Fizzy fruit, carbonated fruit, sparkling fruit – whatever you want to call it, this culinary trick makes molecular gastronomy accessible to even the most traditionalist cook. Introducing carbon dioxide to fruit doesn’t affect the taste and texture, but the fruit juices now dance across your tongue like little Champagne bubbles. It’s a fun, creative way to add life to everyday fruit and can be done at home with easily attainable items.
The simplest method, and the one that I recommend most, is to use an iSi soda siphon or whipper.
The siphon uses carbon dioxide, which is what we need. | 1 | The whipper, which typically uses nitrous oxide, can accommodate carbon dioxide charges as well. | 2 | Simply place the fruit into the canister and charge with a single carbon dioxide charger.
| 3 | Place the whole canister in the fridge overnight, and – presto! – you have fizzy fruit. The refrigeration helps to speed up the carbonation process and results in higher carbonation.
The fruit will quickly lose its carbonation once it is no longer under pressure, so try to use it as quickly as possible. Porous fruits like strawberries, grapes, apples and citrus work best. Remove any inedible portions of the fruit and cut the rest into bite-size pieces before carbonating so that it can absorb as much gas as possible and can be served right out of the container.
The second and much more scientific method is to use dry ice, which is simply frozen carbon dioxide. As its temperature rises, the dry ice sublimates, or “melts” back into its original gaseous stage. This sublimated gas is what carbonates the fruit. Dry ice is very dangerous to handle, so make sure you are well-read on the subject before attempting this method. Place a few pieces of dry ice in the bottom of a small cooler, and use a mallet to smash it. (Or simply purchase dry ice pellets.) Cover a wood cutting board or drying rack with a towel and place on top of the ice. Arrange the fruit pieces on the towel and seal the cooler. Do not use an airtight seal because as the ice sublimates, the pressure will grow and the cooler could explode. Let the fruit stand for about 30 minutes in the cooler to become fully carbonated. If the fruit is frozen, allow it to thaw before handling to avoid any contact burns. Remove the fruit and enjoy it as is, incorporated into salads or cocktails (and mocktails), served with yogurt, or reimagined any way you please.
Cassy Vires is the owner and chef of Home Wine Kitchen. She received her culinary training in Houston and has a knack for reimagining classic dishes.
Fizzy Waldorf Salad
This recipe is a fun update to a classic dish. The combination of sweet fruit and creamy dressing is given an extra pop with carbonation for a truly unique dish.
Serves | 4 |
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives
- 4 cups bibb lettuce
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 cups carbonated apples, grapes and cherries
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
| Preparation | In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon juice and chives. Whisk together until fully incorporated and set aside until ready to use.
Arrange the bibb lettuce on four salad plates. | 4 | In a medium bowl, combine the celery, carbonated fruit and just enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and toss very gently. Place over the bibb lettuce and garnish with walnuts. Serve immediately.