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February 04, 2005
Food on Paper
An ink-jet printer that makes gourmet food?
The New York Times has found it.
The printer is in Moto, a Chicago restaurant, and it's programmed by executive chef Homaro Cantu. The paper is the same stuff you see on some birthday cakes, made of soybeans and cornstarch. The ink is edible, and the flavors are powders placed on the paper after it's printed. This means he can create a 10-course "tasting menu" that won't leave you bloated -- just well-read and out several Benjamins.
Cantu is making paper sushi and menus that can be crunched into his gazpacho for "alphabet soup."
Now that we have proof of concept, what next?
Remember. We now have food as technology, meaning it's innovation that will move in line with Moore's Law. Just as computer solutions move from expensive, high-end and one-off to mass market and cheap as chips, so too here.
- How about flavored inserts advertising brand-name soup? You can put it in a mailing.
- How about selling strips printed with flavor at the check-out -- beef jerky, fried chicken, and no calories?
- How about a special advertising insert in the Times?
The bottom line is this innovation is going to head down-market fast. When Cantu hits Food Network
it may be as an advertiser.
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