Popping and sucking a candy balloon is probably a sight you’d expect to see at a kid’s party, but it’s what all the adults are doing at this Michelin three-star restaurant in Chicago. They come dressed in their finest for an evening of elegant dining, but once they arrive at ‘Alinea’, patrons are encouraged to embrace their inner child with their latest dessert offering – the Edible Helium Balloon.
The dish, created by head chef and Aliena co-owner Grant Achatz, is now being touted as one of the coolest desserts ever produced in the US. Achatz recently released a video on how the balloon is made – the process starts off with making a green apple taffy base, which is then blown up using a tube connected to a helium tank. The result is a transparent balloon that is tied with a ‘string’ made of dehydrated granny smith apple. The entire confection is then sprinkled with a dusting of green sugar.
The completed edible balloon is carefully carried out to the diners, who are given the option of either popping it with a pin, or sucking the helium out themselves. Needless to say, most people prefer the latter because of the fun they get to have with their distorted, squeaky helium voices. Of course, they’re discouraged from inhaling too much of the gas as it could cause a person to pass out.
Achatz is regarded as one of the most well-known chefs in the world, and his three-star restaurant is a must-visit place in Chicago. It is also one of only 12 three-star restaurants in the US. Interestingly, Achatz’s interest for cooking began during from his childhood experience of helping his parents out in the kitchen. His successful food career slowed down in 2007, when he was diagnosed with stage IV tongue cancer, but he beat the disease into remission in just five months. He soon got back to the kitchen at Alinea, and is now wowing the world with his extraordinary creations.