February 29, 2016No Comments

SELF/INT:1 | Meringue

To experiment with replicating taste in another form, I thought it would be interesting to replicate the taste of a certain food in a kind of abstract entity. Almost the bubblegum dinner from willy wonka.

In order to find a "cloud" that has no flavour enough to hold all sorts of flavours, I thought it would be interesting to try out flavouring meringues. I would be testing two factors in the meringue – 1) ability to hold a shape as an interesting visual element & 2) ability to hold flavours.

 

Round 1:

I first tried out a basic italian meringue recipe with sugar to test the shape and also added parmesan cheese to see if the meringue takes dry flavourings well.

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Personally enjoyed the parmesan meringues a little too much and ate them all! But they were too flat, soggy and couldn't hold a shape well. They had a nice gloss to it tho! But the sugar played too much of a sweet role to the meringues and would not work well with other flavourings like sour or bitter. Could work well for sweet based flavours and obtain more volume with further beating.

Round 2:

I tried to remove the sugar element in the meringue and basically was just whipped egg whites. This time, I just tried to see it's shape as well as how bland it was as it own for further flavouring.

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I liked how well it piped and how well it held its 3D shape. They came out really light and fluffy while still voluminous. They tasted really bland as well. Later I ate them with scrambled egg yolks leftover from making this. Made a great brunch.

Round 3:

Later that night, I tried adding red colouring. Thinking of experimenting with some flavour, I boiled and reduced star anise into a teaspoon of flavouring and added to the unsweetened meringues. A chemical reaction between the colouring and the star anise flavours turned the meringue... GRAY?? They also became more watery and the texture was between the 1st and 2nd round of meringues.

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They piped well and were more able to shape. However, IT TURNED OUT UGLY. Basically... 1) No liquid flavourings, not even 2 teaspoons & 2) Do not overbeat the eggs.

Conclusion:

Meringues work amazingly with sugar and struggle with liquid flavouring. Needs more tests with powdered flavourings or try out other forms of tasteless clouds for savoury or non-sweet flavours.

February 29, 2016No Comments

SELF/INT:1 | Initial Thoughts

My food obsession was inspired by The Mind of a Chef and Chef's table on top of my daily need to cook to survive in London. I started my research of many amazing food magazines like Lucky Peach, Chickpea, The Gourmand and books like Molecular Gastronomy (Hermé This, 2006),  Experimental Eating (2015) and most importantly The Flavour Thesaurus (Niki Segnit, 2010).

Initially, I was interested in standardising taste in the way musical notes, phonics and other similar systems worked because... why not? To test this out, I sought to directly translate taste of a ramen into a score.

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However, it all felt a little too technical and was not effectively exploring tastes and flavour.

I felt that by directly translating these flavours simply by my own standards was being too presumtuous. I liked that cooking and mixing flavours was something like an experiment and I wanted people to test the flavours or be able to experience the experiment.

From all the books I read, I enjoyed The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit the most and how he explored flavours. Rather than it being a dictionary that defines all kinds of flavours, it was more a personal journal of him exploring all the flavours. I enjoyed that personal element a lot and it made the whole book seem more honest and prompted me to experiment as well.

Perhaps my next experiment would be how I can make tastes into different building blocks and convey my personal experience with food into it.

February 28, 2016No Comments

SELF/INT:1 | Taste by Choice

For my first born self initiated brief , I've decided to research and experiment something that I've loved for a long time : FOOD and mainly why it tastes so good.

My initial research and inspiration went somewhat like this :

 

What I loved about food was that it serves not only as survival need but also plays a huge part in many elements of a human development such as technology, social, environmental, economical, cultural and even psychological. The tough part was narrowing down further to something I truly wanted to explore so I forced myself to write a brief that would be my bible down the road.

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More research to come!! The best thing about this brief is I'm always 100% excited about FOOOOD!