Love fine dining? Researcher Peter Barham, among others, currently propels the effort to further explore a new movement in science called molecular gastronomy. They focus on producing “novel textures and flavor combinations” that are not ordinarily found in the kitchen and emphasize individual diners’ approaches to flavor and “state[s] of mind” when sitting down to a good meal. The molecular gastronomy movement was started not too long ago by Hervé This, with a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry of Materials, and Nicholas Kurti, once a Professor of Physics at Oxford, in 1988, and has since become an international phenomenon. Some of the most recent advances in molecular gastronomy include sodium alginate and calcium-based fake caviar and the Baumé, a coagulated egg dish made from immersing a whole egg in alcohol (ethanol).
Here’s a quick recipe to get you started on your molecular gastronomy journey (from Wylie Dufresne):
Ingredients: 105 grams toast powder • 30 grams tomato powder • 45 grams parmesan powder • 45 grams buttermilk powder • 67.5 grams garlic confit oil
Procedure: Mix the toast, tomato, parmesan and buttermilk powder together in a bowl. Drizzle in the garlic confit oil (see recipe below). Mix well until it resembles wet sand. Form into small spheres about the size of a dime in diameter and reserve. When rolling is complete, place in sauté pan over medium heat and swirl pan continuously until spheres begin to form smooth “pebbles”. Pour onto a tray, let cool and serve.