10/16/2007

When I am King: A Stirring Tale

When I am King...

Frozen lunches will be packaged with live frogs.

Microwaves are great. In just two minutes, they can turn a completely frozen block of food into a mass of scalding hot pools simmering in frozen passageways, like a volcano in the antarctic. If you average out the temperature over the entire volume of food, the meal is reasonably warm for eating. But if you try to eat the meal exactly as it comes out of the microwave, you would both break your teeth and cauterize the wounds.

Inevitably, you have to deal with the food as it cooks, taking it out and stirring it intermittently, so that you equalize the extremes in the final result. Wouldn't it be nice if the microwave automatically cooked the food evenly instead?

Of course, the solution of fixing microwave technology so that it addressed the root problem would be best. But don't hold your breath. The last time the industry tried to address the issue, we got the spinning-tray workaround, where your food now twirls in the oven like a ballerina, if she were frozen and then bombarded with subatomic particles until she boiled from the inside.

No, if we're going to fix this problem, we'll have to do it ourselves.

That's why I've had my top scientists looking into the problem, and we have a solution on the way: Frogs.

Did you realize that the Wood Frog can survive both freezing solid and thawing out? When my team discovered this fact, we knew that we had stumbled on the perfect solution to this nagging culinary problem.

Here's the idea: we will freeze frogs and pack them in the same container with frozen entrees. Then later, when the food container is microwaved, the frog will automatically be thawed out during the reheating process. And, being an water-dwelling creature that has suddenly woken up inside a lunch container packed with random non-frog food particles, and having the unusual feeling of being nuked alive, they will naturally thrash around in a state of panic. This, in turn, will effectively stir the food as it cooks. They will be particularly effective at the job; frog's legs are powerful tools for both jumping and whisking.

The result? A steaming hot meal that comes out of the microwave pre-stirred and adjusted for all hot and cold spots of the microwaving process.

There is a small issue to work out here where the frog-stirred meal will taste, well, froggy. And the thrashing about might put some measure of frog slime into the surrounding food. This result is perfect for meals where frog is part of the desired result; testing in the French market has been quite favorable so far. It has not yet panned out as well in user testing with, for example, vegetarian entrees or delicate desserts. Work continues apace and we expect to have a general solution eventually.

Rest assured, we will solve these problems: To poorly-cooked meals, our society can finally micro-wave goodbye.
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