Just like everything else we do these days, new technologies are changing the way we shop for groceries. Here are just a few ways a trip to the store just got (or is about to get) a little smarter and a little cooler:
Edible Silk Freshness Sensors
In a restaurant-rich city like New York, it can be easy to get the feeling that regional cuisine has explored every region, that modernist chefs have created every conceivable texture, and that every nation's fare has been fused and remixed with that of every other. Fortunately, we're noticing signs that cutting-edge gourmands have found a new vein of inspiration to mine -- the past.
These days, celebrity chefs are everywhere – we watch their shows, eat at their restaurants (and all of their pop-ups, and spinoffs, and micro-chains), and buy their books and branded cookware. We crave the reassurance that we get from having a name and face attached to the food we eat, and it’s a trend that’s hardly fading away. In fact, it might be entering a new phase – that of the celebrity farmer. It’s great to know who made your meal, but it’s even better to know who made its ingredients.
New York Magazine’s “Grub Street” blog recently declared the death of the “curation” buzzword. In the last few years, it’s become an inescapable part of restaurant menus and press releases, an easy way to boost cachet and make any group of items sound like they were placed together only after hours of careful consideration.
Do you carry a Swiss army knife in your pocket? How about a flashlight? A thumb drive with all your important files? We’ve come a long way since the months following the attacks of September 11, 2001, but emergency preparedness is experiencing something of a revival.
When the news broke that El Bulli would be closing indefinitely, we imagine that more than a couple molecular gastronomes glanced over at the six-volume sets of Modernist Cuisine weighing down their bookshelves and wondered, “What’s next?”
A new grocery store in Austin, In.gredients, is looking to change the way we buy our food. Shoppers are expected to bring their own packaging - typically jars and tupperware from home - and purchase loose items by weight, selecting from a wide range of meats, dairy, grains, spices and other items. Beer and wine will even be available on tap for those who bring their own growlers or bottles.
Would you ever spend real money on a virtual product? How about virtual money on a real product? The virtual economy is booming, and what sounded like a far-fetched concept even a couple years ago is quickly becoming accepted by the mainstream.