Just got back from one of my favorite shows, the 2016 International Home and Housewares Show. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s new and cool in the world of housewares and home, in the kitchen and in people’s minds – what’s good for the eye, stomach, heart, and/or soul. Below are some pics and descriptions of products that I found particularly innovative, beautiful, unique, and/or conversation evoking. Occasionally I include the clever – the product that takes a different tack to do something that’s already done extensively/commonly. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but these really made me stop, pause and ponder. They are in no particular order. They are here because they deserve to be and they each have their own virtue.
The Everplush company recycles cotton and more. They are leading the charge in ‘sustainable softness’. This company is finding innovative ways of providing textiles that use embedded microfibers, jade, and lava rock powder to provide enhanced moisture wicking (without sacrificing comfort), cooling, and warmth retention, respectively. I was impressed with the feel of these materials and the company is looking at ways of making their products even more ubiquitous.
It seems that very few things are standardized in the world of blenders. What caught my eye is that the Tribest folks utilized something that is standardized: the Mason Jar. By doing that, you can blend, drink and store using standard jars. No need to worry about plastic blending containers and cleaning. It’s smart.
I love tea. I have an entire drawer filled with teas of all sorts as well as a gourd+silver decorated bombilla for savoring Yerba Mate. World wide, tea is not just consumed, it’s experienced. Teforia realizes this and their product is a beautiful and different way of approaching the consumption of tea. The infuser ‘reads’ the package, and then knows what the best brewing sequence is for that particular tea. It then adjusts temperatures and steep times to optimize the extraction of flavors from the tea. I compared a green tea brewed typically and with the Teforia infuser. The Teforia tea color was richer and the flavors layered and complex. It was a pleasant dance upon my palate.
Love this. The Food Cycler is an in-home composter. Put your scraps into bucket and 3 hours later it’s reduced to a powdery, flakey compost that you can put in your garden. Truly no fuss or muss or additives. Great way to minimize landfill burdens and help create a more integrated home food waste disposal process.
Do you like pancakes? Check out the Pancake Bot. It’s a food printer. It doesn’t need to print in 3D because pancakes are well, 2D. Upload your designs via an SD card and enjoy the pancakes. Oh, if you don’t want pancakes, you can turn off the griddle and print 2D cake decorations on paper. Go wild!
These FlavorSheets bring simplicity and bold flavor together in a simple package. Wrap the meat/fish in the sheet, vacuum seal it and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Take it out and the food is evenly seasoned and, the seasoning is not falling off when it’s thrown on the grill. This makes great sense in sous-vide cooking as well.
Molecule-R Aroma Technology
Do you want to create your own arugula noodles, or savor a bite of fruit and merengue on a fork while simultaneously whiffing the aroma of vanilla, or create exotic drinks with green tea foam? If so, joining the Molecule-R community might be right for you (It is for me!!! 🙂 ) Molecular gastronomy is revolutionizing how people experience food. Once the domain of high powered chefs, it is now possible for homechefs to make and experience edible works of art. Molecule-R provides kits and materials for those interested in molecular gastronomy. They are an extremely helpful group and the kits seem well laid out. Get your lab coats on and have fun with your food!
This is simple beauty, courtesy of Ohashi. I love the MAST humidifier. Add water and the leaves of curved cypress release moisture. These Masu boxes, or variations of them, are made from discarded wood – beauty from that which would be thrown away. They are used for storage, as cups, and are designed and manufactured exquisitely.
Continuing the beautiful, elegant theme, these tea settings from Zens radiate serenity and aromas of tea in their design. Simple yet profound…
While beer kits have been around for some time, and they are still being sold by great companies such as Mr. Beer, and Brooklyn Brewshop, the trend for making fermented things at home is expanding into fermented/pickled foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, pickles, Kefir, Kombucha or whatever else you’d like to get bubbling! Fermented foods are good for you and fun to make. Three different companies took three approaches. Mortier Pilon is a fancier (and more expensive) system. Their couture mason jars (an oxymoron in some ways – these jars are too nice to be considered mason jars) add a touch of class to the fermenting stuff within.
Fermentation Creation takes a much more traditional approach, going for the homey look while retaining feel of a quality product. Their kit comes with everything you need for one great price. Chop, Salt, Brine! Literally, it’s that easy. The folks at the booth were great as well!
Microbiota is all about Kefir – both milk and water versions. Their containers are pretty straightforward and basic and remind me of the way home brewing equipment looked when brewing first came on the scene. Functional but not much else. Having said that, only a few years ago, it seemed the only people who knew what Kefir was were Eastern Europeans. So the fact that this is at the show is impressive.
Ever looked for a knife handle that fits perfectly with your hand? NextGen Knives has analyzed the grip that chefs use, and made a handle that is more comfortable to accommodate that grip. Then they took it one step further and figured out a way to customize knife handles by using a 2D scan of your hand and engineering the shape to give you a comfortable fit! These knives are Made in the United States and use specialty steel alloys for the blades. This knife starts a long overdue conversation, not only about knife handle design, but kitchen utensil design, and brings 21st century technology into the manufacturing process.
Water purification is still a worldwide concern. I was impressed Read the rest of this entry »