There are plenty of theories about the future of food. It could involve 3-D printing, or we might all be eating bugs. And now we have the Imperial Spherificator, which promises to remake the world into one big Dippin’ Dots and turn any pureed food into pearl-like spheres in seconds.
The spherification process is not new itself, as both ‘90s mall rats and students of modernist cooking can tell you, but to actually turn foods into edible spheres was a labor-intensive process (usually involving syringes). But inventor Naor Cohen has been using a different technology for his own three-year-old business, which manipulates kelp into a caviar substitute, and he’s now ready to bring it to the public — as long as he can Kickstart the 80,000 Canadian dollars — $61,850 in “real” American currency — that he needs to finalize the design. A scaled-down, handheld version of the one Cohen has been using for years, the machine works by shooting pearls of food blended with Alginate or seaweed extract into a bowl of water and potassium chloride. Both the size of the pearls and the speed at which they’re shot out can be adjusted, so appetizer pearls can be small and entree pearls large. If Cohen succeeds, people will be living in a limitless, ideal world of effortlessly created hot-sauce caviar, pork-belly caviar, and Champagne.