Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 64

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • 3D printing meets food (above). Janne Kyttanen has produced prototype printed pasta, breakfast cereal and burgers to demonstrate how advances in 3D printing could transform the way we eat (interview and slideshow). "Kyttanen, co-founder of design studio Freedom of Creation and creative director of printer manufacturer 3D Systems, told Dezeen: 'Food is the next frontier. We’re already printing in chocolate, so a lot of these things will be possible in the next few years.'"
  • What drones should be dropping: beer. In South Africa this summer, concert goers will be able to order beer on their phones that will be delivered by drone, kind of like beer from heaven.
  • Square, the mobile payment start-up firm, sets its sights on the food industry "Several months ago, Square launched a “Business in a Box” package for $249, including two card readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer and an optional receipt printer, all wirelessly connected to the Square Register app. Last week, Square announced an update to that app designed specifically for quick-serve restaurants, allowing operators to modify orders and print kitchen tickets."
  • Flavor and Language — the eternal challenge of describing flavors in words. "I came across an interview with Harold McGee, that peerless explorer of the science of food. In it he said apropos of sauvignon blanc: ‘It is so difficult to connect particular flavours with their sources, it’s hard to really define what minerality is, or what the expression of a place in a product could actually be. And you have to ask yourself, how many times have people actually tasted minerals, like the flint from which Loire white wines are said to get their flavour? How often do you put a rock in your mouth and suck on it?’" via the excellent project Flavour First
  • Workers Claim Racial Bias in Farms’ Hiring of Immigrants “If you can’t find locals to do the work, why is the answer to bring in people who have little protection and not grant them legal status?” asked Mr. Knoepp of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “If we need them, why not bring them in and make them legal citizens with real protections? The answer is because then they wouldn’t keep working in the fields given the conditions of that work. They would do something else. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
  •  Trending: sommeliers = new food celebrities "Until recently, serious restaurants in the United States were owned by celebrity chefs, creative developers like Danny Meyer and Richard Melman, or corporate chains. But sommeliers have now begun taking the lead role, as investors make them the centerpiece of their restaurant concepts."

  • Nigeria is one of the top markets for champagne. "The figures, from research company Euromonitor, found that Nigeria had the fastest growing rate of new champagne consumption in the world, second only to France, and ahead of rapid growth nations Brazil and China, and established markets such as the US and Australia." And not only are they drinking champagne, they're making music video about it. Check out Pop Champagne