As if making coffee with coffee pods weren't bad enough, now, if you don't know how to make tortillas, you can use them to make your own tortillas "from scratch." Ah, the beauty of convenience. Why mix and roll dough when a machine can do it for you?
Among the latest kitchen gadgets, there is now a coffee pod tortilla maker. The new device is the work of Flatev - yes, that's short for "flatbread evolution" - which promises a "revolutionary tortilla maker for your kitchen." Using the same concept as a coffee pod, you choose your "dough pod," push a button, and out comes a tortilla less than a minute later. So, really, you don't even need to know how to make tortillas. Flatev does it for you.
That means that every time you want to make one tortilla, you use one pod, and end up with one pod's worth of waste. Just think of the coffee pod waste generated by a taco night.
Tortillas aren't the first food item to take advantage of coffee pod technology - there's a partnership between Campbell's and Keurig to bring you chicken noodle soup in a pod - but it does raise some serious questions. Like, have we gone too far in our obsession with convenience?
Certainly, homemade tortillas aren't one everyone's "to make" list, but they're not as complicated as you might think, particularly if you're looking to make flour tortillas. Even corn tortillas are perfectly doable at home, as long as you have some masa harina and a tortilla press (which if you're going to get a single-serve tortilla machine, why not buy the real thing?).
The Flatev device is the latest in an assortment of products that turn our kitchens from hubs of food into robotic science experiments. While it's smart to find ways to cook healthy in a short amount of time, when we depend on devices and pre-mixed ingredients we're losing our relationship with what we eat. Think about a kitchen filled with devices; does it sound as cozy as the family kitchen where there's flour scattered on the counter and fruit hanging in a bowl, the family gathering around the table to help with dinner?
In pursuit of convenience we risk destroying our food culture as a whole. But not to worry, you can get it all back with the push of a button.
But beyond the question of convenience, there's also the question of price. The machine is estimated to come in at around $300, and the pods will be about $1 each. That means $1 per tortilla. Convenience isn't so cheap after all. Especially when you also take into consideration the waste that tends to be associated with any system that uses coffee pods, whether for coffee or otherwise.
The system isn't for sale yet, but should be available some time in 2015, and if all goes well, the company wants to do other flatbreads as well.
In the meantime, maybe it's time you learned how to make tortillas or flatbread by hand?
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