Molecular Gastronomy Kits
I was recently playing with jelly for a children’s birthday party when someone suggested that I get hold of a molecular gastronomy kit to make some jelly spaghetti – so I took a look at www.moleculargastronomykit.co.uk to see what exactly was in them.
As I’m sure all followers of the vegans world network are aware – jelly is not normally vegetarian, let alone vegan! So I was trying to figure a way that this jelly spaghetti could be made, the answer was in the molecule-r cuisine kit they use agar agar, rather than gelatine for their jelly. Agar is very similar to jelly, but rather than being made out of boiled bones it is extracted from seaweed! Indeed after a bit of research, then I found out that many chemicals used in the world of modernist cuisine are in fact vegan.
So is the jelly made with agar as good as the one made with gelatine? Unfortunately not – it isn’t as jelly-like, which is a shame! So, if molecule-r aren’t doing it for the purposes of being campaigning vegans – then why exactly are they using agar in their cuisine kits rather then gelatine? The answer is probably more to do with molecular science than moral science! Agar is a more forgiving hydro colloid (jelly) it can handle a wider range of temperatures and acidity levels – and considering that one of the things the cuisine kit encourages you to make is actually vinegar caviare (made with agar) so these little jelly balls are pure acid – something that was never going to work with gelatine jelly!
It does have to be noted – that along with the purely vegan chemicals included in the gastronomy set, there is also “cold dissolving gelatine” which I assume is completely meat based, but am going to contact the manufacturers in Canada to find out for certain if it is or not and will update this post on the vegans world network as soon as I have found out the answer.