BY: AYA TSINTZIRAS
Have your cake and smell it too. A Montreal company has invented a fork that allows you to smell a flavour on top of what you are eating.
The AROMAFORK is part of the molecular gastronomy trend, which merges science and food. This trend is most often seen in intriguing restaurants like Chicago’s Alinea that go beyond a traditional dining experience and serve customers a 12-course menu where foams and different textures are common.
The theory behind the AROMAFORK is that while your taste buds can understand five tastes, your nose can sense flavours beyond those. The company, Molecule-R, is taking advantage of that smell/taste connection.
The Aroma R-Evolution kit, available for just under $60, comes with 4 forks, 50 diffusing papers and 21 aromas. It’s pretty simple: just drop a liquid aroma onto a paper-covered indent on the fork, then enjoy whatever you’re eating. The fork has been praised for its potential to trick kids into eating vegetables, but there are some pretty interesting and sophisticated aromas, which are classified into six groups. The first group is “beans” which includes vanilla, chocolate and coffee. The second is “fruits” which includes lychee and passionfruit. Next up is “herbs” like cilantro and “nuts” like coconut, followed by “spices” like wasabi and the final group, “umami”, described as our “fifth taste”, which includes truffle, smoke and butter.
Seven scientific methods are used to achieve this magical feat: gelification (texture), spherification (bubbles), emulsification (changes liquid to foam), siphon whipping (cream), suspension (a thickening agent called xanthum gum), powderizing (turns fatty liquids into powder) and deep freezing (liquid nitrogen, which is commonly used to make ice cream but is dangerous for its potential to burn).
The coolest part of the AROMAFORK? Being able to safely taste flavours that you thought were off-limits forever due to food allergies. So, if you’re allergic to nuts but want to taste an almond, here’s your chance.