‘Inhaling your food’ no longer has connotations of heinous gluttony, not with the launch of one of the more bizarre products to invade the realm of molecular gastronomy – Le Whif. Invented by Harvard professor David Edwards in the steely white setting of La Laboratoire in Paris, a collaborative experimental space between scientists and artists, this little inhaler-like contraption promises to allow one to ‘eat by breathing’. Shaped like a large cigarette, it functions in much the same way as one (it was invented in Paris, after all) – you place one end in your mouth, breathe in and allow several milligrams of chocolate or coffee-flavored particles excite your taste-buds beyond all comprehension.
In cognizance of the weight-consciousness that has basically characterized our generation, this thoughtful product also boasts the absence of ANY calories that one might worry about while inhaling away. As they state proudly on their website (which you can access here), you get an ‘experience of flavor without a single calorie’. Oh, also without the undesirable inconvenience of chewing, because that is just too unglamorous for the young and beautiful.
Flavors currently available are chocolate (plain, raspberry and mint) and coffee, for about $3 a tube. Coffee Whifs apparently provide the sucker-punch of caffeine without the cup – each tube contains an amount of caffeine equivalent to a light espresso. Why hold a cumbersome receptacle when one can look so much cooler just… breathing in molecules?
While I might be in the minority in being wholly skeptical of this gimmick and having unsolicited mental images of a dystopian future where no one eats anymore but soullessly breathes in steak-flavored particles around a dinner table, the chemical engineering genius behind Le Whif should be applauded. Also, props to Prof. Edwards for creating this marketing marvel: a shamelessly superfluous but undeniably original designer product, with a name boasting the ubiquitous insertion of the French particle ‘le’.