Used in Japan since the 15th century, Agar is a gelling agent extracted from types of red algae (Gelidium and Gracilaria). Introduced to Europe in 1859 as a characteristically Chinese food, Agar is a source of fiber and can form gels in very small proportions. These Agar Texturas can be used to make hot gelatins and has other creative uses. At the start of the 20th century, it began to be used in the US, as gelification was becoming more popular. Even if you are not a pro at molecular gastronomy, it is exciting to experiment with gelification, as it can add desirable dimension and substance to any appropriate dish. Don’t let the process intimidate you. A few practice runs and you will be making gels in no time!
This comes from Albert and Ferrán Andrià – highly praised creative chefs of the world-renowned El Bulli restaurant in Catalonia, Spain.
Suggestions: Mix the Agar Texturas (a refined powder) while cold, then bring to a boil. Gelification is fast. Once gelled, it can withstand temperatures of up to 80°C (hot gelatin). Allow it to rest for correct gelification. In acidic mediums, it loses part of its gelling capacity. Try spherification using agar or checkout Caviaroli, where the work has been done for you.
More About Agar
Extracted from a type of red algae (of the Gelidium and Gracilaria genera), AGAR is a gelling agent used in Japan since the 15th century. In 1859, it was introduced to Europe as a characteristically Chinese food, and at the start of the 20th century it began to be used in the food industry. It is a source of fiber and can form gels in very small proportions. It can be used to make hot gelatins.
- Presented in a refined powder.
- Mix while cold and bring to a boil.
- Gelification is fast.
- Once gelled, it can withstand temperatures of up to 80 °C (hot gelatin).
- Allow it to rest for correct gelification.
- In acidic mediums, it loses part of its gelling capacity.