Yesterday, to make something edible you needed a cookbook, inspiration and good hands, but today this is definitely not enough. new food requires new technologies.
Portable sous vide
Actually, the sous vide technology cannot be called all that new. French chefs began cooking products in vacuum packets under water at low temperatures in the mid-1970s. But in the 2000s this technique became a mass product, because the equipment became cheaper and everyone went crazy about healthy food and natural taste. The main value of sous vide is that the product in the packet does not contact its environment directly, which means it does not lose moisture, taste and aroma, which inevitably happens even during the most delicate boiling, frying or baking. Recently, sous vides became quite accessible for the regular kitchen, no longer being restaurant-only devices. The last step was compact, smartphone-controlled tool. All you have to do is fill a pot with water, place there your product, tightly packed (you don’t even have to pack it in vacuum) and put there the sous vide that is switched on — for example, the laconic and stylish Joule device. The management is very detailed and intuitive. For example, when you place a piece of meat in the pot, you can measure its weight, thickness, the wanted time of cooking, and even choose the level of readiness and the colour, using photo graphs. There are similar settings for lots of other recipes.
The thought of a mechanism mixing your cocktail instead of a live person might seem sacrilegious to some people, but actually it is not very different from a coffee machine making you coffee instead of a barista. Somabar is a device that’s just as large as a coffee machine. In the centre is a part with a tap and a glass; it is carefully washed after every serving. On the sides are six flasks for liquids; a smartphone application can be edited freely, which makes it possible not only to choose out of three hundred recipes, but also load your own ideas into the system. Somabar uses robotized versions of classical bar techniques like “shake, not stir” and prepares cocktails according to your wishes. Unfortunately, you still have to put ice, lemon, cherries, umbrellas and tubes into your drink by yourself.
The idea is actually obvious, so it is strange that no one thought of it faster than the smart ones at Magimix. The walls of the toaster are transparent, which means that you can watch your toast cover in blush in real time. This construction is also very comfortable and beautiful.
Coffee foam printer
Now for a rather useless but very interesting device called RippleMaker. Its only assignment is to transfer pictures loaded into it into the cappuccino foam. It cannot make coffee, fluff milk, pour it into a cap, and its size is twice as large as that of a medium coffee machine. On the other hand, the drawings it makes are crispy and it only takes seconds to produce them, so why not?
WiFi cooking pan
Some meticulous chefs recommend to heat and cool a cooking pan at least three times, because only by the fourth time the warmth will be uniformly distributed across the bottom. We do not know whether it is true, but with a WiFi cooking pan the necessity to go for such complex things is no longer there. The bottom of the cooking pan has temperature sensors, the handle has a Bluetooth transmitter which is joined to your telephone and tells the software whether the pan and the piece of meat on it are hot enough, and the programme, it its turn, says whether it should be overturned or whether heat should be increased instead.
Actually, the name of the device says it more correctly: it is called FoodSniffer. The creators claim that it is a highly sophisticated digital “nose”, which can smell out the agents of food poisoning in beef, pork, poultry and fish. All you need is bring the FoodSniffer close to the piece of meat after selecting on your smartphone which type of product your gadget is sniffing. A second later, one of the three lamps goes up on the screen: green if the product is fresh, yellow if it is stale but still edible after heat treatment, and red if the food should not be eaten under any circumstances.
This is one of the fruit of the recent rage for retro cooking: you should only eat local things prepared by ancient methods like stove or grill. The essence of the slow cooker is in its very name: the aggregate spends hours (or, sometimes, days) cooking its contents in low heat. Naturally, you do not have to stand with your ladle by the pot — temperature, time and other parameters are set beforehand or even remotely, from the smartphone. The best slow cookers, like the ones produced by VitaClay, use the oldfashioned clay pot as the container for the food. That makes the imitation of stove-cooking your meal even more authentic.
The usual cooking printers that use edible ink to make a congratulatory inscription on a jelly surface are a thing of yesterday. The ChefJet printers work according to exactly the same principles as the regular 3D printers, only they use powdered sugar as their material. ChefJet puts granulated sugar, layer by layer, and then sticks together the powder in certain places, creating solid structures. An improved ChefJetPro model can use caramel or chocolate powder apart from sugar; it also has a section for colorants which it can add to the materials according to your wishes. We must say that the constructions created by the printer are much, much better than the traditional roses and chocolate figurines
Portable coffee machine
The travellers who also love coffee usually do the following: they put ten portions of espresso through their coffee machine, put it in a thermos and, when they reach the forest, lake or mountain, pour themselves a cup and wonder how fast coffee can turn into junk. Unfortunately, any food or drink are only good when they are freshly made. This simple truth was kept in mind by the developers at Wacaco when they were making the road coffee machine called Minipresso. Basically, this is the thermos, and you have to fill it with hot (very hot) water before you travel — but there are some improvements. First, Minipresso has a coffee container, and you can load it with freshly ground beans or with capsules of the widespread models. Second, Minipresso is equipped with a hand pump; by pressing its button, you create pressure which sends the water to the ground coffee, resulting in flavourful taste, aroma and a creamy cup of foam.
There are very few people who do not have in their fridge a dozen (or two dozens) of cups with jam, sauce or salted cucumbers opened God knows when. Everyone who is not meticulous can be helped by portative timers by DaysAgo. When you open your cup, tie to its lid a small plastic device that will begin to calculate hours and days. Now it will be much less likely that you will do as the hero of The Naked Gun movie, sniffing noodles from a Chinese joint that closed down two years ago.