Ever dreamed of strawberry-flavored snow? I’m not talking about Snow Cone–style shaved ice; I’m talkin’ straight-up pink, fruity, scrumptious snow. It sounds like something Willy Wonka would dream up, but it has actually been developed by Philip Preston, president of the laboratory equipment manufacturer PolyScience. With the help of a refrigerant pipe, an acrylic tube, an injection of liquid carbon dioxide, a man-made tornado, an airbrush, and some liquid strawberries, he whipped up a batch for his wife (who must feel pretty lucky that she married a scientist with a sweet tooth). Forbes talked with Preston and other inventors about the kitchen innovations that may change the way we cook.
For busy restaurant chefs or home cooks with short attention spans, PolyScience offers the Anti-Griddle, which instantly freezes food, the way a regular grill heats it. And Panasonic is developing a high-speed oven, which can cut cooking times from an hour to 10 minutes. (If this thing flies, soon Rachael Ray’s gonna be struggling to make her meal preparations last a full 30 minutes!)
Meanwhile, a professor and a student at MIT are developing the slightly ridiculous Dishmaker, which can shape acrylic discs into the plate or bowl of your choice, and then reshape them for your next meal, if needed. The idea is that you can save room in your china cabinet … though something tells me that the Dishmaker would take up more space than my current plate-stacked shelf.
But perhaps the most intriguing invention on the list is PolyScience’s Smoking Gun, which infuses smoke into foods at room temperature:
The company’s president, Philip Preston, likes to infuse Peachwood smoke into wild mushroom soup. New York Chef Wylie Dufresne uses it to smoke blanched lettuce, which is then wrapped around raw oysters
At $50, the Smoking Gun (which was previously mentioned in our Gear column) proves that new kitchen technology need not break the bank. They aren’t carrying this thing at Williams-Sonoma—not yet, anyway—but it seems like a hot registry item for grooms-to-be, right?