What is Spherification?
Spherification is a great trick. This quintessentially Modernist process transforms a liquid into an orb enveloped by a gelled skin. The results look interesting, and there is a certain child-like joy in spooning into your mouth beads that instantly burst and saturate your palate with, say, fresh flavorful melon juice.
The secret to spherification is to first create a gel mixture that cannot be set due to lack of coagulating ions. The mixture is then put into a setting bath that contains the missing component. When the two solutions meet, gelling begins. Surface tension gives the beads their distinctive spherical shape.
What is the Difference Between Direct and Reverse Spherification?
There are two basic types of spherification, direct and reverse. With direct spherification the gelling agents are added directly to the liquid that is to be spherified, turning it into a gel when it comes in contact with the setting bath. In reverse spherification the gelling agents are mixed with the setting bath and the liquid base is encapsulated but does not gel itself.
Source: Modernist Cuisine
Modernist Pantry carries all the ingredients and accessories needed for both direct and reverse spherification. In addition, we have assembled kits to get you started and take all the guesswork out of the process.