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Fabio

How to prepare "solid" tomato water foam?

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Last year I had dinner at Belcanto in Lisbon and one of the dishes featured a "tomato water snow" or "tomato water cloud" (translated from the original Portuguese: "Nuvem/neve de agua de tomate") that I'm trying to replicate without success. Imagine a thick and solid foam of tomato water that immediately liquefies when you put in your mouth. The cloud was atop smoked fish and olive oil was drizzled over it.

 

I whipped a mixture of tomato water and albumin powder (2 tsp albumin, 2tbsp tomato water) along with a pinch of cream of tartar, getting to the stiff peaks point after some effort. Trying to dehidrate the foam even as low as 150F didn't work; the foam collapsed. I then tried the savory meringue approach with some sugar and salt. The result was indeed a meringue that tasted like tomato but completely different from what I had at Belcanto. What am I missing? I've attached a photo of the dish so you can see what the cloud looks like.

 

Thanks!

 

IMG_9032.thumb.JPG.29ee2fd09b23f21684c9cd60e7fb0e2b.JPG

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I know maltodextrin will make a snow with fatty foods.  How's it work with aqueous?

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5 minutes ago, gfweb said:

I know maltodextrin will make a snow with fatty foods.  How's it work with aqueous?

 

Only N-Zorbit is formulated to do that to fats. Doesn't work at all with aqueous solutions.

 

For non-egg modernist meringues, Methocel F50 is the usual suspect. Heston Blumenthal's beet meringues popularized the technique. You'd likely need to add something else (like xanthan) to help the peaks form and hold, since you strip most of the cellulose out when you strain the pulp from the tomato water.

 

It's hard to judge, but the texture in the photograph almost looks like it's been frozen like a granita, though I assume that's not what's going on. 

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looking at the photo makes me think of snow made by using a pacojet... making a superfine snow that would melt instantly in your mouth.

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The pacojet "snow" would be frozen, and the one I had at Belcanto was not. It was definitely dry. Also, note the drizzling of olive oil on top that didn't melt the snow. The saga goes on...

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I don't quite understand - it was a dry type of caking powder? Was it room temp?  It melted in your mouth, right?

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It was like stiff dry cake powder, to quote your text. At room temperature so perhaps the word I should have used was "dissolved" in my mouth.

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Just thinking about this - I wonder if it was freeze dried tomato water, pulverized to a powder?

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I did look through the hydrocolloid recipe collection but couldn't find anything similar. I'll order some Methocell to experiment with and see what happens. My wife, being a pragmatic retired biochemist told me that since we're visiting Lisbon again in about a month, I should stop by Belcanto and simply ask how they make the solid tomato foam...

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The direct approach! I like it. :)

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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19 hours ago, Fabio said:

I did look through the hydrocolloid recipe collection but couldn't find anything similar. I'll order some Methocell to experiment with and see what happens. My wife, being a pragmatic retired biochemist told me that since we're visiting Lisbon again in about a month, I should stop by Belcanto and simply ask how they make the solid tomato foam...

The worst thing that can happen is they say no and chase you out!


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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