?You may know it as “molecular gastronomy,” but as elBulli virgins, we refer to it as fancypants cookin’. If your idea of a good meal includes an edible menu, you’re not alone in your preference for high-falutin culinary practices. The explosion of liquid nitrogen (literally in some cases), spherification and boiling stuff in plastic bags has created a frenzy in the world of dining adventures that’s made it’s way onto our daily list.

1. Anti-griddling

The “anti” part refers to the temperature, not the shape. It is actually a griddle, but it doesn’t cook things, it freezes them. Yummy, frozen pancake batter and raw bacon popsicles with an espresso ice cube. Let’s hope this contraption doesn’t find it’s way into the Joe’s diners of the world, or there could be a lot of frozen patty anti-melts on the horizon.

2. Sous vide

According to answers.com, the definition of sous vide is “the cooking of various ingredients in a plastic pouch.” Sounds groundbreaking right? Actually, while it may sound similar to baking a roast in an oven bag, it’s much more complicated and carefully controlled. The process usually starts with vacuum packing a protein, then immersing it in a carefully controlled water bath and cooking it for a long-ass time. So instead of sitting in front of a smoker drinking cold beer all day, you can cozy up to the cryovac bagged chicken in your hot tub.

3. Spherification

This is exactly what it sounds like. Take liquid stuff, mix it with chemical stuff, drop it into water, and it turns into perfect spheres, hence, spherification. It’s the process that helps make mango caviar or strawberry pearls to grace your ever-so-expensive plate of dessert. Dippin Dots, meet your nemesis.

4. Edible everything

From the menus, to the plates (if there are plates involved), it seems that some chefs-turned-mad-scientists want everything to be edible. Tinkering with an inkjet printer, some organic inks and starchy paper, Homaro Cantu created stationery appetizers. Perhaps this is a technology that can save the dying newspaper industry.

5. Foams

You’re not alone if you like the texture of rabid animal saliva. Among all of the cooking techniques mentioned here, the most annoying and overused involves turning sauces into a frothy mess and spooning it over a plate of otherwise delicious and appealing food. We’re hoping it goes the way of Top Chef finalist’s Marcel’s reality television career and quickly fades away.

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