Today I had time to experiment “compression” with my vacuum chamber sealer. To put a juicy fruit under vacuum is an issue with clamp vacuum machines as liquids can get inside the machine and break it. Vacuum chamber sealer machines are designed in a way that liquids can be put under vacuum. The vacuum is also much stronger with a vacuum chamber sealer compared to a clamp machine.
Compressing fruits such as watermelon is often described on cooking books or on some blogs. I was very curious to see the result on the texture of the fruit and also on the flavor.
Fo my first try I took a green apple I have cut in thin slices. I added a bit of gin inside the pouch, set the vacuum chamber machine at the maximum and here is the result. A fantastics translucent apple slice. I have also particularly appreciated the combination apple/gin.
On these picture you will realize how different is the color of compressed melon and watermelon compared to uncompressed ones. The texture is also very different, especially for the melon.
Then, what about the flavor? In my opinion watermelon compression doesn’t improve the flavor. I have added in the pouch some watermelon juice as I though this would raise the flavor…but it didn’t work.
Melon was in my opinion more interesting. The texture was getting more compact than with watermelon and the color became incredibly orange. In the mouth the compressed melon was unfamiliar. I can’t say it was better than the uncompressed one but this was an interesting feeling.
Everybody is mentioning Thomas Keller watermelon compression technique. I didn’t have any watermelon in my fridge but I had a great melon waiting for being eaten. My vacuum machine is definitely not as powerful as a pro machine. Therefore my issue was to determine if my Lava 100 (max. vacuum is 0.8 bar) would make enough compression to change the texture of the melon.
I had some difficulties to vacuum the melon as juice was coming out of the pouch. I made several tries and finally decided to freeze (not completely) my melon before vacuuming it. This way no melon juice got into my vacuum appliance.
I let the vacuumed melon 24 hours in the fridge.
I can’t say this try was a success. The flavour is similar to the one that was not vacuumed. The compression worked quite well and the melon was definitely more compact. The texture in mouth was interesting. I can imagine that with more vacuum the texture would have been more interesting.
Next time I’ll try with a watermelon!