Although most of my posts are about products for everyday users, you should really only consider this next product if you're a chemistry teacher, a molecular gastronomist, or a food texture-obsessed professional chef.No, this kooky contraption isn't the newest version of that chemistry set you got for your 12th birthday: it's the Heidolph VV Micro Evaporator by Brinkmann, a tabletop distiller that allows you to turn your favorite foods into concentrated flavor syrups. The Micro Evaporator is made to be used in several types of applications, including chemical and pharmaceutical research and determination of fat and fiber content in foods. A more glamorous application is food flavoring. You place your food of choice into a rotating bath that gently heats it with water, causing a flavor-enhanced steam to rise out of the food and condense on the inner surface. This steam is then collected in a bulb on the opposite end, free of solid matter but full of flavor. The possibilities of the types of flavorings are virtually limitless, and provide a ton of flavor without changing the texture of the food into which you're mixing them. You could make this strawberry black pepper sorbet without seeing any little black chunks in your bowl, or you could add fresh coconut essence to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies.
The fancy rotary evaporator is definitely not a cheap addition to your kitchen: it costs $3,000 and produces about 250 ml per hour, which is equivalent to just over a cup of fluid. In other words, if you used this puppy once a week, in a year you'd make 6.5 2-liter bottles of flavor juice at a whopping $461 each.All right, so maybe we should leave the kitchen chemistry to scientists (or to molecular gastronomists like Richard, this season's runner-up of Top Chef). But the idea of superconcentrated flavor syrup definitely gets some cool points for being totally unique and undoubtedly very tasty.
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