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Molecular Gastronomy ingredients in the GTA

  • dlw88 Jan 6, 2008 06:46 PM
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I'd like to play scientist, and am looking for the following ingredients...

Agar
Calcium Chloride
Sodium Alginate
Xanthan

Thanks in advance :)

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  1. Agar is widely available, sometimes disguised as "vegetable gelatine". You should be able to find agar and xanthan at natural food stores and at places specializing in low carb diet foods. Sodium chloride is just ordinary table salt.

    3 Replies
    1. re: embee

      Thank you for the tips. Upon reviewing my words before posting, I knew NaCl seemed all too familiar. I've had a rough weekend, but am now positively in search of Calcium Chloride.

      1. re: dlw88

        try contacting rob mifsud blogger/food writer of "hungry in hogtown" as he's a regular ferran adria recipe experimentor and has been able to get mg type ingredients in the past.

        now for a potential direct link... http://foodsupplies.ca/ offers a variety of raw materials. i didn't notice calcium chloride specfically but they might be able to help you out. i did notice that they only really seem to do large quantities (25kg) so they might not be right for you.

        1. re: dlw88

          Calcium chloride is the "high end", less damaging salt sold for melting ice (though I doubt that any of the stuff sold at Crappy Tire is safe for use with food). Pure CC can make ice boil (or at least appear to). Interesting stuff.

          I've used agar and xanthan at various times, but never in an "MG" kind of way. I have no experience with alginate.

      2. I got agar agar and xanthan gum from Noah's at Bloor & Spadina. Not sure if they have the other two ingredients but you can phone them up.

        1. Agar is actually really easy to find at any asian supermarket. A lot of thai/malay/japanese sweets actually call for agar instead of gelatin. T+T is always my first stop for that. Thing is, I think in most of these places the agar comes in the sheet/natural form, as opposed to a powder.
          OH! and Xanthan Gum I think is avaliable at baking supplies stores!

          1. there is a site wed site from l.a ...I can't rember it off the top of my head at this moment but it sells those ingredients....does anybody know where you can buy liquid nitrogen and for how much?

            1 Reply
            1. re: prime_rib

              Here are a few websites to check-out:

              www.le-sanctuaire.com
              www.willpowder.net
              www.dcduby.com

            2. Try Whole Foods and any Japanese market...or both.

              1. i have seen xantum gum in superstore in the organic/specialty section.

                1. There's a topic on this board started by DurhamPark called "Where to buy sodium alginate and other rare ingredients". I'd link you to it but I don't know how.

                  I've posted some places there. I bought my stuff at http://dcduby.com/elements/ which was recommended there. I haven't had the chance to try making anything yet but I have the ingredients...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chefhound

                    The topic can be found at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/604466

                    I ordered from dcduby also. They have a few good recipes on their website too.

                    I've made Pea Ravioli, Mango Ravioli, and Casis Caviar. Along with a few other things like airs ect. No pictures, recipes or experiences posted anywhere yet unfortunately. Haven't had time to do much more then play around a little. It takes some testing to get the shape right, still having issues getting a real nice shape with the Caviar, and sometimes I have to snip tails off off the ravioli with a pair of scissors while its still in the calcium bath.

                    Make sure to get a good scale, one that goes in increments of .01g if possible, but you can get away with a 1g scale.

                  2. there's a molecular gastro event at the st lawrence market kitchen may 5th

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                      Anyone else going to this tonight?

                      1. re: Wahooty

                        i'm signed up
                        couldn't reach them through the telephone but they're replying to email
                        http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/resli...

                        1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                          That's how I registered too...just wondering if any other 'hounds would be there with me...

                    2. So I was at this molecular gastronomy event last night (asian dude, red plaid shirt) and I thought it was fun even though it went pretty long and it was a bit disorganized. The sous chefs were super friendly and the host Gary Bedell was a nice guy as well. We got to help out making the following menu:

                      Giz Fizz cocktail (hot and cold)
                      Olive Oil seminola/couscous
                      Olive oil and tomato popcorn
                      Shrimp ceviche with citrus foam
                      Desalted cod with orange and olive oil
                      Caramelized bacon in dark chocolate
                      Foie gras with peach caviar
                      Mango Ravioli (didn't get to eat)
                      Orange and Roasted red pepper ice cream
                      Solid Cava Rosado over fresh strawberries

                      It sounds like an epic menu but they were more sample than anything and spread out over 3 hours or so. food was okay... the olive oils and roasted red peppers and sea salts were all great ingredients and i had fun watching stuff be put together but it's not exactly like we were dining at El Bulli :P

                      He didn't mention any local Toronto/GTA sources for most ingredients but he did mention a vancouver outfitter. I'll have to email him and find out what it is but i'm guessing it's Xenex

                      http://www.xenexlabs.com/

                      Was anyone else there last night?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                        I was! I was the girl in the bright blue skirt - one of the people in the front left that got a serious fit of the giggles toward the end. I had a lot of fun, and I agree that the people running the demo were great, but it really was pretty disorganized - the whole thing could have been done in about half the time. I've been hearing about those techniques for ages but never gotten to try any of them, so it was a good, basic introduction for me. The only things that really wowed me were the hot/cold gin fizz and the solid cava - I thought those were both pretty neat and like nothing else I'd ever had. For $40, I felt like I got my money's worth.

                        1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                          My fav was the roasted red pepper and orange ice cream. Did either of you write down the brand name of the orange olive oil or the jar of roasted red peppers? I went back later that week to SLM to buy the oil and peppers at Scheffler's Deli but they had neither.

                          1. re: dautcalm

                            I didn't write them down, and his website is worthless, but I'm sure you could e-mail him and ask: gary@garywbedell.com
                            Those peppers WERE awesome, but I don't think I found the idea of putting them in ice cream as shocking as he wanted me to. That was kind of my feeling on all of the techniques...I guess I just have a more vivid/accurate imagination than I'm supposed to, because most of the things I tried were exactly what I expected after hearing them described. That's why I thought the gin fizz was so interesting - a contrast in textures or unexpected flavors is easy for me to imagine, but the contrast in TEMPERATURE is a little harder to achieve in a way that works. Of course, it only works if you drink it immediately and quickly - after a minute it becomes just a tasty cocktail. He did bring some wonderful ingredients, though, and the evening worked very well as an infomercial for his import business. :)

                            1. re: Wahooty

                              agreed on the evening. Worth the $40 easily but also not as exciting as i thought it'd be. Oh well! It'd be fun if there was a more advanced class if he gets around to doing it over at george brown.

                              1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                                Exactly. I'd be mad if I'd paid $100 or some such. For $40, I thought it was just about right.

                        2. Sorry to reply to an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone has had any luck sourcing liquid nitrogen in the GTA for cooking applications? If anyone could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: finelydiced

                            Look under gas suppliers and medical supplies. It's really dangerous to handle!

                            1. re: finelydiced

                              You can get liquid nitrogen from Dry ice and gases- 26 Dorcester ave, Etobicoke- 416 252 7137