November 20th, 2013
11:15 AM ET
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Noodle chefs beware, a noodle making robot is coming for your job. CNN's David McKenzie has the story of the Noodlebot.
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Filed under: China • Technology


November 14th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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"Are you open yet?" a passerby asked. It was 10 a.m. on a sunny fall day here, where a small group of staffers met a CNN camera crew outside of Smitten Ice Cream.

By the time the doors officially opened two hours later, a handful of others had inquired about when they could get a scoop. The people wanted their ice cream.

You see, this is not your typical ice cream parlor.

"Here at Smitten we actually make every single batch of ice cream to order," explained store founder Robyn Sue Fisher. "So nothing is frozen until you order it, and we make everything from scratch that morning."

Using seasonal and local ingredients, Fisher's team creates creative flavors like cinnamon apple crisp, maple brown sugar squash and Meyer lemon gingersnap. Smitten doesn't use preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers in any of its ingredients.

And because its creations are frozen before your eyes in seconds, the process involves some serious science.
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Stumped by soup? Campbell's brews up a simple solution
September 5th, 2013
06:15 PM ET
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The reason that ramen noodles and soup packets have never really caught on with college kids and other busy, broke folks is that they're just too time-consuming and complicated to make. You have to find a water source, a heat source, and if you're feeling all elegant, a bowl and a spoon.

Well no more, fellow noodle slurpers, no more. Fancy-pants kitchen tools like ovens, microwaves, faucets and pans will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Campbell's new line of Fresh-Brewed Soup K-Cup packs.
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August 16th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
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With enough practice any hack can create a CAD rendering of a blender or produce an iPhone mockup that'll earn hundreds of likes on Dribbble, but designing a device that convinces people to make a meal out of maggots? That requires a special level of skill. Designer Katharina Unger is on a mission to make eating insects irresistible.

The recent graduate from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and current Fulbright Scholar devoted her thesis project, called Farm 432: Insect Breeding, to developing an appliance that incubates insects for human consumption. The striking blue and white vessel is stocked with one gram of black soldier fly eggs, and over a period of 18 days, the eggs move through the device's chambers, gestating, reproducing, and ultimately producing 2.4 kilograms of nutritious, if slightly nauseating, fly larva.
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Filed under: Food Science • Insects • Technology


Leftover app like 'Craigslist for your unfinished pizza'
August 2nd, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

When I was growing up, to open my parents' refrigerator was to take a magical journey deep into a strange land of Tupperware that ultimately ended in sadness, confusion and some sort of round, congealed blob of food that may or may not have dated to the Carter administration.

"Mom, what is this?"

"Does it look like it might cause infection?"

"Kinda."

"It's soup."

Yes, we were a leftovers house. Be it chicken or rice, you were gettin' it twice!

Though, in all fairness, mom has always been a great cook. So, it was definitely tolerable.

Nevertheless, Day 7 of lasagna never quite had the same pizazz as Day 4. And opening that container on Day 60 risked introducing a newly formed, unknown invasive species into the ecosystem.
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Filed under: Leftovers • Technology


Why yes, that IS a cocktail-making robot
May 16th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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"Crowd control" took on a whole new meaning last night as a room full of partygoers in San Francisco were given power over a cocktail-making robot controlled by their smartphones.

Attendees at the closing party for the Google I/O Conference were invited to send a drink recipe via a smartphone app to the Makr Shakr, a three-armed robot designed especially for the show. They could then interact with attendees of similar taste to collaboratively design their perfect drink via social media.

MIT's Senseable City Lab wanted to see what would happen when you let a mass of people take control of an industrial manufacturing machine.

Read the full story: Robotic bartender creates crowd-sourced cocktails via a smartphone app

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Food apps to download for free
April 12th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

At Food & Wine magazine, where I work, we keep an ongoing list of apps that we love. They include the Seafood Watch App from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which helps you choose sustainable seafood. We also shamelessly love our F&W Cocktails App, which has hundreds of great drink recipes and a guide to top bars. Both are free.

I’m also a fan of More Pizza, the app that lets me make virtual pizzas. I found it after I downloaded More Toast, which turns my phone into a virtual toaster. Each of those apps cost me 99 cents, which is fine since I’m now expert at toast and pizza making on the subway.

But I love free things, which is why I’d like to go back to great food- and chef-related apps that happen to cost nothing for you to download.
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January 21st, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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In 5 years, computers could know what flavors we crave
January 10th, 2013
03:00 PM ET
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File this under the "wouldn't it be cool if ...?" category.

IBM is developing a computer system that could theoretically customize healthy recipes based on your personal taste buds. An outline of the project was presented as part of the company's annual 5 in 5 list - five inventions that could change the world in five years.

"At the end of the day, taste is about chemistry," Bernie Meyerson, vice president of innovation at IBM, told Fast Company.

So how would it work?

Find out in the full story: Future computer system could be your personal chef

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