
The topics for today’s class were spherification, gellification, and texture based eating. We started the morning with a recap of the spherification techniques and topics from yesterday, and tried our hand at making fruit caviar (since we ran out of time yesterday). This time we were successful at producing some pearls, and some flatter gel capsules of fruit- a mixed bag of outcomes but still tasty nonetheless! We then transitioned into making chocolate spaghetti using Agar Agar using a hot plate and some silicone tubing (see picture). The spaghetti noodles came out great and were just the right taste too! Later in the day we looked at how the mouthfeel of the foods we consume help to shape our experiences while eating it. We then tried one safe textural food (chicken) and two foods that have abnormal textures (spam and avocado). Some students tried one of those items for the first time ever which I thought was really cool!! That also led to some good discussion about textures and the foods we eat. I thought everyone did an excellent job staying with the content!
Some key takeaways from today’s class are that spherification and gellification are very similar processes from a chemical perspective, both involve a facet of crosslinking and bond formation to form either a gel membrane or a more gelatinous/semi-solid appearance, and our brains are pre-programmed to associate different textures with different flavors and “safeties” of foods (which leads to texture aversion). Pretty cool stuff!
Tomorrow we will cover our last 2 topics of molecular gastronomy- emulsification and powdering, in addition to a little information about the GI system. Students saw an example of powdering earlier in the week but will get a chance to try it themselves with different liquids.