Posts from 5th January 2010

Jan 10

Spherical-I Mozzarella (making daft food science)

FT + Pumpkin Publog//11 comments • 1,076 views

I don’t believe that the producers of A Day At El Bulli intended it to be used as a cookbook at all; it’s weighty and too glossy to risk splattering with kitchen messes, and most of the recipes call for freezedryers, pacojets, and other high-tech gadgetry. I think they’re provided to emphasize the difference between the food you can create at home, and the laboratory creations of Ferran Adria.

But hey! We love a challenge. I flicked through the book until I found something that looked achievable with only a minimum of outlay. Spherical mozzarella! This called for nothing more exotic than some sodium alginate. Handily, there was a jar tucked away in the back of a cupboard – the remnant of a previous miserable failure at kitchen science. If you’re cooking along at home, it’s available to buy online too.

The science of this is pretty straightforward: where algin meets calcium, a gel forms. By dropping calcium-rich liquid (in this case, the blended mozzarella) into a algin solution (or vice versa), the outside of the liquid turns into a gel, and encloses the still-liquid centre. The result is a soft ball that bursts when you bite into it – a surprise mouthful of liquid flavour. Or that’s the theory.


THE COMMUNARDS – “Don’t Leave Me This Way”

FT + Popular50 comments • 18,134 views

#576, 13th September 1986, video

As a straight man it’s easy for me to be complacent about this, but the Orwellian “THE COMMUNARDS ARE BANNED” business at the start of this video looks completely ridiculous to me now, and the fact that it does suggests genuine and positive social change. Around this time I remember reading a tabloid article suggesting that gay men be interned offshore, Anthrax-island style, until AIDS had burnt itself out: an extreme expression of the panic and fear surrounding the disease – and of who much of the public wanted to blame.


Top Ten Album Art Contains Worst Of 2009

FT8 comments • 1,892 views

So the “who they” Art Vinyl people have awarded the best album cover of 2009 then. I believe a public vote may have been involved, indeed one assumes it must because the winner was Muse who have a lot of public. The Resistance is not a bad album cover, indeed it follows many of the rules of the best album cover of all time* in as much as it has a high concept, contains the colours of the rainbow and is a bit trippy. Let’s be fair, if it had been on the cover of Orbital’s In Sides, I probably would play the album more often.

But hold on the BBC seem to be displaying the shortlist.