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Food Design & Culture

a blog for the Food Design & Culture class at TUDelft (with A. van Boeijen)

gelatin filtration

I followed the recipe for gelatine filtration given in Texture (a lot of excellent stuff in there) – you can also read about it in The Curious Cook. The source material was carrots: I run some particularly unexciting and fibrous carrots through my crappy HEMA blender until I was bored – which in normal time would be two to five minutes. The resulting orange slurry was additioned with gelatine dissolved in hot water to achieve a 0.5% solution.

If you did a 0.5% agar-agar solution, once solidified you could probably walk on it. With gelatine you get a very weak gel. Don’t despair, give it the time to set properly. A few hourse in the fridge did the trick for me.

Then I took the weak, disappointing gelatine and popped it in the freezer. Then I forgot about it for a few days. When I remembered about it, it had frozen to a solid block – excellent. I then placed it in a paper coffe filter adapted to a colander and placed it all inside a recycled yogurth container. Then I forgot about it for a couple of days. As you can tell, this procedure is a sort of low intensity really slow food activity. 

What I found in the container yesterday was expected but nonetheless really odd. An almost perfectly transparent essence of carrots. It tastes like carrots, but it looks exactly like water. No viscosity, no color, no suspended anything. I could place a picture of it here, but it is faster to ask you to imagine a glass of mineral water – there, you got it.

Instead, here is a picture of what was left in the filter

 

Pretty unappetizing, but if you look at it in detail, you can see that the spongy frozen gelatin structure is quite visible

 

 

 

 

The amount of transferred carrot taste was quite shocking. See, when you drink carrot-flavored things or eat carrot-flavored dishes like carrot cake the carrot taste is reduced to a certain, simplified carroty sweetness. In the essence you will find the complete carrot taste experience, from the first note to the carrot aftertaste. From a sensorial point of view, this is really disturbing, because it is the carrot without the carrot… 

Next time I will try the filtration with something more exciting than carrots: I have read that anything water soluble works really well, and also some fat-soluble things. 

The agar agar challenge

cocoa-raisin pyramid

Today students presented their initial ideas -some quite advanced- for innovative kitchen tools, and they were introduced to the agar agar challenge. Click on the image to download the PDF and take the challenge yourself. Unfortunately the PDF does not include any agar powder itself, but you can buy it online.

 

an ingredient nobody in the class was familiar from, introduced as the constituent of a light cocoa and raisin sweet. I wonder what we are going to see next time! 

 

 

 

Agar is most commonly associated with sweets, but this is by no means necessary. I have a plan bouncing in my head to use it to turn hummus into finger food…

 

Making special dishes for a holiday : Dumpling soup

 My food story is about ‘Making special dishes for a holiday : Dumpling soup’.

In Korea, Korean eat rice cake soup with dumplings on New year’s day. Since Korean think that they grow older when they eat this soup, it’s important to prepare a new year.

Usually, it takes really long time to prepare all ingredient. For this reason, all my family members help our mothers for it all day long. Men do cutting rice cake which is physically hard and women prepare various materials such as meat, tofu, onion ect. And then, all members start to make dumpling with prepared ingredient. This time is really funny and good to talk about their daily life.

Because of a cultural change from men-centered atmosphere to equal atmosphere, more and more works are shared equally for men and women in family.

Event of memorial serviceday

This presentation file is about event of memorial serviceday in korea.

There is a strict ( I think it is strict) rule in arranging food on table in memorial serviceday.

 Actually, many grown up girls who is going to marry soon, still do not know the rule. (Even they marry!)

 The thing is, it is really complicated. And it is slightly different depending on people’s home tradition and location.

Koreans think the red color drives out the ghost, so we never use the red color food at memorial table.

Even KIMCHI is the most representative food in Korea.

Also we do not use peach because of the belief that it is god’s food.

Minyou’s food story

I will tell you a story about food. You will explore things about my personal memories of places and people related to food. If I ask myself the question what food means to me, the answer iw quite simple; my mom..
My mother is a cook. She knows everything about food and at home, we were always eating like eating in a restaurant. This is for me the meaning of food; enjoying it,at all times.
On the other hand, sometimes I’m lost in the meaning of food… I think because I am really spoiled by nice and exclusive food.

My mother has her own catering company and people can hire her for parties and dinners.She also has a small domestic restaurant and with a group from 10 till 14 it is possible to have dinner in her beautiful canal house in the centre of Amsterdam. But the special thing about mymother’s cooking is that she doesn’t see it as a job, but it is a really herpassion and her hobby. And it is also not that she is always cooking the samekind of things, no my mothers surprises me always, because she cooks in a style that is on her mind in a certain period. 

An example of inspiration for a style is travelling. Travelling is a big part of her choice for dinner or professional cooking. For example, when she was on holiday in Mexico, she sent a lot of food to Holland and in the following weeks the theme of dinner was Mexico.
And if we are going to Italy for holidays with the family, she prepares us by cooking delicious Italian food the weeks before departure, just to come in the atmosphere. In this manner she always creates pleasurable anticipation.

My mom taught me cooking… maybe like every small girl, I was helping in the kitchen very often, but at a certain moment I got my own real working kitchen. One with real fire in it. I had my own equipped site in the kitchen and this was really my favourite place to be.

As I told you, she is always surprising me with her cooking, even on holidays!
During summer holiday we have always camped in small tents and in a regular campingway, but with one exceptional, my mom took everything from home from herkitchen. As you can see; the olive oil, the pepper mill, the colander, theteapot, oven for… literally a complete kitchen!

And this camping thing is also something that my mom endowed me. At the moment that I started travelling by myself, with friends, I was also creative with making my own food. Her you see us picnicking, preparing some sandwich and here we are very creative with helping ourselves in darkness. With a flashlight taped on waterbottles.. And after some years also my own camping equipment consist of a lot of cooking stuff..

So this is what food means to me, a variety of special, nice and delicious food always, every day…  But as I mentioned in thebeginning, sometimes it also feels like being lost in the meaning of food. I ate a lot of special things in my life. Here you see the guinea pig in Peru, meelworms and a grasshopper madeby my aunt, and here you see me fishing on piranhas, which we later baked onthe bbq. When I came to delft, to live on my own, I had never heard of ChickenTonight, or Knorr worlddishes, I even didn’t know how a microwave worked. I amspoiled in food, but in my student home I start to explore the ‘normal’ dishes,and I like that too!

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Kroket Story

 

This is me, I like food. I like to eat it, play with it, make it and i love to eat with someone and hate it when somebody eats the last bite of my plate.

 

Food is something i connect with my family, my friends and the colleges at my work. At all these places and with all these people i have a special dish that belongs to a certain person or happening. This makes my list of favorite dishes!

 

 Besides all these exotic meals i keep having this special relation with the KROKET!
The reason is that when eating a kroket i need to think about my grandparents. They had a butcher shop in the centre of a little village. 
 
Besides being a well known butcher, the place was famous for the kroketten that were sold. The receipt has been in the familly for years and is highly secret. 
Esspecially on carnaval my grandparents sold loads of kroketten in a couple of days. 
On year my granpa talked with a friend about making the kroketten and the friend gave him a tip to change something on the kroketten to make them more nice than ever. My granpa followed his tip and made hondreds of kroketten with the slightly changed receipt. 
 When the carneval started my granparents started baking the kroketten and it turned out that they exploded one by one in the fat. It was horrible and all the kroketten could been thrown away! You can imagine that my granddad was not very happy about this!
Luckily we still have the best receipt and every year around christmas time we make kroketten and we eat them with the whole familly. I always need to think about the exploding kroketten back in the days :) 

 
 
 
 

  

 

 

 

Chocolate chantilly with marsala

one of the truly new and exciting recipes I have found out about recently is chocolate chantilly. It employs the physical properties of chocolate and a thermal cycle to form a stable cream or even a crumbly foam. The recipe (also here) is due to Hervè This, and it is really simple and delicious. Somewhere I had read a hint that you can do the chantilly with any liquid, so I decided to try with marsala, an Italian sweet wine from Sicily.

I also decided to do a little experiment with the amount of liquid. I had previously did the chantilly with the same amount of water and chocolate: so a 200 grams tablet of dark semisweet chocolate with 200 grams of water. I suspect that the cocoa in the chocolate is what does all the work in the recipe, and in fact when I tried it with milk chocolate (that always has much less cocoa) it did not work so readily. 

Boldly, I added 150 grams of marsala to 120 grams of dark chocolate (68% cocoa). I melted it in a steel bowl placed insde a pot of water, and as soon as the chocolate had started melting I boldly added all of the marsala (if you add it a little bit at a time the chocolate "seizes", which is something you don’t want) and whisked it all together. I had a nice liquid cream, very liquid, and then I transfered the bowl into another bowl full of ice and water (the very plain bowls IKEA sells work really well for this), and I started whisking. The mixture chilled, it started forming bubbles, but no matter how much I chilled it it would not thicken. Not enough cocoa!

The beautiful thing about chantilly is that it is rather forgiving: if this happens, you can just return the whole mess to the pot of hot water and add more chocolate. This I did: 40 more grams of chocolate. Melt, whisk together until smooth. I returned to the ice bowl, and it all came together very satisfying, just like theory says. I whipped it until it became crumbly, and used some of it to make chocolate truffles (melt chocolate, temper it, dip little balls of chantilly in it, wait, coat with cocoa), but most of it is being eaten right now.

What does it taste like? Delicious! 

more interesting links to explore

FoodUX, gastronomic inspirations for user interface designers.

the peculiar Meatpaper magazine, "a print magazine of art and ideas about meat".

Buddha shaped gelatin mold.

Bizarre English people that try to bring gelatin back into fashion.

Mr. Bompas said that the pleasure of the jelly is not necessarily in the eating. “It’s watching it wobble,” he said. Mr. Parr agreed: “You’ve got to have the wobble.

The amateur gourmet blog reports from the pop side of food.

The joy of silicone molds by Silikomart.

Fascinating orange-almond cake without flour. 

an international conference on food styling and photography.

Philips Design on food (trends?)

Unfortunate URL but interesting content: Culiblog.

Recipe formats

this could actually be a little paper of its own. Some notes:

On the usability of recipes. This is actually a very interesting topic, I have seen recently one remarkably clear recipe format in cookingforengineers.com – I am including here a little example, but this is actually a good theme for graphic designers and information designers.

Is this format entirely obvious to you? Is it convenient? I like it, but I am used to strange notations.

Hervè This in This, H. (2007). Modelling dishes and exploring culinary ‘precisions’: the two issues of molecular gastronomy. British Journal of Nutrition, 93(S1), 139-146. describes an interesting formal notation, but it looks more apt for describing food states rather than recipes.

Very interesting page of recipe formats at the microformats wiki. I should absorb it and criticize it one by one. Most interesting so far is David Mundie’s RxOL, that could be used as a guide to designing new formats and analyzing old ones.

Simply Recipes is remarkably clear.

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