Introduction: The Taste Test
Hello, my name is Oliver Simon and I have created a molecular gastronomy party game. I was inspired to make this instructable because there are not a lot of mainstream games that integrate food with fun, and since I usually have a snack or a beverage while I play pretty much any game, I thought why not combine them in a creative way! This Instructable's main focus, however, will not be on how to make the molecular spheres which are used in the game, but rather the game itself. I figured that if you can already do it from a kit, it's not the most innovative idea in the world. So, along with my original food + fun premise, I also started thinking about the different ways you could make molecular gastronomy a more inclusive cuisine. My game, The Taste Test, is what I came up with...
Safety: As there are a variety of different ingredients that could be used in the spheres (which we will be preparing later), it is always important to check whether your guests have any food related allergies before proceeding. It would be a party pooper if someone were to die.
- Business Card Template
OR simply just a pen and paper
- Access to food and Water
- Molecule-R Starter Kit
This kit, I must confess, does not get the job done as I would have hoped. I purchased it because I thought it was the easiest, most straightforward way to make any molecular gastronomy concoction. Unfortunately, the chemicals it came with simply do not work despite how many times you try, and there are no specific instructions to correct their own mistake. My suggestion is to purchase the correct chemicals yourself and follow the numerous youtube videos instructions. OR, you may simply use the alternative method to playing this game (further details found on step 4). I am disappointed that this product let the more effortless creative portion of the game down, but I hope you can see past this faulty product and enjoy the game regardless!
Step 1: The Fundamentals
Before we proceed, here are some fundamental aspects of the game you might want to learn.
Object of the game: To guess the most ingredients in the sphere.
Number of Players: 4-8.
The Pantry: slots to keep your acquired cards in.
The Deck: cards with all the available ingredients (most of which are not used in the sphere).
NOTE: This game relies upon you, the host of the party. The host prepares and determines the content of the spheres, explains the ground rules of the game, and deals the all-important cards. If you are looking for a do-it-yourself game that does not require much effort, this may not be the instructable for you. However, if you are up for the hosting challenge, and love a good bit of fast-moving fun, stay tuned in for how to prepare and play The Taste Test.
Step 2: The Ingredients
Before you start to make the spheres, you must determine a set list of ingredients which will ultimately become your playing cards. Conveniently, I have created one of my own during the design process of my game; you may copy it or use it as inspiration for your own unique ingredients list.
Herbs / Spices
Alcohol / Mixing Beverages
Step 3: The Cards
The cards ARE the key to The Taste Test. Without them, there is no excitement or real pull; you'd simply be guessing the ingredients without any competition.
To make the ingredient cards, it could be as simple as writing the names of ingredients on a piece of paper. But, to give the game a more professional appearance, I used a basic business card template to manufacture my cards. In no time, I had a full set (including duplicates) to be used for the game.
Food Categories: 4 (see ingredients list)
Duplicate cards per-ingredient: 3
Card Total: 99
Step 4: The Spheres / the Smoothies
It's time to make a beautiful blend of your 5 chosen ingredients!
I recommend using reverse spherification because you are able to incorporate more ingredients easier than the basic method, which can realistically only handle two to three basic ingredients.
NOTE: This kit, as I discovered, does not work. As explained in the intro, you can do your best to compensate, or use the alternative explained below!
Alternative: while this game was founded on the creative cuisine, it functions just the same without the fancy end product gastronomy can offer. With the same ingredients and a blender, make ingredient smoothies for your guests! This is a great alternative for those whose party budget has been spent elsewhere. Enjoy!
1 batch of spheres / smoothies = 1 round of play. A new batch with different ingredients must be made for each new round, otherwise you'd be guessing the same ingredients over again! You are the host, you decide how many rounds you play!
Step 5: The Game
- Players start by taking a bite of the prepared spheres and note on their pad what they think is in it.
NOTE: Spheres always have 5 ingredients.
- Each player assigns him or herself a buzzer noise.
NOTE: A key chart with categorized ingredients are available at all times. The game can be made more challenging by removing this list after initial tasting.
- 1 by 1, the host places all of the cards onto the table. After a card has been played, any player may use their noise to keep that card in their “pantry.” If a card is competed for, it goes to the first person to use their buzzer sound. This continues until all cards from the deck have been played. There are no re-runs. Once a card has passed, players may not have access to it again.
REMEMBER: The object of the game is to acquire cards that are in the spheres.
ROOM FOR ERROR: There are 2 EXTRA CARD SLOTS in each player’s pantry. Their use is determined by the individual's own strategy.
- Once all cards from the deck have been played, it is time for each player to work with what they have got. Players decide which 5 of their cards they think are in the spheres. Once all players have made a decision on their final pantry line-ups, the real ingredients are revealed by you, the host.
Step 6: Points System
Based on how many ingredients a player gets right, here is the basic point system to score a round. The winner is the player with the most points.
5/5 = 100 pts.
4/5 = 70 pts.
3/5 = 50 pts.
2/5 = 30 pts.
1/5 = 10 pts.
0/5 = 0 pts.
NOTE: The game allows the host to determine how many rounds are played. Enjoy!