Atoms & Eats
I don’t often use the expression ‘one-of-a-kind’ on this blog, but I think today’s gift idea truly stands alone. And not in a ‘cheese stands alone’ kind of way. Although, it is certainly a gift for the foodie on your list. Or a science nerd. Confused? Read on.
The big idea here is molecular gastronomy – essentially the magic combination of science and culinary arts that reinvent what was previously thought possible in the kitchen. If you’ve ever sat there wondering why chocolate comes in bars and not noodles, or why spherical jelly beads generally taste like fish instead of something yummier, then you’ll enjoy MOLECULE-R’s offerings of molecular gastronomy kits to help you whip up exotic offerings like chocolate spaghetti and mint caviar. Molecular gastronomy is a technique already used by master chefs and bartenders worldwide – the idea behind the kits is to even the playing field a little (although to that end, pro chefs will get a kick out of these as well).
Each kit comes with the tools and additive sachets to concoct culinary experiments that turn convention on its head. The Cuisine R-EVOLUTION kit pictured above uses four tactics to achieve results. Namely, you can use the kit’s tools for Gelification (imagine pesto spaghetti or a fruit salad encased in rum), Spherification (try topping your salad with balsamic vinegar pearls), Emulsification (whip up a light flavoured foam to swap out for heavy sauces), and Siphon Whipping (low-fat whipped topping for dessert anyone?) Learn the tricks of the trade with the included instruction booklet and 50-recipe DVD for an interactive experience.
Got a bar star on your hands? Opt for the Cocktail R-EVOLUTION set to add a splash to your next party. Like the Culinary set, you’ll learn techniques from a 30-recipe DVD to help you concoct beverages like layered martinis or a mojito in the form of a bubble that bursts in your mouth. Suddenly those $12 cocktails at your favourite lounge will feel laughably simple when you begin whipping up your own lime foam and gelatin shooters.
What I love about this gift idea, honestly, is that it’s a gifty gift. What I mean by that is it’s definitely one of those things you’d more frequently buy as a gift for someone, as opposed to a treat for yourself. It can be a challenge for me as a gift guide blogger to try and find things with universal taste appeal when it comes to say, decor, clothing, or even books – but with a gift like this, the target demo is so easy (basically anyone that loves to play around in the kitchen or at the bar), the gift is so amazingly cool, and the price point from this Canadian company is so bang on ($58.95 per kit) that it just screams ‘Canadian Gift Guide’! The fact that it comes beautifully packaged and likely isn’t on the radar of the bulk of your to-buy-for list makes it that much more special.
You can buy the MOLECULE-R starter kits on their website alongside the slightly pricier Siphon R-EVOLUTION Kit, which is centred around the brand’s culinary whipper tool (also available for purchase separately). In addition, supplementary additives and refills are available, if say, you absolutely flip for the Caesar Salad Espuma (made using the Siphon Whipping technique) and eventually run out of a key ingredient.
If you’re ready to get your hands dirty in the kitchen – or if you’ve got a foodie on your gift list and no idea what to surprise them with – you may be in luck. One lucky winner is going to win their choice of the Culinary or Cocktail R-EVOLUTION kits. Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by March 20th with your preference of kit: Culinary or Cocktail + name me ONE additive from your selection (you’ll see details on the product page).
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around March 21st to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: You can earn two bonus entries when you Like MOLECULE-R on Facebook & leave them a comment with which tactic you’re most excited to try, and / or when you Follow MOLECULE-R on Pinterest and repin any of their pins. Be sure to leave your FB username (or link to your post) + your Repin in the comments below so I can credit you.