Flavorful World’s Friday Fourplay offers up a bite-sized tidbit of info on each of the four food- and drink-related things we found most interesting each week.
A Tall, Cool Glass of “NOPE!”
A breed of cockroach exists that gives birth to living offspring rather than laying eggs that later hatch as one would expect. Said cockroach breed feeds its undoubtedly cherub-faced little roach babies by producing a form of “milk” that is currently being studied by scientists in India who’d like to replicate its protein-crystal structure in a lab. They’re doing this not by milking cockroaches (an undertaking whose difficulty level would be too staggering to contemplate) but by sequencing the genes that produce the crystals. As for why any part of this should matter to humans, it’s because the crystals are said to pack an astounding four times the nutrition of cow’s milk, making it a prime contender in the race for new options to feed our ever-expanding human population. As for what sort of sweet or pastry one dunks in a glass of cold cockroach milk (provided that sweets and pastries still exist in whatever dystopian future awaits us, where roach-derived science lab milk is the best viable option for sustenance), the jury is still out. Perhaps something made with cricket flour…
Via Science Alert
Brave Brew World
Robots continue inching their way toward their eventual rule over humankind. When that day comes, at least they’ll drink well, as evidenced by a line of bottled beers out of London, the first in the world that’s brewed by artificial intelligence. The beer, dubbed “AI”, has seen eleven evolutions so far across its four styles of suds, Amber, Black, Golden, and Pale. The brewing recipes are created by algorithm based upon consumer responses to coded questions delivered via Facebook Messenger app. To keep what amounts, essentially, to crowdsourcing beer recipes from being as generic as such a thing has potential to be, the automated brewing intelligence (ABI) also has a library of 1,000 wildcard ingredients to draw from and occasionally throw into the mix to see what reaction the addition elicits. So the robots are coming, and in addition to mad beer-brewing skills, they’re also bringing a winking sense of whimsy to the brewing process. The question of the day then, is whether they like wine enough to eventually dip a metal toe in that arena as well.
Via Evening Standard
Balls Worth Smiling About
More than two decades of blood, sweat, and progressively fewer tears have led Japanese researchers to the creation of a virtually tear-free onion. Anyone familiar with chopping the flavorful veggie can attest to the undertaking’s tendency to result in stinging, watery eyes, but the”Smile Ball”, as these new onions have been named, are having none of that drama. After more than five tons of them sold out during a test run in Japanese department stores and web stores, the Smile Balls are finally ready for their close-up, which they’ll be getting in supermarkets beginning in Fall 2016. A package of two balls will set shoppers back 450 yen (about $4.30 USD), roughly double what standard onions pull down. When the options are either pony up some extra coin or end every onion-chopping task looking as though you’ve just finished watching “Beaches,” I know which one I’d choose.
Watermelons In Motion
Humpty Dumpty would be jealous of the watermelons grown in Hubei, China. When dropped, the melons, which are cultivated mainly for their seeds and bear a yellowish pulp, bounce rather than shatter on first impact. Agricultural investigators are said to be studying the unusual fruit to determine how this property was achieved. The melon is said to taste of cucumber, and have a creamy texture. The phrase “Competitive watermelon-bouncing” springs to mind, though i wish it hadn’t, because this might well be a thing sooner than we think. Though I wish it hadn’t.
*Mention of a product, good, or service in a Friday Fourplay posting does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement either from Anthony Beal or Flavorful World LLC. Vendors are not notified ahead of time that their products/services will be featured, thus Flavorful World will at the time of posting have had no related interactions with said vendors or any sample of their products/services by which to judge them. As such, we have no idea what these vendors are like to work with, or about the quality of their merchandise and are unqualified to vouch for them as reputable. Our Friday Fourplay lists are posted in the spirit of our having come across something that looks and sounds engaging, and thinking that perhaps our readers will think so too; no more, no less. With that in mind, patronize these establishments and vendors at your own risk.