Endless Blue – Week 88.2 – Flotsam: Food Spherification   2 comments

Gastronomy

Food Spherification

Also called “alchemical gastronomy”, food spherification is a process to rendering denatured foods into a capsuled form that can withstand long exposure to water yet remain intact.  By using acari fruit acids, food is processed as normal (since Elqua is a water world, most “cooking” is accomplished chemically). A further level of puree or liquification may be used if the resultant denatured food retains too much solidity.  Then sodium alginate (a salt derived from brown algae) is added to the slurry.  After a rapid mixing, the slurry is piped out of a squeezable packet (similar to a baker’s icing bag) into another container filled with calcium salt.

As the two salts mix, a chemical reaction lasting a few seconds to a few minutes causes a thin layer of the slurry to thicken into a gel membrane.  Small dollops of the slurry are pushed from the piping bag into another container, and the skin forms quickly.  The sized of the dollops can vary, but culinists normally keep them roughly coin size for ease’s sake.  Larger spheres loose the firmness provided by the smaller spheres, and react more like a liquid-filled bladder.  Steep the mixture with more calcium salt and let it mix longer produced a firmer sphere (like hard candy), while more sodium alginate and less time create fragile spheres.

These spheres are water insoluble, meaning they can be exposed to water and will not dissolve (or at least take a distinctly longer time to do so).  It takes some other compound, such as stomach acid or other acid (more acari fruit acid would work) to break down the gel membrane into its original slurry composition.  Chewing will also break the outer skin and release the un-gelled slurry.

Spherification allows food to be stored and carried through the aquatic environment. With out it, food will “drip” into the currents, much the same way that aromas of food is carried through the air. This “scent on the current” most assuredly attracts predators in search of their next meal, and would make any camp set up a feeding ground within the hour. Not only does food spherification make the transport and storage of processed consumables simpler, but also safer.

2 responses to “Endless Blue – Week 88.2 – Flotsam: Food Spherification

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 91 – Icthara, the Voracious | Endless Blue

  2. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 110 – Elqua Calidus: The World Scalders | Endless Blue

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