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Molecular Gastronomy Kit


Shelby
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Not really. It includes 20g each of soy lecithin, agar, sodium alginate, calcium lactate and xanthan plus a few tools that you won't really need (you probably have all or most of them around the house somewhere and none of them are strictly required). You can get 50g each of those same ingredients for not much more than half that price from Modernist Pantry. The DVD may or may not make it worth it for you depending on whether doing a little research/question asking is an inconvenience. There are plenty of places to get information and recipes on using any of the ingredients of that type on the internet (and lots of people here, myself included, will be more than happy to help you find them) and there are quite a few videos on youtube that demonstrate some of the techniques. It's not that there's anything actually wrong with the kit, it's just a lot of extra money for colorful packaging.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Another factor is focus. I wanted to try a specific spherification and found what I needed at Modernist Pantry. While there, I was happy to find that they had transglutaminase in quantities suitable for the home, so I added that.

My first attempt at spherification failed, but I was already more intrigued by the TG with which I had a promising first result. So the spherification is on an indefinite hold.

I can't imagine what would have happened if I bought a whole bag of tricks. Schizophrenia, probably.

I think all of these techniques involve some trial and error so unless you have the luxury of taking a two week 'modernist vacation', I'd recommend focusing on one thing at a time.

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Another factor is focus. I wanted to try a specific spherification and found what I needed at Modernist Pantry. While there, I was happy to find that they had transglutaminase in quantities suitable for the home, so I added that.

My first attempt at spherification failed, but I was already more intrigued by the TG with which I had a promising first result. So the spherification is on an indefinite hold.

I can't imagine what would have happened if I bought a whole bag of tricks. Schizophrenia, probably.

I think all of these techniques involve some trial and error so unless you have the luxury of taking a two week 'modernist vacation', I'd recommend focusing on one thing at a time.

That makes sense.

The appeal to the kit for me is that it's all together in a package and it seems less "scary" to a new person. BUT, like Tri said, I don't want to waste money when I could go to the site recommended and get it all there.

I read the modernist cuisine thread all the time--Chris H. is never afraid to try, along with many others--but I'm nervous about it for some reason.

I'm really wanting to wow my husband with the mac and cheese....I just need to get some cohones....or rather put my big girl pants on and try.

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I haven't made the mac and cheese yet (as my initial foray & the wife of a mac & cheese lover) but following advice from various threads here, I got the iota carageenan in a home-appropriate size from Modernist Pantry and citric acid from amazon. I spent some time shopping price and quantity, and that was the best combo. Because MP has free shipping on your first order, I also got agar for pate de fruit as well.

I'll try to post links later this evening, but I've got a sleeping infant in my right arm and I'm not a lefty.

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Some ingredients are a lot easier to find than others, and their individual prices vary widely.

I found a few wholesalers that were happy to take relatively small orders (for them) over the internet, it just took a bit of googling around. The food acids - citric / ascorbic / tartaric and malic acids can often be found by companies that sell ingredients to home brewers and home cheesemakers. Sodium Citrate is also easy to find and quite cheap - you may even be able to find it in your local supermarket or speciality deli where it's sold as 'sour salt'.

If you look at home brew / cheesemaking websites and forums you not only learn more about these hobbies, but you also learn some great places to buy online.

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but I'm nervous about it for some reason.

Don't be. It's just cooking. Most of it requires a little more precision measurement-wise than some more common ingredients but otherwise it's just ingredients and cooking. Everybody using these ingredients has had failures. At least, everybody using them outside of established recipes has... and most if not all of us have had some duds even with established recipes. Just like in any other type of cooking. I've had many successes that I'm happy about that were my own ideas but I've tossed even more in the bin in the middle of the night when nobody was around to see. It's part of the process. Sometimes it's funny when I realize how ridiculous an idea actually was, sometimes it's frustrating when I really need an idea to come through. It's always fun though. Keep in mind, if worried about waste, that the amount of most of these ingredients used in an average recipe is extremely small. 50 grams of some items is going to go a very long way for casual home use. Jump on in, the water's fine!

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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