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    French chef creates 'world's first synthetic gourmet dish'

    London (PTI): A French chef has brought science to the kitchen with molecular gastronomy and ideas by creating the "world's first entirely synthetic gourmet dish".

    The dish -- a starter of jelly balls in apple and lemon flavours that are creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside -- is a combination of ascorbic acid, glucose, citric acid and a few grams of a sugar substitute known as maltitol.

    Pierre Gagnaire has worked for months with Hervé This, the founder of molecular gastronomy, to create this recipe -- entitled le note à note -- from chemical compounds.

    "It is good. It's going to be smooth, crusty and frosty. We are working for future generations," the celebrated chef, who is to display his culinary delicacy at a Hong Kong restaurant, told British newspaper The Times.

    What's more mouth-watering is that the meal will include a lobster fricassée served with polyphenol sauce, made of tartaric acid, glucose and polyphenols.

    This has touted the meal as a step into the future of haute cuisine. "If you use pure compounds you open up billions and billions of new possibilities. It's like a painter using primary colours or a musician composing note by note."

    According to him, compound cooking will enthral taste buds of people -- or, rather, trigeminal nerve -- and help to end food shortages and rural poverty as farmers could increase profitability by "fractioning their vegetables".

    This has little time for such thinking. "Sugar is not natural. Chips are not natural. They are both artificial. And if you tried to eat a wild carrot, you'd find it disgusting."

    Now, This wants to revolutionise everything from ingredients to recipes. But, even Gagnaire, his most fervent supporter, says that is a far-flung ambition. "He sends me a technique every month and I use it as the basis for a recipe.

    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't."


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