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Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

This Virtual Recipe Could Be the Future of Cooking

Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Before photography was widespread, home cooks could only refer to the text of a recipe and hope that whatever came out of the oven looked like it was supposed to. Now, we have high-definition photos and instructional videos to help guide us on the path to culinary perfection—and if the clip below is any indication, augmented reality may be the next visual recipe tool to infiltrate our kitchens.

As Co.Design reports, this tutorial created by "3D Scanning Enthusiast" Romain Rouffet captures every layer of a banoffee (banana and toffee) pie in three dimensions. Viewers can drag their cursor around the screen to view the pie from above, from the sides, or close-up. The action in the video mimics the instructions written in the recipe in the sidebar, starting with the crackers getting crushed to form the foundation and leading to the sprinkling of chocolate on top of the final layer of whipped cream.

The project makes for a neat effect, but it also opens the door for a whole new way to share recipes. If home cooks were able to visualize a meal unfolding on their countertops using augmented reality, it might increase their chances of success when they set out to recreate it in real life.

Until this point, AR has mostly been used in video games or social media apps. But there have been practical applications of the technology, like IKEA’s feature that lets shoppers test-run virtual furniture, or the INKHUNTER app that lets users try out tattoos before getting them. Romain Rouffet doesn’t have his own app yet, but you can use his creation on Sketchfab to make a banoffee pie with or without a pair of VR goggles.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Pitless Avocado Wants to Keep You Safe From the Dreaded 'Avocado Hand'
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The humble avocado is a deceptively dangerous fruit. Some emergency room doctors have recently reported an uptick in a certain kind of injury—“avocado hand,” a knife injury caused by clumsily trying to get the pit out of an avocado with a knife. There are ways to safely pit an avocado (including the ones likely taught in your local knife skills class, or simply using a spoon), but there’s also another option. You could just buy one that doesn’t have a pit at all, as The Telegraph reports.

British retailer Marks & Spencer has started selling cocktail avocados, a skinny, almost zucchini-like type of avocado that doesn’t have a seed inside. Grown in Spain, they’re hard to find in stores (Marks & Spencer seems to be the only place in the UK to have them), and are only available during the month of December.

The avocados aren’t genetically modified, according to The Independent. They grow naturally from an unpollinated avocado blossom, and their growth is stunted by the lack of seed. Though you may not be able to find them in your local grocery, these “avocaditos” can grow wherever regular-sized Fuerte avocados grow, including Mexico and California, and some specialty producers already sell them in the U.S. Despite the elongated shape, they taste pretty much like any other avocado. But you don’t really need a knife to eat them, since the skin is edible, too.

If you insist on taking your life in your hand and pitting your own full-sized avocado, click here to let us guide you through the process. No one wants to go to the ER over a salad topping, no matter how delicious. Safety first!

[h/t The Telegraph]

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