You know that moment when you walk past a pizzeria and get a whiff of freshly made goods and get really excited about how awesome that smells? Usually those experiences happen by chance and are free of charge. Ottawa restaurant Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar wants to make that experience less accidental; If you want to smell really good food, just stop by Juniper Kitchen for a gastronomic food inhaling experience that claims to curb your cravings, and therefore cuts back on calories and fat.
This trend, also known as Le Whaf, is reportedly huge in Europe, and chef Norman Aitken is bringing it to North American territories to let diners take in what the buzz’s all about. Le Whaf dishes are typically a mixture of ingredients you’d find in a traditional dish, but boiled and strained for the flavor extract. That stock is then poured into an oddly shaped glass carafe, where the steam concentrates and flows out in a hazy cloud. Diners can then sample these “food” items by inhaling that steam through a straw, allowing them to taste the food without eating anything at all.
“When you’re smelling wine, same premise. Instead you’re going to smell it. You’re going to, essentially, inhale it leaving you with flavour on your sinus and palate,” Aitken told CBC Canada.
Le Whaf dishes are served on the house along with whatever you order from Juniper Kitchen during your dining experience, but the fans of the trend say smelling food can help to curb big appetites. Inhaling the food cloud is described by one diner as “a taste sensation without something in your mouth,” and can take the edge off your cravings without adding calories, carb, or fat. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a new wave of anorexia waiting to happen.
Of course, the inhalable food concept isn’t mean to replace eating in general but could be helpful for those who want to cut back on food portions. That is, if Le Whaf works as effectively as it claims. If you’re in the Ottawa area, give it a shot and tell us how the experience goes? If not, you can always try Le Whif, a similar concept food except all you’re smelling is craft chocolate, coffee, and vitamin air.