In 2014, a dessert shop in Hokoto, Japan called the Kinseiken Seika Company exploded in popularity when the internet discovered their crystalline mizu Shingen mochi, a completely translucent edible cake that looks like a huge water droplet. The sweet gelatinous rice cake comprised mostly of mineral water and agar is so delicate it can only stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before disappearing into a lumpy puddle.
Instead of juggling a ring of measuring spoons while cooking in the kitchen, what if standard measurements were combined into a single flat tool that adjusted at the pinch of your fingers. Is this a problem that needs a solution? Perhaps. Currently funding on Kickstarter, Polygons is a rather ingenious looking measuring spoon tool that combines four fractional measurements (in teaspoon and tablespoon models) into a flat tool that folds like a piece of origami paper. The gadget is made from recyclable plastic and the designers claim it can “flex for 100,000 cycles without failure.” Learn more here. (via Twisted Sifter)
Published only once in 1973, Les Diners de Gala was a dream fulfilled for surrealist artist Salvador Dali who claimed at the age of 6 that he wanted to be a chef. The bizarro cookbook pairs 136 recipes over 12 chapters (the 10th of which is dedicated to aphrodisiacs) with the his exceptionally strange illustrations and collages created especially for the publication. The artworks depict towering mountains of crayfish with unsettling overtones of cannibalism, an unusual meeting of a swan and a toothbrush in a pastry case, and portraits of Dali himself mingling with chefs against decadent place settings. Recipes include such delicacies as “Thousand Year Old Eggs”, “Veal Cutlets Stuffed With Snails”, “Frog Pasties”, and “Toffee with Pine Cones”.
Dali is widely known for his opulent dinner parties thrown with his wife Gala, events that were almost more theatrical than gustatory. Guests, many of the celebrities, were required to wear completely outlandish costumes and an accompaniment of wild animals often roamed free around the dinner table. Despite the unusual ingredients and preparation methods, many of the old school recipes in Les Diners de Gala originated in some of the top restaurants in Paris at the time including Lasserre, La Tour d’Argent, Maxim’s, and Le Train Bleu. Lest you think anything in the book might be remotely healthy, it offers a cautionary disclaimer at the outset:
We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, Les Diners de Gala, with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don’t look for dietetic formulas here.
We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.
Designed by blacksmith Toru Yamashita in Japan’s Kochi-prefecture, these high carbon steel knives are designed in the form of five different whales, the blades forming the baleen mouth of each species. The Kujira blades were originally made for children as a tool for sharpening pencils or cutting paper, but have since been marketed abroad as a general purpose utility or chef knife. At about $50 each the knives aren’t cheap, but it appears the whale shape is strangely perfect for small hands and with the right care they would probably last a lifetime. Some of the models are available through Hand-Eye Supply, but it looks like a few are sold by Yoshihiro Cutlery on Amazon. (via Core77, Attics of my Life)
Last year around this time, Zuzia Kozerska of Valek Rolling Pins (previously) practically set the internet on fire with lasers, more specifically her laser engraved rolling pins that imprint different patterns in cookie dough. Kozerska has been hard at work creating increasingly more complex designs as well as special mini pins just for kids. You can see more in her Etsy shop.
Grant Thompson of the King of Random just shared a great tutorial on how to make completely edible gummy LEGO bricks and figures using a mixture of corn syrup, Jello, and gelatin. Using the right molds, the pieces are so precise you can actually build with them. Unlike the chocolate LEGO bricks we featured a few months ago, these look somewhat simple to make. (via The Awesomer)