Food and drink are some of the most essential parts of life—we could not live without the sustenance they provide. Although there are some people in the world who are truly starving and would eat anything, modern man in most industrialized civilizations has made something of a hobby out of eating.
We spend millions on new designs and innovations to create foods and new cooking techniques that the world has never seen before. Here are 10 that will make your mouth water.
For the longest time, we have been stuck with nearly the same varieties of chocolate, although you won’t hear most people complaining about that. Of course, there is the delicious white chocolate. Most varieties of milk or dark chocolate are fairly similar—they just have more actual cocoa in them.
Then came a Swiss chocolatier named Barry Callebaut. He has come up with a formula for an entirely new treat called “ruby chocolate.” The chocolate variety has a pinkish red hue. Although it does have some sweetness, it also has a bit of a sourness that you don’t usually expect from chocolate. It has already seen widespread testing in Japan and South Korea and will be hitting shelves in the UK in the form of a special KitKat on April 16, 2018.
This uncommon treat is supposed to have less of the usual cocoa taste without any crazy genetic modification. It’s created with an existing type of cocoa bean that is processed before fermentation. This is a patented trade secret at this point. Perhaps if it catches on, Callebaut will start licensing his secret to the big-name players.
After adopting their new eating habits, many vegans miss the taste of many foods they were once used to—American comfort foods that most of us could not imagine doing without. Vegans try to fill this void with substitutions made from plants, but most agree that a veggie burger really does not mimic the experience of a proper burger with a real meat patty.
Enter a small group of vegan scientists who want that experience and hope to convert meat eaters to vegans by giving them a proper substitute. Several years ago, these scientists started Impossible Foods, a company in Silicon Valley, to make that perfect fake burger.
The company has been using complicated food science to mimic the taste, texture, and entire experience of eating a burger with a real meat patty. Multiple plant products go into their formula, but beet juice is the key to making it seem like the burger actually bleeds.
They say that the key to their success was something called heme, a building block of life that is found in both meat and plants and helped them imitate the taste and texture appropriately. There is already limited testing of the Impossible Burger in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. You may also get lucky and find it locally because Impossible Burger is trying to get as many restaurants as possible to try out their product.
Due to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we now have hybrid fruits and vegetables with special flavors that you would never imagine finding in nature. Some people decry these foods because they are worried about GMOs even though scientists say they are not dangerous. However, for those who are worried about GMOs, they can breathe easy when it comes to this amazing, tasty treat.
According to the farmer who invented them, cotton candy grapes were carefully designed by crossbreeding various species of wild grapes until the desired flavor was achieved. No genetic engineering or laboratory trickery was involved.
Cotton candy grapes were conceived, cultivated, and ultimately invented by a lone farmer who had a really good idea and started working slowly but surely on his new creation. They can be found at most grocery stores today and, due to their novelty, tend to cost a little bit more than traditional grapes.
However, most people who have tried them feel that the taste is well worth the price. In blind taste tests, most people have no expectations beforehand yet identify these grapes as tasting like cotton candy.
A few years ago, a husband-and-wife team of engineers wowed the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank when they used liquid nitrogen to make delicious ice cream right in front of everyone. All but one of the sharks enjoyed the delicious treats and were impressed by both the wow factor and the safety of the process.
However, the sharks were not impressed enough to offer the inventors a deal. Although they liked the idea, they felt the business wasn’t where it needed to be. The company wanted to pursue franchising, and the sharks did not agree with that business plan.
Although the sharks didn’t invest, the company founders have continued on their journey. Sub Zero Ice Cream has slowly started franchising throughout the country and wants to make this exciting new experience a global brand.
The new method wows children and adults alike. It also removes the need for a freezer, which means less of a carbon footprint and lower energy costs for the franchisee. The process involves using liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze whatever flavor ingredients you want. Then you just stir it properly as it freezes to get that desired creamy consistency.
Not that long ago in relative terms, bottled water was a rare commodity that was only used by people in rural or other areas without proper access to potable water. Then, during the 1990s, bottled water started to become a huge trend. Now landfills all over the world are overflowing with plastic bottles.
Plastic takes a long time to break down. The amount of trash created from these containers is practically apocalyptic, even though many advocates have pushed for people to buy reusable water bottles.
A company called Skipping Rocks Lab has come up with a product called Ooho, which they believe can revolutionize how we drink water on the go. To reduce the amount of waste around the world, they created a stable, flavorless orb from which you can drink water. Then you can eat the orb afterward.
Made of algae, it is biodegradable if you decide to throw it away instead of eating it. The creators believe that these orbs could replace plastic water bottles entirely with the right distribution. They would also greatly decrease the garbage problem from our massive plastic consumption.
One of the more fascinating new pieces of culinary equipment is the anti-griddle. It was originally dreamed up by Grant Achatz, a guest judge on Top Chef, who used it in his Chicago restaurant. After people started to notice his invention, he worked with Philip Preston, an expert on new culinary devices, to make the anti-griddle available for the global mass market.
This device allows you to flash-freeze or semi-freeze foods almost instantly. Unfortunately, most individuals cannot afford to buy the anti-griddle. Mainly restaurants with higher budgets can afford them. With the basic models clocking in at around $1,500 each, most people cooking at home will consider them as an overly expensive luxury.
However, for those who do want to try them out, the folks at Instructables have your back. They provide a step-by-step blueprint with pictures to build a functioning DIY version of the anti-griddle for about $15. If you are handy with tools and enjoy making things, you could be like the crazy chefs on TV for less than 20 bucks.
As food sources become scarcer around the world, people are becoming increasingly worried about how we are going to feed everyone. The world already struggles with hunger in many regions around the globe, and some think that climate change will make things noticeably worse within the next few decades.
There is also concern that the beef industry has a gigantic carbon footprint and may not be entirely sustainable in the future. To combat these worries, some scientists have gone to disgusting lengths. They are trying to get us to eat bugs.
Once you get past the ick factor, eating bugs is not a bad idea. They are high in protein, and there are tons of them around. They are also relatively easy to breed. Most people are grossed out by the idea, but entrepreneurs have found a way to get people started.
They have created a flour from crickets, which helps remove the disgust factor. This flour has been used in many successful products—from chips to protein bars. No one knows if it will catch on in a major way in the Western world, but it would be a great food source. As flour used for baking, it may help people to get past their initial reservations about eating bugs.
In the last several years, one of the most talked-about innovations in food is the new sous vide cooking trend. This involves putting food inside plastic bags and then submerging the bags in water to slowly and consistently cook with little babysitting or work needed in between.
Many chefs and restaurants have started using the method because it allows them to do a lot of things at once without paying much attention. Sous vide also results in nearly perfect cooking every time.
Quite a few people consider this method of cooking incredibly pretentious. In fact, most home cooks are convinced that they can’t do this without a huge investment. Immersion circulators and special thermometers for the process can set you back thousands once you have a full set, but Martha Stewart has your back.
She explains how to sous vide at home on the cheap. You just need basic cooking thermometers, plastic Ziploc bags, and the proper knowledge. It may be easier and neater to use fancy equipment, but you can do the process just fine at home without it.
Recently on social media, black ice cream has become a big trend. It started as a backlash to the recent unicorn trend, especially after the debacle in which Starbucks gave several of their baristas nervous breakdowns.
The first shop to sell this creation was the Little Damage ice cream shop in Los Angeles, California. But the idea soon took off. You cannot copyright a recipe, and before long, people discovered that the ice cream was made using activated charcoal. Specialty shops everywhere started doing it.
Although it is a delicious and harmless trend for most people, some individuals should be quite cautious before they enjoy this new treat. You may have heard that grapefruit can have bad interactions with certain medicines. Well, ice cream made with activated charcoal can cause similar problems.
The reason is that activated charcoal can be a potent detoxifier. This can draw the medications out of your body, thus causing them to become ineffective. It’s not just a problem for people who are ill. The activated charcoal in black ice cream can also affect people who take vitamins or birth control pills.
Al “Bubba” Baker was a former NFL player who spent 13 seasons as a defensive lineman for several teams. He ended his respectable career with the Cleveland Browns in 1990. However, like many former NFL players, he got out of sports and found himself bored and wondering what to do for a new career.
Well, Bubba really liked ribs, but his wife didn’t. They were too messy. He wanted her to be able to enjoy ribs like he did, but he didn’t want her to have to accept a Frankenstein “rib” creation like the stuff you get from McDonald’s for a limited time. So, he started working on a process—which he patented—to take the bones out of a whole rib and keep the meat intact.
He had only $154,000 in total sales when he went on Shark Tank, but the sharks were incredibly impressed by him, his product, and his patent on a food process. Ultimately, he made a deal with Daymond John, who helped him meet some important executives at the parent companies of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
They made a multimillion-dollar deal to buy his boneless ribs to sell at their fast-food restaurants around the country, and his sales leaped to $16 million in three years. Baker’s simple dream to help his wife enjoy one of his favorite foods has made him a multimillionaire whose family is now set for life.
And, if the idea of a rib sandwich with a whole, authentic boneless rib sounds mouthwatering to you, just make your way over to a Carl’s Jr. or a Hardee’s restaurant, where they still feature sandwiches with the new boneless ribs on their menus.