From burritos to ballpoint pens, there’s no shortage of strange items you can obtain from a vending machine. Now, the Associated Press reports that Paris residents hankering for a hand-carved steak or a juicy sausage can buy an assortment of meaty goods from the city’s first automated raw meat dispenser.
The refrigerated machine sits on the Rue de Charonne in eastern Paris. Time-conscious customers can use credit cards or cash to instantly buy vacuum-packed delicacies ranging from duck confit and beef carpaccio to faux-filet steaks.
The Rue de Charonne area is filled with dozens of butchers’ shops. However, many of these brick-and-mortar locations are shut down on Sundays or later in the evening. According to Florence and Michel Pouzol—who operate the machine and run nearby butcher shop L'ami Txulette—the machine serves the needs of busy home chefs, since the meat vending machine lets customers buy protein-packed delicacies 24/7.
"We're closed two days: Sundays and Mondays," Florence Pouzol told The Associated Press. "So this is to cater for customers over the weekend. ... The idea was also to serve people after the shop's closing hours. We close at 8 p.m. but some people leave work very late and find the shop closed when they walk past it."
With convenience comes a price. The vending machine isn’t cheap for customers, or for the Pouzels. On average, the machine’s goods are 20 euro cents more expensive than the ones inside L'ami Txulette. It also cost $45,000 for the Pouzols to set up.
However, the popularity of meat vending machines—and vending machines stocking dinner foods in general—seems to be growing. According to The Telegraph, four other meat vending machines opened in France’s provinces over the past four years. And in 2011, Paris got its first 24-hour baguette vending machine, spurring hundreds more to be installed across the country.
[h/t Associated Press]