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Alta Editions is an award-winning publisher of beautiful online cookbooks. 

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Cooking with Foam

Chris McBride

Cooking with foam is a technique that was widely used in fine dining in the 1990's and is still used in a surprising number of professional kitchens today. While foam in restaurant cuisine may be met with mixed reactions now this simple technique can inject a healthy dose of fun and creativity into your home cooking.

Cooking with foam, how to make foams for food, molecular gastronomy

The use of foam in cooking was pioneered by renowned chef Ferrán Adriá, who first served "espumas" (Spanish for "foam") at his legendary restaurant El Bulli in Spain. The technique has been documented in detail by Adriá and others, but has never been widely adopted in home cooking. That's too bad because all that's required to get started is a N2O canister, or "food whipper," and a little imagination.

In Laurent Gras: My Provence, Chef Gras demonstrates how easy it is to put this simple technique to work. He adds a touch of elegance to his Asparagus Salad with Comté Emulsion recipe with the use of an iSi canister. According to Chef Gras, the secret behind successfully using a canister is, “the balance between protein and fat inside the liquid”. In the following video Gras shows how to make his Comté cheese emulsion using only cheese, cream and gelatin. We found it delicious on asparagus, but its light and airy texture would provide an excellent complement any number of vegetable dishes.

Chef Gras's asparagus salad recipe isn't the only example of how to use an iSi canister in your home cooking. Find out how to make super light and creamy potatoes in his recipe for Olive Oil Poached Cod .

Looking to get started? Amazon has a range of iSi canisters available. And if you're looking for other creative ideas for cooking with foam, check out our "Cooking With Foam" Pinterest board for some great tips and recipes to use with your N20 canister.

Photo © 2012 Shimon and Tammar Photography.

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