If you think a device that lets you inhale chocolate is strange, then here's some more strangeness for you. The concept of "inhaling food" is catching on, particularly with diners in Europe, and now one Canadian restaurant serves gases that "taste" like food, but without those pesky carbs, fats or calories.
This bit of kitchen alchemy comes courtesy of a device called the Le Whaf, created by French scientist and Harvard professor David Edwards, who was inspired by the aforementioned inhalable chocolate device. The Le Whaf is a large glass carafe with an ultrasound device at the bottom. When a liquid is introduced — like a consommé — the ultrasound waves agitates the liquid hard and fast enough it turns the liquid into gas. It's this gas that diners are encouraged to inhale through a straw.
Diners describe it as having a taste or flavor sensation without having the actual food itself. Chef Norman Aitken offers the gastronomic experience to diners at his Ottowa restaurant; he described it to the CBC:
"When you're smelling wine, same premise. Instead you're going to smell it. You're going to, essentially, inhale it leaving you with flavour on your sinus and palate," said Aitken.
Aitken's kitchen is using Le Whaf as a treat to diners along with their regular meals. The device is also reportedly popular in Europe, where customers describe having their mouths flooded with flavor as a way to ease the feeling of hunger leading to eating less.
Who knows? Perhaps Le Whaf and the inhalable food sensation it provides could be a solution in the battle with obesity. Diners can curb cravings and stay on top of portion control after getting a satisfying whiff of flavor — that's as long as people remember they actually do have to eat nutritious, real, chewable food at some point.