If the world is your oyster, don’t settle for the traditional type of pearl. Once the Imperial Spherificator hits the market toward the end of the year, you can transform any food into tiny, edible goo beads in a matter of moments.
We took the machine for a test run. The results were part Willy Wonka, part Dr. Frankenstein and entirely unpredictable.
The process to make the pearls involves combining seaweed extract with calcium chloride powder and a puree of the ingredient you plan to use. It’s not an exact science and has to be fiddled with to achieve the right consistency.
Some foods that are too high in sugar or acid just don’t work; others that seem dubious turn out beautifully.
You also have to play around with how high to hold the machine above the water bath. Too high and the pearls become elongated and loose; too low and they hit the water hard, splattering into misshapen forms or even breaking all together.
The coolest part of this machine is how quickly it creates the pearls. Previously, the only way to create molecular gastronomy like this was with a syringe, making each and every tiny dot. By pushing one button, this machine produces dozens of tiny food pearls in seconds.
Sure, some of the pearls come out a little more oval and some more spherical, but playing mad scientist in your own kitchen is too fun a proposition to resist.
It’s definitely a luxury to have the time and patience to play with this cool toy, but if you have both, there’s literally no end to the foods you can create:
Bacon is…well, it’s meat pearls. Let that sink in for a minute.
Mustard is too acidic to work properly, but sauerkraut makes long, spaghetti-like strands.
Basil and tomato are both winners, making this caprese salad a totally new spin on a classic.
The root beer pearls are taut and filled with a tiny burst of liquid root beer in the center.
What’s next? Tiny guacamole spheres? Mashed potato pearls? Let your imagination and your palate be your guides.