Is there a definitive turning point in one's quest for true culinary liberation? Just when does gastronomic innovation change from unparalleled advancement to a mind-numbingly horrific fever dream? How many food items can be imbued with the color of the rainbow before dignified society begins to collapse in upon itself?
We're both pleased and terrified to report that Jonathan Marcus, an unparalleled genius from the great state of Massachusetts, has performed a feat that will surely go forth in culinary history as an accomplishment as important as those of boiling and freezing water. Or it could very well incite the frenzied downfall of mankind.
Marcus had the wherewithal to realize that the key to frying water would be to enclose a portion of it in a membrane of some sort. He turned to calcium alginate, a gelatinous substance that is made from aqueous calcium chloride and acqueous sodium alginate (a tried-and-true staple of molecular gastronomy).
Once the water was encased in the calcium alginate (the sphere looks a hell of a lot like mizu shingen mochi), Marcus very, very gently dipped the water ball in flour, rolled it in egg, and then oh-so-carefully covered it in a veil of panko bread crumbs.
A few minutes in a fryer, and voila: Deep-fried ball of water!
As a video of this momentous event reveals, Marcus then became seemingly the first man on earth to taste fried water—at least we think he is. (That said, we would in no way be surprised if someone like Ferran Adrià or Grant Achatz experimented with fried water a decade ago.) Marcus placed the fried ball-o-water on a black plate and sliced into it with a knife. Lo and behold, water poured out. Marcus then tasted the crust.
"That was the blandest fried thing I've ever tasted," he said
But wait. Then he tasted the puddle of water, which he sipped directly from the plate. "Yeah—that was water."
And there you have it, folks.
About a dozen lucky people got to taste these balls when they were given out at the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon 2.0 in San Francisco.
Why fried water would ever be associated with a hackathon called Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas, we have no clue. Clearly, this is a brilliant idea. That is, until humanity insists on deep-frying all liquids—including the water and blood in our very bodies—and we sweatily slide into a food coma that encompasses the entire world.