A weird article, necessary to be shared with you, that I found in the on-flight mag on my flight from Paris to Berlin last week.
It sounds like something straight from the pages of Charly and the Chocolate Factory: a machine that allows you to breathe in lemon pie, tomato soup - or even a cocktail. But this is no April fool; Le Whaf is the invention that allows you to live in a fantassy world of flavoured glases.
In essence, Le Whaf is a giant glass bowl with a reservoir. You add a small quantity of liquidised food (or alcohol) and switch on. The machine rattles to life and turns liquid into a gas - which you then inhale through a straw. It's the brainchild of Harvard biologist Dr David Edwards, who spends half his time in Paris. "The Whaf is a new way to experience food," he tells us. His other invention, Le Whif (a lipstick-sized tube that allows you to inhalte powdered chocolate) came out last year.
Edwards admits to being fanatical about the final frontiers of food.
"You can think of Le Whad as drinking by breathing," he says. "With it, we have completed the repertoire of aerosol cuisine that we started with Le Whif."
But when you put alcohol in Le Whaf, doesn't it get you drunk? Not so, says Edwards: "Take vodka. While you 'whaf' vodka into your mouth, and taste vodka, there is very little alcohol, as the cloud is so light. The quantity of liquid that enters your mouth is small."
It may have been invented by an American but this unusual machine is now firmly ensconced in the gastronomic capital of the world. Edwards and his team worked with double Michelin-Starred Bordeaux chef Thierry Marx to create their breathable food and drink. "Le Whaf is best suited to intense tastes: juices, cocktails, and even liquid lemon pie prepared by Thierry," says Edwards.
The best way to try out Le Whaf is to book yourself on a culinary course at Edwards and Mary's FoodLab - at Rue du Bouloi, near the former food markets Les Halles. And if you need any more encouragement, teh 18th April course is intriguingly entitles Liquid nitrogen: limits, dangers. It promises "iceberg tomato, roasted apple, and warm ice-cream". What a gas.