Liquid Nitrogen

Food Trends – Liquid Nitrogen

Gastronomy in the modern era has evolved, technological developments turning the art of cooking into an exact science. It focuses on the physical and chemical reactions that occur during the cooking process, and how those reactions affect the aroma and flavor of the dishes being made. Sometimes referred to as molecular gastronomy, this scientific approach to making food is becoming more and more common as time passes. This can involve the use a variety of chemical compounds and devices, the most popular of which being liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen is the seventh element on the periodic table, and it makes up more than seventy-five percent of the air in the atmosphere. It is difficult to change nitrogen into its liquid form, as it only maintains that state between the temperatures of negative 346 and 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of these incredibly low temperatures, liquid nitrogen can cause extreme damage if ingested or applied directly to living tissue. Despite these challenges to an average cook, liquid nitrogen is gaining popularity among professionals and amateurs alike in order to freeze food. The first culinary use of liquid nitrogen goes back as far as the nineteenth century, mentioned in the recipe book Fancy Ices by Agnes Marshall. Due to the extremely cold temperature of the nitrogen, it is able to freeze foods pretty much instantaneously. The speed with which it does this freezing causes microscopic ice crystals to form, exponentially smaller than those created by the use of a conventional freezer. These smaller crystals …