While many people may like the "pop-in-your-mouth" texture of caviar, not everyone likes the taste ... or the price. That's why Montreal entrepreneur Naor Cohen created the grandly-named Imperial Spherificator. It takes a liquid of your choice, and converts it into fish egg-like pearls. Sriracha caviar, anyone?
The Spherificator utilizes an existing process known as spherification, in which a liquid is mixed with sodium alginate and then dripped into a bowl of cold water and calcium chloride. The result is that the droplets form into little balls of gelatin.
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Chefs already make such "pearls," although they generally do so by manually dripping the liquid in by hand, often using a syringe or pipette to do so one drop at a time. Cohen previously automated the process to mass-produce a seaweed-based caviar alternative known as Kelp Caviar. The Spherificator is a home version of that technology.
To use it, you start with either a ready-made liquid or a blend of your choice, and pour it into the device, along with some of the alginate. Depending on the thickness of the liquid, you then select an appropriate mixing/dispensing speed. You can also determine the size of the pearls by swapping in one of three different nozzles.
From there, you dispense the liquid from the Spherificator into a bowl of cold water and calcium chloride. While a wide variety of liquids can be used, additional alginate may need to be added to substances that are particularly acidic. The roe-like end product is then removed with a strainer, rinsed, and used as desired.
Cohen already has a working prototype, and has now taken to Kickstarter to raise production funds. A pledge of CAD$125 (about US$97) will currently get you one – alginate and calcium included – when and if they're ready to go.
You can see a demo of the Imperial Spherificator, in the video below.
British design company Dovetailed is also working on a spherification-based device, for making 3D-printed fruits.View gallery - 5 images