Croatian cuisine

Croatian cuisine, recipes, specialties, cookies, you can't taste food so good ...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Deep freeze cooking

Under presumption that you already ate those hot Croissants with ice cream in the middle, or fried ice cream from China, I expect you to know what is feeling to eat something that is frozen and then fried. Very tasteful! But, have you tried reverse? I don’t mean “when the cake is done, place it in the fridge for a few hours”, but something more extreme. Something dangerous.

The newest thing in modern cooking is molecular gastronomy. Experimenting with completely new flavors and new cooking techniques, among them combining sardines and vanilla ice cream, or deep freeze cooking with liquid nitrogen. Or some other new technique which is secret known only to a few chefs. At the moment the most famous is cooking with liquid nitrogen. Well, the word cooking is not correct, because at the temperature of -196 degrees Celsius (-320 Fahrenheit) only nitrogen is cooking.

The real point is that you have already done food and you put it in liquid nitrogen few moments before you eat it. The mousse can be cooled that way. Working with liquid nitrogen can be dangerous! But no more than working with boiling water or boiling oil.

The most famous food prepared with liquid nitrogen is ice cream. It can be found all over internet. Because it is cooled extremely fast, the ice crystals in the cream are so fine that taste of ice cream is wonderful. That was confirmed also from people who ate two ice creams one prepared with nitrogen other without, but they didn’t know which is which.

But we won’t eat just ice cream! Not even in summer! Can you imagine beef dices roasted dry in high heat, and then frozen in nitrogen, with crusty skin all over? Or hot mousse covered with hard frozen chocolate? Or tenacious pork fried, then deep frozen in nitrogen and then returned into sauce?

Don't worry; it is not dangerous to put such deep frozen food into your mouth. Nitrogen evaporates in matter of seconds, and the food quickly regains the original temperature, but the structure shock from freezing is still there, making food very tasteful.

Where does the idea come from? Well, I don't know who thought of it first, but plenty are doing it now. The liquid nitrogen is very cheap (depending on purity) in the USA. It can be bought for 0,20 – 0,25$ pre liter. That makes it cheaper than water in the bottle. But, the Dewar containers to store the nitrogen can be really expensive. Up to 1000$ per container. But they can be borrowed. Restaurants serving such food are not concerned with price of nitrogen or containers because most people are willing to pay much for food created that way. They think it is something exotic. So the restaurants get their investment back pretty quick. But beside elite restaurants, freezing mousse in nitrogen can be cool stuff on the parties (IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING). Everybody will want to eat one (even women on diet) same as burning oranges.

There aren't many recipes for that sort of making food, because they are jealously guarded by chefs that know them.

Is such food harmful? No one had any consequences yet. Except maybe diarea from food being too cold. If there are any chemical or structural changes in molecules of carbohydrates, lipids or proteins is not known. We will definitely find that out after somebody press charges against some restaurant. Considering the fact that lyophilization (dry freezing with liquid nitrogen) is recommended for keeping blood cells, because it is much better than cryopreservation (classical freezing) and do not changes anything in the blood cells, there should not be any harmful changes in the food also. But I’m sure somebody will do research on that.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home