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Episode Info: Hello and welcome to Episode Twenty Four of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah! If you enjoy the podcast subscribe, tell a friend, or write us a review! The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 12:36 and ends 16:14 at The English Language Transcript can be found below But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory! The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty Four is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. If you like The Obstacle is the Way you should also check out: The Art of Living by Epictetus, Slow: Simple Living For a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary, and Uncertainty: Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance by Jonathan Fields. My personal favorite Goodreads list The Obstacle is the Way is on is A List of Every Self Help Book Ever. Today’s Library Tidbit is all about Spherification! Spherification is a molecular gastronomy process that uses alginic acid and calcium lactate to shape liquids into squishy but solid spheres. Sort of the texture of boba pearls. Alginic acid or sodium alginate is a substance that is derived from brown seaweed. Calcium lactate is a type of salt. The reaction of these two chemicals forms a tough, but tasteless, gel membrane around a liquid. This works because when the sodium alginate is combined with calcium lactate the calcium lactate cause the long-chain carbohydrates in sodium alginate to connect to each other. Without the calcium lactate the sodium alginate only wants to bond with a single other sodium alginate, with the calcium lactate instead of bonding end over end and creating long-chains only, the sodium alginate also sticks to each other “sideways” so to speak and forms a 3D matrix. This is a very simplified way of describing the chemical reaction that happens. Before any reaction can happen the sodium alginate needs to be dissolved completely into liquid with zero lumps and hydrated in that liquid. This sounds simple but there are a few pick falls that can happen. If the liquid is too warm when the sodium alginate is added to it it’s natural thicken properties will be activated and it won’t disperse properly. Therefore, it is always recommended to use cold liquids when dissolving the sodium alginate. You also want to leave the solution to sit for a few minutes to allow all the molecules to become fully hydrated. In addition to being cold, you also want to make sure the liquid you are trying to spherify is above a pH of 3.6. You can check the pH by using cheap litmus paper if you think there might be a problem. If needed to can raise the pH by adding an alkaline ingredient, just remember to pick one that doesn’t change the overall flavor of the liquid. You also want to be careful about having too much calcium in either the liquid you are spherifying or in the water bath. Too much calcium will cause the sodium alginate to gel prematurely. However, in today’s experiment we will be creating edible water bottles so neither of these t...
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