Eat Up or Pay Up – German Restaurants Charge Patrons Extra for Not Finishing Their Meals

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A number of restaurants in Germany have come up with a somewhat controversial way of fighting food waste – charging patrons a small fee if they cannot finish all the food on their plates.

Yuoki, a sushi restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany, is not your everyday all-you-can-eat buffet. For starters, there isn’t an actual buffet to fill your plate at. Instead, patrons are seated at a table and provided with iPads which they can use to order up to five small dishes every ten minutes. They can eat as much as they want for 120 minutes, but having the food delivered at short intervals allows diners to constantly assess how hungry they are and order accordingly, preventing food waste. Also, owner Luan Guoyu believes our “eyes are bigger than our stomachs”, so not being able to see the cooked food at the buffet prevents people from ordering more food that they can actually eat just because they like the way it looks.

But Luan Guoyu’s most effective way of fighting food waste, and the one that has attracted media attention, is his €1 ($1.15) fine for food still left on the plate. “It’s called ‘all-you-can-eat,’ not ‘all-you-can-chuck-away,’ he says, adding that the extra charge is not meant to increase his profits, but to act as a reminder not to waste food. In the two years since Yuoki implemented this “eat up or pay up” policy, Guoyu claims he has collected €900 ($1,020) to €1,000 ($1,133) in food waste fees, which he plans to donate to charity.

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This Designer Coffee Water Is Formulated Specifically for Your Morning Brew

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There’s no denying that water plays a huge part in the overall quality of coffee, which is why most respectable coffee shops use filters to get rid of excess minerals or chemicals that might negatively impact the taste of their brews. But now there’s an even better way to ensure that your morning cup of coffee tastes just right – introducing Aquiem designer coffee water.

The brainchild of a group of entrepreneurs in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aquiem is “enhanced water” that has first been purified to zero mineral content and then enhanced with all-natural essential minerals to enrich the flavor, consistency and even the aroma of coffee. “What you definitely do not want is to have things like zinc and lead, fluoride, chlorine and large amounts of calcium in the water. All of that effects the taste of the coffee,” Aquiem co-founder Rob Vidacovich told Daily Coffee News. “What does have a favorable effect on coffee are things like magnesium, potassium, and a certain right blend of calcium.”

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Food Expert Creates Unmeltable Premium Freeze-Dried Ice Cream for the Masses

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enjoy a nice refreshing ice-cream on a hot summer day without having to constantly lick at it to keep it from dripping all over your hands? Well, thanks to Gastronaut ice Cream, now you can!

34-year-old Rob Collington, founder of Gastronaut Ice Cream, had always been a big fan of Astronaut Ice Cream, a freeze-dried ice cream sold at space museums and camping stores across the US. He has enjoyed eating it since he was a little boy, even though he admits it doesn’t very good, because it’s made with the cheapest ice-cream available and contains artificial ingredients. But it does have a big advantage over even the most delicious traditional ice cream – it doesn’t melt, no matter how hot the sun burns.

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This Turkish Pudding Proves Chicken Makes a Great Dessert

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Meat doesn’t sound like a great ingredient for desserts, but that’s probably because you’ve never tried ‘tavuk göğsü’, a creamy, sweet pudding with chicken breast as its main ingredient.

Legend has it that tavuk göğsü was invented centuries ago, when one of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire got a craving for something sweet in the middle of the night and cooks at the Palace of Topkapı had to work with the only ingredient left in their kitchen – chicken. That’s just a legend though, and even in Turkey, a country so proud of its rich culture, there are those who claim there isn’t any chicken at all in tavuk göğsü. It certainly doesn’t taste anything like chicken, but Turkish cooks specializing in this unique dessert say it’s because the meat is pounded into small bits and boiled until it dissolves in the pudding. Its main purpose is to give tavuk göğsü a different texture than regular puddings.

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This “Impossible Burger” Is Made of Plants, Tastes Just Like Real Meat

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San Francisco-based startup Impossible Foods might have just achieved the impossible – making plants tastes like meat. Their Impossible Burger is made entirely of plants, but sizzles on the grill, oozes fat and reportedly tastes like a delicious cooked beef patty.

Red meat consumption around the world is at an all time high, but producing high quantities of meat to satisfy demand is not sustainable and it’s already taking a heavy toll on the environment. In recent years, experts have been busy coming up with alternatives to animal meat, like switching to a protein-rich insect-based diet, growing meat in the lab and even artificial meat made from sewage mud. But one San-Francisco company may have discovered a much more viable solution – a mashup of plant-based ingredients that tastes just like real meat. Impossible Foods has been working on an alternative to meat for the last five years, and its soon-to-be-launched Impossible Burger is already receiving high praise for its likeness to beef patties in taste, texture and appearance.

When former Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown founded Impossible Foods, he set his goal on creating a product that would change the world, and the Impossible Burger might do just that. He and his research team have spent years analyzing meat molecules to find out what makes a burger taste, smell and cook the way it does, in the belief that everything animal can be replicated using plant-based compounds. And judging by the testimonies of the few people who have actually sampled this revolutionary burger, Brown was right.

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World’s Oldest Twinkie Turns 40, Still Refuses to Decompose

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In 1976, Roger Bennatti, a chemistry teacher at George Stevens Academy, in Maine, unwrapped a fresh Twinkie and placed it atop a classroom chalkboard so he and his students could see how long it took for it to decompose. 40 years later, that question remains unanswered, because mould simply refuses to grow on the world’s oldest Twinkie.

The official shelf-life of a Twinkie – as stated by the company making them nowadays – is only 25 days, but as the famous Twinkie of George Stevens Academy clearly shows, it’s really a lot longer than that. It has been sitting in a glass case for four decades now, and even though it might not be safe to eat, it is looking fantastic for its age. Its shape hasn’t change a bit, and if mould hasn’t grown on it so far, chances are it never will.

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This Meat Lover’s Chocolate Is 50 Percent Beef

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Red meat hardly seems like the perfect ingredient for delicious chocolate, but a New Zealand-based food scientist is willing to bet that his high-protein, 50% beef chocolate recipe is going to be a hit.

Mustafa Farouk, Senior Food Technologist at Ag Research has partnered with Auckland boutique chocolate maker Devonport Chocolates to bring meat chocolate to the masses. The quirky idea of combining the two very different ingredients came to Dr. Farouk one day, while looking at ways of adding value to beef and pondering ways the staple food might be consumed in the future. Mixing beef and chocolate seemed like the perfect way for people to get proteins and other nutrients in meat, because chocolate is such a popular dessert.

So Farouk took a very lean cut from the hind quarter of a Waikato-raised bovine, turned into what he calls “chocolate butter”, which I assume is a sort of fine paste, and handed it over to Devonport Chocolates to use in their confectionery. The resulting combination reportedly has a consistency similar to a Turkish delight, and while the food scientist admits you can tell that it’s not regular chocolate, the taste of meat is almost impossible to pick up. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Farouk described the taste of beef chocolate as “wonderful”, adding that although people are initially put off by the unique dessert when they here it is 50% beef, once they bite into it and taste the rich chocolate flavor, most agree that it is excellent.

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Winecream Makes It Possible to Get Drunk by Eating Ice-Cream

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If you’re all alone on your couch watching TV and can’t decide between drinking a glass of wine or stuffing yourself with ice-cream, you’ll be happy to know you can now have both, thanks to Winecream, an ingenious dessert that combines wine and gourmet ice-cream.

Created by Crossroads Company, a family-owned business in Baltimore, Winecream is a mashup of craft-made fruit wines and super-premium, gourmet ice-cream. Customers get to choose a wine from various house-made options including pineapple, mixed berry, peach, or strawberry, which is then mixed in to a cream and sugar base and flash frozen using liquid nitrogen, a food-safe cryogenic liquid that’s nearly -320 degrees Fahrenheit. First announced back in 2014, Winecream has so far only been available at wine festivals and private events, but Crossroads Company has recently made the adult dessert available for online orders and plans to launch it in liquor stores in Baltimore and Washington D.C. later this summer.

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Just Add Water – Machine Makes Instant Beer from Concentrate

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have an espresso machine for beer and bypass the whole fermentation process? It sounds like simple wishful thinking, but it turns out such a thing actually exists, and has for some time now.

SodaStream has been selling home carbonation machines that let you turn tap water into soda for over two and a half decades, and now it looks all set to enter the beer market, as well. The company has apparently come up with an instant beer concentrate that works with their soda machines, allowing anyone to turn water into beer at the press of a button.

The new Beer Bar kit turns SodaStream machines into microbreweries, enabling you to create crafted beer in seconds by simply adding a unique “Blondie” concentrate. The resulting brew has 4.5% alcohol content and allegedly has a “smooth authentic taste and a hop-filled aroma.” According to a company statement, one liter of Blondie yields three liters of cold brewski.

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Popular New Jet-Black Ice-Cream Is Made with Coconut Ash

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You couldn’t really tell by just looking at it, but this pitch black ice-cream doing the rounds on photo-sharing sites like Instagram is actually coconut flavored. It’s made with coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flakes, and, for that unique confusing color, coconut ash.

The Coconut Ash Ice-cream recently made its debut at Morgenstern’s Finest Ice-Cream parlor, in downtown Manhattan, New York. Owner Nick Morgenstern said he had been “monkeying around with coconut ash for a while”, and then had a fancy chocolate bar which also used the ash as an ingredient. So when he finally decided to include coconut as a flavor in his new ice-cream menu, it all came together. “I just had to use it,” he says. As bizarre a color as jet-black may seem for an ice-cream that’s not chocolate or coffee flavored, it proved a big hit with customers, who instantly started flooding Instagram with snaps of the unusual treat.

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Winery Claims to Turn water into Wine in 15 Minutes, without Using Grapes

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A couple of wine experts from San Francisco are apparently able to perform a miracle otherwise credited to Jesus Christ himself – they claim they can turn water into wine in a mere 15 minutes! The synthetic wine, made without the use of grapes, is produced by combining water and ethanol with flavor-compounds that can mimic the taste of real wine.

Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee, founders of the start-up Ava Winery, said they were inspired to create the grape-free artificial wine after spotting a bottle of award-winning Chardonnay at a winery in California’s Napa Valley last year. They couldn’t afford the bottle of Chateau Montelena, but they got to thinking of ways to make wine that anyone can buy. “I was transfixed by this bottle displayed on the wall,” Chua said. “I could never afford a bottle like this, I could never enjoy it. That got me thinking.”

So they skipped the expensive step of growing and fermenting grapes, and instead started off with ethanol, the major component in most alcoholic beverages. Then they added compounds like ethyl hexanoate for that fruity flavor. Their initial attempts were disastrous, but they kept trying and eventually achieved some decent results, including a very close replica of the sparkling Italian white wine Moscato d’Asti.

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This Helium Filled Edible Balloon Is a Dessert at a 3-Michelin Star Restaurant in Chicago

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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.

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Introducing Anti-aGin – The World’s First Anti-Aging Gin

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Alcohol generally does nothing good for the skin, but the makers of this new brand of gin are claiming otherwise. Aptly named ‘Anti-aGin’, the 40 percent spirit supposedly contains several skin-boosting ingredients like collagen and other antioxidants, giving it anti-aging properties. So with Anti-aGin, you don’t need to worry about your drinking habit showing up on your skin.

Created by UK-based Warner Leisure Hotels, in collaboration with contemporary food design company Bompas & Parr, the age-defying gin has been distilled with pure collagen – the glue that holds our skin together. As we grow older the collagen level in our skin declines, leading to wrinkles and sagging, so the supplement present in the gin is meant to reverse that.

The beverage also contains antioxidant rich ‘skin-healing’ ingredients like green tea for detox, witch hazel oil to kill bacteria, gotu kola that helps reduce cellulite and sun damage, chamomile for healing and relaxation, and burdock to repair cracked skin. Other ingredients include angelica root, coriander, liquorice, and cardamom.

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This Rainbow Grilled Cheese Sandwich Is All the Rage in Hong Kong These Days

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This colorful grilled cheese looks like it belongs in a My Little Pony show, but it’s actually a real treat that’s all the rage in Hong Kong. It’s called the Rainbow Sandwich and consists of two slices of bread four different types of cheese, flavorings and, obviously, a lot of food dye.

The sandwich, a creation of Kala Toast, recently got its five minutes of fame after Instagram user @hkfoodiexblogger posted a photograph of the snack along with a brief review on his account. It got shared by his fans and eventually went viral after being picked up by major websites.

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This Detailed Wedding Dress Is Really a Very Elaborate Cake

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This intricate, lacy wedding dress would make any bride feel beautiful on her big day, but surprisingly, it isn’t meant to be worn. That’s because it’s really a masterfully executed cake, and all the pretty frills and ruffles are actually white icing. But it’s so convincing, you can barely tell that it’s not real, even in close-up photographs.

The remarkable dessert was created by award-winning cake sculptor Sylvia Elba, in collaboration with artist Ilinka Rnic, and Fun N Funky Cakes founder Yvette Marner. It took the talented trio over 300 hours to complete, but in the end, they all agreed that the 70-kg heavy, 170-cm tall hyperrealistic cake-dress was totally worth it. They’re now calling it the world’s first “Weddible Dress”.

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