Heidolph Brinkmann Laborota 20 Rotary Evaporator

This device was originally designed as a piece of laboratory equipment. It can vaporize any water-based liquid at room temperature under a vacuum. The process preserves volatile aromatics normally lost in cooking and distills them into clear liquids. I love how it enables us to play with perception: because we eat with our eyes first, color and appearance influence our expectation of flavors. To produce a component for a Thai-inspired dish at Alinea, we wanted to make a perfectly clear beverage that would reflect the quintessential flavors of Thai cooking: chiles, lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime. We juiced all of the ingredients and distilled them into colorless fluids, while preserving the intense aromas of each. It was the perfect prelude to the dish. —Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago


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