Ikea's Lab Designed the 'Fast Food of the Future'
Looks like Noma's got some competition.
When you hear the phrase "boundary-pushing culinary experimentation taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark," you're probably thinking of René Redzepi and Noma. But this week, another major Nordic name got in on the futurist food game, and for many kitchens across the world, it's probably quite familiar: Ikea!
Yes, the beloved home furnishing/kitchen/appliance store has put its Copenhagen-based "external future-living lab" Space10 to use designing what it calls "the fast food of the future." Using alternative ingredients to design more healthy and sustainable fast food, the dishes certainly look as futuristic as you'd expect from such a series, but don't worry—at least according to Ikea, they're also designed to be delicious. Because after all, Ikea says, "to change people’s minds about food, to inspire them to try new ingredients, we can’t just appeal to the intellect—we have to titillate their taste buds."
To that end, Ikea has innovated on fast food items that look even stranger than their names. First, there's "The Dogless Hotdog," made with dried and glazed baby carrots, beet and berry ketchup, mustard and turmeric cream, roasted onions, cucumber salad, and an herb salad mix. But that's just the "Hotdog" element—the real cutting edge ingredient here is a bun made with spirulina, a green micro-algae that Ikea says contains more protein than a genuine hot dog.
And if burgers are more your thing, there's an option for you too: the Bug Burger, which features a patty made from 100g of beetroot, 50g of parsnip, 50g of potatoes, and 50g of mealworms—which, Ikea helpfully explains, is the larval form of a darkling beetle—and comes on a white-flour bun topped with relish, beetroot and blackcurrant ketchup, chive spread, and hydroponic salad mix. So if these options have you bugging out with enthusiasm, check out some of the other options Ikea has created. Unfortunately, there's no plan to make them available to the consumer yet—but hey, you can never predict the future!