MOFAD Lab exhibiting “Flavor: Making It & Faking It” opens October 28 in Williamsburg. Photo via MOFAD.org
Ever wonder how cereal is made? David Arnold would like to tell you. Mr. Arnold, who is known for creating and directing the Department of Culinary Technology at the International Culinary Center and for his blog Cooking Issues, is now also the founder of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), the first of its kind.
Arnold’s mission is to change the way people think about food, and to inspire people to think about what they’re eating every day. Visitors will learn about the culture, history, science, production and commerce of food and drink through exhibits and programming. They won’t just see the exhibits, they will also touch, smell and taste them. The museum is slated to open in 2019 and will have no “big food” sponsorships for programming. While there is no formal marketing campaign, you can bet MOFAD will be in the news. The MOFAD project began as a Kickstarter in 2013 and from October 28th to February 29th, the MOFAD Lab on Bayard Street in Brooklyn will open its doors for the first time for the installation “Flavor: Making it & Faking It.”
MOFAD’s Founder, Dave Arnold with the Big Puffing Gun. Photo via the MOFAD Facebook Page
The public will get a taste of things to come, learning what “Natural” and “Artificial” really mean, learning how new technologies and our growing knowledge of flavor have allowed scientists to further separate flavor from food, how smell works and how it contributes to flavor.
This summer, you may have also caught MOFAD in action as it debuted the “Big Puffing Gun” at a pop-up installation at Summer Streets where it puffed all day, giving live demonstrations and tastings. Pressurizing the rice in batches, the gun releases it as puffs by heating up the ingredients. The new Big Puffing Gun was built on a trailer, with the intention of taking it to schools and public events. A food education on wheels.
MOFAD’s Big Puffing Gun at Summer Streets 2015. Photo via MOFAD Facebook page
The first puffing gun actually dates back to 1901 and a botanist at the New York Botanical Garden by the name of Alexander P. Anderson. While attempting to determine the moisture content in a granule of starch, he popped a porous puff of delicious stuff, and he filed a patent on this procedure in 1902. Two years later, puffed rice made its debut at the 1904 World’s Fair and the breakfast cereals Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat were born.
For the past few years, the MOFAD Team has been experimenting with the puffing gun currently being used by street food vendors in Asia. These guns have no pressure gauges and no safety standards of any kind. Through their research and over time, they were able to develop and manufacture the current modern version – the Big Puffing Gun.
Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne