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How To Make Powdered Foods


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We ate recently at Providence in LA, where the chef turns lots of different foods into powders by using tapioca maltodextrin. He also uses lots of foams and gelees ( I had a dish with chorizo gelee). It was all very wonderful. Does anyone here know how to use tapioca maltodextrin? I have read that you mix it with foods that have a good amount of fat in them, and then they turn into a powder which you can sieve through a tamis. Can anyone provide more guidance -- like what kinds of proportions to use and what foods do and do not work well. Where do you buy it? Thanks.

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The French Laundry Cookbook has a section on creating powders from various vegetables and fruits. It involves drying pulps and purees in the microwave and then grinding them into powders.

That doesn't sound like what you are looking for, though. What you described sounds like the Ferran Adria-El Bulli-inspired food wizardry that Jose Andres is doing at Minibar and Wiley Dufresne at WD 50 in NYC. I'm not sure that any of these wizards have committed their magic to print, yet. They seem to learn in each others' kitchens and then go off and do it in their own.

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For Malodextrin type crumbles, you put malodextrin and your source ingredient in a robocoup and pulse them. For some items you might need to add some water, depending on the thickness,and you might have to play around with the measurements. Try it with caramel, its pretty neat. I know for peanut butter, its about 1:1 (an example of this is in AC issue #80).

There are other chemicals in use though...you can use bread crumbs, panko, flour, depending on your applicaiton and target medium.

If you want some MD, I think you can get it from TIC Gums which is in Northern Maryland off 95 (near aberdeen)...I am using National Starch now for water-soluble thickeners, either company is good.

You can also email wylie, he is good about replying and is one of the most down-to-earth cooks I have ever met. The Guy loves to share.

The stuff in the Laundry cookbook is basically dehydration+grinding to give you a fine powder.


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