Gastronomy and Mixology Kits

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If you had sodium alginate and calcium salts lying around your kitchen, could you transform liquids into tiny, stunning spheres? Sounds daunting, right? But it’s possible through spherification, a culinary process that shapes a liquid into caviar-like spheres held together by a thin membrane.

Spherification is just one technique associated with molecular gastronomy, a modern style of cuisine that encourages chefs to experiment with a wide variety of ingredients and take a scientific approach to cooking. The awe factor
is high, but so is the intimidation factor. Jonathan Coutu and Jerome De Champlain aim to change that with a pair of do-it-yourself kits designed to make molecular gastronomy accessible to all us amateur cooks, right in our own kitchens.

Jonathan and Jerome are the founders of Molecule-R Flavors, based in Montreal. Their Cuisine R-Evolution kit includes five key tools, five kinds of food additives, a DVD with instructions, and 50 recipes for visually stunning and explosively flavorful foods such as raspberry ravioli, arugula spaghetti, and balsamic vinegar pearls.

For the bar, there’s Cocktail R-Evolution, a kit focused on the art of molecular mixology. The cocktail kit comes with three tools, five types of additives, an instructional DVD, and 30 recipes that will have you creating layered martinis and serving tequila with lime foam in no time. Prepare to wow your family and friends!

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Elena

    Hi Everyone! All of us at MOLECULE-R Flavors are very excited to have our Cuisine and Cocktail R-EVOLUTION kits featured as today’s Grommet. My name is Elena Trigiani and I am a member of our Business Development team, and will be active on this board today to help answer any questions you may have related to our kits and/or molecular gastronomy. So, I encourage you to post your experiences with the kits (for anyone who already has one), or questions you have about the kit (for anyone who might purchase one)! Looking forward to hear what everyone has to share :)

  • Susan
    4/27/2012 1:14 PM

    Are the three tools in the Cocktail set included as part of the five tools in the Cuisine set and are the additives the same in the two sets?

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 1:26 PM

    @Susan Hi Susan - thank you for your questions! Yes and no are my answers. Yes, the tools in the Cocktail kit can be found in the Cuisine kit. However, not all of the additives are the same; four of the five additives are the same, but in the Cocktail kit you get Cold Soluble Gelatin instead of Agar-Agar. We swapped this additive, because the Cold Soluble Gelatin works better with alcohol, since Agar-Agar needs to be heated to be activated (thus removing all/most alcoholic content). Hope this helps!

  • Kate
    4/27/2012 1:16 PM

    Fascinating. Are there any nutritional benefits or concerns with the additives used?

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 1:30 PM

    @Kate Hi Kate - thanks for the question! Personally, I was surprised to learn that the additives included in the kits are found in most of the food we already consume regularly. To answer your question, there are no nutritional benefits, and there are also no concerns to have when using the additives. The additives are natural and most are algae-based or from the soybean.

  •  Desiree
    4/27/2012 1:41 PM

    Wow, I've never seen anything like this before! Can you please describe the texture and what the experience is like to eat/drink theses? Does it dissolve slowly in your mouth or is more like a burst of liquid? Seem like this would be a cool way to do salad dressing too!

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 1:55 PM

    @ Desiree Hi Desiree - love the comments! When using the spherification technique (as seen in the Daily Grommet video) it is most definitely a burst in the mouth of flavor! We have some recipes for Ketchup and Mustard, which is great for summer BBQs, and balsamic vinegar pearls - great for salads. It would be a great way to keep the salad from getting too soggy too!

  •  Desiree
    4/27/2012 2:02 PM

    @Elena Trigiani - What a cool product! Thanks for the tips about mustard and ketchup. I bet my 3 year daughter would love this on her hot dog. Thank you!

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 2:04 PM

    @ Desiree My pleasure! Hope you enjoy it :)

  •  Mary
    4/27/2012 2:07 PM

    If we really get into doing this is there a refill kit available? Or do you tell us where we can find the additives ourselves?


  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 2:23 PM

    @ Mary Hi Mary - great question! Once you have the kit with the recipes and tools, you can always buy your favorite additives in a refill format from the Molecule-R website.

  •  Monica
    4/27/2012 2:27 PM

    What is the chemical difference between agar-agar and gelatin?

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 2:31 PM

    @ Monica Hi Monica - thank you for the question. The difference between the additives Agar-Agar and the Cold Soluble Gelatin is that the first works when activated with heat, and the latter can be used with out heat. This is why we swap them in both kits, because in cooking there is generally heat, while when making drinks a cooler temperature is generally preferred. Hope this helps!

  •  Cee
    4/27/2012 3:14 PM

    What is the shelf life of the additives in the kits? This sounds like so much fun!

  • Elena
    Elena – Special Guest
    4/27/2012 3:19 PM

    @ Cee Hi Cee - great question! All of the additives are non-perishable, so they can last a very long time! Packaging laws require that a date be marked, so all packages say 2+ years as a suggested re-test date, but they are safe for longer. Hope this answers your question :)

  •  Aguztin
    4/27/2012 6:06 PM

    Hi good afternoon from Durango, Mexico, I bought the CUISINE R-EVOLUTION KIT and a half months ago, and fell in love molecular gastronomy to discover how easy this kit is, now I can do almost any liquid caviar, also with the ravioli (the olive are amazing) chocolate spaghetti, parmesan; be surprised what you can do with the xanthan gum in the kitchen (always carry a sachet with me) ... I recommend it a lot ... I'm saving up for the CULINARY WHIPPER PACK ... for today is all and good luck to you all. (thanks to Google Translator =))

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/28/2012 10:23 AM

    @ Aguztin Welcome and thanks for sharing! It sounds like you are putting together some amazing creations.

  •  Al
    4/27/2012 11:44 PM

    I wish the description explained what was in the kit!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/28/2012 10:23 AM

    @ Al - if you click on the 'Details' tab right above the story but below the video, you will see an explanation of what is included in each kit. Enjoy!

  •  matthew schembri
    matthew schembri
    4/28/2012 5:47 AM

    Hi im a Chef from Malta i've used the kit on fresh strawberries and its great.thanks molecular r.

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