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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Japanese Cafe Creates Delicious-Looking Salad Cakes to Make Dieting Less Depressing

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Japanese food stylist Mitsuki Moriyasu is on a mission to prove that salads can look much better than they taste. Last year, she introduced the world to the concept of the ‘Vegiedeco Salad’, an exquisite preparation of vegetables made in the likeness of a cake. The hybrid dish was initially featured on the menu of a bistro in Nagoya, but it got so popular that it is now being exclusively showcased at a brand new cafe in the city.

The savory dish consists of colorful layers of vegetables, sandwiched between two soybean-flour sponge and covered in a tofu or cream cheese frosting blended with vegetables for natural coloring. The end result is a sinful-looking salad-cake that is not just a visual treat but also packs a nutritious punch. Containing very little to no sugar, each salad also includes a good amount of roots and peels for fiber.

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New Purple Bread May Look Strange But Is Apparently Really Good for You

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Bread has long since been considered the enemy of dieters, but this new weird-looking bread might just change the way we look at the staple food forever. White bread is linked to obesity and high blood pressure, but a Singaporean food scientist claims he has come up with a way of solving these problems, while retaining the texture and flavor of bread. There’s just one catch though – his bread is purple.

Professor Zhou Weibiao, of the National University of Singapore, wanted to find a way to change the formula of bread while retaining its soft texture and wonderful taste. The result was purple bread, which he says is made entirely from natural ingredients. He started by extracting anthocyanin – the natural blue pigment found in foods like grapes and blueberries – from black rice, leaving behind its starchy compounds. He infused the anthocyanin into bread dough and used it to bake loaves that are apparently much better for you than white bread.

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Drinking Plain Hot Water – The Chinese Way to a Perfect Health

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Getting a cold drink might seem like the perfect way to relax after a long, hot summer day, but for most Chinese the opposite is true. They routinely consume hot beverages with their meals and all through the day irrespective of the weather. So don’t be surprised if on a balmy day, you see a Chinese person sipping hot water from a thermos!

While the western world might find this bizarre, the Chinese actually think that the Western habit of chugging ice-cold water is very strange. The idea of consuming anything at room temperature or below is, according to them, bad for your health. “In the big family I was brought up in, no one would dare to pour even room temperature water,” journalist Nicole Liu writes for the LA Times. “Doing so would risk a chorus of criticism, with parents, aunts, cousins, and grandparents chastising you almost simultaneously: ‘Cold water gives you cramps!’”

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Forget Protein Shakes, ‘Barbell Brew’ Contains as Much Protein as a Sirloin Steak

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You don’t need to give up six-packs to get a six-pack anymore, thanks to ‘Barbell Brew’, a new alcoholic beer that contains over 21.8 g of protein per serving. That’s roughly the same amount of protein you would get out of a sirloin steak, so you can happily swap those disgusting protein shakes for this new, delicious brew!

If you suspect that Barbell Brew might be just another health drink hidden in a beer can, worry not. With an alcohol content of 3.6 percent, it’s perfect for a beer buzz while also getting your share of muscle-pumping proteins. What’s more, it tastes great, it’s gluten free, and it only has 92.4 calories – that’s 33% less than what you’d get from regular beers, and even less than most light beers.

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French Noodle Maker Is Struggling to Keep Up with Demand for Insect Pasta

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When artisanal pasta maker Stephanie Richard added insects to her pasta on a whim, she had know idea what a huge hit it would become. The demand for her ‘protein-rich’, crunchy noodles is now so huge that she’s struggling to keep up with orders!

Richards, who strongly believes that insects are “the protein of the future”, said she got the idea for adding them to pasta in 2012, while trying to develop a high-protein version for athletes. That’s when an insect distributor in eastern Lyon contacted her about adding bugs to her pasta, and she was completely sold on the idea. She started producing insect flour pasta around Christmas that year, and the product pretty much started flying off the shelves. Her shop launched the unusual pasta just before the winter holidays, and sold around 500 bags in a matter of days.

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“Naturally Imperfect” Produce Proves a Big Hit for Canadian Supermarket Chain

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People generally tend to pick out the best looking fruits and vegetables when shopping for produce, but Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws is tempting customers with misshapen, blemished produce instead, by pricing them 30 percent lower than normal-looking ones.

A trial run of the ugly food line, named ‘Naturally Imperfect’, began in March last year with only apples and potatoes to choose from. Consumer demand has been so huge that Loblaws is now going to introduce more unsightly vegetable and fruit options like peppers, onions, and mushrooms. The line is available at other stores as well, including Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, and Your Independent Grocer.

All the produce that will be sold through Naturally Imperfect would otherwise have been used in juices, sauces, or soups, or would have not been harvested at all. Senior Loblaw director Dan Branson explained last year that this sort of program was a win-win arrangement for both food producers who would otherwise have to let substandard harvest go to waste, and consumers who could afford fresh produce at regular prices. And he was right, given how popular the line has become.

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Adventurous McDonald’s Fan Travels the World to Try Fast Food Chain’s Regional Dishes

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Canadian software engineer James McGowan is so passionate about McDonald’s that he’s traveled to 53 different countries just to sample their regional dishes. In the past four years, he’s reviewed over 300 items from the chain’s wide-ranging regional menus on his blog, Traveling McD’s.

James started his McDonald’s tasting trips in 2005, sharing pictures of every meal with friends and family and posted his first review of a McD’s regional treat in October 2011, when he wrote about a taro and Oreo McFlurry he had tried in Macau. Since then he’s reviewed exotic McDelicacies from countries like Russia, Malaysia, Tahiti, Greece, Germany, and Qatar. Interestingly, he doesn’t always have to wait until he travels to a country to try their McD’s menu, as fans of his blog sometimes send him food to try to Bangkok, where he currently resides. 

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Man Goes on Potato-Only Diet for a Year to Cure Binge Eating

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Desperate to kick his binge eating habits, an Australian man is forcing himself to live on nothing but potatoes for a whole year. He now claims that the tater diet has helped him lose a whopping 10kg (22 lbs) in only one month. He’s so inspired by the results that is going to continue with his plan of eating potatoes for the rest of the year.

Andrew Taylor, 36, was at his heaviest on January 1, weighing a colossal 151 kg (332 lbs), when he decided to do something about it. “I wanted to change the way I thought about food so that it’s not controlling my life,” he said. “When you’ve got an addiction, a drug addiction or an alcohol addiction, the best thing you can do is stop taking drugs or stop taking alcohol. You can’t do that with food. So I thought, what else can I do? Perhaps I can choose one kind of food.”

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Startup Specializing in Lab-Grown Meat Aims to Make Slaughtering Animals for Food Obsolete

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Thanks to Memphis Meats, slaughtering animals for food might soon become a thing of the past. The company made its global debut on February 4, unveiling the world’s first meatball made from 100 percent lab-grown, cultured beef. In the next three to four years, they hope to offer consumers meat that’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional farming.

“We love meat. But like most Americans, we don’t love the many negative side effects of conventional meat production: environmental degradation, a slew of health risks, and food products that contain antibiotics, fecal matter, pathogens, and other contaminants,” the company’s website states.

“Our concept is simple. Instead of farming animals to obtain their meat, why not farm the meat directly? To that end, we’re combining decades of experience in both the culinary and scientific fields to farm real meat cells – without the animals – in a process that is healthier, safer, and more sustainable than conventional animal agriculture.”

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The World’s Most Beautiful Bagel

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For the last 20 years, people have been coming to The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, New York, to have a taste of the world’s most beautiful bagel. Aptly named “Rainbow Bagel”, the unique treat looks more like Play Doh than actual food, but reportedly tastes much, much better.

Scott Rosillo, the “world’s premier bagel artist” and owner of The Bagel Store, is the mastermind behind the popular rainbow bagel. “It’s an absolute labor of passion and art,” he said during a video interview with Insider Food. “A tremendous amount of discipline is required to make the world’s most beautiful bagel”. The process is apparently so complex that the store only makes about 100 of them every five hours. Rosillo says that he and his team can make 5,000 ordinary bagels in the same amount of time.

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