A+R is the closest thing out there to a NOTCOT store… and the novelty has yet to wear off, since Andy keeps the place stocked with far too much that makes me feel like a kid in a designer candy store. Aside from the Theosauruses that i showed you earlier… i fell for this Puzzle Dinner Tray from Royal VKB designed by Wendy Boudewijns. In a nice unbreakable melamine, this tray helps kids get used to what goes where… and having loved puzzles of all sorts growing up, i just know my mom would have gotten me one of these had it been around when i was a wee one. Although i’m sure i’ve seen this around the web, playing with it in person won me over to post about it… see some hands on pics below!
Papabubble. I was just watching the CoolHunting video (embedded below for easy viewing!) interviewing the candy makers at the new NY store, and it was incredible. I feel like those kids in the candy store, face pressed against my monitor drooling over the incredible candy making process ~ turning a simple mixture of sugar, water, and glucose combined with flasks of coloring and flavoring ~ into what looks like delicious candies, and perhaps just as fun, the perfect medium for sculpting random dioramas out of (as well as classics like Gehry’s cardboard wiggle chair)! Truly impressive is watching how all of the candy is made by hand, down to the mixing in of coloring and stretching to aerate until its more translucent. With stores in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the NY store is the first in the US.
Alcohol and design collaboration is not a new thing, especially not when it comes to Heineken… but this Beertender which is basically a mini at home/office/studio tap for the mini kegs in collaboration with Krups is an interesting product to essentially ‘dock’ your mini keg and have it good to go for 30 days of perfect draught beer. Details that grabbed me were also their site design and graphics for the instructions, as well as their interesting approach to entering your birthday for proof of age… see screenshots after the jump!
UPDATE - although not new to euros - “The Heineken Beertender we first wrote about almost four years ago is finally getting its US launch tomorrow, March 1. The beertender is a special for-your-home tap that takes in four-liter Heineken DraughtKegs and dispenses via the tap, for a reasonably authentic home beer experience. It’ll be exclusively available at Williams-Sonoma stores starting tomorrow for $299, and move into a wider release schedule at the start of April.” says Gizmodo
With the retirement of Fidel Castro - here is a nicely timed campaign for Matusalem Rum that has launched, and there are some adorable print/tv ads worth taking a look at. While i have yet to taste this rum, these ads are working on me, because i’m definitely curious! The layered cutout, print/illustration look has totally made my day. Featured in the ads are a Fidel Castro cutout explaining why he expelled their best rum, since “The Caribbean has never seen a pirate like fidel. He stole an island and threw away the treasure away.” Check out the three video ads below as well as another print ad!
The Edible Martini ~ incredible video at the NY Times - “Chef/mad scientist Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute has figured out how to vacuum infuse a martini inside a cucumber.” Armed with a cucumber, a bottle of gin, vermouth, simple syrup, a paper clip, and a vacuum machine Dave Arnold does some impressive flash pickling ~ and this martini infused cucumber comes out as crunchy as when it started if not more. Essentially, the vacuum machine sucks all the air out, so when air comes back in, gin forced into the cucumber, and as the air returns it turns beautifully clear. See my screenshots of the process below, and watch the The Edible Martini video!
Sheridan’s Coffee Layered Liqueur has truly the most incredible bottle design i’ve yet to encounter. I loved the stuff (and the packaging had a large part to do with that) when i lived in milan, and was absolutely fascinated by the split glass bottle, half filled with white, the other with black, and joined by the cap that magically poured a layered drink every time. Unfortunately, i started NOTCOT after returning, and never found it in the states… i even posted about it back in march 2005 when the site first launched, and even tracked down the case study of the bottle design! (You can view it below)… at the Duty Free in Toronto they had some! So i grabbed a bottle to take some pictures (and video!) of it to share with you, check it out below. It’s absolutely mesmerizing! Oh, and as for the taste, well its like a yummier bailey’s for those of you who like the sugary sweetness.
In the Alessi 2008 Spring/Summer collection is the new Pop-Up Bottle Opener. This beautiful piece is designed by Giovanni Alessi Anghini, great-grandson of Giovanni Alessi, founder of the company. It should also be no surprise that Giovanni Jr. has put in his time at Stefano Giovannoni’s Milan studio, and is now coming into his own. Apparently this mirror polished stainless steel bulb of a bottle opener has a magnet within that holds onto the cap once you push down to open a bottle. See an image of it on a bottle after the jump!
p.s. does this remind anyone else of J Schatz’s egg bird feeders, lamps, etc?
A new entry in the bottled water market, Y Water, comes fresh out of Venice Beach ~ has a playful bottle designed by Yves Behar ~ and can be built into crazy structures… oh, and they are also targeted at kids, and are organic, low calorie drinks chock full of vitamins and minerals! “Y Water’s attention-getting names—Muscle Water, Bone Water, Immune Water, and Brain Water—communicate the idea that the ingredients are the building blocks of healthier bodies.” And there’s the green angle too: bottles are 100% recyclable and 100% reusable as a creative developmental aid… And perhaps just as fun, are the crazy illustrations all over the Y Water site. See images of all after the jump!
On new luxury collaborations for 2008, French designer, Jean Marc Grady, has designed a service accessory range for Moet & Chandon including buckets, drink cooler, bowl, candlesticks and platters. What struck me with this collection is the interesting integration of technology in the bucket. There is nothing to draw you right to a drink bucket in a dark night club like a sparkling bottle of champagne, literally glowing… and as soon as you pick it up from the base, the light stops. This one will certainly create quite the dramatic lounge experience, and between the black lacquered exterior and the reflective gold interior filled with shimmering ice and a bottle of Moet & Chandon, there is no way anyone will be able to take their eyes off it. More closeups after the jump ~ and unfortunately there are no pics of this one in the wild yet, but i’d love to do a photo/video shoot with it a lounge/bar someday!
And to finish off my triple feature from the FORDBRADY Dwell party, i loved the typography and use of wood for Ford’s Filling Station’s menu board’s and branding. This Culver City restaurant, which turns two on Valentine’s Day, catered the event, and after the jump you can see more images of the incredible kitchen island at FORDBRADY, as well as some of the drool worthy food served!
Mmm Magic Berries. (I prefer that name for it.) Today i received some Miracle Fruit in the mail, and after much research and curiosity, did a bit of grocery shopping for bitter/sour foods, and then came the ultimate test (these tiny berries turn anything sour/bitter SWEET)! Pictures galore after the jump… and for those who haven’t heard of these magic berries, here’s the short version of their magic powers and background (also see the full wikipedia entry on it):
“The Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miracle Berry, or Magic Berry (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by an explorer named Des Marchais during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans. The berry is sweet, and contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours. It is not a sweetener, as its effects depend on what is eaten afterwards, but has been used to sweeten bitter medicines.” See after the jump for how it went:
UPDATE ~ rumor has it that these berries might also be perfect for valentine’s day, and not just because they are red. Their ability to help turn things sweet can be very handy…
Click the pics to find out more! Wow what a week its been over at TasteSpotting… honestly there was so much incredibly drool worthy deliciousness there this week, i dont know how i manage to not try to cook and consume it all. Looks like stand out trends this week were definitely those Cake Pops of Bakerella, who also brought us Oreo Balls and Nutter Butter Balls. There were also home made pop tarts this week! And my favorite and most inspiring post of all truly was Steamy Kitchen sharing her photo “food porn room” studio with us all! It certainly helped answer my questions about how some of the TasteSpotters get such beautiful imagery of their home cooked delights!
Oh, and if you click through any of those, you may have noticed a little experiment (in beta phases - still cleaning up design) on both notcot.org and TasteSpotting… we now have permalink pages… which also mean a single post view… where you can browse linearly (for those who dont like the overwhelming all at once view!)… AND you can play with the RANDOMIZER feature i’ve long begged for (and can spend hours exploring the nearly 9000 posts with now)… you can even try using Keybord Shortcuts! (although i haven’t put up the image about this on the sites yet… try ctrl+r, <, > keys on mac, and use alt instead of ctrl on a pc).
Ok, i’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. And certainly wasn’t expecting any this year… or this early! But a Despair, Inc. generated email from Jef (you can see what he sent after the jump) ~ tipped me off to these hilarious Bittersweets. Just in time for Valentine’s day, these candy hearts come in three tin variations: Dejected, Dysfunctional, and Dumped. “Dejected” sayings include: I MISS MY EX | PEAKED AT 17 | MAIL ORDER | TABLE FOR 1 | I CRY ON Q | U C MY BLOG? | LOSS LEADER | A FINE WHINE | MOMMY ISSUES | DIGNITY FREE | DORK MAGNET | PURE NAUSEA | WE HAD PLANS | MAIL ORDER | SETTLE 4LESS | I’M HOT INSIDE. “Dysfunctional” sayings include: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | HE CAN LISTEN | GAME ON TV | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS | SUB PRIME | I WANT HALF | RETURN 2 PIT | NO FIX 4 DUMB | RATHER DRINK | MUTUAL DISGUST. “Dumped” sayings include: I GOT SOBER | HE FIT U FAT | U LEFT SEATUP | USED U 4 FUN | JUST A FRIEND | BACK 2 KENNEL | DORKA PHOBIC | U HAVE A BLOG | RUSSIAN BRIDE | CELEB8 THX2U | DOG IS CUTER | TRADIN YOU IN | FORGET WE MET | KISS A FROG | SHE IS 22! | HE HAS A JOB. Wow. See more images after the jump!
p.s. Despair Inc is the company behind those Demotivators posters.
Click the images to find out more! Wow. On trends that i can’t quite comprehend… BACON. Sure we’ve all been seeing the bacon toys, bandaids, etc floating around, but i am impressed that there are over 80 posts on TasteSpotting on bacon… and here are 15 of the most unique… we have: Bacon and cheese scones. Bacon wrapped tofu. Bacon weave. Bacon vodka. Bacon salt. Bacon wrapped asparagus. Bacon cookies. Bacon candy. Bacon kettle corn. Bacon dark chocolate. Bacon cupcakes. The Baconator. Bacon wrapped monkfish. Bacon alarm clock (yes it wakes you up with fresh bacon). Bacon spa wrap.
So really, what IS it about bacon that people love so much? Enlighten me?
I just spotted the Otto Espresso maker on the Appliancist, which luckily has some pics of the gorgeous twist on classic stove top espresso since the Otto website isn’t quite ready, teasing me with an “Otto: the little guy’s coming” message. “The OTTO espresso maker is designed to produce two espresso shots with steam milk. An automatic cut off prevents burning of the coffee grind, and after the perfect amount of coffee is dispensed, the boiler primes itself for steaming of the milk to produce two perfect homemade lattes.”