While 3-D printers become more advanced and more ubiquitous, the applications for building culinary creations with the push of a button are going to appear on more and more menus in the very near future. But I want the future now! Sure, they may make me sound like a child whining for candy but that's fitting because Dylan's Candy Bar is rolling out 3-D gummy printers in five of their stores and online this month. Imagine edible invitations to events, wedding reception place cards that also act as dessert, or even just a personalized birthday card with a blue gummy stegosaurus. The exclusive and first of their kind printers let customers customize a candy with words, shapes, even photos. That's right, a sugary selfie is only a few clicks away.
The technology comes from Katje's Magic Candy Factory, who debuted the printers in Dubai earlier this year. Both Dylan's locations in New York already have them up and running, and Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami are next on the list. The gummies aren't your typical corn-syrup-filled affair, either. They're made with apple pectin instead of gelatin (so yes, they're vegan) and the eight available flavors and colors are natural, for a much more adult palate-pleasing candy.
Considering the customization, the software behind these printers is impressive. The user controls everything with a simple iPad app, and the algorithms to control the flow and layering operate in the background seamlessly. The whole process only takes minutes and customers in the store and online will get a video of the printing to enjoy long after they've devoured the gummy itself. More color and flavor combinations are on the way (possibly chocolate?), and Dylan's intends to make the printers portable for parties and events as well. So while it still might be a little impractical to get your hands on a food printer for your kitchen, these candy making machines are a pretty sweet substitute