Jose Andres (of minibar, America Eats, Jaleo, Zaytinya, and Oyamel) came to Harvard again this semester to talk to us about “Gelation.” He is still a very awesome guest lecturer. Different from last year? Rather than talk and watch video demos, Jose and his team demonstrated the behavior of water with each of the different gelation methods: gelatin (made from animal collagen), pectin (from fruit), agar agar (seaweed derived), kappa (seaweed derived), iota (seaweed derived), gellan (bacteria derived), and methil/methyl cellulose (plant derived).
Well, ok, he didn’t do much with the pectin. He just showed us the inside of a tomato.
Anyway, he showed us the different textures of water when mixed with 1 sheet, 2 sheets, and 3 sheets of gelatin. With just 1 sheet, the water is thick but still fluid. It’s very sauce like. Once you get to 3 sheets though, you definitely have a type of solid. If you wanted to, you could make a sauce from 1 sheet of gelatin and carrot juice and then make gelatin carrot from 3-4 sheets of gelatin and carrot juice. Continue reading