This week in weird food news: beer-tasting robot tongues, savory king cake, a bacon-lover's wedding and more.
Some of F&W's favorite new projects have been crowdfunded, including the super-fun United Skillets of America, an innovative vintner collaboration called Wine for the World and the genius Museum of Food and Drink. Here, three of the most intriguing, and potentially awesome, campaigns currently on Kickstarter.
Exo: Protein Bars Made from Cricket Flour
The pitch: "Exo will introduce to the West one of the most nutritious and sustainable protein sources in the world: insects. Through combining cricket flour (slow roasted and milled crickets) with organic and all-natural ingredients such as raw cacao, dates, almond butter and coconut, we have created a bar that is high in protein, low in sugar, incredibly nutritionally dense, and packed with omega 3 fatty acids, iron and calcium."
What you get for $25: Six bars by October.
Funding status: With over a week to go, this Brooklyn-based project is already over 200 percent funded! Coverage (including taste tests) by Fast Company, Tech Crunch and Forbes helped as did a savvy appeal to foodies. The recipe was created by Michelin-starred chef Kyle Connaughton, formerly of obsessed-over UK restaurant The Fat Duck.
Geek Bar in Chicago
The pitch: "From science to science-fiction, fantasy to technology, geeks of all stripes will find Geek Bar to be a space that suits their unique needs."
What you get for $25: The title of MYTHIC Friend of Geek Bar, plus a Geek Flag sticker and a Geek Bar Chicago T-shirt.
Funding status: Founder and organizer of the gaming meet-up group Chicago Game Lovers David Zoltan beat his $9,750 goal in the first 24 hours and is closing in on his stretch goal of $40,00 with six days to go.
Fermentation on Wheels: Mapping Sustainable Food in the U.S.
The pitch: During "a year long tour of farms and cities across the United States... we will work at farms in exchange for food and educational resources, and visit cities to hold free workshops on fermentation methods using locally harvested foods."
What you get for $25: A set of Fermented on Wheels pins and an 8 oz. jar of sauerkraut.
Funding status: A cup of cabbage doesn’t have a ton of draw, but this is a feel-good project for Portlandia types with 23 days to go and $27,000 more to make.
Related: Coolest Crowdfunded Food Projects
Photo © Evan Agostini - Invision - AP
Model Karlie Kloss on Adventurous Eating: “During a trip to Thailand, my friends and I were daring and tried lots of dishes at the open-air market in Phuket. I was brave enough to try various species of deep-fried insects! It was disgusting. But you only live once, right?”
Model Karlie Kloss is the host of MTV’s House of Style. She collaborated with Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi on a line of gluten-free cookies, available at shopmilkbar.com.
Writer Andrew Solomon on His Strangest Meals: “There was a soup of old duck and locusts in Hangzhou, China. The fermented yak milk in Mongolia also carried some shock value. And then there’s igunaq, the rotted walrus meat that is considered a delicacy in Greenland. I can’t say that any of these was my favorite meal.”
Andrew Solomon is the author of the New York Times best seller Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.
Conductor Alan Gilbert on Being a Good Guest: “I was in Japan conducting at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, and one of our hosts insisted that we try the local specialty, basashi, which is horse sashimi. I really couldn’t refuse. It looked like uncooked beef shabu-shabu, and we dipped it in soy sauce with ginger. All I can remember about the taste is that it was just... OK.”
Alan Gilbert is the music director of the New York Philharmonic.
Writer Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) on a Food Shock: “I was backstage at a radio show and there was a plate of things that looked like chocolate-covered strawberries. But then someone popped one in their mouth and said, ‘What the hell is this?’ They were chocolate-covered radishes, and no one would own up to bringing them. They tasted just like chocolate-covered radishes, in case you’re curious.”
The new Lemony Snicket book, The Dark, is in stores now.