Food Science – an experiment in molecular gastronomy.

 

I have splashed out and bought a molecular gastronomy chef kit to use in the food department. I imagine that it will be really helpful for the industrial application aspect of food in the AS and A2 curriculum and I’m hoping it will get my current year 10′ s excited about food science. I have had it for months now but to be honest, I have been a little sacred to use.

It jammed packed full of the following :

http://www.specialingredients.co.uk/modern-gastronomy-kit

I took it out last week and got my year 13’s to make a pea caviar. The recipe came with the pack and the pupils eagerly got on with the task and about 30 minutes later had a lovely bundle of pea like caviar. There were a few shrieks of delight both from the girls and from me when we realized we had mastered this exciting food experiment. We were all impressed and eager to try more as a result. We tried rhubarb caviar but much to our disappointment the rhubarb looked more like wonky jelly blobs of irregular sizes rather than pink like balls of robust caviar. I figure it’s the high concentration of pythic acid in the rhubarb that is reacting or not reacting with the sodium alignate and calcium lactate but the truth is I haven’t a clue. However,  this haphazard attempt has made me more determined than ever to try until I succeed.

So over the next few months before the new GCSE curriculum starts I’m going to try to teach myself molecular gastronomy as I think it may be a fun way of engaging pupils in food science. I have the kit and have got some flavourings, crackle crystals and micro scales to experiment with so I’m seriously like a kid in a sweet shop. I got the kit from http://www.specialingredients.co.uk and just had a look on their site and I’m glad to say there is an explanation of what each of the special ingredients do (because I haven’t a clue) and a list of recipes to try so I think it’s a good place to start.

Here’s a link to the recipes if you are interested:

http://www.specialingredients.co.uk/recipes

Wish me luck as I set out on my new hobby! I am hoping that over the next few weeks I can share what I learn on this blog and with the pupils in my classroom to make food science that little more engaging and exciting. Fingers crossed.

So I did my first experiment today. I decided to do Apple caviar and mango and yoghurt spheres but due to my local shop not having apple juice  or fresh mangos ( and I was too lazy to go to the supermarket) I settled for mango caviar and a mango and banana sphere.

So I diligently followed the recipes making substitutions where possible and I ended up with these.

 

So I have to say I’m pretty happy and yes they could be better but it’s a good start and I had an enjoyable afternoon. As did my husband as he is doing a photo a day challenge so was delighted to take photos of my molecular gastronomy experiments. I have a lot to learn I think before I can teach it confidentially  to my pupils but I’ m sure I will get there soon. Anyone fancy joining me ?

And here is a few mango flavoured caviar like spheres. Like I said I’m just starting out 🙂

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Feel free to comment or email me at foodandhealthteacher@hotmail.com if you would like to discuss this blog further.

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