Posts tagged “interior”

ChittahChattah Quickies

Cross-sectional Chocolate [Edible Geography] – Here’s food science framed as both a structural design and experience design problem. See many delicious pictures at the original link.

Chocolate bar designers work with a limited repertoire of ingredients (nuts, crisped rice, chocolate, biscuit, coconut, nougat, and caramel), manipulated through technological innovation (enrobing, extruding, and moulding machines), to develop a wonderful variety of creamy, crunchy, tongue-coating creations.

Sometimes the design challenge is practical, as the Twix cross-section allows us to appreciate. The thin layer of chocolate between the shortbread finger and the caramel topping acts as architectural insulation, preventing water migrating from the caramel into the shortbread and softening it.

The Baby Ruth and 100 Grand bars demonstrate variations on the idea of a crispy/crunchy exterior surrounding a smooth interior, while the Oh Henry! and Snickers bars mix nuts with caramel above a smoother, denser layer of fudge or nougat, with the whole ensemble enrobed in a thin chocolate coating. The Lion bar combines both approaches, embedding a filled Kit-Kat-style wafer inside a 100 Grand exterior, turducken-style.

Mouth-feel, texture, taste, and even shareability are among the aspects of consumer experience that can be engineered through permutations of the basic chocolate bar template. The snap-off wafers of a Kit-Kat encourage more leisurely, social consumption, for example, while the interior chewiness of a Snickers creates a perception of satisfaction that the exterior crunch of a 100 Grand bar could never match.

Renovating Ronald Redux

The McDonald’s redesign is getting some more attention in blogland. A really powerful rant (even if you don’t support all the points) comes from the consistently acerbic Marginal Utility

So having abetted the atomization of American society, undermining traditional rituals of eating that once fostered polite society and turning food into on-the-go fuel, McDonald’s now wants to present the simulacrum of what it helped destroy, an ambiotronic environment in which the semblance of civility is exhibited for maximum marketing appeal. It wants to cater to the illusion that people have time to hang out, that people enjoy being in public with strangers, that its own food is something to be savored rather than inhaled on the run. The corporation can subsidize a few people hogging the comfy chairs and watching the TVs in order to give its bread-and-butter customers – the harried single people in a hurry – a warm, fuzzy feeling about what they are about to eat, as if a Big Mac can give them access to the laid-back linger-zone life by proxy. But most people, McDonald’s knows, don’t really want to linger. Rest assured, regardless of the redesign, the heart of McDonald’s will remain as hard a plastic as ever.


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