New Kitchen Gadget Turns Flavor into Vapor

By ABC News

Dec 11, 2012 10:03am

By Sarah Kunin and Lauren Torrisi

From molecular gastronomy to bacon-flavored anything, the latest culinary craze doesn’t even involve food.

A new kitchen gadget that turns the flavor of food into vapor, Le Whaf brings dessert to your taste buds without the calories.

Once a liquid is added and the carafe is tilted, a cloud of flavor vapor is generated using ultrasound waves.  A special straw lets you sip the vapor cloud for a burst of flavor minus most calories or alcohol.

Franco-American scientist David Edwards and designer Marc Bretillot designed the product that has been sweeping Europe and is set to come to the U.S. soon.

“At the base of the Whaf are piezoelectric crystals. These vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency when the liquid in the Whaf is above a certain level. This level is achieved when the Whaf is tipped on its side and with the appropriate level of liquid,” Eric Freedman, senior director of marketing at Aero Designs, told ABC News.

“A normal glass full of the droplets created by the Whaf will hold around 40 microliters (or milligrams) of liquid in the air. If you sip these into your mouth with the Whaf Straw you will taste the liquid — an especially pleasing experience when the liquid has a strong or noticeable taste,” wrote Freedman.

Even chefs like Norman Aitken of Juniper Kitchen Restaurant in Ottawa, Ont., are using the product to revolutionize fine dining.  Aitken serves a pepper crusted albacore tuna with a green pea noodle salad with a side of miso and soy Le Whaf. 

Edwards and Bretillot encourage creativity with the product, suggesting using your own recipes to make soups, juices or even liquid tarts.  A digital cookbook for Le Whaf is in the works.

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