Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Learning Food Science with Kracie Poppin Cookin

Learning molecular gastronomy at 5 to 6 years old? We are not kidding! Oh, what is molecular gastronomy? It is a branch of food science that uses chemistry and physics concepts to craft edible creations. Though it is difficult to explain the concepts involved to the children, they learnt to observe and were amazed by the phenomena!

We bought Kracie Poppin Cookin sushi kit from a neighbourhood grocery shop. Basically, it is a set of DIY edible gummy candy. Other than some grocery shops, you can also get it from online shops.

The instructions are printed in Japanese at the back of the box. My half-past-six Japanese was put to test! But not to worry if you don't understand Japanese, the pictures are easily understood. You may also search online for the videos. 

We made the "sushi rice" by mixing "ごはん" powder with water. The children observed that a soft mixture was formed, and they made it into "rice balls".

The children love agar-agar, jelly and pudding, and they know that it takes a few hours before they can enjoy those desserts. But gelification using this kit is very fast, within a few minutes, we observed that the liquid mixture turned into gel! To learn about this process, you can use agar-agar powder, jelly powder or gelatin.

The most interesting process is the making of "fish roe". This process is called spherification. The "fish roe" produced has an interesting texture - the moment you bite it, you can feel the juice bursting in your mouth! The chemical process involves adding sodium alginate into a calcium chloride (or other soluble calcium salt) bath, so that a gel membrane is formed. Ok ok, I didn't really explain this to the children, they were simply amazed by the observation!

Here is our DIY sushi set!

This kit is interesting for the children to learn about food science. However, we didn't really enjoy the taste as it was too sweet!

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