The use of foam in cuisine has been used in many forms in the history of cooking. For example, whipped cream, meringue, and mousse are all foams. In these cases, the incorporation of air or another gas creates a lighter texture and/or different mouth feel. More recently, foams have become a part of molecular gastronomy technique.
In these cases, natural flavors (such as fruit juices, infusions of aromatic herbs, etc.) are mixed with a neutrally-flavored gelling or stabilizing agent such as agar or lecithin, and either whipped with a hand-held immersion blender or extruded through a whipped cream canister equipped with N2O cartridges. Such foams add flavor without significant substance, and thus allow cooks to integrate new flavors without changing the physical composition of a dish.
Some famous food-foams are foamed espresso, foamed mushroom
, foamed beet
and foamed coconut
. An espuma
or thermo whip is commonly used to make these foams through the making of a stock, creating a gel and extruding through the N2O canister.