On random buying based on pretty graphic design/typography/packaging… i couldn’t resist snagging two packs of the Kopali SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD (no, seriously, that’s what it’s called). And also how intriguing do these dried mulberries look? (they were new to me… and once i grabbed those i also HAD to try the Dark Chocolate Covered ones too.) They also have dried Mango, Pineapple, Goldenberries… and in the choc covered range - Cacao Nibs, Espresso Beans, Goji Berries, Mulberries and Bananas (i think i need to try the bananas next time). The site says “They’re “Supergood” because they’re so delicious, nutritous and righteous. They’re “Superfood” because they’re packed with energy and essential phytonutrients. ” Also interesting is their “three bottom line” business plan, focusing on reaching not only financial goals, but also eco/sustainable goals and personal goals to support the people involved. Check out the video below with their company’s fascinating business story, bus tour, and how Whole Foods have really helped get the ex-programmer and horticulturist working out of the beaches of costa rica on the map…. and a few more fun close up pics of these crazy mulberries.
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Sub-Studio reader Kariann sent me a link to Edible’s Aphrodisiac Pearl Chocolate Paste as a submission for February’s chocolate themed Idea’s column. Being that we were just switching over to a conceptual shoe column, I didn’t get a chance to include the link, but I fell in love with Edible while browsing their site. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m partially charmed by the exotic snacks that they carry, but beyond interesting items (chocolate covered scorpions, anyone?), their products are beautifully crafted and packaged. The Antlix Lollipop (below) is gorgeous - it looks like little black seeds frozen in ice. Check out more potentially tasty, pretty things after the jump. Oh - and if you aren’t from America, Edible’s wares aren’t ridiculously expensive.
NOTCOT Note: I sent Justine (aka Rugenius) on a mission since she’s living in the UK, to go buy some of these delicious Fru Puds and Gu Puds and take some pics and let me live vicariously through her… Here’s what she’s reported back, with pics!
Fru Puds and Gu Puds certainly know how to do packaging. It’s hard not to pick them up at the market. In fact, I picked some within my first few weeks in the UK! It’s hard to deny the sensuous chocolatey goodness advertised on that packaging….and I’m alway a sucker for a nice black matte. I think we started with chocolate mousse, the traditional. So when the order came in from NOTCOT to check out some more of their range, I was all too happy to oblige. I thought we should go for something a bit different though. So we went for the Gu chocolate pots and the Fru carrot cake bites. See all my pics of packaging, unboxing, and indulging below!
Click the pics to find out more! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Figured you might need some food to go with the drinking that tends to go with this holiday… and also some green, to keep from being pinched! Here is a roundup of some of the St. Patrick’s Day deliciousness that has surfaced over at TasteSpotting.
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…