Blair Waldorf once said, “Once men have tasted caviar, if baffles me how they settle for catfish.” Well, similar to my favorite fictional Upper East Sider, Naor Cohen has tasted the finest caviar and is definitely not settling for anything less. In fact, Naor, the CEO of Imperial Caviar & Seafood in Montreal, is so passionate about the luxurious delicacy that he invented a machine to expand his market from commercial restaurants to cooking amateurs. Soon, we’ll all have access to the worlds first Caviar and Pearl maker, the Spherificator, getting a chance to be molecular gastronomists in our own kitchens.

Spherificator Makes Pearls

I’ve mentioned in previous articles my slightly debilitating picky eating habits, so it’s no surprise that I’m not the biggest fan of fish roe. The Spherificator produces caviar substitutes, so basically it’s meant to convert a variety of foods into small pearls. I know it sounds strange, but they’re actually pretty cool in drinks, appetizers, and desserts. The pearling possibilities are endless: appetizers like saffron pearls on top of smoked salmon, onion and red wine pearls to go with oysters, and tomato pearls to accompany fresh mozzarella. Imagine a cheesecake garnished with cherry pearls, strawberry pearls over pancakes, a rum cocktail with coke pearls, or even mint pearls floating inside a mojito.  Naor tells me he’s even spherificated bacon before!


When I asked Naor what exactly a pearl tastes like, he clarified that it varies depending on the ingredients you use. Apparently, the pearl can have a soft shell with a liquid center or it can be completely jellified. In either case, he assures they won’t melt in any kind of dish.

How does the Spherificator Work?

The factory-grade machine is small and light—a little smaller than a wine bottle— but requires some beforehand preparations. First, ingredients must be blended to a liquid consistency and set aside for about two hours. Choose between three nozzles for various pearl sizes and pour the blended mixture into the Spherificator. After it’s turned on, pearls are shot out over a bowl of calcium chloride, which is a powder included with the machine. Lastly, the pearls are strained and rinsed with water. It sounds pretty easy to use but I think watching the YouTube tutorial and conducting a trial run is probably necessary.


According to the inventor, the best pearls are made with primary ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, or infusions like teas, coffees, and broths. But of course he says, your imagination is the limit. The only thing that can’t be used in the machine is any type of oil.

Naor was inspired to create the Spherificator because for years, chefs, caterers, and foodies were begging him to make his technology available to them. He explained to me that the most difficult part of the invention process was downsizing the equipment they were already using and custom building miniature pumps and motors.  They had to make something big enough to hold the reservoir for the liquids and small enough to be easy to hold. The vision is for the Spherificator to be a household item used by everyone from a Michelin Star chef to bartenders, caterers, and home cooks.

Naor is coming to visit us in the Eat Up New York office next week to demonstrate the Spherificator for us. Stay tuned to get a first look of the machine in action! In the mean time, be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign here:

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About The Author

Texas native, NYU grad, and lover of sprinkles. Trying to expand my palette to be more than bagels and desserts.