I got some sodium alginate and calcium chloride at lepicerie.com and was very happy with the results of my first experiments in molecular gastronomy. As a hypochondriac, I was really worried about opening the calcium chloride. There was a huge label on the package that warned about burns from hydrolysis and serum acidosis. Then I watched some YouTube videos of people splashing around in calcium chloride baths and got over my fear.
I bought a special container to store the calcium chloride in because it is extremely hygroscopic, attracting water molecules from the surrounding environment. I scooped out a teaspoon of the CaCl2 and dissolved it in 32 oz. of water to prepare the small spherification bath. I sealed the rest back up very quickly.
I pulverized the cilantro with a mortar and pestle, adding water to help macerate the leaves and stems. Then I added about 6 oz. of water and strained it all into a separate bowl. 2 teaspoons of sodium alginate powder was blended into this green cilantro water.
The now semi-gelatinous cilantro goop was spooned into the CaCl2 bath, forming little balls. After about a minute I scooped the balls out and rinsed them in water. The cilantro flavor was very watered down and the sodium alginate imparted no discernable flavor. It was pretty boring, except for the texture. I made a second batch using veal baby food. This was so bland that I had to spruce it up with a little agave nectar and some sea salt. The resulting balls were nauseating — a complete catastrophe. I moved on to some Hediard rose petal jelly. I blended 2 tbsp. rose jelly, 6 oz. warm water, and 2 teaspoons of sodium alginate. Then I dropped this gel in the CaCl2 bath with a baby nasal aspirator (never before used). These pearls were really beautiful and were much more delicious than the first two flavors. I made four rose ravioli, seen below.
PS: I was recently shocked to find this Facebook group for people who hate cilantro!