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Marc Álvarez: How to prepare fruit chips

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Marc Alvarez heads bars of the gastronomic elBarri Group, which owns bars and restaurants in Barcelona and Ibiza.


What fruits are suitable for making chips?

I recommend fruits with a lot of flesh and cellulose. These are easier to slice and they keep their structure better during the drying process. In addition, they are stronger and more convenient to slice. For slicing, select fruit which is not too ripe - the structure and consistency of the chips will be better and, again, easier to slice.

By the way, you can freeze fruit and then cut it to get thin slices.


What equipment do you need to dry fruit?

The simplest way of making chips is to use a dehydrator. Ovens are more expensive and it is difficult to find the space for them in bars. Dehydrators can be stored away when not being used.

If your drier is light-duty it will be difficult to get a good final product. It is best to make an investment at the beginning to ensure the best results. Don't buy a cheap machine, as in the long run you will nevertheless have to buy an expensive one.  


Can you make chips out of berries?

Of course! After drying you can fill them with agave nectar gel to get a new interesting taste.


What secrets are there with respect to the drying process?

The time needed depends on the fruit, the thickness of the slice and the dehydrator's power. The best way to find the right consistency when making chips from a new type of fruit is to try them every four hours.

If you want to get a new taste, before drying you can cover the chips with syrup or your favourite liqueur using a paint brush or a spray-bottle.

You can also sprinkle on some spices, for instance hibiscus or curry powder or any form of sugar: granulated, icing sugar or flavoured sugar. Have a play with the options to find the magical combination.


How should you store fruit chips?

The sure-fire way is in a hermetically sealed container with silica gel. And don't open it too often so humidity can't get in. It sounds simple of course, but in some countries with changeable weather this can become a real nightmare!

Even if the storage conditions are good, I recommend keeping fruit chips for no more than a week. It is best to make them in small batches and increase the turnover, rather than keep them in a jar for a month.


Which cocktails are worth garnishing with fruit chips and which are not?

It is not recommended to put them in fizzy drinks such as Gin&Tonic and the like. When the cocktail has been drunk and it's time to eat the chips, they will be too soggy.

The right choice would be sour cocktails with egg white, which helps to keep the chips floating at the top.


Expert: Marc Álvarez 
Journalist: Lia Notomb


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