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I've starting working my way through Modernist Cuisine and it didn't take long before I was unable to cook a recipe without ordering a special ingredient online (iota carrageenan). Are there ten or so key ingredients that I should stock as I keep reading through so that I can attempt a majority of the recipes? What about the starter kits listed on Amazon? Example:http://www.amazon.com/Experimental-Kit-Artistre-600-grams/dp/B0045KOOXU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1314771769&sr=8-4

Any advice is appreciated, I'd rather not wait a week for shipping every time I want to try a new recipe!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm similarly trying to build up my quiver of essentials. I've been perusing techniques and recipes I'd like to explore more, and have been making a list of ingredients along the way. I'm presently focusing on gels and gums and have been going to the websites of the exact ones they're recommending. For example, TIC gums has a great webpage with a place to order ingredients a la carte. I've found a few other suppliers with generic ingredients, but when something calls for 0.2g of something specific, I'd like to keep things as exact as possible, at least in this stage of my learning.

But to answer your question more specifically, several hours of web perusing haven't found any starter kits that would be as targeted as I'd like. Hopefully some entrepreneur will make that happen or someone will post the link that I couldn't find :)

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I would highly recommend the Molecule-R kit from Cuisine R-EVOLUTION, out of Canada. The set is very nicely packaged, has a great instructional DVD with 50 recipes, including a how-to video and PDF recipes in both English and French. Measuring spoons, a slotted spoon, and pipettes are also included. I gave a set to my grandson on his 14th birthday, and encouraged him to make a molecular hamburger (with spherified mustard and ketchup), "spaghetti and meatballs" for dessert (with white chocolate "spaghetti" and strawberry "meatballs" dusted with exploding pop rock "parmesan".) And for the adults in the room, try Mojito bubbles.

The set includes agar-agar, sodium alginate, calcium lactate, soy lecithin, and xanthan gum -- enough to gt you started with spherification, gelling, emulsions, thickening, etc. Amazon is selling it for $63.95.

The Experimental Kit Artistre has 12 different products, at 50 g each, packed in a lunchbox/cooler to make a nice gift. Also around $60, but without the video or the specialized tools included in the Molecule-R set. But it adds Tapioca maltodextrin, sodium citrate, calcium chloride, glycerin flakes, Methocel F50, and Kappa Carrageenan.

At one time, Texturas, the folks from El Bulli, had a nice starter set that was imported into the US by La Tienda. I haven't been able to find it on the web recently, but you might contact them.

Other ingredients are available on Amazon, including many from Will-Powder, but these generally come in one to two pound jars, which will last you almost forever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although they don't stock Methylcellulose SGA150, WillPowder has most of the othervarieties available.If you really can't find it, you can contact the DOW company and request a sample and/or possible ask them where you might find a vendor that sells in low quantities. Also, almost forgot to mention - you can purchase the Ferran Adria Texturas kits from AUI Swiss, the official US Importer of the Texturas products... although they don't come at a great value (price wise).

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motifmike said:

I just ordered that Experimental Kit Artistre from Amazon.com, so I hope it is good!

While continuing to search for ingredients, I stumbled acrosshttp://www.modernistpantry.com. I haven't used the site yet, but they seem to have most of what it is required. There are a couple kits, but most of the items are individual.

I ordered a lot of ingredients from Modernist Pantry and am very happy with them. They filled the order overnight and everything is nicely packaged in resealable bags and uniformly labeled. I was able to create my own "starter kit" to get me going in gels and spherification.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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  • 2 months later...

I went to Modernist Pantry to put together a kind of starter kit myself. I am currently focusing on foams. I have to start somewhere and they seem accessible. In case you are looking for what to get then here is what I ordered:

Item ID

ITEMS

PRICE

QTY

TOTAL

1062

Perfected Xanthan Gum

Package Size:Home - 50g

$9.99

1

$9.99

1009

Agar Agar

Package Size:Home - 50g

$9.99

1

$9.99

1084

Propylene Glycol Alginate LV (PGA)

Package Size:Home - 50g

$10.99

1

$10.99

1010

Carrageenan - Iota

Package Size:Home - 50g

$7.99

1

$7.99

1028

Kelcogel F - Low Acyl Gellan Gum

Package Size:Home - 50g

$8.99

1

$8.99

1037

Small Anti-static Weighing Dish - 3 pack

$0.99

3

$2.97

1016

Soy Lecithin Powder

Package Size:Home - 50g

$6.49

1

$6.49

1015

Versawhip 600K

Package Size:Home - 50g

$6.99

1

$6.99

Please remember I am just getting started so I am kind of just buying from the list ofingredientsin the foam section in book 4. Take that into account before you take any advice from me ;-)

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chagel said:

I went to Modernist Pantry to put together a kind of starter kit myself. I am currently focusing on foams. I have to start somewhere and they seem accessible. In case you are looking for what to get then here is what I ordered:

Item ID

ITEMS

PRICE

QTY

TOTAL

1062

Perfected Xanthan Gum

Package Size:Home - 50g

$9.99

1

$9.99

1009

Agar Agar

Package Size:Home - 50g

$9.99

1

$9.99

1084

Propylene Glycol Alginate LV (PGA)

Package Size:Home - 50g

$10.99

1

$10.99

1010

Carrageenan - Iota

Package Size:Home - 50g

$7.99

1

$7.99

1028

Kelcogel F - Low Acyl Gellan Gum

Package Size:Home - 50g

$8.99

1

$8.99

1037

Small Anti-static Weighing Dish - 3 pack

$0.99

3

$2.97

1016

Soy Lecithin Powder

Package Size:Home - 50g

$6.49

1

$6.49

1015

Versawhip 600K

Package Size:Home - 50g

$6.99

1

$6.99

Please remember I am just getting started so I am kind of just buying from the list ofingredientsin the foam section in book 4. Take that into account before you take any advice from me ;-)

If you're doing a lot of stuff with Versawhip, I'd recommend going with L'Epicerie. They sell resealable 1 lbs (454 g) bags of it for $25.50, which is cheaper than even Modernist Pantry's "professional" sized Versawhip (400 g at $33.49).

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  • 2 months later...
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